08 MARS 2011 NEWS - Lushi Basin - Paris - Bab al-Hawa -Canaries - Asago - Albemarle - Annigeri -


 - 08  MARS

EGYPTE - Zahi Hawass, qui avait la haute main sur l’archéologie en Egypte depuis 2002, vient de faire les frais de la révolution égyptienne. Le nouveau gouvernement égyptien vient en effet de mettre fin aux fonctions de Zahi Hawass, le bouillonnant chef des Antiquités égyptiennes- Après une décennie passée à la tête du Conseil Suprême des Antiquités, le dernier remaniement du nouveau premier ministre Essam Charaf aura eu raison de l’inoxydable responsable de l’archéologie égyptienne. Zahi Hawass a été démis de ses fonctions en raison de sa trop grande proximité avec le président sortant, Hosni Moubarak. La nomination d’un nouveau secrétaire général pour le Conseil Suprême des Antiquités est attendue –


 - CHINE - Lushi Basin  - Xinhau News reported the discovery of an early to middle Pleistocene stone tool making factory used by Homo erectus in the Lushi Basin, South Luo River, in central China on March 6, 2011. The discovery was published in the Journal of Human Evolution. The discovery was dated using pedostratigraphic analysis, optically stimulated luminescence, and magnetostratigraphic analysis to between 600,000 and 620,000 years of age. The site is representative of flake and core technology and is similar in comparison to other sites in China where Homo Eerectus has been found. Homo Erectus was a tool maker. Their tools were simple. This is the first discovery of a "factory" for tool making which may indicate a higher level of sophistication in the organization of Homo Erectus society than was previously known. The discovery was a collaborative effort by Australian and Chinese researchers.


 - FRANCE  – Paris - Rue Gustave Geffroy (Paris 13e), une carrière de calcaire à ciel ouvert, probablement de l'époque de Lutèce, a été découverte. Visite commentée avec un archéologue du Département de l'histoire et d'architecture et de l'archéologie de Paris (D.H.A.A.P.). Implantée dans un méandre concave de la Bièvre, à la rive abrupte, la carrière donnait facilement accès aux différentes couches de calcaire. Chaque banc était exploité en fonction de sa qualité et de son épaisseur. Dans la parcelle, son creusement a été comblé et curé à plusieurs reprises. Le dernier de ces comblements correspond à des activités industrielles des 19e et 20e siècles, sans doute en relation avec la Manufacture des Gobelins toute proche...


 - SYRIE -   Bab al-Hawa  - The archaeological Bab al-Hawa site has an economic and commercial importance, in addition to its archaeological and historical significance since it constitutes a crossing point for commercial convoys from and to Turkey and the world. The site's importance came also from being opposite to an ancient roman road connecting Aleppo with Antakya. Bab al-Hawa site covers an estimated area of 8,500 square meters. It is divided by a paved road into two parts connected by a semi-circular arch called 'Bab al-Hawa Arch'. It is 6,80 m high and 4,20 m wide. The arch is one of the main characteristics of the site. It consists of 14 rows of large stones. The northern part of the site encompasses archaeological monuments which reflect its economic significance as several pillars of old doors still exist. The southern part of the site was a worship place like a church according to the construction shape. It consists of several rooms; one of them is 2,5m long and 20m wide. Its north-east side extends along the paved road of 20m long and 7m wide. The northern facade is intermediated by a door topped by a lintel of 2,5m high and 2,5m wide, while the eastern facade is topped by a semi-circular arch of 3,5 diameter, asserting that the southwest facade is modeled as a platform contains four stone columns.


 - ESPAGNE – Canaries - Spanish authorities have revived plans to construct the late artist Eduardo Chillida’s vast, artificial cave in a Canary Island mountain, despite concerns over potential damage to ancient engravings on the mountain’s summit. The mountain is home to more than 200 indigenous carvings, including “podo­morphs” or sacred etchings resembling footprints. They were created by the isolated Guanche people, also known as the “Majos”, who are thought to have migrated from North Africa. Intended to ward off evil spirits, the carvings may date to as early as the first century BC. Around 64,000 cubic metres of rock will be removed to create a massive cave, taller than a ten storey building.


 - JAPON – Asago - In a first, an ancient clay "haniwa" figurine shaped like a water bird has been discovered in its entirety in a burial mound in Asago, Hyogo Prefecture, researchers said. According to the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Archaeology of Harima, the clay piece, measuring 48 cm high, 21 cm wide and 44 cm long, dates to the early fifth century. Haniwa are unglazed clay figures that were buried around the ancient mounds. A total of seven haniwa in water bird form — six of them broken — have been found, museum researchers said.


 - USA –  Albemarle - In a cow pasture just outside Scottsville, the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society is working with a team of archaeologists and volunteers to recover a small part of Albemarle’s dense history—the lost Albemarle County Courthouse. In 1745, a council of magistrates that included Peter Jefferson (TJ’s dad) chose a field near Snowden, Jefferson’s James River plantation, as the seat of Albemarle County. Samuel Scott, whose family gave Scottsville its name, built a courthouse and prison on the site and then threw in a tavern because, as we all know, few things mix as well as convicts and alcohol. In 1761, the General Assembly shrank Albemarle by a third and moved the county seat to Charlottesville. Samuel Scott’s courthouse, prison and tavern entered a long, slow slide into disrepair and eventual collapse. During the Revolutionary War, the courthouse building was used as an ammunitions storehouse and for target practice. Thomas Jefferson would have ridden past the courthouse on his way to visiting his brother Randolph at Snowden, but that’s about where its brushes with capital-H History end. Sometime before the 20th Century, the buildings collapsed or were torn down and barns were built on their foundations. By the 1970s, even the barns were demolished. The site is now just an open field, but the ground below is brimming with history. in December, the crew planted shovels in the ground and hit a brick foundation right around where the tavern is thought to be, based on surveying maps from the 1700s. The apparent dimensions of the foundation, the density of artifacts found nearby, and the fact that it’s made of brick all strongly suggest that the tavern has been found.


 - INDE   Annigeri - Scores of human skulls found here have been termed a ‘rare find' by archaeologists and historians, who have excavated the site and conducted a study. They reckon that it is a mass grave, but what makes it unique is the manner in which the skulls are arranged. Initially, only 50 skulls were found next to a drain after the ground was dug up for clearing the silt. The excavation began on January 12 after the drain was diverted so as to allow the ground to dry.  After the excavation, Mr. Jain said 471 skulls were found on a stretch of 15.6 metres by 1.7 metres. “The human skulls [only the upper portion, with the jaws missing] had been placed neatly facing different directions, and next to them were human bones on the same stretch. There is a missing patch in the arrangement, which experts believe might have been due to the digging for the drain… According to experts, around 600 human skulls might have been buried at the site.” The experts reckoned that the skulls were those of adults, he said, and the period to which they belonged was yet to be ascertained. After the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad, expressed its inability to ascertain the period, the skulls were sent to the Institute of Physics, Bhubaneshwar, where tests were under way to ascertain the period through carbon dating. Mr. Gopal and Professor Krishnamurthy said the skulls were of those slain in a massacre. In the past, evidences for massacre and mass burial were found in the country, including those related to the Vijayanagara empire, but nowhere had such a neat arrangement of skulls been reported. Mr. Gopal said Annigeri boasts a history of more than 1,000 years, and there is a mention of a massacre at Annigeri in an inscription dating to the 12th century. Professor Krishnamurthy said the skulls were buried just two feet below the top soil, and there were chances of it being a secondary burial. “We are also searching for any mention of a massacre in the local folklore, so that we can relate it to a particular period.”  He said 286 of the skulls were intact, and if the test results were to be unclear, a few of these skulls would be sent again for fresh tests.