05 AVRIL 2018: Augusta Raurica - Huntly - Plovdiv -
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
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SPRING TERM : APRIL 2018
SUISSE – Augusta Raurica - Archaeologists near the Swiss city of Basel are trying to definitively establish if mysterious shafts discovered at Switzerland’s extensive Augusta Raurica site in 2013 could have been ancient refrigerators. The Romans used shafts like the four-metre deep examples at Augusta Raurica – some 20 kilometres from Basel – as cool stores during summer. The shafts were filled with snow and ice during winter and then covered with straw to keep the space cool well into the summer months. This then allowed for everything from cheese to wine – and even oysters – to be preserved during warm weather.Now a team lead by Peter-Andrew Schwarz from the University of Basel is attempting, for the third time, to demonstrate that the Augusta Raurica shafts were indeed used as fridges, Swiss news agency SDA/ATS reports. A first attempt to recreate the ancient cool box failed after archaeologists at the dig filed the shaft with snow all in one go. But that experiment showed temperatures in the shaft were above freezing point even in winter. The second try was more successful: the shaft was gradually filled with snow and ice blocks were placed inside as well. Using these methods, snow remained until June. Now, however, researchers plan to use methods developed by the so-called ‘nevaters’ or ice-makers on the Spanish island of Majorca. This will see Schwarz and his team placing 20–30-centimetre-thick layers of snow into the shaft. These individual layers will then be compacted down with a straw cover placed on top of each one. “With this method, people in Majorca could keep food cool in summer before the arrival of electric fridges,” Schwarz told regional daily Basler Zeitung in 2017. The experiment won’t prove that the mysterious shaft was actually a Roman fridge but will show that this is possible,
NOUVELLE ZELANDE – Huntly - A pre-European ceremonial wooden comb has been found during earthworks on the Waikato Expressway. The teeth of the heru were discovered on the Huntly section when the topsoil was being moved to construct the new intersection of Evans, Kimihia and McVie Roads. "The heru teeth are a rare find as virtually all wooden artefacts decay over a relatively short time. In this case we were fortunate because the high resin content in the Rimu wood meant the Heru had not decayed," Gumbley said. "Part of the site where the heru teeth were discovered had been previously disturbed during the construction of Evans Road many years ago so we were very lucky to have the machine operator identify what he was looking at."The Heru was worn by both males and females and a chief's Heru is made of different wood to denote rank. The heru teeth have been submitted for radiocarbon dating to establish the objects age
BULGARIE – Plovdiv - A Roman tomb of the 1-3 century was discovered at the Medical University in Plovdiv. According to archaeologists, it is part of the western necropolis of Philippopolis. It was discovered during the repair of the steam installation in the medical facility. The Roman tomb is made of bricks, and the roof is made of granite. According to archaeologists, it is most likely a family tomb that is part of a large necropolis.