INDE india-megalithic-chatra.jpg  Obra - The megalithic site discovered on the outskirts of Obra village in Chatra district has strong evidence to indicate that the civilization existed here since Chalcolithic period corresponding to a period of 3300-1200 BC (for India). The revelation has come to light in the wake of digging going on for construction of village road and villagers coming across a huge stone piece, technically identified as menhir by archaeologists. Barring the exception of Punkri Burwadih site of Hazaribag, which has scientifically been proven to date back to beyond 3000BC, most of the megalithic sites in Jharkhand were earlier considered to be belonging to the Iron Age. Subhashis Das, a megalith expert who authored two books, said having failed to obtain the support from local archeological experts, he got the microliths obtained from Punkri Burwadih dated in the museum of Dresden, Germany, where the age of microliths was established to be beyond 3000BC. The site already destroyed by villagers with many tall menhirs being lugged away by them, the construction of road has come as a blow to the tribal heritage. "However, if the road construction has destroyed a few menhirs, it has also exposed a couple of burial urns of which one comprised Chalcolithic remains as copper slags, a ring and a small bell," Das said implying that megaliths in Jharkhand have a continuity and indicate to the continuity of civilization here. Archeological superintendent with the ASI's Ranchi circle N G Nikoshey said Jharkhand was full of megalithic sites but they had not obtained any license to excavate those sites. "ASI Ranchi circle has recently been given a license to excavate the Itkhori site in Chatra and carry out exploration in Karbra Kala region of Palamu." In total, 12 monuments in the state are being looked after by the ASI here. Admitting that megaliths could be a source of historical information, Nikoshey said in the absence of scientific excavation the officially acceptable date for their age was around 7th century AD. "Some university or the state archeology department should come up with excavation license, only then the sites could be dated properly," he said.


ITALIE bridge-of-sighs-venice.jpg Venise - Venice's famed Bridge of Sighs has reopened in its original splendor after three years of restoration efforts. The notable bridge has been covered in scaffolding and advertisements since 2007 when a piece of marble fell off the adjoining Doge's Palace. The rock struck a German tourist in the leg, leading to immediate efforts to restore the limestone structures.  The bridge won its name from a 17th century legend. In the 1600s the bridge connected the Doge's Palace to a prison and prisoners crossing across the canal reportedly sighed in despair as they approached their fate. 


USA – Williamsburg - Extensive archaeology around the current reconstructed outbuilding behind the Mary Stith House has conclusively identified the site as the location of Anderson’s tinsmithing operation. The combination of archaeological and documentary evidence leaves no doubt about the validity of the conclusion. When complete, the Tin Shop will be the only working 18th-century tin shop in the United States. Historic trades artisans will demonstrate tinsmithing as practiced during the American Revolution.


AUSTRALIE – Echuca - Campaspe councillor Carol Howell said the archaeological dig was part of the Port of Echuca Revitalisation Project and was to discover information about three buildings - a morgue, a slab hut/store and the wharf master's house. "We are hoping that the dig will give us further background on the port's heritage. It's an exploratory excavation, which will gather as much information as possible on each of the three sites," Cr Howell said.


FRANCE – Rennes - L’Inrap a démarré ce mercredi une fouille archéologique de grande ampleur sur le site du couvent des Jacobins, à l’emplacement du futur Centre des congrès de Rennes Métropole, indique un communiqué du service communication. Pendant 15 mois au moins (18 mois selon l’importance des vestiges), l’équipe d’archéologues, dirigée par Gaétan Le Cloirec, mènera des recherches à l’intérieur du couvent, dans le jardin du cloître, ainsi que dans les cours nord et ouest. Des sondages menés au préalable par l’Inrap en 2007 et 2009 ont permis de définir trois axes d’étude : le quartier antique, la transition quartier antique/faubourg médiéval et l’histoire du couvent des Jacobins. Cette fouille urbaine, l’une des plus importantes jamais menées dans l’Ouest de la France, devrait livrer d’importants vestiges d’ici 2013. Le couvent des Jacobins est implanté sur un quartier de Condate, la Rennes antique, qui a connu un fort développement entre le Ier et le IVe siècle de notre ère. L’intervention en cours, d’une superficie de 8 000 m², offre l’opportunité d’étudier un îlot complet de l’agglomération antique cerné par quatre rues mises en évidence lors de fouilles menées précédemment par l’Inrap dans le centre historique de Rennes (notamment rue de Saint-Malo et à la Visitation). Ce quartier dynamique a connu d’importants remaniements au cours des IIIe-IVe siècles : des bâtiments publics ou de grandes maisons urbaines remplacent alors les ateliers artisanaux qui bordaient le cardo (rue principale nord-sud) depuis le début du Ier siècle. Les vestiges qui s’accumulent sur plusieurs niveaux lors des sondages attestent de cette évolution : si les plus anciens remontent au début de notre ère, des traces d’occupations de l’Antiquité tardive (IV-Ve siècles), fort rares dans le nord-ouest de la Gaule, ont aussi été décelées. Certains murs sont conservés sur 1m de hauteur. La fouille permettra de compléter les connaissances sur le développement du quartier antique et d’appréhender une période cruciale pour l’histoire de Rennes : la mutation du quartier antique en faubourg médiéval.


VIET NAM – Ha Noi - An area of royal architecture has been unearthed at the Thang Long Citadel following a two month dig, Vietnamese archaeologists said on Tuesday. The excavation was centred in the basement of Kinh Thien Palace which was built in 1428 to host official ceremonies of the second Le Dynasty.  Scientists from The Centre for Preservation of Co Loa Relics and Viet Nam Institute of Archaeology excavated four holes covering an area of 100 sq.m, revealing beams, walls and bricks believed to have belonged to the early and restored Le dynasties and the Nguyen dynasty. Ceramic and porcelain artefacts were also found. Analysis of the results showed that Kinh Thien Palace underwent restoration under the Nguyen dynasty in the 19th century.


CHINE - An anti-fraud activist who flashed into national fame after casting doubts on the authenticity of an ancient warlord's tomb is a fugitive hoaxer, police said. Hu Zejun, who went by the name of Yan Peidong in the public eye, said he had evidence to prove the ancient tomb said to belong to Cao Cao, a warlord in the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-280) was fake, the Shijiazhuang Daily reported yesterday. It turns out Hu has been involved in several frauds since 2005, swindling tens of millions of yuan, police in Xingtai City in the northern province of Hebei said on Sunday. Hu has faded from public view since October, when he was informed that police began to doubt his identification. Police are still searching for him, the report said. The 42-year-old man was among several "experts" across the country accusing Anyang County in Henan Province of forging evidence. Hu made high-profile media appearances, arguing that the archaeology team leader, Pan Weibin, forged cultural relics, buried them in the tomb and dug them out. Hu lied by claiming to be a chief editor of a Chinese cultural magazine, a councilor of a Three Kingdoms research center and a top official of the UN. He also fabricated his academic credentials, police said, according to the report.