14 DECEMBRE 2016 NEWS: Vlochós - Barlaston - Perth - Jericho - Pokr Vedi - Porterville -
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GRECE – Vlochós - Swedish researchers believe the previously unknown 2,500-year-old city could help provide answers to many of the mysteries surrounding the ancient Greek civilization. Archaeologists from the University of Gothenburg and University of Bournemouth have begun exploring the remains of the ancient city at the village of Vlochós, five hours north of Athens, around the Strongilovoúni hill. Some of the ruins are previously known, but have until now been dismissed as the remains of a small, irrelevant settlement, said Robin Rönnlund, the head of the group. Speaking to The Local, he said: "It feels great. I think it is incredibly big, because it's something thought to be a small village that turns out to be a city, with a structured network of streets and a square." The area inside the city wall measures over 40 hectares. The team discovered finds, including ancient pottery and coins, dating back to around 500 BC during their first two weeks of field work in September. After that period, the city is believed to have flourished from the fourth to third century BC, before it was abandoned – possibly when the Romans conquered the area. Remains of walls, city gates and towers have been found on the hill and the team plans to find out what is hidden beneath the surface, by using ground-penetrating radar rather than excavation, at a second field project starting in August next year. They believe the answer could provide more clues about life in this era.
ROYAUME UNI – - Barlaston – More than 2,000 Roman artefacts including coins have been declared treasure after being unearthed in Barlaston. Metal detectorist made the discovery in a field. His find in 2015 included more than 2,000 items which were sent to Dr Richard Hobbs, curator at the British Museum in London, for analysis. He confirmed 2,015 pieces – including rare coins – were of Roman origin from around 37AD. A piece of copper alloy metal, an iron tool and a crucible of lead were also uncovered but were found to be of a much later date. Teresa Gilmore, finds liaison officer for the West Midlands, said: "The coins would likely have been a farmer's savings that he buried in the field or could have been a donation to the gods. We don't get many finds like this in the Staffordshire area."
AUSTRALIE – Perth - The site of the James Matthews is being photographed to create a detailed three-dimensional model of the shipwreck. It is hoped the work will eventually help determine new ways of protecting it and other shipwrecks as well as ways to test new techniques and methods. The James Matthews was first discovered in 1973 lying largely buried in sand in shallow waters two-to-three-metres-deep, less than 200 metres off Woodman Point, just south of Fremantle. It had sunk there after slipping its anchor during a storm and hitting rocks in July 1841. At the time, the snow brig was a merchant vessel, and had travelled from London laden with farm equipment and construction material for the newly established Swan River colony.
PALESTINE – Jéricho - The face of a man who lived 9,500 years ago in the Biblical city of Jericho has been reconstructed based on extensive new analysis of the "Jericho Skull," which is the oldest portrait in The British Museum. The Jericho Skull is a face modeled in plaster over the man's actual skull, which has now come to life in the vivid reconstruction described in the latest issue of British Archaeology. The man's identity remains unknown, but researchers think he could have held elite status, perhaps as a revered community elder. The Jericho Skull was one of seven discovered together by famed British archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon (1906–1978) during excavations in 1953 at Jericho, a city now located in the Palestinian Territories near the Jordan River in the West Bank. The other skulls are distributed at museums across the globe.
ARMENIE – Pokr Vedi - Numerous clusters of Roman pottery that we have discovered this year south of the village Pokr Vedi may indicate the presence of the Romans in this area. If the theory of the young Polish researchers is supported by evidence - it will be the first confirmed Roman military camp in present-day Armenia. During the last season, archaeologists completed the first stage of research consisting in conducting surface surveys, loose line passing through the fields in search of objects on the surface. One of its results was the discovery tens of fragments of ancient pottery. They come from the turn of the I and II century AD, the time in which a military camp could have existed in the region. Today's Armenia became part of the Roman Empire only temporarily in the second century AD, as a result of Emperor Trajan's wars with the Parthians. Evidence of the presence of Legionnaires in the area of the contemporary village Pokr Vedi includes a monumental Latin inscription engraved on a few stone slabs. They could have been originally installed on a building facade. Archaeologists discovered these unique monuments in 1967. Large amounts of damaged ceramic vessels, which Polish researchers found this year, were in the vicinity of that discovery. The next step, scheduled for early next year, will be research with geophysical methods within a specific area. As a result, without driving a shovel into the ground, archaeologists might be able to see the remains of walls and moats hiding underground. The Polish team also used another modern documentary method - a camera mounted under a drone.
AFRIQUE DU SUD – Porterville - At the base of a steep outcrop near the small South African town of Porterville, outside Cape Town, is a painting of a wooden ship. Its masts and rigging are clearly visible, traced on a lined and rutted rock surface. Three flags blow to the left; a fourth blows to the right. This suggests that the artist did not fully understand sailing technology, an incongruity that can be readily explained. Archaeologists believe that the ship represents an extremely rare record of encroaching colonial activity, painted by someone whose ancestral land was being wrested away. Today, the painting footnotes an era of conquest that had devastating consequences for local people.