14 JUIN 2016 NEWS: Sambor Prei Kuk - Gammarth - Reading - South Ronaldsay - Göbeklitepe - Oxford - Côte Lebel -
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SUMMER TERM : JULY 2016
CAMBODGE – Sambor Prei Kuk - In a new report, due to be published today in the Journal of Archaeological Science, Australian archaeologist Damian Evans detailed the “incredible” discoveries unearthed through the Cambodian Archaeological Lidar Initiative (CALI). The latest data from lidar – an airborne laser scanning technology attached to helicopters – from 2015 unveiled the entirety of Mahendraparvata, an ancient Khmer city that stretched up to 50 square kilometres around Siem Reap province’s Phnom Kulen. Only a fraction of the city had been uncovered in scans from 2012. For Evans, a major breakthrough was the clarity lidar gave to Phreah Khan around Kampong Thom province’s Kampong Svay district – far from being sparsely inhabited, the data revealed a thriving city. The new finds challenge dominant perceptions of the “collapse” of the Khmer Empire in the 15th century, often ascribed to a Thai sacking of the civilisation. The scans supported the theory of a gradual decline, rather than a sudden mass movement of hundreds of thousands of urbanites; evidence which Evans believes points to continued vitality for centuries at Angkor. The breakdown of the water management system at the end of the Angkor period had a significant role to play in a much more gradual demographic decline
TUNISIE – Gammarth - An important archaeological finding has been made near Carthage. During renovation work on a cinema school in Gammarth, Christian catacombs dating back to the third century AD were discovered, said the director of excavations from the National Institute of Tunisian heritage (Inp), Fethi Bejaoui, adding that it is a first in this area of Tunisia. Christian catacombs were discovered in the past in Sousse, Bekalta and Salakta, but never in Carthage. The city in the third century AD was the capital of the Roman Empire in Africa.
ROYAUME UNI – Reading - Researchers look for tomb of William the Conqueror’s fourth son, whose remains are believed to have been buried in local abbey. The first encouraging bleeps have been heard in Fr John O’Shea’s back garden inReading, as a radar team begins the search for underground structures that could reveal the grave of another lost king: Henry I, fourth son of William the Conqueror. Henry I died in France in 1136 – famously, according to his physician, from gorging on “a surfeit of lampreys” – but his body was sent back for burial in the abbey he founded, stitched into a bull’s hide. The presbytery and the neighbouring Victorian Roman Catholic church were built over the ruins of one of the grandest abbeys of medieval England, Henry’s royal foundation, whose church was larger than Durham Cathedral. It is no surprise that Edward Cox and his team are receiving radar signals suggesting buried medieval stonework: O’Shea keeps his bins neatly tucked behind a 20ft column of flint that was once part of the choir arches, further screened by a waist-high heap of stone that has fallen from it. The excitement is because his garden, and the playground of the neighbouring Forbury Gardens Day Nursery, are the closest open ground to the probable site of the high altar where Henry was buried. More abbey remains are known to lie under Reading prison, including under its car park, and under the burial ground for the executed men described by its most famous prisoner, Oscar Wilde. Many other royal burials followed, including Henry’s second wife, and the infant son of his successor, his nephew Stephen. Reading remained a royal favourite even after the dissolution of the monasteries, part of the abbey buildings becoming a palace where Elizabeth I often stayed, until it was sacked in the civil war.
ROYAUME UNI – South Ronaldsay - A team of archaeologists, led by Orkney College lecturer Martin Carruthers, return to an Iron Age settlement in South Ronaldsay tomorrow, Monday. The 2016 excavation — the tenth season on site — at The Cairns begins on Monday, June 13, and ends on July 8. One of the main priorities this year will be to find out more about the underground “well” structure found in the closing days of last year’s dig. Overlooking Windwick Bay, The Cairns is a massive archaeological jigsaw puzzle, with a sequence of Iron Age buildings, representing centuries of use, clustered around a massive, well-preserved broch.
TURQUIE – Göbeklitepe - The ancient site of Göbeklitepe, one of the world’s most important archaeological sites and on UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Sites, will be closed to visitors between June 13 and Dec. 31, according to a written statement made by the Culture and Tourism Ministry. The statement said the construction of two protective roof coverings and the implementation of a revival center project are planned for the ancient settlement in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa.
ROYAUME UNI – Oxford - Archaeologists in Oxford are up for a national award after a literally groundbreaking dig at the Westgate Shopping Centre. It focused on both the 19th century housing of St Ebbes and later the remains of the Franciscan friary, which was home to the Greyfriars before they fled England during the Reformation. Oxford Archaeology used cutting-edge technology to build a picture of what the site would have looked like in its day. Project director Ben Ford added: “We are still on site and uncovering some wonderful archaeology, such as a beautiful 13th-century decorated tile pavement. his rare survival formed the floor of the Cloister Walk and would have been seen a serious amount of foot-traffic over its 300 years of use. Teams on the ground used drones to take pictures and also created 3D computer models of the dig site, where archaeologists painstakingly uncovered the friary’s church, kitchens, dormitory, toilet block, dining hall, storage areas, cloisters and chapter house. Several parts of the structure were well-preserved.
CANADA - Côte Lebel - Une équipe de chercheurs de l’Université de Montréal, en collaboration avec l’organisme Archéo-Mamu Côte-Nord, tente de déterminer si une épave située au large de Côte Lebel sur la Côte-Nord serait celle du navire marchand Sainte-Anne, échoué en Nouvelle-France il y a plus de 300 ans. Le navire marchand Sainte-Anne était utilisé pour faire du commerce entre la Nouvelle-France, la France et les Antilles. Lors de son dernier voyage, il aurait transporté des fourrures de l’Amérique vers l’Europe, avec un détour par les Antilles. Il ne s’est toutefois jamais rendu à destination, s’étant échoué sur la batture de Manicouagan en 1704. Des analyses plus approfondies seront toutefois nécessaires afin de déterminer si l’épave est bien celle du navire de 1704 :« Nous avons cependant besoin d’obtenir plus de preuves quant à l’identité de l’épave, car plusieurs autres naufrages sont survenus dans le même secteur et il est possible que le navire en question ne soit pas le Sainte-Anne. C’est pourquoi nous allons procéder cette année à ce qu’on appelle dans le jargon des archéologues une « analyse dendrochronologique » sur les pièces de la coque. Cela consiste à prélever des échantillons de bois sur l’épave et à les comparer à une base de données pour obtenir une datation à l’année près. En étudiant les anneaux de croissance du bois, nous pourrons connaître la date d’abattage des arbres et le lieu d’où ils proviennent en Europe. », mentionne Mathieu Mercier Gingras, étudiant en archéologie aux cycles supérieurs de l’Université de Montréal dans un communiqué. En l’absence de routes terrestres, la voie maritime était la principale porte d’entrée vers l’Amérique au moment de l’exploration du continent par les colons européens.