03 FEVRIER 2011


 - 03  FEVRIER

 - SYRIE -  The archaeological site of Tel Ghweran is located on the road from Deir Ezzor to the center of Hasaka city, nestled on the bank of Khabur River south of the city. Excavations indicate that the site was settled during the late Uruk period, prospering during the second half of third millennium BC and reaching the peak of its splendor during the Ayyubid period in the 12th and 13th centuries AD.

The site, which is 80 meters long, 60 meters wide and 11 meters high, was studied for the first time by a German expedition which was surveying the hills on the banks of Khabur River. The expedition found pottery fragments that indicated that the site dates back to the late Stone Age and the Bronze Age. In the level dating back to the late Uruk period, the expedition uncovered remains of rooms containing pottery and bronze artefacts and animal bones. Directly above this level was a level dating back to the "third dawn of the dynasties" period containing parts of brick structures including a basin, plaster-covered walls, and parts of two tower-shaped structures. In the level dating back to the Acadian period, excavations uncovered walls and parts of rooms built with plaster-covered bricks, in addition to clay bases, jars, cups and bowls. The level dating back to the Islamic era contains white limestone buildings that contained basins, stables and houses. Finds in this level include silver coins, bronze artefacts such as bracelets and spoons, clay lanterns, animal-shaped figurines, glass bottles, and stamps made of basalt and baked clay bearing geometric shapes.


 - CHINE –Xiahe -  Archaeologists have identified the remains of the largest Stone Age building ever found in China -- thought to be a prehistoric "town hall" -- in the northwestern Shaanxi Province.The remains of the pentagon-shaped structure, discovered at the Xiahe Site in Baishui County, date back to the Yangshao culture era of 5,000 to 3,000 BC in the New Stone Age. Covering 364 square meters, the building had a capacity to hold hundreds of people and might once have been used as a meeting hall, said Zhang Pengcheng, a researcher with the Shaanxi Archaeological Research Institute. "The ancients erected four large wooden pillars and columns along the walls, making the structure of this size possible," said Zhang. Zhang said the multiple-layer walls, the calcite-plastered floor and a 1.8-meter-wide fireplace in the center made the building "quite special." Traces at the site suggested the above-ground structure was later carefully removed, rather than abandoned, said Zhang. Researchers are still considering its exact purpose. The Yangshao culture was a Neolithic culture existing along the Yellow River. Relics discovered from the time include colorful painted pottery. The most recent finds included the ruins of a building devastated by an early earthquake.


 - ISRAËL -  Hirbet Midras - Des archéologues israéliens ont mis au jour les ruines d’une église récemment découverte datant de l’époque byzantine, sur un site qui pourrait abriter la tombe du prophète biblique Zacharie.L’église, dont les mosaïques au sol sont bien conservées, a été découverte à Hirbet Midras, site d’une communauté juive de l’ère romaine, dans le centre du pays, a précisé dans un communiqué le département israélien des Antiquités, qui a lancé les fouilles à la suite de l’arrestation d’un groupe de pillards qui exploitaient le site. Sous l’édifice se trouve une deuxième couche de mosaïques de cette période, au dessous de laquelle un réseau de grottes où pourrait se trouver la tombe de Zacharie. «Des chercheurs qui ont visité le site estiment que c’est le lieu de résidence et de la tombe du prophète Zacharie», selon un communiqué de l’Autorité des Antiquités, soulignant que cette hypothèse doit encore être vérifiée.(Source AFP)-


- FRANCE Cosquer - Le public devrait pouvoir visiter à Marseille d'ici 2013 un fac-similé en taille réelle de la grotte sous-marine Cosquer, joyau archéologique situé dans les calanques et dont une reproduction sera installée sous un fort du Vieux-Port - Le site sera la copie en taille réelle, soit 50m x 20m x 10m, de la grotte sous-marine, la seule connue au monde ornée de peintures paléolithiques. Il serait installé sous le fort d'Entrecasteaux, à l'entrée du Vieux-Port, dans des galeries creusées par l'armée allemande pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale - La grotte, qui porte le nom du plongeur Henri Cosquer qui l'a découverte, renferme plus de 400 peintures et gravures rupestres, la plus vieille remontant à 27.000 ans. A l'époque glaciaire, on pouvait accéder à pied à la grotte, mais la fonte des glaces l'a depuis recouverte d'eau.


 - USA – Montpelier -  Archaeologists have unearthed a couple of pieces of history at James Madison's country estate: portions of two pawns from his chess set. Montpelier officials think the pieces are likely from the same set that Madison and Thomas Jefferson used in their frequent matches during Jefferson's visits. Archaeologists recently discovered the pawns during an ongoing excavation at the fourth president's Orange County estate. Montpelier archaeology director Matthew Reeves called the pieces a treasure that reflects Madison's intellectual pursuits and social life. The fragments of pawns provided enough detail for researchers to determine what Madison's chess set looked like. Curators then bought an identical, authentic 18th-century ivory chess set, which now is on display in Madison's home.