07 AOÛT 2017 NEWS: Assos - Narmetta - Trnava - Tevfikiye - Pirna -
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TURQUIE – Assos - Ruins with the traces of a massive earthquake that occurred 1,300 years ago have been unearthed in the ancient city of Assos in the northwestern province of Çanakkale’s Ayvacık district. An important coastal town in the ancient times, the city, where Aristotle founded the first philosophy school, is a popular spot for thousands of visitors every year thanks to its Roman-era theater, agora, necropolis and walls. Professor Nurettin Arslan, who leads the excavations in the ancient city and the head of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University’s (ÇOMÜ) archaeology department, said the new season of excavations started in July. He said works are continuing around the western gate of the city as well as in a structure served as a public house. “Last year a big Roman-era house was unearthed. It collapsed during an earthquake and all of its rooms were there. We will continue opening the other rooms in the house this year. Works are also continuing in a field we call gymnasium and at the entrance to the agora,” he added. Arslan said they are working in various fields in the ancient city and the restoration of the artifacts is continuing in parallel with the excavation works.He said the house, which collapsed during an earthquake, is one of the rare structures in the ancient city. “There is information in ancient sources about the earthquakes in the region, especially in Lesvos. The walls here are very strong; there is a small chance the collapse of these walls were caused by an earthquake. But since the houses were made of mud and stone in the 7th and 8th centuries, when the earthquake occurred, they easily collapsed. The structures they found here collapsed during an earthquake, too, because all elements of a house such as tables, ground tones and axes still remain in the house. This situation can be explained with an earthquake only. Moreover, we found remains of dead animals in the houses. We estimate that a sudden earthquake caused it,” he added. Arslan said the remains of roof tiles cover the objects in the house because the roof is the first to collapse in an earthquake. Under these objects are pig and mouse remains as well as tools used in a house, tiles, big grain storages and ground grinders. “These are very important tools. They remain untouched in the ruins of the house. This is why we think that people escaped from the house during a sudden earthquake. They should have taken all these things with them if they left the house under normal circumstances. This can be explained with a sudden disaster,” he said. Arslan said a 1,800-year-old pencil was among the latest findings in Assos. “We found a 1,800-year-old bronze pencil, which is called ‘stylus’ in archaeology. One side of the pencil is sharp and the other is a bit more flat. These pencils were used in that era to take notes and to make accounts on wax tablets. The flat side of the pencil is used to correct the mistakes; it is equivalent to today’s eraser,” he said. Arslan said the pencil was used by literate people and students in the ancient city. “Poor students mostly used the stylus to write on sand or ceramics. The rich ones used it to write on wax tablets or plaques. Apart from that, traders and rich people used this pencil to keep their own accounts. But the users of this pencil had to be literate. Not only free people but also slaves used the pencil, too. They used it to keep the accounts of their owners,” he added. He said the pencils were made up of hard materials like bronze or bone. “Bronze pencils are more general but we also found the ones made of bones in other regions,” he added.
INDE – Narmetta - The history of jewellery and decoration has been pushed back by about 4,000 years in Telangana with the recent excavation of 50 pieces of bone ornaments at the hamlet of Narmetta, an agricultural village on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Shaped like a rhombus with round markings in the middle and circular indentation, the pieces led archaeologists to surmise that they might have been used as jewellery. Now, samples of the bone ornaments are being analysed at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad.
SLOVAQUIE – Trnava -Archaeologists dug for several weeks at Trnava’s Calvary where they were looking for remains of an infirmary and chapel from the end of 17th century. The city of Trnava wants to present parts of building found underground within a future reconstruction of a nearby park that used to be an old cemetery. The oldest dwellers of Trnava can still remember what the infirmary and chapel looked like as the buildings stood even during the Second World War. Near the building should be the ammunition of a military car that exploded, according to accessible information.The explosion partly destroyed the building and city dwellers dismantled it to use the bricks for other purposes. Only several photos, the remnants of walls and one stairwell leading to the stream Trnávka under the infirmary remain. A coin from the year 1730 found at the level of the foundations helped date the construction. “The building served for the poorest citizens to have a haven in case of emergency or illness. It had a capacity from 70 to 80 people for whom there were beds located in a big room. The city paid for shelter and hired nurses,” said Erik Hrnčiarik, the head of the research from the archaeological department of Trnava University, as quoted by the TASR newswire. The infirmary also served medicine students of a former medical faculty, he added.
TURQUIE – Tevfikiye - New findings that will shed light on the 10-year Trojan War, mentioned by Homer in his epic “Iliad,” were unearthed during excavations in the 5,000-year-old ancient city of Troy in the northwestern province of Çanakkale’s Tevfikiye village. Professor Rüstem Aslan said they have been trying for the last three years to find the traces of Troy-6 and Troy-7, which have links to Homer. He said all archaeologists who have so far joined the excavations wanted to reach some information about the legendary war and were putting great efforts to reveal more new findings about the war. Aslan said this year’s excavations are ongoing in the Agora field, located close to the southern entrance to the Troy-6 and Troy-7 periods. “As we went deep into the lower layers, we found the late-Roman era structures and a water system, Hellenistic-era walls and a 3,500-year-old stone road from the Troy-6 and Troy-7 periods. We are about to reach new information particularly about the Troy-6 period, which is considered as Homer Troy and associated with the Trojan War. We have obtained some information. We have also reached very important architectural findings into the Trojan War. We will work to detail these findings until the end of the excavations in September,” he added. Three human skeletons from the late Byzantine era were discovered in the upper layers of the excavation field. “The skeletons date back to some time around the 12th century. There are findings here referring to the late Byzantine era. We partially cleaned and unearthed one of these skeletons. The examinations on the skeleton showed that this person was young and did not die of natural causes. Its skull and body were damaged and it was buried there,” Aslan said. A water system they found is believed to date back to 500 B.C., according to Aslan. “There is a Roman-era bath opposite the Odeon. The water system goes to this place. We know that Troy has become a sacred place because of Homer’s Trojan War and the stories of heroism. We also know that the population increased especially in the Roman era. They carried water from seven-eight kilometers away to meet the need for water here. One of the nearly 1,500-year-old water systems has survived until today without any damage,” he added. Aslan said Troy had many unanswered questions buried for some 150 years. “One of these questions is that the field of the latest Bronze Age cemetery was not found. We know that there are cemeteries from the Hellenistic, Roman and late Byzantine eras. But we were not able to find the latest Bronze Age cemetery which is associated with the Trojan War. We have some plans regarding it; we will start working on some spots in the coming years,” Aslan added.
USA – Pirna - Not long after Dan Arnit made the biggest archaeological find of his career, he had to go build a parking lot. The news of his discovery—3,000-year-old footprints made by a family walking through ancient fields—had made it up the chain at the Pima County government in Arizona, which wanted to show off the oldest footprints ever found in the Southwest.