06 MARS 2017 NEWS: Tauranga - St Augustine - Chewton Mendip - Trellyffaint - Petworth - Guwahati - Huanchaco - Kruzof - Robat Aghaj -
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NOUVELLE ZELANDE – Tauranga - A rare discovery believed to date back to the musket wars of the early 19th century has created huge interest at the site of road widening in Tauranga. Contractors were widening the side of State Highway 29 near the Maungatapu Bridge when project archaeologist Sian Keith noticed an unusual pattern in the exposed ground. Numerous kumara and fire pits had already been found when she saw what appeared to be a long line of pits. ''Looking at it more carefully, I saw they were all connected.'' It then dawned on her that she was looking at a defensive trench, dug to protect the nearby pa, Puwharariki. A test dig confirmed that it was indeed a trench system, measuring about 40m long and with zig-zag buttresses to stop one inside shot sweeping the whole length of the ditch. While she was not surprised at finding kumara pits, given the history of Maori habitation in the area, the trench was completely different. Earthworks came to an immediate halt and a team of six archaeologists were recruited to remove the fill from the ditch and reveal how it would have looked at least 180 years ago. Five musket balls and a gun flint have so far been sifted out of soil dug from the trench, leading to speculation that it dated back to the New Zealand Land Wars or the earlier inter-tribal Musket Wars. Miss Keith said the site was away from other well-known battle sites around Tauranga and, depending on the date, could add important information to the historic record. The direction of the trench indicated it was built to defend the pa from an attack by warriors arriving in a waka, perhaps along a weak point in the defensive system. Ngai Te Rangi iwi kaumatua Puhirake Ihaka said the archaeologists were finding the remains of Puwharariki Pa, which sat between Te Ngaio Pa by the bridge, and Oruamatua Pa, which sat on the big headland off SH29 towards Baypark. He suspected that the trench was built to protect the pa from raiding parties during the Musket Wars from 1818 to the 1830s. The use of muskets by warring Maori signified the demise of hand-to-hand fighting using taiaha and mere.
USA – St Augustine - More burials have been found, and some are children's graves. They are children who may have been some of the earliest colonists in St. Augustine. The burials are believed to date back to the first years of St. Augustine, between 1572 and 1700. "At this point there are at least 7 burials of an area that's 12 feet by 6 feet," Deagan said. Three of them are children. The state no longer allows photos or video to be taken of the burials, so First Coast News cannot show you the latest discoveries, but the team has mapped out the findings on graph paper, "The round areas are the pits in which the people were placed, to be buried," Deagan pointed to the sketch. "We've mapped some of the particular bones," Deagan pointed to some round circles she said indicated skulls. She says two of the children found were buried in the same pit, possibly at the same time. "The bio-archaeologist will be able to tell us the precise age but he thinks -- based on the bones -- they probably are under 7 years old," Deagan said.
VIDEO = http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/st-augustine/historic-burials-of-children-found-in-st-augustine/418890981
ROYAUME UNI – Chewton Mendip - Archaeologists working in Chewton Mendip believe they have found evidence of a building erected by William the Conquerer’s favoured monastic order the Abbey of Jumièges. The Abbey a Benedictine Monastery from Normandy, France received great favour and patronage during the Norman era, a new church at the Normandy site was consecrated in the presence of the newly crowned King of England, William the Conquerer in 1067. The abbey and its monastic community would go on to become one of the great centres of medieval learning and was regarded as a model for all monasteries. If the Chewton Mendip site does contain the foundations of the Abbey’s expansion into England the local discovery has great historical significance.
ROYAUME UNI - Trellyffaint - A team of archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a possible Stonehenge-type prehistoric earthwork monument in a field near Newport. Members of the Welsh Rock art Organisation had been investigating the area around the Neolithic burial chamber known as Trellyffaint – one of a handful of sites in western Britain that has examples of prehistoric rock art. The site of Trellyffaint dates back at least 6,000 years. The site comprises two stone chambers – one of which is relatively intact. Each chamber is set within the remains of an earthen cairn or mound which, due to ploughing regimes over the centuries, have been slowly uncovered. On the capstone that covers the south-eastern chamber are at least 50 engraved cupmarks, the meaning of which has been long forgotten but probably represented some sort of pictorial message.
ROYAUME UNI – Petworth - Conservation work to repair marble floor tiles in the Marble Hall of Petworth House has revealed some treasures from the past including half a clay pipe. Other finds include hand-made iron nails, an iron clasp, an oyster shell, glass, a shard of pottery, and part of a corroded lead window frame. The Marble Hall was built by the 6th Duke of Somerset in the 1690s as the impressive formal entrance for his new mansion. Apart from minor work in the 1920s to lay power under part of the floor, the tiles have never been re-laid, so these items were likely to have been buried during the construction of the original floor.
INDE – Guwahati - A five-member team of archaeology enthusiasts, led by city-based general surgeon Dr Satyakam Phukan discovered a brick wall, perceived to be a part of the city’s pre-Ahom or Ahom era fortification to save it from the invaders, atop the Narakasur Hills. However, only systematic archaeological excavation will be able to determine the date of the brick wall. Strategically, Guwahati was an important place for the Assamese as well as the Muslim invaders. All of them viewed Guwahati as an important location for its ideal setting. And this made the fortification of the city an obligation for the defenders, who were essentially the indigenous people. Such fortifications prevented entry of the marauding forces from outside the city.
PEROU – Huanchaco - Huanchaco, Peru, a city built on the foundations of ancient structures. It’s been continually occupied for more than 3,500 years and home to the Moche, Chimú, and Inca cultures. Prieto and his students discovered a small but significant archaeological site at Pampas Gramalote, a fishing village near Huanchaco dating between 2000 and 1200 B.C. They unearthed a temple that was used by fishermen who hunted sharks over 3,000 years ago. It is the oldest archaeological settlement known in the area, providing a direct link between the contemporary coastal communities and their ancestors living in traditional fishing villages. Prieto and his students found children’s bodies in the temple, the positions of their bodies suggesting the children were sacrificed. He believes a few of the fishermen living in the village performed religious rituals at the temple site. Prior to the discovery of the temple, archaeologists believed that the ancient shark hunters were making religious offerings away from the village in a nearby valley.
CANADA – Kruzof Island - When the Neva wrecked in January 1813, 54 years before the Alaska purchase, 32 people perished and 28 made it to shore, where they camped in midwinter conditions. Two of those in the camp died, but the other 26 were rescued after about three weeks. The exact location of the wrecked ship and the survivors' camp was a longtime mystery — until now. An archaeological expedition confirmed that an ocean-facing site of Kruzof Island was where the Neva wrecked and where the survivors held out until their rescue.
IRAN – Robat Aghaj - Archaeologists in central Iran have discovered underground living quarters carved into a mountain. The residential catacombs date back from the 12th to 13th century. They were found in the province of Markazi near the Robat Aghaj village, IRNA news agency reported. According to the head of the archaeological group, Majid Montazer Zohouri, the underground area consists of two main corridors, running from north to south and from east to west. The length of each is approximately 90 meters and the width is 1.5 meters. Along the corridor walls, separate rooms have been carved out and so far ten such rooms have been found. All the rooms vary in their surface area and shape. Except for one room, which was built in the form of a cross and apparently served as a common place, the rest of the rooms were inhabited by people. In the area of the catacombs, archaeologists also discovered metal objects that could have served as hinges for wooden doors, fragments of glass, beads and bone remains. Zohouri said that to date, the search for new artifacts has been suspended as the first stage of excavations has come to an end. However, digging will continue later this year.