05 - 06 0CTOBRE 2010


 - 06 OCTOBRE :

 - ISRAËL : Tel Shikmona -  Researchers at the Institute of Archaeology from the University of Haifa excavating at Tel Shikmona have exposed magnificent mosaics dating back to the Byzantine Period (sixth century C.E.), which were part of an ecclesiastic structure. Archaeological excavations at Tel Shikmona were conducted in the 1960s-1970s under the direction of the late Yosef Algavish. Over the past decades, however, the archaeological findings at Tel Shikmona have been damaged, construction waste has piled up on the site, and off-road vehicles have ploughed over it. The current excavation team has labored to carefully remove the layers of waste that piled up over the mosaic floors without causing further damage to the spectacular artwork, to clean the floors and preserve them - priming them for public display. The next step for the team is excavating a part of the tell itself and expanding the excavations to the south of Tel Shikmona. Although a relatively small site, a wealth of ancient relics has been unearthed at Tel Shikmona, dating back over two thousand years, from the Bronze Age to the Byzantine Period. Past excavations have made an intriguing collection of findings at the site of the tell, in its surrounding areas and on the beach close by, where pools and mooring facilities for boats were revealed.


 - EMIRATS : Ras Al Khaimah - Two ancient mosques built about 600 years ago have been discovered.The archaeologists confirmed one of the mosques was used during summer and the other during winter months. And both have a capacity to accommodate about 250 people. The discovery follows the excavation on the remains of the historical area of Nadod of Julfar, dating back about 500 years.  Al Fahleen area was inhabited since ancient times by Al Naqbeen tribe. A number of towers and Mount Al Hakab that surrounds the place protected its people from enemies. The two mosques were built with gravel and plaster in accordance with the Islamic architectural style.


 - CHYPRE : Curium - Experts in Cyprus are trying to unravel the identity of one of the island's older inhabitants, after a skeleton was discovered protruding from a cliff in one of the island's richest archaeological sites.The intact skeleton was found at Curium in the southwest of the Mediterranean island renowned for its links to the ancient world. The earliest settlements here can be dated as far back as the Neolithic age, about 4,500 BC. Experts believe the skeleton came to the surface due to years of erosion from the sea. The discovery is reminiscent of three skeletons found embracing in the same area back in the 1980s, the likely victims of a strong earthquake which hit the area around 365 AD. It looks like an isolated grave close to the coast.  It's not a contemporary grave. It is over 200 years old or from the Middle Ages or possibly the Christian period. It's difficult to date because we found nothing else buried with it. The fact that the grave is facing east-west could also suggest it is a Christian burial.


 - ESPAGNE : -Cadix - Spanish Navy vessels looking for sunken treasure off the country's coast have found around 100 possible shipwrecks in the first fruit of a drive to protect Spain's historical heritage from private salvagers seeking gold and other booty. Two minesweepers and other vessels located the sites in Atlantic waters off the southwestern city of Cadiz as part of a campaign that began Sept. 8 and is due to last two months. The Culture Ministry estimates there are more than 3,000 sites in Spanish coastal waters with shipwrecks, remains of airplanes, submarines or human settlements, but most of them are remains of ships. Of that total, it says as many as 800 could be in waters off Cadiz.


 - CHYPRE :  The examination of a Mediterranean shipwreck from the 4th century B.C. could shed light on ancient sea routes and trade, researchers say. The remains of a merchant vessel, full of amphoras that probably had been filled with wine, were discovered in 2006 on the seafloor south of the island of Cyprus. A team has been excavating the site, diving and dredging up important pieces, since then. The particularly well-preserved remains, especially the amphoras, which were oval, narrow-necked vases, reveal many clues about the ship's story. The amphoras found at this site, she said, are very typical of those made on the Greek island of Chios in the Aegean Sea. Archaeologists know the red wine from Chios was praised. It was very good quality, very expensive. A large collection of olive pits was also discovered at the shipwreck site. The scientists don't know whether the olives were packed as a source of food for sailors or were a commodity to be sold. The archaeologists aren't sure what caused the vessel to sink, but said the fact that it was found pretty far offshore suggests it was probably downed by a storm or a fire. The findings so far are detailed in a paper in the December 2010 issue of the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.


 - 05 OCTOBRE :

 - BULGARIE    Perperikon - Leading Bulgarian archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov has completed his four-month summer excavations at the Ancient Thracian city of Perperikon. On Tuesday, Ovcharov presented his latest intriguing discovery an ancient cooking stove cut right into the stones of the rock city dated back to 3rd-4th century. The stove consists of a lower part, a hearth, whose ceiling has two holes that let through some fire; the ceramic cooking vessels would be placed on top of the holes. The archaeologist made a recapitulation of his four months of excavations over the summer, during which his team examined 100 meters of the fortress wall. The 3-meter-thick wall is taken to mean that Perperikon was the strongest fortress in the Rhodope Mountain from the Roman period (in this case, the second half of the 3rd century AD). The stronghold protected what is believed to have been a palace-sanctuary harboring the ancient temple of Dionysus. Professor Ovcharov, also known as the "Bulgarian Indiana Jones", believes that Perperikon was a religious center in Thracian and Roman times but was also a crucial city controlling the mining of gold in the Rhodope Mountain. The numerous artifacts and objects unearthed by him over the summer include a Roma lamp with the image of a naked dancer, bronze and silver ornaments, lead seals of local rulers, including the Byzantine patrician Teodorokan, two rock tombs, and an image of a mummer (known in Bulgaria as "kukeri" dated to the 13th century.


 - ALGERIE   Boumerdès - D'importants vestiges et sites archéologiques ont  été mis au jour, durant les deux dernières années à Boumerdès et nécessitent  valorisation et prise en charge. La plus  importante de ces découvertes se trouve dans la région de  Zemmouri El Bahri, dont le sous-sol  "regorge de vestiges" remontant aux différentes  époques historiques. Au village Béni H’Mida de Legata des restes d’une statue ont été trouvés  aux cotés d’un plat en métal, des reliques en poterie et des ossements humains  remontant à des époques lointaines. Des habitants de la région d’El Ibrahimia, de Legata ont découvert un lot de 703 pièces de monnaie rares datant de l’époque Fatimide. Cette petite fortune se trouvait dans une amphore en très  mauvais état. Les motifs gravés sur ces monnaies étaient quasi effacés et une  majorité d’entre elles ont perdu leur forme originale. Néanmoins, les recherches et expertises menées sur 21 pièces gravées  en caractères Arabo-islamiques, révèlent qu’elles datent de l’époque Fatimide. Une amphore contenant plus de 900 pièces de monnaie  en argent gravées au nom de  Bolokine Aderrahmane, remontant à l’époque Ziride,  a été découverte au village Ouriacha de Naciria. Autre découverte : une pierre polie  en forme de coffre, gravée sur sa face de devant une scène de ferronnerie,  au village Titouna de Souk El Hed. Lors des fouilles sur ce site, une commission ministérielle spécialisée a mis au jour des vestiges  de forts antiques et de pierres taillées, dont une grande partie ensevelie  sous terre.


 - FRANCE   Pont-Saint-Esprit - Une deuxième campagne de fouilles vient de s'achever dans le site paléolithique moyen de l'abri du Maras. Le site, où les fouilles avaient commencé dans les années 1950 et 1960 puis reprises en 1993, a été rouvert l'an dernier. Ceci pour mieux appréhender, avec de nouvelles méthodes, les comportements des groupes humains qui s'y sont succédé jusqu'à l'époque du dernier glaciaire et les stratégies de l'homme de Néandertal. Ce chasseur-cueilleur exploite ce territoire de la fin de la vallée de l'Ardèche pour sa subsistance, selon la saison. Le climat local, sur plusieurs milliers d'années, évolue de tempéré à froid et aride. Une nouvelle campagne de lecture du sol sous l'escarpement rocheux du Maras où se sont révélés huit niveaux d'occupation humaine. Fragments osseux, objets en pierre, chaque prélèvement a été nettoyé, répertorié pour tenter de savoir comment l'être humain, dans son environnement variable, pouvait s'organiser pour vivre ici il y a 70 000 à 90 000 ans en arrière. Le domaine de recherche concerne les groupes humains du début et de la fin du pléistocène moyen, et du début du pléistocène supérieur en Europe (paléolithique inférieur et moyen). Ces groupes humains sont rattachés aux prénéandertaliens et Néandertaliens. Ces hommes occupent toutes les latitudes quelles que soient les conditions environnementales et géographiques.
Leurs comportements peuvent être étudiés au travers des choix des matières premières (mobilité des groupes), des comportements techniques (méthodes de débitage et de façonnage) et des outillages, en parallèle avec les activités de subsistance. Ceci permet de mettre en évidence la variabilité des stratégies utilisées par les hommes dans le temps et l'espace et de comprendre dans un site, les besoins de certains outils ou des traditions, les habitudes propres à un groupe.


 - CHILI    Ile de Pâques - Restorers may have discovered a way to save the volcanic stone Moai on Easter Island from damaging lichens. Lichen are eating away at the Moai, the 400 volcanic stone heads that dominate the skyline of Easter Island. Earlier treatments to preserve these ancient monoliths at this World Heritage Site called for filling some of the most deeply corroded stones with concrete. Unfortunately, experts think that this treatment might have worsened the damaging effects of the wind and saltwater that batter the Polynesian island. In fact, the lichen may even be feeding off the concrete used to save the Moai. The aim of the treatment is to rid the stones of the “white flowers of evil” that leave holes in the colossal statues.


 - FRANCE : Chaillon - Depuis la mi-août, une équipe d’archéologues de l’Inrap fouille inlassablement la terre à l’entrée de la commune de Chaillon, dans la Meuse. Les relevés effectués sur le site laissent également supposer qu’il a été abandonné à la fin du XVe siècle.