05 - 06 DECEMBRE 2010


 - 06 DECEMBRE :

 - CHILI : Archaeologists have discovered an iron oxide mine from 12,000 years ago in northern Chile, making it the oldest mine yet discovered in all the Americas. The iron oxide mined by the Huentelauquen Indians was used as a pigment in dying cloth and in religious rituals, revealing an unexpected sophistication in what was previously considered a primitive group of people. The fact they developed a mine shows the importance religion had in their lives, because iron oxide was not used as food, was not bought or sold. The ancient mine was discovered near the town of Taltal, in the Antofagasta region, 1,100km north of Santiago, in October 2008, but its antiquity was not determined until tests were conducted this year in US and Polish laboratories. Named "San Ramon 15", the mine was exploited heavily between around 10,000 BC and 2,000 BC. It yielded over the millennia a total of 2,000 tonnes of pigment extracted from 700 cubic metres of rock. Researchers also found a treasure trove of stone and conch mining tools in the area. "We've found more than 1,000 hammers ... but considering the amount of material we have yet to sift through, the real number could rise to several thousands," said archaeologist Hernan Salinas.Before this find, the oldest mine in the Americas was 2,500 years old and located in the United States. The world's most ancient mine is in South Africa and is about 40,000 years old.


 - SYRIE  Ain Salem -  Archaeological Excavation works at its second season unearthed mosaic and bronze coins representing the picture of Emperor Justinian at the archaeological site of Ain Salem, 25 KM to Jableh city in Lattakia coastal province. Head of Antiquities Department of Jableh Ibrahim Younis Kherbaik said that excavation works uncovered a number of clay pieces and some bronze coins in addition to mosaic ground dating back to the Byzantine Era. He pointed out that the first mosaic was found while a peasant was working on his farm, adding that the board is 10 meters long and 8 meters wide. Kherbaik said that Marine and land creatures were drawn in the board, clarifying that it is supposedly made by stone grains with different colours.


 - U.S.A.  Colchester - Archaeologists were working to exhume what remains of a colonial era building that might help historians learn more about the port town of Colchester. Colchester once was a bustling port to which tobacco planters from southern plantations would bring their crop for export to England. Later, wheat and other commodities were shipped from the port. Capt. John Smith, an explorer who is probably best known for helping establish the Jamestown settlement, also is believed to have visited the site in 1608 when he explored the Occoquan River, encountering several Native American tribes, according to historians leading work at Colchester. Colchester, chartered in 1753, was one of the first towns in Fairfax County. The county was established 11 years earlier. Colchester began to fail as a port when an alternate postal route over a new bridge upstream was laid in 1805, according to the historical marker at the site. Additionally, neighboring ports such as Alexandria and Baltimore took business away from Colchester. A fire in 1815 also contributed to the town's decline.


 - INDONESIE  Borobudur - Archaeologists say the recent eruptions of Indonesia's Mt Merapi are threatening to cause permanent damage to an ancient Buddhist templeThe World Heritage-listed site at Borobudur, in central Java, was covered in volcanic ash when the volcano began erupting in October. South East Asian art expert and archaeologist Toni Tak says the temple contains bas-reliefs which related the life of Buddha. She says the volcanic ash has got into the bas-reliefs, and when it rains the ash sets like cement.


 - 05 DECEMBRE :

 - AUTRICHE : Vienne - Plus de 250 papyrus découverts récemment dans une collection de la Bibliothèque nationale autrichienne (ONB) éclairent d’un jour nouveau la conquête arabe au Proche-Orient, en Iran et en Afrique du Nord au milieu du VIIe siècle de notre ère. Ces papyrus sont en cours de numérisation. Ils devraient être consultables au début de 2011. Dans cette collection de textes, écrits en grec et en copte (une forme simplifiée de l’ancienne langue égyptienne) en 643-644 après Jésus-Christ, les conservateurs de l’ONB ont découvert de «précieuses informations». Elles touchent «l’effritement de l’Empire byzantin ou Empire romain d’Orient et de l’Empire perse de la dynastie des Sassanides, à partir de 636, sous la poussée des conquérants arabes.» On sait par ailleurs que ces papyrus doivent figurer parmi les plus modernes du monde. L’usage de ce matériau s’est très effondré dans le monde arabe, qui a favorisé le papier.


 - FRANCE :   St.Martin-le-Bas / Gruissan - Connu depuis 1955 comme emplacement probable d'une installation portuaire antique, c'est en 1999 que des fouilles ont été entreprises sur ce site pour lequel seules une chronologie et quelques structures étaient connues.Cette opération de fouilles a notamment mis en évidence un ensemble de structures datées de la seconde moitié du Ier siècle avant notre ère, ainsi qu'une construction en grand appareil. Une réoccupation du site durant la période médiévale est également attestée par la présence de silos. De nombreux remaniements du site témoignent d'une utilisation jusqu'à l'antiquité tardive. La mise à jour de nombreux fragments d'amphores antiques italiques et de grosses quantités de coquillages, couplée à la proximité de l'étang de Bages laisse penser qu'il s'agissait probablement d'un très grand domaine agricole et maritime, qui pratiquait la pêche et l'élevage de coquillages. Ce site pose toutefois des problèmes d'interprétation d'autant plus que sa fonction a pu changer avec les époques. La présence d'un édifice important fait la particularité du lieu qui n'a été fouillé qu'à environ 10 % à cause de sa position géographique, sur un terrain privé.


 - INDE : Bidanur - Unidentified treasure hunters damaged a three-century-old tomb of a Keladi ruler at a graveyard near Bidanur of Hosanagara taluk on Saturday. The graveyard - which is located near Chikkapet on the outskirts of Bidanur and where members of the erstwhile Keladi royal family are buried - has ten tombs.The treasure hunters are said to have performed a black magic ritual before digging the tomb. A broken earthen pot, lemon and cucumber were found scattered around the tomb.


 - SYRIE :   Daraa - The Daraa Department of Archaeology gathered over 200 artifacts currently being housed in the National Museum in Daraa, including sarcophagi, columns, crowns, mosaics and jars. According to Curator of the National Museum Ayham al-Zoabi, the artifacts that were collected from across Daraa governorate include 10 large sarcophagi, grape and olive presses, columns and crowns, and dozens of stone pieces bearing texts. He pointed out that the process of collecting these artifacts revealed Roman and Greek finds in the western region of the governorate, dispelling the previous notion that Greco-Roman relics were confined to the eastern region. The most important artifacts in them museum include sarcophagi from the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1600 BC), jars from the Modern Bronze Age (1600-1200 BC), two statues from the Roman era depicting gods, a figure depicting a local lord riding a horse, and a coin struck in Damascus bearing the image of Emperor Philip who ruled Rome between 244 and 249 BC. This coin is one of two existing copies, the second being displayed at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.


 - INDE : Goa - A Goa government committee has recommended that as many as 434 structures, including over 100 churches, be added to the list of heritage monuments in the state. The Rajiv Yaduvanshi Committee, in its recommendation to the state government, has identified 434 additional monuments and structures with immense heritage value, including 107 Catholic churches and 17 temples. Currently, Goa has 51 notified structures under state Archaeology Department and 22 under Archaeological Survey of India, officials said. The list includes churches, temples, hospital buildings, an island, water springs, caves and other monuments recommended for preservation after classifying them under three different categories.