03 FEVRIER 2016 NEWS: Londres - Tonbridge - Horns of Hattin - Kayaköy -
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ROYAUME UNI – Londres - A fresco almost 2,000 years old discovered on a City building site has shed new light on the lives of the super-rich in Roman London. The ornate artwork, measuring about 2.5 metres by 1.5 metres, dates to the 1st century. It was found during an archaeological dig at 21 Lime Street near Leadenhall Market and is likely to have been on the wall of a reception room in the house of a wealthy merchant or official. It depicts an idyllic scene of deer nibbling fruit-bearing trees on which parakeets perch, and archaeologists believe it was hand-painted by master craftsmen for wealthy clients. Ian Betts, building materials specialist for Museum of London Archaeology, spotted the fresco lying face down when he recognised distinctive marks on its back made during its construction. He said: “The fresco would have been incredibly expensive — the owners of the property could afford the very best. It is sophisticated plasterwork and they have used a very rare bright red pigment that would have to have been imported from Spain. It is not the first example of a fresco we’ve found in the Lime Street area so we can suggest it was where the wealthy Roman elite lived, people with the sophistication and money to employ wall painters. It’s the Chelsea or Hampstead of Roman London and it is very much a case of one-upmanship where if someone down the road had nice plasterwork you had to as well.” The fresco only survived because when the house was demolished to make way for the Forum Basilica — the seat of power in Roman London — workmen simply pushed the wall over and built on top of it, sealing the image underground.“It is the first time in 30 years we’ve found a collapsed wall in situ. We can only speculate, but I imagine because this building was demolished very quickly in one go they simply pushed it over.”
ROYAUME UNI – Tonbridge - A senior archaeologist has spoken out on the destruction of historic brick kilns uncovered by the A21 in Tonbridge. Last week, the Courier revealed the enormous 19th century structures on Castle Hill had been destroyed despite authorities saying the site would only be 'covered over' in the road-building process. The news sparked outrage from Tonbridge history enthusiasts, who branded the move 'vandalism'. Wendy Rogers, senior archaeological officer at Kent County Council, monitored excavations at the Highways England site and said the find was 'impressive and exciting'. She added she was sad to see it removed, but accepted conservation was not feasible as the site is located in the middle of the new road.
ISRAEL – Horns of Hattin - During a hike with his children on the hills of the Horns of Hattin located in the lower Galilee, Amit Haklai, a resident of Kfar Hittin, found a small white stone nestled among the dark basalt rocks of the area. Amit picked up the stone and saw that it was engraved with the image of a beetle and understood that it was an ancient seal. He quickly called the Israel Antiquities Authority and gave them the artifact. He asked only that they tell him what was written on the seal, and what it could teach them about the location. The seal was identified by Dr. Dafan Ben Tor, the curator of the Ancient Egypt department of the Israel Museum, as a scarab, a charm from the new kingdom era of Egypt. According to Ben Tor "the scarab shows king Thutmose III sitting on his throne and in front of him a cartouche that says his name. A cartouche is an oval with a horizontal line at one end, indicating that the text enclosed is a royal name in Hieroglyphics.
TURQUIE – Kayaköy - A number of architectural structures in the 3,000-year-old ancient site of Kayaköy in the western province of Muğla are being threatened by local flora, as trees and plant life have damaged the walls of the old buildings. Eight kilometers away from the province’s Fethiye district, Kayaköy, or Karmylassos as it was known in the ancient era, is home to a number of old structures. During the Ottoman era, the city was populated by Greeks, who left after the 1923 population exchange, abandoning the city. Many of the newer, wooden structures in the city have since decayed, and Kayaköy became known as a “ghost city.” Recently, it was reported that trees growing in and around the houses in Kayaköy had been damaging its ancient walls, and even caused some to collapse.