09 FEVRIER 2011


 - 09  FEVRIER

 - SYRIE  Idleb - Idleb Museum, which covers a 5, 000 square-meter area at the eastern entrance of the city, epitomizes the cultural prominence that has marked the city throughout history. The museum is divided into five pavilions where ancient masterpieces are displayed in a chronological order that begins at the modern age and ends at pre-historic eras. 17, 000 cuneiform scripts are displayed at the museum. The first story includes a popular traditions' pavilion. The folklore rural house at the popular traditions' pavilion includes shell-inlaid boxes previously used for clothes, a number of glass dishes and brassware among others.The second pavilion is called the Islamic Pavilion. It showcases many earthenware, glass and pottery antics, along with golden and silver coins. Secretary of the Museum Fajr Hajj Mohammad said the museum also includes a classical pavilion whose exhibits date back to the fourth and fifth centuries A.D., adding that the floor of the pavilion is decorated with mosaic paintings. One of the most important cuneiform scripts at the royal pavilion is Obrsal Treaty, the oldest known political treaty, along with the oldest Ebla-Sumerian dictionary.The pavilion also showcases archaeological finds unearthed in Ebla, including earthenware utensils, bonze tools, small sculptures and golden jewelry.

 - VIET-NAM Thanh Hoa - Selon Dô Quang Trong, directeur du Centre de préservation du patrimoine de la citadelle des Hô, les fouilles archéologiques menées au sein du site et à ses alentours par le centre et l'Institut d'archéologie sont achevées pour l'essentiel. Les archéologues ont découvert des vestiges architecturaux des dynasties de Trân, Hô et Lê avec des cours dallées, des colonnes en pierre en matériaux de construction caractéristiques des Hô, outre des rigoles d'égoûts et briques carrées de cette dynastie. Sur la base de ces découvertes, les scientifiques vont pouvoir approfondir et affiner leurs études afin de préserver au mieux le patrimoine que constitue cette citadelle, ainsi que compléter de nouveaux éléments le dossier de patrimoine culturel mondial destiné à l'UNESCO, actuellement en cours d'élaboration. Selon Phan Dinh Phùng, directeur adjoint du Service provincial de la culture, des sports et du tourisme de Phu Yên (Centre), les vestiges d'un ancien four de crémation viennent d'être découverts dans le hameau Tân An, commune Xuân Son Nam, district montagneux de Dông Xuân. Datés du 13e siècle, ceux-ci couvrent une superficie de 3.725 m². Après fouilles par l'Institut d'archéologie du Vietnam, des objets de grand format avec des traces de cendres et d'os humains calcinés ont été trouvés. Les archéologues ont indiqué qu'il s'agit du 1er four crématoire - construit en terre cuite - à être découvert au Vietnam, lequel relève de la culture des Cham qui pratiquaient la crémation de leurs morts. Une conclusion d'autant plus probable qu'à proximité figurent plusieurs autres sites des Cham dont une tour du 11e siècle au sommet de Nui Nhan (ville de Tuy Hoà), les vestiges Nui Bà du 13e siècle (district Tây Hoà), et ceux de Thành Hô, occupé du 5e au 16e siècle.


 - ROYAUME-UNI – Camp Farm- Archaeologists from Newcastle University (UK) are hoping to excavate an internationally important Roman site in Cumbria. Led by Professor Ian Haynes, the team is focusing its attention on the site of a major discovery of Roman altars 140 years ago. The site where the altars were found now forms part of the Roman Maryport site at Camp Farm, which is owned by Hadrian's Wall Heritage. “The Maryport altars have been at the centre of international debate about the nature of religion in the Roman army for decades,” said Professor Haynes. “However, we still know very little about the context in which they were originally deposited and this project represents a marvellous opportunity to further our understanding.” Last year, the University worked with Southampton University on an extensive geophysical survey. This gave archaeologists a better overview of the site, but further excavation is required to help answer many more questions about the altars’ origins. Peter Greggains is chairman of the Senhouse Museum Trust, which is commissioning and funding the excavation. “The altars found by Humphrey Senhouse in 1870 are part of the internationally important collection of Roman sculpture and inscriptions from the Maryport site which is now displayed in our museum,” he said.“It is very exciting that we can now revisit the site where the altars were found and, with modern methods, learn more about their burial and other activity in this area more than 1,800 years ago.”


 - TUNISIE   Carthage - One of the most interesting consequences of the recent political upheavals in Tunisia has been that Tunisian archaeologists have at last been able to speak out against the damage inflicted on the ancient site of Carthage by the regime of the former president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. It is a truly depressing tale of how greed and philistinism have come close to destroying large parts of one of the world's most important archaeological sites. The site of the ancient city of Carthage has been fought over many times in its long and turbulent history – most famously in 146BC, when a Roman army captured the city and obliterated it in a shocking episode of brutal annihilation. Roman intent that their great enemy should never rise again was reinforced by the curse that the victorious Roman general Scipio placed on anyone who dared to rebuild the city. Yet Carthage did rise again. The city, with its excellent harbour, occupied far too important a strategic position to be left deserted for long. The new city went on to have a distinguished history as the capital of the new Roman province of Africa, and later as one of the great centres of ancient Christianity. In short, Carthage is an archaeological site of world historical significance. Yet once again, its very existence is under serious threat – this time not from the weapons of an invading army but the bulldozers of unscrupulous property developers. As an archaeologist one understands that the needs of the present have to be balanced against the preservation of the past, but the regular flouting of the planning laws by members of Ben Ali's family had little to do with solving Tunisia's severe housing shortage. One only has to look at the brochure for the "Residences of Carthage", a luxury housing development illegally built on protected land to see that. One can marvel at the chutzpah of the developers' boast of its proximity to Roman ruins when there is little doubt that they were probably built on top of Roman ruins. Other members of the ex-ruling dynasty have been accused of stealing priceless archaeological artefacts and appropriating historic state buildings for their own private use. In short, Ben Ali and his extended family, the Trabelsis, not only treated Carthage as if it were their own private property but also flouted the rule of law (that they were charged to uphold) to continue their pillaging of Tunisia's national patrimony. With the removal of Ben Ali and his crooked regime from power, a number of like-minded professionals have once more stepped forward to lead a new campaign to safeguard Carthage. Their demands are straightforward. First, the new Tunisian government needs to urgently approve the protection and development plan for Carthage that the previous regime had been stalling on (for the nefarious reasons set out above) since its drafting in 2000. Second, all illegal building projects on the site of Carthage and its environs must be halted immediately. Lastly, it must as quickly and transparently as possible restore to the people of Tunisia the national heritage that was stolen from them. These measures are essential if the new government is to prove to a sceptical public that it really can provide a much-needed fresh start for Tunisia. If it delays for too long, the danger is that people will start taking justice into their own hands, and the consequences of that could be absolutely catastrophic.


 - ROYAUME-UNI  --  Eaton Camp -  Archaeological investigations to find out who built an Iron Age hill fort in Herefordshire have been awarded Heritage Lottery funding. The Eaton Camp Historical Society say the grant of £28,500 will enable them to investigate who built the hill fort and what it was used for. It covers a 7 hectare (18 acre) site overlooking the River Wye, near Hereford.