14 AVRIL 2011NEWS - Hyderabad - Montréal - Alba Iulia - Shankarpur - Yibin - Gaza - Moncton -


 - 14  AVRIL

 - INDE  Hyderabad - The treasure chest of the Nizams of Hyderabad, which had been found in an underground chamber of the Home Science College near the Secretariat here, remains unopened- As the bunker-like chamber containing the chest, which is filled possibly with gold and other valuables, lies close to the Mint Compound here, archaeologists feel that the Nizams may have used it as a secret place to run the administration and maintain the treasury during emergencies or enemy attacks. Interestingly, the chamber receives light and air from two pillar-like hollow towers that stand on the ground and have openings at the top. The holes, however, camouflaged by turrets resembling leaves hanging from a tree trunk, cannot be seen easily. The towers — the only structures visible on the surface — stand to be mistaken as being a part of the banyan tree that stands nearby. The chamber, with its lime-plastered walls and corners, is surprisingly intact, as is the smooth-surfaced mini-tunnel that leads down into it. The chamber below has remained unperceived despite the surface being thronged by students during the day.People stumbled upon the tunnel when they opened an ancient doorway of a building made by Allwyn of East India Company. P. Chenna Reddy, Director of State Archaeology, who went inside, said the bunker might be an auxiliary unit of the Mint or the starting point of an escape route, connected to the Saifabad Palace, used by the royal family, which ran above ground before the Secretariat came up. Or even a resting-house away from the crowds. Archaeologists would be ale to throw light on this aspect only after a study, said Mr. Reddy.


FRANCE –  Montréal  - Une statuette avait été trouvée par un particulier, il y a une trentaine d'années, dans la Malepère. Son propriétaire vient de la faire authentifier : d'époque romaine, c'est une représentation de Sol Invictus. Si ce n'est pas une réelle surprise, c'est tout de même une découverte archéologique qui vient confirmer, s'il le fallait encore, le peuplement de la zone par des légionnaires romains démobilisés, autrement dit, des colons. Le culte de Sol Invictus (Soleil Invaincu) a été institué comme religion de l'Etat romain au temps d'Aurélien, au IIIe siècle après Jésus-Christ, mais son apparition date d'un siècle plus tôt. Ce culte était une adaptation de celui de Mithra, apparu à Rome au Ier siècle, et qui était d'origine orientale. Il était particulièrement vivace dans les milieux militaires, et concurrençait le christianisme. On sait que les colons romains aimaient transporter avec eux les cultes qu'ils avaient honorés durant leur vie active, et célébrer entre eux leurs divinités, une fois à la retraite, loin de Rome. En retrouver la trace n'a donc rien d'étonnant. Le petit buste en bronze, par sa modeste taille de dix centimètres, pourrait correspondre à un autel local, fréquenté par la population d'une villa romaine. On penche pour une représentation de la divinité elle-même, mais il peut s'agir aussi de la figure d'un empereur, tel Probus, Aurélien ou Dioclétien, qui étaient représentés sous les mêmes attributs.


 - ROUMANIE –   Alba Iulia - A temple built by Roman legions at the end of the second or start of the third century has been discovered within the Alba Iulia citadel, reports Mediafax news wire. The intricate detail of this discovery consists in the fact that a sacred temple was rarely, if ever, built inside a Roman legion camp. The discovery was made during improvement works developed at the archaeological site of the Alba Iulia citadel. The temple is part of the Gemina Legion 13 camp and is believed to have been built by the soldiers, as an offering to their patron. The temple comprises a votive altar, a marble plaque representing a gladiator and a marble statue of the goddess, reports Mediafax. Several other traces of the Roman legion camps were also discovered at the site.  Nemesis was the goddess of revenge for Romans, being also regarded as the patron of gladiators and soldiers.


 - INDE –Shankarpur -  Archaeologists  have found four dolmens of the Megalithic Age (Third century BCE) or the Iron Age at the Shankarpur village, about 150 km from Nagpur (Maharashtra, India). Such burial monuments are mainly found in the southern states of Karnataka and Kerala, and are quite rare in Maharashtra.  In the Vidarbha region, the common burial type is stone circles, found abundantly in the Nagpur and Bhandara regions. Dolmens are a very rare burial type in Maharashtra. Most excavations by various institutions in the country have found stone circles burial types of the Megalithic Age- The excavation began last December and the dolmens were excavated in March. Of the four excavated dolmens, only one is in good condition. The other three have fallen to ruins. The intact one is being claimed by the team to be the largest in the state and India. The Deccan College team also found some utensils, four punch-marked coins, remains of human bones, copper and glass bangles, iron objects and also burnt bricks. It is interesting to find remnants of the Megalithic Age here- Burnt bricks are a unique finding. So far, not a single excavation of Megalithic burials have had burnt bricks.


 - CHINE – Yibin - During the second-round of excavations at the Shizhudi graveyard in Yibin, the Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and other units recently discovered large-scale remnants of the Shang and Zhou dynasties- Archaeologists launched the first round of archaeological excavations from May to August 2010 and the excavation area has reached 2,000 square meters. The current excavations have lasted for several months. Archaeologists have explored an area of 2,000 square meters and cleared up more than 170 various sites. More than 500 various items, such as bronze ware, ironware, pottery and porcelain were unearthed from this area, including 59 various sites relating to the Shang and Zhou dynasties, such as ash pits, ash trenches, housing sites and tombs. A large number of pottery fragments were also unearthed in this area. The current archaeological excavations will provide important first-hand information for the research on the Qin and Han dynasties culture exchanges in southern Sichuan and the Jinshajiang River basin.


 - PALESTINE   Gaza - Five thousand years of fascinating history lie beneath the sands of the Gaza Strip, from blinded biblical hero Samson to British general Allenby- The flat, sandy lands on the Mediterranean's southeastern shore have been ruled by Ancient Egyptians, Philistines, Romans, Byzantines and Crusaders. Alexander the Great besieged the city. Emperor Hadrian visited. Mongols raided Gaza, and 1,400 years ago Islamic armies invaded. Gaza has been part of the Ottoman Empire, a camp for Napoleon and a First World War battleground. But archaeology here does not flourish. "The only way to preserve what we discover is to bury it until the proper tools are available," says Hassan Abu Halabyea of the Gaza ministry of Tourism and Archaeology. "We lack the capability, the support and the proper materials needed to maintain this historical site or that. We bury it to preserve it from destruction," he says.


 - CANADA – Moncton - The Moncton Museum has gone global, offering a collection of artifacts online on the Internet for viewing the world over. Artefacts Canada maintains an extensive database with close to four million object records and 800,000 images from museums and heritage institutions across Canada for public viewing classified under fine arts, decorative arts, archaeology, ethnology and history. It's an important tool for the public as well as historians and museum professionals.