10 JUILLET 2017 NEWS: Smyrna - Hendraburnick Quoit - Gevele - Rome - Angkor - Xian - Atalaya -
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TURQUIE – Smyrna Agora - The statements in the basilica of the Smyrna Agora, the last ancient city in İzmir, reveals the historic rivalry among the ancient cities of Ephesus, Sardis and Tralleis. The artifacts that have been unearthed in the Smyrna Agora, located close to İkiçeşmelik Street, one of the most crowded places in İzmir, show that the region was the meeting point of different cultures 2,000 years ago too. Previously, a crossword puzzle in the Greek language was found in the Smyrna Agora.The Greek texts in the agora have writings such as, “The Ephesians are the first in Asia,” “Sardis is the biggest” or “Tralleis is the first in Asia,” which reveal the rivalry among Sardis, located close to the Sart neighborhood of Manisa’s Salihli, Tralleis in the north of Aydın and Ephesus in Selçuk and reveal the sweet competition among the ancient cities in the region. Head of the Smyrna Agora excavations, Akın Ersoy, said İzmir and its vicinity was an attraction center in ancient times as well as it was understood from the texts in the section of the basilica in the excavation field. Ersoy said Ephesus, Sardis and Tralleis were close to each other in the same region and people who came from this region to the Smyrna Agora were also competitive among one another. “We see that people wrote the names of their cities on the walls in the Smyrna Agora 2,000 years ago. We don’t know why people came here yet but we think they came for a short time with the purpose of trade,” said Ersoy. Ersoy also said the Greek statements dated back to the end of the second century and the beginning of the fourth century but all were written in the same time. Ersoy said the Smyrna Agora was a coastal town and received immigrants from the surrounding cities at the time. “They may have come for business but wanted to express their love for their own city on the walls here. Or they were written by immigrant groups, who did not forget their own roots. Maybe there was a stand in the place of these statements and the owner of the stand wrote these statements to draw customers of these cities to his stand. It reminds us of graffiti or the statements written by football fans. Even 2,000 years ago, people did not forget the place they came from. Today, there are associations in cities and people of the same roots gather there. It seems people formed groups 2,000 years ago too. We see it in the texts on the wall,” Ersoy said. He said İzmir used to have contacts with the western Anatolian cities as we understand it from the ship drawings on the walls and coins.
ROYAUME UNI – Hendraburnick Quoit - A new investigation of the stone age engraved panel Hendraburnick Quoit in Cornwall by Dr Andy Jones, found nearly 10 times the number of markings when viewed in moonlight or very low sunlight from the south east. They also discovered that pieces of quartz had been deliberately smashed up around the site which would have glowed in the dark under moonlight, or firelight, creating a gentle luminescence. Dr Jones, of the Cornwall Archaeological Unit said: “I think the new marks show that this site was used at night and it is likely that other megalithic sites were as well. “We were aware there were some cup and ring marks on the rocks but we were there on a sunny afternoon and noticed it was casting shadows on others which nobody had seen before.Hendraburnick Quoit is a large propped ‘axe-shaped’ stone that was set upon a low platform of slates on Hendraburnick Down, near Davidstow. Dr Jones believes it was dragged up from the valley below to act as a ritual marker for a sacred site in the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age, around 2,500BC. Previous studies had recorded 13 cup marks on the rocks but Dr Jones and colleague Thomas Goskar found 105 engravings when he started to look under new light, making it the most highly decorated and complex example of rock art in southern England.
TURQUIE – Gevele - A bath used by the Seljuk sultans has been uncovered in a castle on Takkeli Mountain in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, which was once the capital of the Anatolian Seljuk state and is home to 5,000-year-old walls and cisterns. Takkeli Mountain, which is located within the borders of central Selçuklu district and overlooks all spots in Konya, has traces of many civilizations from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Karamanid and Ottoman eras. One reason why the mountain was home to these civilizations is because it has an observation tower. The top of the mountain, which is called Gevele in ancient documents, is also home to historic walls as well as many cisterns and temple. In the western and eastern skirts of the mountain are rock tombs dating back to the Roman era. Çaycı said the Gevele Castle on top of the mountain served as a natural observation tower throughout history due to its structure and location and had a significant role in the defense of the city. He said the findings on the 1,720-meter mountain will shed light on the history of the Middle Age. The castle is home to a small mosque, cistern, tunnels and dungeons, and excavation work is continuing. “Among the most important findings so far are two baths. They reveal the parameters of the structures in the Middle Age. The castle should have a view terrace and the venues where the sultan was hosted. We are continuing to search for it. At the same time, we have started the restoration work. Excavating is the simple part. It is also important to protect these places after excavation,” Çaycı said. “It served the sultan. Water is boiled in the furnace of the bath and there are private rooms in a narrow field here that were used for washing. There are gaps in the lower part of the bath for water to circulate. This bath is very important because it is the original bath of the Seljuk era. We did not expect to find such a structure; it was a surprise for us,” Çaycı said.
ITALIE – Rome - New rooms have been discovered in the domus (house) of Empress St. Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, in the bowels of the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome, officials said Friday. "These are nothing less than the living quarters of Helen's court ladies," said superintendent Francesco Prosperetti. "We have shed more light on the main entrance into the domus and better established the divisions between the various rooms," said archaeologist Anna De Santis. The Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme or Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and titular church in the Esquilino district of Rome. According to tradition, the basilica was consecrated circa 325 to house the relics of the Passion of Christ, including parts of the True Cross, brought to Rome from the Holy Land by Helena. At that time, the Basilica's floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem. Helena ranks as an important figure in the history of Christianity and of the world due to her major influence on her son, who legalised Christianity, helping make it the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. photo: Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
CAMBODGE – Angkor - A recent discovery in a rice field in Angkor Archeological Park has enabled experts to shed new light on life in the capital of the Khmer empire a thousand years ago. The cause of the excitement is not a new temple, but an iron smelting site. Researcher always believed that Angkor, the vast city whose population may have reached 1 million at some point, obtained its iron for tools, weapons and construction from distant parts of the realm. The new find is making them think again. Archeologist Im Sokrithy will explain in a conference tonight in Phnom Penh how he and his team discovered an iron smelting site with four furnaces used to melt ore and extract metal right in the middle of Angkor Park. “What we found confirmed that it was a smelting site and the site was used to produce metal,” he said yesterday. Which means that in addition to being home to Khmer kings and filled with scores of temples, Angkor may also have included industrial works. Located in today’s Zone 2—the zone next to the monuments in the park in Siem Reap province—the site of about 4 hectares is now a rice field in Sala Kravan village, Mr. Sokrithy said. “This is an important discovery to prove that in the capital city…there were some industries located right there and producing metal to supply the capital,” he said. Preliminary dating of ceramics found as part of the excavation has led his team to believe the site is from the 11th century. Hopefully, further tests next year will prove this, he said. If so, it would mean the smelting site would have been around in an era of gigantic projects, such as the West Baray water reservoir, which spread nearly 8 km long and 2 km wide, and the Baphuon, Angkor’s biggest monument until Angkor Wat was erected in the following century.
CHINE – Xian - Two Eastern Roman gold coins were found in a 1,500-year-old Chinese tomb in Northwest China's Xian City. Chinese archaeologists believe that one of the gold coins was minted during the reign of Anastasius I who was the Eastern Roman Emperor from 491 to 518. The other gold coin however is a more rare one and bears stylistic similarities to coins minted during the reigns of both Anastasius I and Justinian I, who ruled the Byzantine Empire from 527 to 565. The Chinese tomb also included a silver coin minted during reign of Peroz I, who was the king of the Sasanian Empire between 459 and 484. “The discovery of Eastern Roman gold coins and the Sasanian silver coin proves the long history of international trade on the Silk Road,” said Xu Weihong, a researcher at SPIA. According to the inscription on the memorial tablet, the tomb belonged to Lu Chou who died in 538. Lu was a nobility in the Western Wei Dynasty (535-557).
ESPAGNE – Atalaya Mining - A treasure of gold and silver ancient Roman coins has been found at a mining site in Huelva, southern Spain. The discovery is of "incalculable value and a milestone in the archeology of this mining area," according to the archeologists from Atalaya Mining, the company running the mine who found it. The discovery was reported by local newspaper Huelva Informacion. The 40 or 50 coins found, which date from the 2nd century AD, according to a report in La Informacion, are said to be from the era of Nero and Trajan. "It is a discovery of great beauty that comes to contribute data to our knowledge of RioTinto, that was the great mine of the Roman Empire," Luis Iglesias, director of archeology at Atalaya Mining, told El Pais. Experts believe the owner of the coins would have been an influential resident of the ancient Roman settlement of Orium. The coins were found bunched together because they would probably have been held in a leather purse before, according to the archeologists who found them. The find has helped archeologists and historians establish that the city of Urium, on the site of the modern city of Huelva, stretched further west than previously known. Archeologists discovered the coins as they were placing a metal sheet to protect a site that has already been identified as an area rich in Roman remains.