10 JUIN 2011 NEWS : Ilkley Moor - Barabati Fort - Arittapatti - Maryport - Kurnool -


- 10  JUIN

 - ROYAUME UNI –    Ilkley Moor - Amateur archaeologists are celebrating discovering another prehistoric stone circle on Wharfedale’s moors. The identification of the previously undocumented cairn on Ilkley Moor marks the latest in a series of signficant finds made by a small team of local volunteers over the past year.  Paul Bennett, Michala Douglas and Paul Hornby stumbled upon the circle, which they believe is an ancient burial site, along with another smaller monument while searching the moor earlier this year. This one seems to be another burial circle. Its edges are defined by at least 25 small stones, but a very minor, non-intrusive excavation seemed to indicate that there are numerous smaller stones all round the edge, making it structurally similar to the Snowden Moor cairn circle. There’s a cup-marked stone on one of the stones on its eastern side. Most of the other stones are buried or just beneath the surface so we need to carefully examine it and see what more can be found. The circle measures roughly 27 feet from north to south, and 24 feet east to west. The site seems to be at least Bronze Age, perhaps earlier.


 - INDE –  Barabati Fort - An intricately carved khondolite stone statute of a lion has been recovered from the silt being excavated from the Barabati fort moat. Labourers engaged in levelling the excavated material, dumped along the banks of the Mahanadi river, spotted the three-feet tall statue, which is believed to be 800 years old. The two wheels, engraved on two sides of the statue, resemble the Konark wheel. The Barabati fort was a monument belonging to the 13th century Ganga dynasty. The ASI is developing a well laid-out garden on the fort precincts while the CMC is engaged in removal of silt and renovation of the moat encircling the outer perimeter of the fort. The silt removal is being done with the help of machines. Nobody had anticipated the recovery of such a statue from the moat, which used to act as a defence against attacks by enemies trying to capture the fort. Recovery of the statue has enthused historians who believe that more statues and other artefacts could be recovered from the site if the excavation work is done in a more precise manner. Usually, recovery of the lion statue could indicate possibility of the existence of a temple because such figures were normally found on the entrance of temples. The ASI should initiate steps for both horizontal and vertical excavation at the site. The ASI, during the excavations in 1989 at the fort, had recovered more than 300 statues of different kinds and sizes, which were fragments of a temple. The excavation process was completed in 1994.During another excavation a few years ago, the ASI had recovered skeletal remains of an elephant within the Barabati fort.


 - INDE – Arittapatti - The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday stayed the operation of a Government Order (G.O.) passed by the Industries Department on September 19, 2008, permitting Tamil Nadu Minerals Limited (TAMIN), a State government undertaking, to quarry stones from 47.37 hectares of ‘poromboke' land situated near a hillock, housing ancient Jain abodes and Tamil Brahmi inscriptions, at Arittapatti in Melur taluk in Madurai district. The petitioner claimed that the hillock in his village contained Brahmi inscriptions dating back to third century B.C. These inscriptions were believed to be of Buddhist origin indicating the prevalence of Buddhism in these parts at that point of time. According to some historians, Emperor Ashoka and his son Mahinda had introduced Buddhism in this region, assisted by Maha Aritta, nephew of Sri Lankan King Tissa, who was believed to have stayed in the caverns in Arittapatti hillock. “These inscriptions in Madurai are the oldest records of written language in Tamil. The entire hillock is an ancient monument. A rare inscription found in Arittapatti recently has brought to light the fact that not only Pandyas and Cheras but the chiefs of the coastal regions in the State had also patronised Jainism. The discovery by a team of epigraphists is a remarkable evidence of history of early Tamil politics, culture and language,” the petitioner's affidavit read. Pointing out that the Jain caverns in Arittapatti hillock had been declared as protected monuments under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, the petitioner said that permitting stone quarrying near the hillock might pose a threat to those monuments. He urged the court to quash the 2008-G.O. and issue a direction to the State and Central governments to protect the hillock on the basis of suggestions received from experts in the field of archaeology.


 - ROYAUME UNI – Maryport - Excavations at Roman Maryport have got off to a great start with the discovery of an altar fragment on the first day. The 28-strong team of volunteers is working to unravel the mystery surrounding a unique cache of 17 altars discovered there in 1870. They had been buried in a series of pits to the north and east of the fort but no one knows when, why or by whom. Experts hope that revisiting the area will help them to construct a more complete picture of this internationally important site. The excavations also encompass an area that archaeologists believe was untouched in 1870. A recent geophysics survey has picked out a number of features that cannot readily be explained. A curved and cobbled feature which could be Roman is already coming up under the trowel.


 - INDE –  Kurnool - The state archaeology department has unearthed two lots of ancient artefacts of historical significance from Sanjamala and Alvakonda villages in Kurnool district. Prof. P. Chenna Reddy, the director of the department of archaeology and museums, said that the recovered items include bronze images of Tandava Krishna, Tirumangai Alwar, a slate stone image of Veera Bhadra, a bronze bell and prabhamandala (the symbolic ring of fire encircling Nataraja’s image). They were discovered in a well that was being desilted in Sanjamala. The second discovery by the archaeology department was made while digging to lay the foundations of a house in Alvakonda village in the same mandal.  “A small pot containing 30 gold phanams, one gold kante, talibottu and a small silver bell was recovered. All the objects belong to the 17th and 18th centuries AD and are of historical significance. After these objects are cleaned, these will be displayed at the Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Andhra Pradesh State Museum,” said Prof. P. Chenna Reddy.