05 - 06 AOÛT 2010
- 06 AOÛT :
- ESPAGNE : Esquillieu Cave - Anthropologists have unearthed the remains of an apparent Neanderthal cave sleeping chamber, complete with a hearth and nearby grass beds that might have once been covered with animal fur. Neanderthals inhabited the cozy Late Pleistocene room, located within Esquilleu Cave in Cantabria, Spain, anywhere between 53,000 to 39,000 years ago. The bedding material was identified based on the presence and arrangement of multiple phytoliths from grasses near the hearth area. Phytoliths are tiny fossilized particles formed of mineral matter by a once-living plant. There was no evidence of plants growing, soil developing or animal transport of phytoliths via dung, so the scientists believe the only plausible explanation is that Neanderthals gathered the grass and placed it in this room of the cave. While the hearth contained some grass phytoliths, most belonged to wood and bark, "indicating that this material was the main type of fuel used," according to the researchers. Some animal bones were also tossed into the hearth, perhaps to dispose of them after dinner and/or for use as extra fire fuel. Evidence is building that Neanderthals in other locations constructed such functional living spaces within caves and rock shelters.
- ROYAUME-UNI : Bawtry - Seven hundred years of history have been uncovered beneath a disused car park. They know a hospital run by monks was on the site but there were no written records of burials from before the early 17th century.
But the skeletons of adults, children and babies have already been scientifically dated to the 14th century and one of them is a confirmed case of scurvy, a vitamin deficiency disease brought on by poor diet and common among impoverished people of that era.
Because Bawtry was an inland port during the 13th and 14th century it could be some of the remains may have belonged to foreigners. The dig found no evidence of coffins or other artefacts, and the burials were all tightly packed together, with probably more underneath.
- FRANCE : Charray - Une nécropole mérovingienne vient d'être mise au jour. Une cinquantaine de sépultures ont pour l'instant été recensées, y compris des sarcophages en pierre ! Il y a sans doute des centaines de sépultures à cet endroit. Ce site est aussi important que celui d'Allonnes. La plupart des sépultures dateraient de la fin du VIe siècle. « Mais nous avons aussi trouvé des restes de vases à encens du XIVe siècle et des épingles de linceul en bronze » précise Hervé Selles. « Il est difficile d'avoir des informations sur le milieu social des personnes enterrées car à la fin de l'époque mérovingienne, les morts n'étaient plus enterrés avec des objets. Quant aux sarcophages, ce ne sont pas forcément des signes de richesse ».
- 05 AOÛT :
- ROYAUME-UNI : Papcastle/Cockermouth - An archaeoloical survey has revealed new evidence of a Romano-British settlement. A six-week survey of land alongside the River Derwent was carried out by Grampus Heritage after the floods revealed bits of Roman pottery. Project manager Mark Graham said the geophysical survey had revealed that the settlement was much larger than previously thought and had unveiled one on the south side of the river which includes buildings, a road, ditched enclosure and an iron working site. A large Roman building was also discovered on the north side of the river which is believed to be a bath house.
- ITALIE : Tarquinia - Tarquinia, one of the richest Etruscan sites in the Lazio region of Italy, is home to dozens of tombs, but researchers were only recently given permission to excavate the "Queen's Tomb". Dating to the mid-seventh century B.C., the crypt is thought to have been a royal burial site although no remains have ever been found. Researchers uncovering the crypt say they are finding images and decorations found in other contemporary cultures, suggesting the ancient city had much wider links with the outside world than previously thought. Archaeologists believe the royal tomb was created by a team of foreign architects and craftsmen, strong evidence of a solid network of ties and trade with other civilizations.
- MALTE : Mgarr ix-Xini - Excavations are confirming the results of past studies that viticulture, grape pressing and wine production had an important role in the Maltese economy since the classic period. The excavations are being undertaken in a field at Tal-Logga and the indications were that this had previously been a quarry of the punic or early Roman period. It was likely that the grapes grown in the field used to be immediately taken for pressing.
- U.S.A. : Cherry Point - One of the most significant findings was that of a fire pit where the burned bone of a white tail deer was found amid scattered pieces of fabric-impressed pottery that date to the Woodland Period of American Indian history, anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 years ago. The group dug 11 square “test units” to various depths in the search. One of the holes turned up about 220 fragments of pottery. The oldest artifact discovered was also the deepest, a small quartz projectile point that may date back 3,500 years. There is a possibility that some of the early American Indians were in this area during the Archaic Period, which dates back 10,000 years.
- REP. TCHEQUE : Pohansko - Czech archaeologists have unexpectedly found the remains of a Great Moravian rotunda in the Pohansko settlement. The first remains of the church were found two years ago, however, later on it was revealed that the stone building had a circular shape six meters in diameter and therefore was a rotunda. It has turned out now that Pohansko, too, had its own rotunda. These buildings were characteristic of Great Moravian centres. Some 200 graves have been found near the church. Excavations have been done in 80 of them so far, revealing various items including earrings and an old axe. Pohansko, which may be translated as "Pagan Place", dating to the 9th century AD, is one of the major centres of Great Moravia. Most of the buildings was made of wood. Excavations in the location started some 50 years ago.
- ROYAUME-UNI : Ile de Man - Archaeologists have been excavating an early Medieval site. The team is investigating Port y Candas, near the Ballacraine crossroads. Archaeologist Harold Mytum said the site was of "international importance" as it is one of the few pre-Viking settlements known on the island. So far, they have found fragments of hearths, pieces of burnt animal bone, iron slag and charcoal. The evidence from the current excavations suggests that iron working was the main activity in this part of the site; the small round houses where the inhabitants would have lived were excavated by Gelling in the centre of the settlement.
- REP. DOMINICAINE : Monteclaro - A Dominican man discovered a cave with petroglyphs and other examples of prehistoric cave art. The cavern has 61 petroglyphs and two bas-relief sculptures. Spanish archaeologist Adolfo Lopez, who is in charge of researching the area, believes that the petroglyphs and sculptures could be 5,000 years old. This sculpture is the last bas-relief of quality to be found in the Antilles. It portrays a figure sitting in a fetal position, which gives the idea that it is dedicated to fertility.
- MEXIQUE : Mexico City - More than 1,600 years ago, nearly 8,000 shells and seeds gave form to a tapestry part of the funerary attire of a high rank personage of the ancient city of Calakmul. After its discovery in 1998 and hard work restoring and reconstructing it, the piece will be exhibited for the first time at the National Museum of Anthropology. The unique piece which design represents the way Mayas conceived the world, will be exhibited at “Rostros de la divinidad. Los mosaicos mayas de piedra verde”, to be opened in August 12th 2010, and where funerary offerings of 5 Maya rules will be displayed. The small tapestry was placed between 375 and 450 AD, to the left of an important character of Calakmul, Campeche. This person was buried inside Structure III, and was discovered in 1998 by archaeologist Sophia Pincemin, as well as the rich offering of ceramics and jadeite.