07 MARS 2016 NEWS: Lindisfarne - Telmessos - Çukurbağ - Plain of jars - Caithness - Hierapolis -
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ROYAUME UNI – Lindisfarne - Archaeologists are returning to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne for a major excavation that will try and discover the location of the elusive first monastery founded by King Oswald in 635. The Anglo-Saxon monastery is of great importance in the history of Christianity in the UK, and at it’s height it was the heart of the powerful Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, and the wellspring of England's Christianity. It was also the site where the world-famous Lindisfarne Gospels were created and home the shrine of Saint Cuthbert, the patron saint of Northern England, who died in 687. In AD 793 it fell victim to the Viking’s first major raid on the British Isles, marking the start of one the most turbulent periods in British history and the beginning of the Viking Age. Despite its importance, the location has remained a mystery. It is thought the monastery could have been a dispersed complex of buildings with a main church and cemetery at the centre surrounded by outer enclosures, which would have contained the monks’ homes, a guest house and other churches and cemeteries. The standing remains of a Priory at Lindisfarne date to Norman times around 1093 and were not built on the original monastery site. Archaeologists excavating the site on previous occasions have found fragments of Anglo Saxon stone carving and other small artefacts, but physical remains of the monastery and its location have eluded them.
TURQUIE – Telmessos - The 2,400 year-old tombs surrounded by garbage and weeds in the ancient city of Telmessos in the touristic southwestern province of Muğla’s Fethiye district have been cleaned up after negative reactions. The tombs date back to the Lycian civilization in the 4th century B.C., of which there are many traces throughout Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. One of the locals, Hasan Fehmi Kökten, said they were “ashamed” of the garbage that had built up at the ancient site, as many tourists visiting the region had been posing in front of the trash. “Part of the historic Amintas rock tombs is here. This place was taken under protection but it was turned into a garbage dump. We are pleased with the cleaning work that has been done. As locals living in the neighborhood, we will do our best to keep this place clean. Tourists from around the world come here to see the tombs and we were ashamed of the situation,” Kökten said.
TURQUIE – Çukurbağ - Work to unearth the remains of an ancient city, discovered in northwestern Turkey during the removal of debris after the massive Marmara earthquake of August 1999, are due to begin in April. During works to remove the debris of collapsed buildings after the earthquake, a number of historical artifacts were found underground in the İzmit province’s Çukurbağ district. Later on sculptures, building blocks and column stones were also found during construction works in the earthquake zone. Among them was a giant headless sculpture of Heracles, which is now on display at İzmit’s Ethnography Museum. This very important piece was treated as garbage by the buildings’ owners, who threw it away out of fear that the construction would be halted. After being informed about the sculpture, however, İzmit Museum officials took the sculpture under protection. A headless and legless Athena sculpture and a panel featuring the Roman emperors Diocletian and Konstantin embracing each other were also among the findings. Officials then realized the existence very close to the surface of a huge palace-like structure, an ancient underground theater, and huge tunnels that extend as far as the İzmit Gulf. “The Heracles statue was found in 2001 in Çukurbağ. Then a short-term excavation was carried out in the neighborhood. Following the expropriation process, further excavations were carried out in the same place in 2009 and unique artifacts were found. Among these artifacts, the panel of the Roman emperors was very important. It was made after the Romans won a victory against a Gothic invasion,” he said. “Geo-radar work will be carried out in this field for the first time to determine the underground cultural artifacts there. We will start excavations in April. There is a massive monumental structure here and the archaeology world is very curious about it. The excavations will be headed by the Kocaeli Museum under the consultancy of Tuna Şare and his team from the Kocaeli University. This project is also supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey [TÜBİTAK],” Gölcük added.
LAOS - Plain of jars - Human remains dating between 2500-3000 years are among finds by Lao and Australian archaeologists operating in the historically significant yet long-puzzling plain of jars located in the South-East Asian nation of Laos. Skeletal remains of two individuals were reportedly located some 70 cm underground while the third was discovered some 13 metres away, evidencing complex burial procedures indicative of a unique cultural context that is still being pieced together in a region with millennia of complex migratory movements. The site is one of many clusters of up to several hundred stone jars scattered around the upland valleys and the lower foothills of the central plain of the Xieng Khuang plateau believed by scholars to reflect complex burial systems, but in local legend, for brewing potent rice whiskey. The team utilised Ground Penetrating Radar to guide the excavation before unearthing the remains and relics. The archaeological dig and the wider Jar Site 1, located some 8 km from the centre of Xieng Khuang province's central Phonsavanh district, was previously cleared with the assistance of the Mine Action Group (MAG).
ROYAUME UNI – Caithness - A group of local historians are pursuing plans to build a replica of an Iron Age broch in a venture they believe could become a prominent tourist landmark in the far north. Caithness Broch Project (CBP) wants to create the broch and an adjoining dry stone dyking workshop to tell the story of what it is was like to live in Caithness 2500 years ago. Mr Maclean, who came up with the original idea, said that with more than 200 broch sites scattered across Caithness, it has one of the biggest concentrations of any area. “The broch would demonstrate all the features we see in Caithness such as multiple floors, high conical roof, cells and galleries.
TURQUIE – Hierapolis - During the construction of an information center in the ancient city of Hierapolis, situated in the province of western Denizli’s Pamukkale district, 11 furnaces and pots from the 7th century B.C. have been discovered. Denizli Museum Director Hasan Hüseyin Baysal said the artifacts, which were found one meter deep, dated back to the Iron Age. “The field has been surrounded with regular stones. The stones and pots are burnt. While cleaning the field, we found out that a pot was under a stone. It was broken with the pressure of the stone. We also found 11 furnace structures as well as wall remains featuring Iron Age architecture. The pots were for daily use and there were bones inside them. We also found two bronze objects in a furnace,” Baysal said. He said that the field of the furnaces looked like a religious area for offerings. “Excavations have been continuing east and west of the field. Considering the pots and ceramic pieces, we can say they date back to the 7th and 8th centuries. These architectural remnants and artifacts are very important because they show us an unknown period of Hierapolis,” he said.