11 JANVIER 2016 NEWS; Jebel Qumayrah - Welford - Ciudad Blanca - Kilvalai - Doghouse Hill -
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SPRING TERM : APRIL 2016
OMAN – Jebel Qumayrah - A Polish archaeological team in its first reconnaissance mission in Jebel Qumayrah in northwestern Oman has found a probable pre-agricultural Neolithic site. The PCMA expedition, led by Professor Piotr Bielinski, initially surveyed four settlement sites and five burial sites in a mountain valley near the villages of Bilt and Al Ain. The survey team discovered two other settlement sites of which at least one is of a prehistoric date. Qumayrah stretches over several mountain valleys. Professor Bielinski said that it is a very interesting area archaeologically since these valleys must have been crossed by trade routes connecting the hinterland with the coast of Persian and Omani gulfs. “Moreover, these mountains were the source of Oman’s most precious natural resource in antiquity – copper. This metal, as well as copper alloy objects were transported through these trade routes. One of the main export markets was Mesopotamia, where copper objects were found, among others, in Sumerian royal tombs (third millennium BC),” he said. This season was a reconnaissance of fieldwork scheduled for 2016-18. The planned field research has several sub-projects. One of them is excavating a burial ground from the Hafit period (beginning of the third millennium BC) with stone tower tombs. Another will focus on investigations of a large site - probably from first millennium BC - ruins of which were incorporated into a later village. Work on the prehistoric site will be the next objective. “This season’s finds hint at it being a pre-agricultural Neolithic site, which is a very interesting phenomenon,” said Professor Bielinski. A senior official from MoHC said, “Earlier, an Italian team had done some surveys of the site but this is a detailed excavation programme.” Jebel Qumayrah is located on the western side of northern Oman mountains, 40km southeast of Al Ain and Buraimi.
ROYAUME UNI – Welford - Archaeologists have uncovered "totally unexpected" remains from an Iron Age village on land where a housing estate is being built. Experts from the University of Leicester believe the remains, in the village of Welford, Northamptonshire, date back more than 2,000 years. They believe the artefacts were used in what was a timber roundhouse with a thatched roof around 300 BC. The discoveries were made having looked at subtle changes in the soils. Wayne Jarvis, from the University of Leicester, said: "This site is interesting because it is on the edge of the village of Welford, which is a historic medieval village. Mr Jarvis said: "The pottery is handmade and it is not like modern porcelain or china; it's got a blackish look to it. "It is decorated with what we call scoring, so that makes it Iron Age Scored Ware and that dates the roundhouse to 400 to 200 BC".
HONDURAS – Ciudad Blanca - Honduras said Thursday it was starting a major archeological dig for a mysterious, ancient "White City" supposedly hidden in jungle in its northeast that explorers and legends have spoken of for centuries. The hope is that they will uncover incontrovertible proof of the existence of the fabled site, which has also been called "the City of the Monkey God" and, in Spanish, "la Ciudad Blanca."According to 16th-century Spanish conquistadors and to legend, the settlement, dating back thousands of years, is meant to be filled with fabulous riches. Explorers over the past century have claimed several times to have spotted the White City in the thick jungle inside the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve on Honduras' Caribbean coast. Archeologists in recent decades found what looked like ancient mounds. Then in 2012 an American documentary team using mapping technology in a small plane discovered what appeared to be the overgrown remains of an ancient civilization. National Geographic magazine reported last October that some carved stone artefacts had been found at the site. The new expedition by Honduras intends to confirm the find by digging down to discover what lies under the soil.
INDE – Kilvalai - Prehistoric rock paintings discovered in Kilvalai, a nondescript village near Villupuram is facing severe threat due to rampant illegal mining and vandalism. The paintings in red ochre are found in clusters on three rocks at Kilvalai.The paintings dating back to 3,000 B.C. throw light on the culture and history of people in prehistoric time in this region. A majority of etchings by pre-historic human beings on rocks had been covered with red ochre and lost their details due to discoloration. One painting depicts three persons with a man mounted on a horse, another pulling that horse with a rope fastened to the animal while the third man is depicted with stretched hands welcoming others, he said. Mr. Bose claimed that rock arts are the first form of scripts of writing system of “Maraieil eeru” or Upanishad which get manifested in a sacred soil, which is said to be the soil of satyaputra. Despite the extensive recorded presence of rock art paintings in Kilvalai and Siruvalai villages illegal mining and vandalism has annihilated these paintings that nature had preserved for nearly 3,000 years. The site has also yielded Neolithic tools and pottery ware and is in urgent need of protection, Mr. Veeraraghavan added.
ROYAUME UNI – Doghouse Hill - Parts of what is believed to be Dorset's oldest human settlement could be lost to coastal erosion, archaeologists have warned. Hunter-gatherers lived on Doghouse Hill near Seatown up to 10,000 years ago. The settlement was on land a mile inland, but erosion means it is now on a cliff edge which has crumbled further during the winter storms. Archaeology writer Paul Baker said there was an "imminent danger" of landslips. The National Trust, which owns Golden Cap Estate, led excavations in 2009 that unearthed a stone hearth, fire pit and pot shards from Bronze Age periods (2,500 to 1,000BC) and other relics from the Mesolithic Age (10,000 to 4,000BC) when Dorset was inhabited by hunter-gathers living off the land.