ANGLETERRE – Bronze age skeleton lower res Iron age skeleton excavation lower res Winterborne Kingston - It is the first time Bronze Age bones have been discovered on the site in Winterborne Kingston, where the university’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology has been excavating settlements from the Iron Age for nearly fifteen years. The settlements, which were inhabited by the Durotriges tribe, date back to around 100 BC whereas the Bronze Age began around 2000 years before. “This year we have found an adult male in a very tightly packed grave alongside lots of collared urns which is very distinctive of the end of the Neolithic period and the beginning of the Early Bronze Age, so it’s about 4000 years old,” said Dr Miles Russell. “So this is giving us the idea that people have been living here for a significant period of time. It’s not just the period just before the Romans arrived, they were farming this landscape, growing crops and burying their dead at least four millennia ago,” he added. The man was found in a crouched position which is consistent with Bronze Age practices where people were mummified after they died and kept above ground for a period of time before being buried in shallow pits. They  have also uncovered the buried remains of five people from the Iron Age, as well as bones from animals including cattle, horse, piglets, and goats in ancient storage pits on the site. Dr Russell believes the combination of animal parts found in some pits could have served as offerings to the community’s gods and goddesses in return for fertility and successful crops. As well as the skeletons, the team have also uncovered a variety of everyday items used by the Durotriges tribe two thousand years ago, such as ceramic pots, jewellery, and a workers’ tools - including weaving combs made from deer antler.


ISRAEL –   Te’omim Cave - A cave in the Jerusalem Hills may once have served as a local oracle where people communed with the dead in the hopes of learning about the future. Known as the Te’omim Cave, the creepy crevice is littered with human skulls and other items associated with necromancy, and is described by researchers as a possible “portal to the underworld”. Analyzing the discoveries made at the cave, the authors of a new study suggest that Te’omim might have hosted “secret rites involving necromancy and communication with the dead, mainly by witches.” “These rites were usually conducted within tombs or burial caves, but sometimes they took place in a nekyomanteion (or nekromanteion) – an 'oracle of the dead',” explain the researchers. “These shrines were generally located in caves or next to water sources that were believed to be possible portals to the underworld.” Intriguingly, early archaeological descriptions of Te’omim from the 19th century reveal that locals still attributed healing powers to the spring water that flowed in the cave. More recently, researchers have uncovered Roman-era items stashed in nooks and crannies within the cave, many of which may have been used to communicate with the dead. “Some crevices contained groups of oil lamps mixed with weapons and pottery vessels from earlier periods or placed with human skulls,” write the study authors. While it’s difficult to interpret the function of these ancient objects, the researchers explain that “human skulls were used throughout the Roman Empire, including in Palestine and the vicinity, in necromancy ceremonies and communication with the dead.” Likewise, they say that oil lamps regularly featured in such rites, as participants sought to divine the future based on the shapes created by the flames.Furthermore, the study authors highlight numerous historical sources which allude to the belief that spirits were frightened of metal, particularly bronze and iron. They therefore suggest that the presence of swords and other weapons may have served to “protect the believer from evil spirits and to ensure that offerings to the specific spirit being conjured up were not seized by other spirits.” “In light of all this, we can propose with due caution that necromancy ceremonies took place in the Te’omim Cave in the Late Roman period, and that the cave may have served as a local oracle (nekyomanteion) for this purpose,” conclude the researchers, The study has been published in the journal Harvard Theological Review.


INDE – 747865 19522370515334853 Kilnamandi - The ongoing excavations at Kilnamandi village 20 km from Vandavasi have brought to light 15 sarcophagus (Eeema Pezhai in Tamil) of which 4 are in pristine condition, according to excavation director J Victor Gnanaraj. Revealing this to DT Next, he said, “The excavations started in March last with the state government sanctioning Rs 30 lakh. The iron age site is now being excavated thoroughly to discover what it will reveal about the history of those who lived here.” “Eleven stone circles are being excavated and we have discovered terracotta pottery and iron implements which have to be studied further to find out their exact time period,” Gnanaraj added. Site in-charge M Suresh reiterating this added that the sarcophagus was 3.5 feet long, 2 feet wide and 1 foot tall. “They date back about 2,500 years,” he added.

JAPON – Matsura Matsura - An anchor from a Mongolian ship that sank off the coast of an island in this southwestern Japan city during an attempt to invade Japan in 1281 has been recovered. So far, nine anchors have been salvaged during harbor construction surveys, but this is the first time that a planned retrieval has been carried out. Two Mongolian ships have been identified on the seafloor, and the latest recovery will serve as a stepping stone toward the salvage of the ships themselves. The V-shaped anchor is approximately 175 centimeters long and its estimated weight is a little under 200 kilograms. It was transported by truck to the municipal archaeological center and stored in a tank filled with seawater. It will be preserved for about two years by soaking it in water mixed with trehalose, a type of sugar that prevents twisting and warping of wood. The anchor differs in type from the previous nine anchors that were salvaged, which had anchor stones on both sides of the wood, and it may provide clues to the procurement methods and composition of the Mongolian fleet.


Angleterre – Bronze hand vindolanda min Vindolanda - Only a few weeks had passed since the start of the excavation season at Vindolanda when a remarkable artifact was discovered 1.5 meters below present-day ground level in the uppermost layers of the northern Severan ditch fill. A small, child-sized, and eerily life-like bronze hand had been discarded in the ditch.  Close inspection of the artifact after conservation at Vindolanda revealed that the 10cm hand originally had an attachment, now missing, inserted into the palm. The hand is very well crafted, especially on the palm-facing side, indicating that its purpose was to profile the object that it once held. The base of the hand is socketed and would have been originally fixed to a pole. The hand was uncovered some metres beyond a temple dedicated to Jupiter Dolichenus, tucked into the northern wall of the third-century fort at Vindolanda which was excavated in 2009.


ISRAEL – E79d88fea7058ef1240b6e5684d46cd9 Huqoq - A mosaic was freshly unearthed at a Roman-era synagogue of the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq. The archaeological excavations were led by the American University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the Lower Galilee area of Israel. The mosaic artwork was a large panel with a Hebrew inscription in the center and an Aramaic inscription at the bottom. The excavation team suggested that the Aramaic list of names was either donors who “funded the synagogue’s mosaics or the artists who made them, asking that they be remembered for good.” The work wasn’t just inscriptions and dedications, but also elaborately decorated with scenes from nature, in particular lions resting their forepaws on bulls’ heads, as well as predators pursuing their prey. This was the eleventh and final session of excavations focusing on the southern end of the synagogue's main hall. The summer session also further uncovered sections of mosaic panels discovered in 2012 and 2013, illustrating episodes of the biblical Samson and the foxes, and another of him carrying the gate of Gaza on his shoulders, as well as sections featuring a Philistine horseman and a dead soldier.


ARMENIE – Hatis mount 3 Hatis mount Mount Hatis - The archeological expedition of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia has started excavations in the territory of the newly discovered fortress on Mount Hatis in Kotayk province, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport informs. The fortress (Shamiram Fortress, Hatis Castle) is located on the conical peak of Hatis. The width of the walls varies between 2-4.5 m, the height between 1-3 m. It is built from large and medium-sized rough basalt stones. A 3m-wide entrance has been preserved in the eastern wall, with two ramparts on both sides. The main structures of the ancient site stretch along the length of the western enclosure. The data obtained so far allow to date the ancient site to the Bronze and Iron Ages, Antiquity and Medieval periods. The discovered archaeological finds include shells from different periods, obsidian arrows from the Bronze Age, an iron spearhead, objects of various stones, iron and bronze jewelry, a cylinder seal (probably 5th century BC) and a silver coin with the image of Alexander the Great. The excavations are expected to be completed by the end of August.


FRANCE – Kmy3fgzyhvdm7o5zvmlymvgw7q Ilfjo5geqfd4fhvm7a7z6wi2f4 Jcvwu25pprfdla43wkrchiksua  Clermont-Ferrand - Documenter l’histoire du bassin clermontois, du néolithique à l’âge du fer. Entre 2018 et 2020, dans le cadre de travaux d’élargissement de l’A75, des fouilles autour de Clermont-Ferrand ont permis aux archéologues de l’Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives (Inrap) de révéler «des découvertes inédites en Auvergne» : «des alignements de menhirs et une stèle féminine néolithiques, ainsi que des habitats de l’âge du bronze et des quartiers gaulois», détaille Marie Bèche-Wittmann, responsable du département archéologie du musée Bargoin à Clermont-Ferrand, où vient de débuter une exposition présentant les découvertes. L’un des sites, près de Veyre-Monton, a livré un ensemble mégalithique comportant des alignements de menhirs contemporains de ceux de Carnac, totalement inédits. «Nous avons découvert 35 menhirs formant deux alignements globalement nord-sud. Ils sont alignés sur une longueur de 150 mètres, qui représente l’emprise de la fouille. Les alignements se poursuivent assurément de part et d’autre», précise Ivy Thomson, archéo-anthropologue à l’Inrap. Les chercheurs supposent que les menhirs ont été installés «au fur et à mesure pendant plusieurs siècles». «Les premiers menhirs ont été installés au début du néolithique moyen, dans une période comprise entre 4790 et 4550 avant J.-C., d’après la datation au carbone 14 d’éléments piégés dans une des fosses qui a servi à ériger un menhir», confirme Ivy Thomson. Les premiers menhirs sont érigés pendant l’une des dernières périodes d’éruption volcanique en Auvergne, celle qui voit naître le lac Pavin. «Jusqu’à présent, dans le Massif central, on avait surtout découvert des menhirs de granit», détaille Gérard Vernet, chercheur au laboratoire Magmas et Volcans de l’Université Clermont-Auvergne. «Là, ce sont des roches volcaniques, principalement du basalte et deux ou trois en calcaire, dont un avec une forme féminine.» «Les affleurements d’où proviennent les monolithes peuvent être considérés comme des “géosymboles” marquant un territoire, lui-même ayant un caractère symbolique ou pas. Les sites de prélèvements des blocs sont pour les plus lointains à 9 km.» La stèle féminine découverte questionne. «Elle date de plusieurs millénaires avant J.-C. et nous ne disposons d’aucun élément qui permette de savoir en quoi croyaient les populations de ces périodes. On peut imaginer que cette statue féminine représente une figure tutélaire. Peut-être une divinité ou un ancêtre», suppose Ivy Thomson. «Nous n’avons pas trouvé de vestige qui nous éclaire sur d’éventuelles cérémonies particulièrement liées à cette statue. En revanche, le site a livré une cinquantaine de grands foyers à pierres chauffées. Ils témoignent de la tenue de rassemblements communautaires, peut-être commémoratifs voire cultuels, durant la période comprise entre 4800 et 4300 avant J.-C.»


FRANCE – 64aae19b758ad drassm 00 01 36 10 Cap Corse -  Pendant deux semaines, les épaves enfouies dans les eaux profondes du Cap Corse ont été étudiées, dans le cadre d'une mission d'exploration pilotée par le département de recherches archéologiques subaquatiques et sous-marine de Méditerranée du ministère de la Culture (Drassm). Les explorations sont réalisées à l'aide de robots, plutôt qu'avec des plongeurs. Reliées par un grand câble au navire du Drassm, les machines peuvent ainsi retransmettre des images en direct des épaves, enfouies à parfois "200, 300 ou 500 mètres de profondeur", poursuit Franca Cibecchini. Des vidéos riches en enseignements : "Dans le cadre de cette mission, nous avons expertisé deux nouveaux sites que nous ne connaissions pas." Les épaves sont étudiées selon "deux points de vue", précise-t-elle. Un point de vue archéologique, d'abord, "pour voir de quel type de site il s'agit, et son époque" : "Nous avons pu déterminer qu'une des deux épaves est celle d'un navire d'époque romaine, où nous avons trouvé plusieurs amphores, l'autre, un navire d'époque contemporaine, où nous voyons notamment les ancres, la vaisselle utilisée à bord..." Des vestiges du passé qui témoignent du "rôle très important que la Corse, et le Cap Corse en particulier, a eu dans la navigation depuis l'antiquité, jusqu'à l'époque moderne et contemporaine", souligne Franca Cibecchini. "Il faut imaginer la Corse alors comme une sorte de carrefour qui relie le Sud de la Méditérranée au Nord de la Méditérranée occidentale, indique-t-elle. Cette péninsule italique, toutes les populations s'y sont succédé, les Etrusques, les Osques, les Romains, vers la Gaule en particulier, mais aussi vers l'Espagne. C'était vraiment le couloir commercial le plus important de la Méditérranée."


SUISSE – 14165030 Saint-Brais - Sur le chantier d'un quartier résidentiel à Saint-Brais (JU), des archéologues fouillent un ancien cimetière abandonné. Les corps enterrés en pleine terre et l'absence de pierres tombales laissent à penser qu'il s'agit de victimes de la peste qui a sévi au 17e siècle. Les scientifiques ont déjà découvert 27 squelettes, dont certains sont en parfait état. Bien que plusieurs enfants figurent parmi les défunts, la composition précise de cette population est encore à déterminer. Plusieurs hypothèses: Certaines sépultures semblent se rattacher au XVII siècle d’après le mobilier retrouvé, alors que d’autres pourraient être plus anciennes. Ce cimetière aurait donc pu être utilisé durant la Guerre de Trente ans (1618-1648), période particulièrement mouvementée pour la région. Autre hypothèse: les corps enterrés en pleine terre et l'absence de pierres tombales laissent à penser qu'il pourrait d'agir de victimes de la peste qui a sévi au 17e siècle. Les fouilles vont se poursuivre durant le mois de juillet