07 DECEMBRE 2016 NEWS: Bordeaux - Nanchang - Grèce - Teos -






FRANCE Une necropole antique decouverte lors de fouilles bordeaux Bordeaux - «C'est un site exceptionnel qui va devenir un site de référence en France pour le monde scientifique spécialisé dans l'Antiquité», affirme Xavier Perrot, du Bureau d'investigations archéologiques Hades, à l'AFP. Mardi 6 décembre, l'archéologue a annoncé la mise au jour d'une nécropole antique qualifiée d'«exceptionnelle», avec plusieurs centaines de squelettes dans le centre de Bordeaux. «On a un ensemble très rare en France, avec plus d'une quarantaine de fosses et de nombreux individus à l'intérieur (...) C'est connu pour des époques plus récentes mais pas à l'époque antique. Il y a trois ou quatre sites en France mais pas de cette ampleur», précise Xavier Perrot. Parmi les hypothèses retenues: ces sépultures peuvent être liées à l'époque de la peste de Justinien (pandémie qui a sévi en Europe à partir du VIe siècle), «qui est connue dans les textes, pas dans les fouilles», selon l'archéologue. Datant d'une période s'étirant entre la fin de l'Antiquité et le début du haut Moyen-Âge, cette nécropole comprend une grande diversité de sépultures typiques de l'époque antique avec des tombes en tuile et des sépultures en amphore pour inhumer les bébés. Des tombes en pleine terre ainsi que des traces de contenants en bois, des coffrages en brique et en tuile ont été découverts. Jusqu'à présent, 300 individus ont été retrouvés dans cette nécropole antique depuis le début des fouilles en novembre, organisées en raison d'un projet immobilier. «Ce chiffre va sans doute doubler», pressent M. Perrot. Sur le site ont aussi été retrouvés deux sarcophages mérovingiens ainsi que des objets, des pièces de monnaie. Bien délimitée, cette nécropole du bas empire est une extension de la nécropole de Saint-Seurin, limitrophe et bâtie avant l'église. Elle est située sur le site de l'ancien commissariat Castéja dans le centre-ville de Bordeaux.


CHINEU363p886t1d236528f12dt20161206095340 Nanchang - As the excavation of the Emperor Liu He's tomb in the Haihunhou mausoleum is completed, archaeological work on his wife's tomb is scheduled to start during the first half of next year, according to Nanchang Daily. Given that the wife's tomb, called the No 2 tomb, is damaged, the experts say that it needs urgent rescue excavation. Liu He was the shortest reigning emperor during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD) and the historical record shows that he had 16 wives and concubines, but doesn't say whether he had an empress or who the empress was. While naming an empress was a major political decision in the imperial household, experts guess that Liu didn't have an empress. Who exactly the No 2 tomb belongs to is a mystery that could be revealed in the excavation next year. An unearthed jade seal belonging to Liu He made the identity of the tomb owner clear. The jade seal, inscribed with the Chinese characters for "Liu He", is a square seal 2.1 cm long and 1.5 cm high commonly seen in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220). According to recent archaeological findings, the seal button of Liu He's jade seal is believed to be an image of "chi xiao", or an owl. The vivid details show the exquisite craftsmanship of the Han Dynasty, and it is the first time that an owl buttoned jade seal has been found in a Han Dynasty archaeological site. Actually, the image of an owl appeared quite early in China's ancient literature. In the classic The Book of Songs, an article portrays a scene in which a mother bird is in deep panic and sorrow seeing its child captured by an owl. According to a record from Shih Chi - Biography of Jia Yi, when noted political critic Jia Yi was demoted, he saw an owl flying into his house and regarded it a symbol of bad luck, so he wrote the poem, Ode to Owl to comfort himself. Among the few documentary records about Liu He, the owl also appeared. According to a record from the book Hanshu, when Liu He was dethroned as emperor and detained in Changyi Palace, the reigning Emperor Hanxuan sent an official to see him. In a letter the official wrote to the emperor, the official said that he wanted to check Liu He's emotional condition, and said that "Changyi has lots of owls." Liu He then replied, "Yes, when I went westward to Chang'an before, there wasn't owl at all. While when I went eastward to Jiyang, I heard an owl yelling." People had different interpretations on Liu He's words; some say Liu He was casual and some say he was discreet. Undoubtedly, experts hold the view that using the commonly-recognized unlucky bird, the owl, as the seal button for his personal seal was quite unusual. Further study in the future may reveal why Liu He did this. Wu Shunqing, an expert on wood lacquer protection who is on the Haihunhou tomb archaeology panel, said that the thousands pieces of wood lacquer and bamboo slips unearthed from the tomb are quite difficult to restore. "The wood lacquers were dry previously, but after going through a severe earthquake during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (AD 317-420), the tomb was immersed in water, which greatly damaged the bamboo slips." After painstaking work, archaeologists have successfully cleaned more than 5,000 bamboo slips, and infrared scanning allows the faded handwriting to be read. An initial interpretation of the slips shows contents from ancient books such as The Analects of Confucius, The Book of Changes and The Book of Rites. The early stage of protecting and extracting the bamboo slips will be completed before the end of the year and the overall interpretation and study of the words on slips will start in 2017.


GRECEAthens plaka acropolis05 photo y skoulas 821151599 111295363 - History and archaeology enthusiasts, researchers, students but also ordinary travellers can now have access to thousands of mythical and historical locations and a slew of ancient texts referring to them with one click on their smartphones, through the new free app called “ToposText”. According to its creators, TT presents 5,000 places relevant to the ancient Greek world - from ancient cities and shrines, medieval castles and towers, modern museums and excavation sites - primarily in Greece but including major places from Spain to the Caucasus. The application links those places to the ancient authors who wrote about them in Greek or Latin, using a huge library of ancient texts married to a detailed gazetteer.  Selecting a site from either the list or the map opens up a table of two-line snippets from ancient authors, headed where available by a modern description. Selecting from this index list, which can be filtered by date, genre, and relevance, connects one to the full text of 240-odd works in English translation, some with the original Ancient Greek as well. Thus, at a glance and from any location, you can select and read the passages in ancient literature that give a place its historical and cultural meaning. The app is available for iOS and Android smart phones and tablets and a new website will be available on Dec. 7.  The ToposText website includes: -A portable library of ancient texts with more than 530 sources on Greek history, mythology and geography in English -A database with more than 5,350 ancient locations, modern museums and archaeological sites, which covers the entirety of the ancient Greek world. -An interactive map and index which links every location with the ancient source which has some reference to it  -An index of thousands of proper names  -Specific coordinates that allow the user to enlarge an area in the map enough to actually see the ancient ruins


TURQUIE N 104520 1 Teos - Excavations that are ongoing in the ancient city of Teos in İzmir’s Seferihisar have unearthed a 2,200-year-old inscription, thought to be the most comprehensive rental agreement in Anatolian history.  The agreement, which was apparently made with a guarantor and six witnesses, including the notables of the city, also declares punishments against the improper use of land containing buildings. Professor Mustafa Adak, the head of Akdeniz University’s Prehistoric Languages and Cultures Department, said Heredotus provided information about the ancient Teos, which was established in 1,100.  “‘It is located in the world’s most mild place,’ Heredotus says about this city. It is currently within the borders of the Seferihisar district. Excavations were carried out in the 1960s but since 2010 work has continued under the leadership of Professor Musa Kadıoğlu, the head of the Ankara University Archaeology Department,” Adak said. Teos is one of the most productive cities in Anatolia in terms of the content of inscriptions. The administrative and regional structure of the city can be understood from the inscriptions, which give very detailed information about the Hellenistic and Roman eras. Some 200 inscriptions were taken from Teos up to 2010 and this doubled with our works. As of 2016, we have some 400 inscriptions,” he added.  Among the inscriptions, one is particularly interesting, with quite rich content. An agreement was made on a 1.5-meter-long stela. It has lines. It is a detailed agreement. According to it, students of the Gymnasium between the age of 20 and 30 - called Neos - inherited from a person in Teos. This person donated his land, which included structures, slaves and the holy altar, to the Neos. In order to meet the expenses of this land and to get income, the Neos rented the land. The inscription tells us who owned the land in the past and what it includes. It also mentions a holy altar. The Neos express in the agreement that they want to use this holy place three days a year. In this period, the state collected tax from lands. But since the land was defined ‘holy,’ it was exempted from tax. It is understood that the land was rented at an auction and the name of the renter is written on the inscription,” Adak said. A guarantor was needed for the agreement. The names of the renter and his father were written in the agreement. Six witnesses were also necessary for this agreement to be valid, three of whom were the top administrators in the city,” he added.  This inscription reveals the structure of the Gymnasium and that the Neos were able to own a property. This is first and only example in the ancient world. Almost half of the inscription is filled with punishment forms. If the renter gives damage to the land, does not pay the annual rent or does not repair the buildings, he will be punished. The Neos also vow to inspect the land every year,” said the Akdeniz University professor.   “There are two particularly interesting legal terms used in the inscription, which large dictionaries have not up to now included. Ancient writers and legal documents should be examined in order to understand these words mean,” Adak said. He also added that the concept of citizenship was very important in the ancient age and people could become citizens at the age of 20 on condition that their parents were citizens.The Neos served as civil servants in politics and assemblies,” he said.  The head of the Teos excavations, Musa Kadıoğlu, said the inscriptions were unearthed in the western part of the site’s Dionysos temple.  The inscription provides information about the social life and judicial system of Teos in the Hellenistic era,” Kadıoğlu added.  One of the 12 Ionian cities, Teos was examined by the British Society of Dilettanti in 1764, 1765 and 1862, by the French in 1924 and 1925, and by Ankara University academics Yusuf Boysal and Baki Öğün between 1962 and 1967, said Kadıoğlu.  In the second half of the 3rd century, the Ionia and Hellespontos Dionysos Artists Union, including poets, musicians theaters and singers, was formed in the city, he added. Some time later, this union was seen as a source of unrest in the city and they were sent to Ephesos [Ephesus] first and then to Myonnessos [Doğanbey] and Lebedos [Ürkmez]. The poets Anakreon, Antimakhos, Epikuros, Nausiphanes and Apellikon, and the historian Hekataios were important philosophers and artists who lived in Teos,” Kadıoğlu stated.