14 AOUT 2018: Groenland - Amble - Plovdiv - Nanjing - Dunyvaig - Rey - Ypres - Yangquan -






GROENLAND177389 web - A new genetic analysis of 1,000-year-old walrus skulls in European museum collections suggests at that at least 80 percent of them were imported from Norse settlements in Greenland. Walrus tusks were used to produce luxury items such as ivory crucifixes, knife handles, dice, and chess sets for Europe’s medieval elite. But because museum officials have been reluctant to allow scientists to take samples of medieval artifacts for testing, the source of the ivory was unknown. James Barrett of the University of Cambridge and his colleagues found 23 walrus tusks that were still attached to pieces of skull in museum collections around Europe, and collected samples of the bones for the investigation. The researchers now think a collapse in the European market for ivory, brought on by the Black Death and other factors, may have triggered the downfall of the Norse settlements, rather than the cooler climate of the Little Ice Age, as had been previously thought. 


ROYAUME UNIHoard on table Amble - A local detectorist has discovered a Bronze Age hoard in a field near Amble. The collection of 56 individual pieces including spearheads and axeheads has been verified by the British Museum. Sadly a bowl was damaged as it was removed, but the items were carefully taken away to be assessed by experts at the British Museum. It has taken two years. The objects date from 950-750BC and consist of fragments of copper alloy swords, spearheads, and a bowl/cup or ladle. The items have endured millennia of hunting, farming, mining and general life going on all around, surviving ever deeper ploughing techniques, especially in recent times.

BULGARIEStreet odeon archaeology site photo clive leviev sawyer 604x272 Plovdiv - Remnants of what was one of the most important streets in Philippopolis, the ancient name of Bulgaria’s second city Plovdiv, have been found by archaeologists examining the eastern part of the former town square, the Agora. To residents of Philippopolis, the main street would have been known as the Cardo Maximus. At Plovdiv’s Odeon, archaeologists also have found large remnants of the façade of the building used for local government meetings during the Roman Empire. Archaeologists already have examined about 10 metres of the paving of the ancient road, local media reported on August 13, and were surprised when they found large fragments of the Odeon’s façade. Archaeologist Maya Martinova-Kyutova said that this was actually the main façade of the Odeon, a place where there were probably three to four entrances. She said that the façade had a monumental shape, probably with a portico, because the dig team had found fragments of columns and other characteristic architectual elements. The building had remained extant for a long time, until the Middle Ages, when it was destroyed, most probably by an earthquake. The archaeologists also have discovered a valuable fragment of a marble statue of a prominent citizen of Philippopolis. From a piece of text, the archaeologists understood that the citizen had a rare privilege, the right to be in the front row of the theatre. Such an exclusive right was given as a sign of respect only to the most revered citizens of Philippopolis. The text mentions a very rare name, Sozipatar, which the archaeologists have not encountered before on any monument in Plovdiv.


CHINE - Nanjing - A total of 58 silk fabrics dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1276) are on exhibit in the city of Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province. After ten years of restoration, the silk fabrics including handkerchiefs with inscriptions written by Buddhists and long-sleeve shirts with patterns of flowers and birds are now on display at the Grand Baoen Temple Heritage Park in Nanjing.In February 2007, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage approved the excavation of the Grand Baoen Temple ruins. Cultural relics made from materials including gold, silver, bronze, crystal, glass, agate and silk were discovered at the site. Archaeologists said those cultural relics were well preserved as they were buried nearly seven meters underground in an iron container. And around 100 silk fabrics excavated from the site are believed to have been donated by Buddhists to the temple. The China National Silk Museum has been in charge of restoring the silk fabrics since 2009. It is rare to find such a large amount of high-quality silk fabrics dating back to the Song Dynasty in China, according to the archaeologists.


ROYAUME UNI – Dunivaig  Dunyvaig Castle - A team of 40 archaeologists and other scientists plan to spend three weeks on the island in the Inner Hebrides investigating the ruins of Dunyvaig Castle for the first time. The fortress was once a stronghold of the Lords of the Isles, the chiefs of the Clan MacDonald, and was the scene of battles between them and their rivals the Campbells. Although the visible ruins of the castle date predominately from the 16th century, its foundations are thought to be much older and it may have been constructed on top of a prehistoric dun or fort. The team of researchers hope to uncover when the castle was first built, why its dramatic location was chosen and what kind of people lived and worked both inside and outside its walls. After a year of planning, the formal excavation of the site began yesterday, with the first step set to be an analysis of any forgotten structures and deposits hidden beneath the castle.

IRAN2859992 Rey - A team of Iranian archaeologists has recently unearthed an ancient pottery kiln near Tepe Bahram in Moqimabad village of Rey, southern Tehran. The kiln along with some pottery pieces were retrieved when the team dug tranches for demarcation and documentation, IRNA reported on Saturday. The kiln bears unique style of architecture and is estimated to date from the early Islamic era, the report added. Tepe Bahram was initially an urban settlement during the Sassanid era (224 CE–651). It is probably named after the famed Sassanid king Bahram V, aka Bahram Gor, who ruled from c. 420 to 438.


BELGIQUE9cc9ef59532080531ec8027ce8e66605 l Ypres - Archaeologists working in the centre of Ypres in West Flanders have so far uncovered 1,200 skeletons of people buried in the Middle Ages, as well as interesting information on the way of life in the city during that period. The excavations were opened to the public in May, when it was shown how the Sint-Niklaas parish, a stone’s throw from what is not the city centre, was important in the growth of the city from the 13th century on. Two months ago some 500 skeletons had been uncovered; now the total is around 1,200. “We had thought an old canal had taken at bend at one point, but in fact the graveyard kept going,” explained archaeologist Michelle Arnouts. “We found more of the same: bodies in coffins, in half-coffins, women, children, everything.” Over the last two months the dig has not only uncovered the rest of the Sint-Jan-ten-Berghe abbey, but also part of the city and a canal. “In the beginning we were wondering what sort of activities were going on in this area,” Arnouts said. “In the second part we started finding rubbish dumps with leather offcuts and parts of shoes, which led us to believe that this part of the city was an area of leather workers.” The excavations continue until the beginning of September.


CHINE China octagon tomb Yangquan - A 700-year-old octagonal tomb with a pyramid-shaped roof has been discovered in north China. It has been excavated by a team of archaeologists from Yangquan City’s Office of Cultural Heritage Administration and the Bureau of Cultural Relics and Tourism of the Suburbs of Yangquan City. The archaeologist said that the door to the tomb was placed in one of the eight walls, while the other seven featured murals, including depictions of the husband and wife who are thought to have occupied the tomb, and scenes from life in China, which was then under the rule of the Mongol Empire.The scenes include musicians playing songs, tea being prepared, and horses and camels led by a man wearing Mongol-style clothes. At the time the tomb was built, the Mongol dress code restricted Han Chinese officials to round-collared shirts and folded hats. The tomb's roof was decorated with images of the sun, moon, and stars.