09 FEVRIER 2017 NEWS: Qumran - Rovieng - Feihu - Xinzheng -






ISRAELImages 5 Qumran - Excavations in a cave on the cliffs west of Qumran, near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, prove that scrolls from the Second Temple period were hidden in the cave, and were looted by Bedouins in the middle of the last century. With the discovery of this cave, scholars now suggest that it should be numbered as Cave 12. The excavators are the first in over 60 years to discover a new scroll cave and to properly excavate it. Excavation of the cave revealed that at one time it contained scrolls. Numerous storage jars and lids from the Second Temple period were found hidden in niches along the walls of the cave and deep inside a long tunnel at its rear. The jars were all broken and their contents removed, and the discovery towards the end of the excavation of a pair of iron pickaxe heads from the 1950s (stored within the tunnel for later use) proves the cave was looted. Until now, it was believed that only 11 caves had contained scrolls. With the discovery of this cave, scholars have now suggested that it would be numbered as Cave 12. Like Cave 8, in which scroll jars but no scrolls were found, this cave will receive the designation Q12 (the Q=Qumran standing in front of the number to indicate no scrolls were found). "The findings include the jars in which the scrolls and their covering were hidden, a leather strap for binding the scroll, a cloth that wrapped the scrolls, tendons and pieces of skin connecting fragments, and more." The finds from the excavation include not only the storage jars, which held the scrolls, but also fragments of scroll wrappings, a string that tied the scrolls, and a piece of worked leather that was a part of a scroll. The finding of pottery and of numerous flint blades, arrowheads, and a decorated stamp seal made of carnelian, a semi-precious stone, also revealed that this cave was used in the Chalcolithic and the Neolithic periods


CAMBODGEExcavation of the iron smelter furnace 2 photo mitch hendrickson Rovieng - A team of Cambodian and international scientists has uncovered the first Angkorian-era iron smelter ever to be found virtually intact. While evidence of smelting—the process of extracting base metal from its ore— during the Angkorian era has previously been discovered, it’s the first time a furnace has been found.


CHINEFeihu - Chinese archaeologists said Wednesday they have unearthed a large cluster of boat coffin tombs dating back 2,200 years that will shed light on ancient indigenous culture. The tomb cluster was discovered at a construction site in Feihu Village, Pujiang County in southwest China's Sichuan Province in September last year. It covers an area of 10,000 square meters and has 60 tombs in four rows. As of mid-January, workers with Chengdu Cultural Relics and Archeology Institute have excavated 47 tombs, said the institute Wednesday. The tombs date back to the late Warring States Period (475 - 221 BC) and the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). The boat-shaped coffins are four to seven meters long and made of nanmu, a rare wood. The cluster belonged to the indigenous Shu culture and contains elements of the Chu and Qin cultures. Pujiang County was part of the Shu Kingdom, which has no written record of its history. Workers have dug up more than 300 pieces of pottery, bronze, iron and bamboo as well as weapons, coins and 11 seals, said Gong Yangmin, head of the excavation team. Two excavated tombs were well preserved, said Gong. In one, workers discovered ten bamboo baskets of well-preserved grain and a delicate string of glass beads on the waist of the tomb owner, showing his high status. "Glass beads like dragonfly eyes were exotic at the time. They were probably imported via the Silk Road," said Gong. As there are ruins of salt wells nearby, the tomb owners were possibly salt administration officials, according to archeologists. Boat coffins have been found in Pujiang seven times. Construction work at the site has been suspended and the county government plans to build a museum there.


CHINE -  Xinzheng - The excavation of a Zheng State tomb from the Spring and Autumn Period (770 B.C. - 476 B.C.) has already found more than 20 chariots and a large amount of horse bones. Chariots and horses were sunk into rivers or buried in the earth as sacrificial offerings in burial rites during the Spring and Autumn Period. The 12 meter by 11 meter pit is linked to the main tomb occupied by a nobleman. More than 3,000 tombs of the Spring and Autumn Period have been found in Xinzheng.