13 JANVIER 2011



 - SYRIE  Apamée - The National Excavation Mission has unearthed some archaeological coins, clay pieces and water tank at the archaeological Bath of Acriba, to the north of the Archaeological city of Apamea- Head of Hama Antiquities Department Abdul Qader Farzat said that excavation works concentrated on the western part of the Bath in addition to conducting an exploration in the Byzantine House. He clarified that excavation works included removing the surface layer in the western corridor which is made of lime and small stones in addition to different pieces of clay. He pointed out that a water tank, feeding the canal to the east of the corridor, and a 160 cm brick building under the tank were uncovered, pointing out that the building was meant to heat the tank. For his part, Head of the National Excavation in Apamea Nadim Khouri said that excavation works in the northern part uncovered a brick arch to the south of the water tank in addition to a 140cm terrace which leads to 8-step stairs.He clarified that the mission also uncovered a reddish brown mosaic floor of room no. 5, adding that it does not display any pictures or decorations.


FRANCE – Nantes - « Arrêtons le massacre ! » A Nantes, onze spécialistes refusent que trois chapelles soient défigurées par un projet immobilier- En accusation, la transformation drastique, avec beaucoup de béton, de trois chapelles du XVIe siècle face à la mairie de Nantes. Trois bâtiments aux gracieux volumes et aux voûtes d'ogive étonnantes de beauté et de fraîcheur. Un bâti conventuel en pierre de taille, propriété, trois siècles durant, de riches marchands espagnols qui commerçaient entre Nantes et Bilbao. « André Rhuys, l'un d'eux, était si puissant qu'il reçut à dîner à Nantes, en 1565, le roi de France Charles IX », explique Loïc Menanteau, de la Société d'archéologie.


-- PEROU –Las Higueras - Deforestation in the Peruvian province of Amazonas led to the discovery of a 14th-century citadel- The citadel, made by the Chachapoyas people, is in a remote area known as Las Higueras and is mostly covered in trees, woody vines and other types of vegetation. It stands at an altitude of around 2,500 metres, surrounded by cliffs in the middle of the rainforest. The citadel featured homes, terraces and walls more than two metres tall. It stretched over a surface of around 20 hectares, according to experts' estimates. Local archaeologist Manuel Malaver said circular rooms, ramps and three small cemeteries have been identified at the site. Months ago, a small architectural complex was found nearby, where experts discovered a silver chest plate and a score of arrow heads made of volcanic rock. Locals think that there may be more vestiges of the Chachapoya culture. Biologist Leyda Rimarachin - of the sanctuary Cordillera de Colan, which stands about 5 kilometres away from the citadel - warned that the area is being exploited by illegal lumberers who turn it into grassland. She warned also that the archeological site was vulnerable to looting. The Chachapoyas were a war-like people who lived in northeastern Peru and lived in the years 800-1470 AD, until they were subdued by the Incas.


 - INDE Bhubaneswar - The Purbeswara Shiva temple — located in the Kancha Sahi of Old Town — attracts hundreds of devotees and pilgrims from all over the country throughout the year for its religious and cultural significance. However, the 13th century temple, the superstructure of which had collapsed long ago, needs urgent archaeological maintenance and conservation. The living temple is of cultural significance for observation of rituals and festivals such as Shivaratri, Sankranti, Rudravisheka and others. At present, one only finds the jagamohana or the original sub-structure of the temple, which is home to the presiding deity — a lingam.  “The temple is in a half-built condition now. But the decorative features on the remaining structure indicate that the original structure must have been massive. However, the main monument has been dilapidated and broken for a long time,” says Ashwinee Satpathy, curator of the State Archaeology Department.  Historians believe that the architectural features of the remaining portions of the original monument indicate its construction during the Ganga dynasty. “The structural design and patterns of design on the monument show that it was part of the matured phase of temple building tradition in Orissa,” says historian Sadashiba Pradhan. At present, a tin sheet has been erected over the sanctum behind the jagamohana. The temple was renovated and repaired by the Orissa State Archaeology around five years ago. However, some vegetation and cracks have developed on the existing main structure (the jagamohana) of the temple now, facilitating rainwater seepage into the structure.


 - MALAISIE  Kedah - Two years ago, Malaysian archaeologists working in the coastal plains of south Kedah struck an amazing find when they uncovered man-made structures that turned out to be the oldest in South-east Asia. The team of 30 from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and various government departments found iron ore smelters complete with furnaces and iron slag that dated back 1,900 years to AD110.  They also dug up a brick structure believed to have been used for ritual purposes and a roofed brick platform jetty near Sungai Batu - both dating from the early part of the second century AD. It's the most complete evidence of a civilisation - the port, industries and rituals, and they were the oldest monuments in South-east Asia- The discoveries brought visitors flocking to the site located about 90km from Kedah's capital Alor Star. It is part of the Bujang Valley archaeological site where ancient temple ruins have been excavated since the 1840s. Prof Siti Zuraina said the finds are significant as they point to a complex civilisation. 'They are not just the oldest, but they are also the type of structures not seen before in this part of the world,' she said. Before this, Bujang Valley was considered a site of religious rituals, but it has now turned out to have thriving economic activities as well, she added. The first temple ruins there were discovered in the 1840s, and there are now about 172 sites in the plains. More discoveries are possible. Of the 97 mounds in Sungai Batu earmarked for excavation, Dr Mokhtar said only 10 have been explored so far. He expects to find burial sites, and more evidence of the social structure of the old civilisation. 'It's a socially complex hierarchy, and we need a lot more research into it,' he said.


 - ROYAUME-UNI -  Chapelfield - A group of skeletons which lay undisturbed beneath Norwich for 700 years will have their secrets revealed on television as a local archaeologist pieces together how they die- In 2004 a huddled mass of bodies was unearthed at the bottom of a well as workers dug foundations for the Chapelfield shopping centre. But now, seven years later, he is presenting an episode of History Cold Cases for the BBC and revealing exactly who the people were and how they died- Yesterday the 17 skeletons, 11 of which were small children, were in a tent outside Chapelfield while a BBC television crew filmed archeologists at work for the upcoming show. Mr Emery, who lives on Sprowston Road in Norwich, said: “We were about four or five metres down. That’s why they were such a surprise, because you don’t normally work at that depth. “They were a real jumble. Because they were at the bottom of a well and over time they’d just compressed down.They were definitely medieval, they probably pre-date the Black Death,” he added. “I’m hoping that through this TV series we’ll find a little bit more about them, because they’re a mystery. “It’s been forgotten about all this time, 600 or 700 years, and we come along. That’s archaeology, bringing things back to life.” He hopes to find out through DNA testing if they were all related, and has a hunch that they may have been visitors from outside of the area. Celi Fowler, producer of the show, said that the show would help piece together how they lived, as well as how they ended up in their unusual resting place. “Each episode features a different group of skeletons and it’s always a different part of history and a different location,” she said. “We do a series of forensic testing on them. We do carbon dating, some CT scanning, which might show up trauma. We also do a facial reconstruction.” She said that the show may involve more shooting in Norfolk, depending on what emerges from the research. History Cold Cases will be shown on BBC2 in May or June.