04 AVRIL 2012 NEWS : Bujang Valley - Oxford - Chypre/Israel - Manhattan - Dainville -




 INSCRIPTION  2012 /  Session III : Juillet 2012

   REGISTRATION 2012 /  Term III : July 2012

MALAISIEpg07-030412-c339136-1244-499.jpg Bujang Valley - The historical significance of the Bujang Valley in Kedah has intensified with the dramatic discovery of a structure that has existed there since 50 BC – making it the oldest man-made building to be found in South-east Asia. The excavation was made late last year at the Sungai Batu archaeological area. The age of the site – a metal foundry – was recently confirmed through radiocarbon tests conducted by the Beta Analytic Inc laboratory in Florida. In hailing the find, Prof Mokhtar Saidin, director of the Centre for Global Archaeological Research of Universiti Sains Malaysia, stressed that it pointed to an advanced civilisation on our shores as far back as 2,062 years ago. The foundry is among 97 ancient structures, all covered over time in mounds of earth, that have been detected within a 4 sqkm area at Sungai Batu. Of these, only 29 have been excavated so far, Mokhtar said. The structure also pre-dates a nearby 1,900 year old ritualistic monument built with detailed geometric precision Since then, other iron-smelting structures have also been found, dating back to 60AD, as well as a jetty. Prior to the Sungai Batu archaeological project which began in 2009, excavations in other parts of the Bujang Valley during the 70s and 80s had recorded mostly Hindu-Buddhist structures and artefacts dated between the 8th century AD and 13th century AD. t is understood that the system of metallurgy found here is similar to techniques used in ancient India. The Sungai Batu finds pre-date other man-made structures in South-east Asia, including the Batu Jaya Site in Karawang, western Java (3rd century AD) and the Siva-Bhadresvara Temple in My Son, Vietnam (4th Century AD).


ROYAUME UNI04om03skull-v01.jpg Oxford - Skeletons uncovered in Oxford city centre could have been the remains of Viking pillagers rather than settlers killed in a famous massacre. Experts now believe the group of 37 men whose remains were found off St Giles’ four years ago could have been mercenaries raiding Oxford. Previously they thought they were Danish settlers killed by English townsmen in the well-documented Brice’s Day Massacre. The remains of men, aged between 16 and 25, were found at St John’s College in 2008 by Thames Valley Archaeological Services. It was thought at the time they were victims of King Ethelred the Unready, who ordered the killing of all Danish settlers in 1002. Now, after chemical analysis and testing on the bones and teeth, staff from Oxford University’s School of Archaeology have put forward an alternative theory. Professor Mark Pollard, director of research laboratory in the School of Archaeology, believes the skeletons might actually be those of Viking marauders who were caught and killed in retaliation, rather than Danish settlers living in the area. “There was evidence of burning on the bones, so it is a possibility. But the research we have done suggests that they were Viking raiders. It seems these were raiders who had come from all over the place. I think it was a collection of ‘freelance warriors’ – a bunch of bad lads basically, but it’s not conclusive.”


CHYPRE / ISRAEL -  Cyprus and Israel will cooperate to form a bank that will house the enormous amount of data which results from the numerous excavations that are conducted in both countries.  The expected outcome is to create a list of projects in which Israeli archaeologists and Cyprus archaeologists from the Cyprus Institute and the Antiquities Department will be collaborating.


USA - ManhattanThe streets of lower Manhattan are traveled by hundreds of thousands of people each day. Beneath the sidewalks they walk on, a treasure trove of buried historic artifacts waits to be discovered. As construction crews tear into the streets on the southern tip of the island of Manhattan, Alyssa Loorya is often by their side. The urban archaeologist with Chrysalis Archaeology is looking for items that were once considered garbage. The city often has to hire archaeologists to work alongside construction crews when they open the streets in lower Manhattan. The National Historic Preservation Act requires cities and states to conduct an archaeological survey at a work site when there is a strong possibility of finding historical artifacts. "We're actually finding things anywhere in a range between 3 and 11 feet below surface," Loorya said while at a construction site on Fulton Street, one of the oldest streets in New York. "We tend to see pockets and areas that are completely undisturbed, little segments of the 19th, 18th century that have remained intact''.


FRANCE -  924272-dainville-4f79a516-jpg.jpg  Dainville - On le sait, le sol de l'Artois est riche e apporte parfois de belles découvertes. À Dainville, pas de découverte du siècle, mais de quoi parler d'un pan de l'histoire locale remontant à différents moments de l'âge du Bronze. Après une première phase de fouilles en 2011 de l'INRAP, sur dix hectares, le diagnostique a été réalisé. Le service d'archéologie du département a ensuite pris le relais : il travaille sur 1,2 hectare ouvert et disponible à la fouille. « Il y a quatre zones de fouille, explique Isabelle, archéologue. La plus grande, sur un hectare, est celle où se trouve la plus grande majorité des structures archéologiques. » On trouve ensuite un espace de 1000m², et deux zones comprenant des incinérations, au nombre de trois. « Elles ont été trouvées pendant le diagnostique, mais nous, nous n'avons rien trouvé de plus après ». Les deux choses les plus impressionnantes et qui fascineront les passionnés d'histoire, ce sont les cercles funéraires. Deux ont été mis au jour. Le premier, sur le haut du site, « date de l'âge du Bronze, entre 1500 et 800 avant Jésus Christ », précise la jeune archéologue. La pratique à cette époque était courante pour enterrer un défunt, de faire un monument devant être visible de loin. « Nous n'avons pas retrouvé de sépulture associée. Le cercle sur le sol délimite la zone funéraire. Il faut savoir que le sol était facilement 50 cm au-dessus du niveau actuel, c'est aussi pour cela qu'on n'a rien retrouvé. » En redescendant, un second cercle funéraire, de 17 mètres de diamètres, impose quelques explications de part de la spécialiste. «  On n'a pas pu vider à la main, il nous a fallu une pelle mécanique. On y est allé de façon très méthodique, enlevant centimètre par centimètre, pour isoler le matériel trouvé et savoir à quelle couche sédimentaire il correspondait. » À l'intérieur du cercle, trois petites fosses de 50 cm ont été découvertes. Un peu plus bas sur le Champ Bel Air, les archéologues ont trouvé plus de matériel. « La datation a donc pu être plus précise, entre moins 1000 et moins 800. On a trouvé des zones de stockage de denrées alimentaires. » Seulement, aucune trace des habitations n'a été découverte.  . Des trous de poteaux ont été découverts, mais aussi une fosse d'extraction de craie, des silos et bien entendu des morceaux de vaisselles, ou encore des restes d'un métier à tisser. Tout cela a été collecté et sera, dans la phase post-fouilles, recollé et restauré, par le service des archives du sol.