11 - 12 AOÛT 2010


 - 12 AOÛT :

 - U.S.A. : New-York -  On July 12 the remains of an 18th-century ship were found buried 20 feet below street level at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City. The question is -- how did they get there? Nobody knows for sure -- yet.  And even though there are timbers from the front half of the ship, nobody can identify what kind of ship it is because, among other mysteries, it’s not a design we’ve seen before. Yesterday I spoke with Patricia Samford, Director of the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab, where the wood is now being prepared for scientific study. She said at the moment they’re cleaning and prepping the ship's partial skeleton (partial, because the back half of the ship is missing) ahead of a slew of scientific analysis. Here's just a taste of what long-forgotten ship timbers can tell us:
Where the Trees Came From: Since the wood itself can be identified by geography, they can tell where in the U.S. the wood was grown. When The Tree Was Cut Down: Once they know where the wood came from, they can compare tree rings from other wood samples from that area and identify what year the tree was cut down.Where The Ship Sailed: Specific species of woodworms live in specific areas of the ocean.  Ships can pick them up like passport stamps as they enter various ports. By looking at what types of woodworms left traces in the ship timbers, one can figure out which ports the ship visited long ago.


 - FRANCE : Charleville - La cellule archéologique du Conseil Général vient de mettre à nu un ancien rempart de la cité de Charles de Gonzague. La découverte s'est effectuée sur le site de l'ex-école normale de Charleville. Un élément d'un rempart, vraisemblablement daté du XVIIème siècle, a été mis à nu; une meurtrière est également visible. 


 - CHYPREThe shipwreck, dating from around 400 B.C. and laden mainly with wine amphorae from the Aegean island of Chios and other north Aegean islands, was discovered deep under the sea off Cyprus's southern coast. Excavation on the site has determined that the ship was a merchant vessel of the late classical period. An interesting piece of evidence that gives information on the conditions under which the sailors of antiquity lived, are the large numbers of olive pips that were found during excavation, since these pips must have been part of the crew's food supply. Olives and olive oil are a staple of the Mediterranean diet and their consumption over hundreds of years has been well documented. Italian archaeologists discovered that some of the world's oldest perfumes, made in Cyprus, were olive oil based. The commodity was also used to fire copper furnaces. Apart from the amphorae, or large clay wine jars, two lead rods with remains of wood were found.


  - 11 AOÛT :

 - EUROPE : Western Europe's massive prehistoric tombs were built in a burst of activity over a few centuries around 4000 BC, suggests dating evidence, rather than continuously throughout the Stone Age. In the current European Journal of Archaeology, archaeologist Chris Scarre of the Durham University, looks at the latest dating of "megalithic" prehistoric tombs stretching from Sweden to Spain. The mound-shaped burial sites are better known as "barrows" in Great Britain, or "passage tombs" for their intersecting halls of corbel stones.


 - ROYAUME-UNI : Alderton - A two storey stone building with unusual windows has been discovered at an archaeological dig in the south of the county. It was a timber ringwork castle, occupied between the 12th and 14th centuries.


 - LYBIE : Aziris - The site of an ancient city called Aüza, the earliest African city of the Phoenician civilization that existed 3,500 years ago, may have been in a different spot than experts have thought, archaeologists report. Scholars know Aüza existed from written records, but its exact location has never been proven. By studying ancient maps and records, emeritus classics professor Sir John Boardman of the Beazley Archive at Britain's University of Oxford was able to locate a more likely site for the ancient city. Where previous historians have thought this outpost was probably far to the west, beyond Carthage in Tunisia (the northernmost country in Africa), Boardman submits that Aüza lies at a site known as Aziris. Aüza was a port city used to give the Phoenicians a foothold on the continent of Africa. The site of Aziris would have provided "good anchorage, with a defensible promontory and easy access inland," Boardman wrote in a paper  published in the August issue of the Oxford Journal of Archaeology.


 - ROYAUME-UNI :   Ecosse - A linguistic mystery has arisen surrounding symbol-inscribed stones in Scotland that predate the formation of the country itself. The stones are believed to have been carved by members of an ancient people known as the Picts, who thrived in what is now Scotland from the 4th to the 9th Centuries. These symbols, researchers say, are probably "words" rather than images. But their conclusions have raised criticism from some linguists.


 - ROYAUME-UNI :   Caerleon - Archaeologists have discovered several large buildings at the fortress of Caerleon in south Wales, one of Britain's best known Roman sites. The major discovery was made by chance by students learning to use geophysical equipment. It is possible the buildings, which may include baths and temples, are first evidence of Roman plans to develop Caerleon into a major settlement. Caerleon (Isca), which dates from AD 75, is one of three permanent legionary fortresses in the UK, and was used for 200 years.


 - ISRAËL     Tel Kedesh - Archaeologists say they have uncovered the heaviest and most valuable gold coin ever found in Israel. The 2,200-year-old coin weighs an ounce (28 grams) and was found at the Tel Kedesh site near the Lebanon border. The coin dates back to the rule of the Iraq-based Seleucid Empire, though it was minted by the rival Egyptian Ptolemies.  The coin's image may represent Cleopatra I, wife of Ptolemy V.


 - CHINE : Chinese archaeological workers have discovered more than 3,000 terra-cotta figures from the Han Dynasty made without clothing, including some female and eunuch tomb figures, according to a rough estimate of archaeologists. The first naked terra-cotta figure was discovered in the area belonging to the ancient northwest Chang'an city in the Han Dynasty half a century ago. Later, people called them naked terra-cotta tomb figures as they were sculpted without clothes. These figures are mainly found during the process of archaeological investigation and excavation.


 - FRANCE :  Arras / Mont-St-Eloi -  Il existe peu de document, sur l'abbaye, un plan, des vues cavalières du XVIIIe siècle. Tout le reste a disparu avec la Révolution. L'abbatiale moderne fut transformée en carrière de pierre. Ces fouilles nous aiderons à peut être à trouver des traces intéressantes des abbatiales gothique (XVe) et romane (XIIe qui ont précédé celle construite au XVIIIe siècle.  La présence religieuse sur le site remonterait au VIIe siècle.  Il y avait une couche de cinquante centimètres de craie pour niveler le terrain. Toute la collégiale moderne a été épierrée, excepté ce qui tient debout aujourd'hui. Les archéologues ont pu vérifier la véracité du plan, retrouver la trace des piliers, du déambulatoire, de la chapelle rayonnante à l'intérieur du choeur. L'équipe a aussi dégagé dans cet amoncellement de pierrailles quelques squelettes de chanoines enterrés, avant 1750, dans le cimetière de l'abbatiale gothique. Des pavages colorés et quelques éléments décoratifs sculptés du gothique flamboyant ont également été extraits. Les archéologues auraient également retrouvé la trace des fondations d'une tour, qui pourrait être l'ancien clocher de l'abbatiale gothique et un sol de grès qui pourrait être celui d'une crypte.


 - IRAN : Isfahan - An archaeoloical team working at the Asraf Tepe has found evidence suggesting that the Sassanid site had also been used durin the Buyid dynasty (945-1055).  A reconstructed part in the ruins of the castle suggests that the structure had been used during the Buyid dynasty. The bricks used in the rebuilt part are very similar to bricks used in construction of the Shahrestan Bridge and the Isfahan Congregational Mosque, which date to the Buyid era.