14 JUIN 2020 NEWS
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SUMMER TERM : JULY 2020
POLOGNE – Elbląg - Archaeologists conducting ground penetrating radar surveys of Elbląg Castle in Poland have traced the foundations of a tower from the outer bailey. The castle was constructed by the Teutonic Order of Knights around AD 1246 and served as the official seat of the Teutonic Order Masters. After the Knights were defeated in the Thirteen Year’s War, the castle was destroyed in AD 1454 leaving only the Teutonic cellars and some of the outer bailey walls surviving.
ISLANDE - Stöð - A Viking Age excavation in East Iceland is revealing a more nuanced history of the settlement of Iceland, involving seasonal settlements, wealthy longhouses, and walrus hunting long before the island was settled permanently. The site, known as Stöð and located in Stöðvarfjörður fjord, shows human presence in Iceland decades before AD 874, the accepted date for when Iceland was permanently settled. The longhouse is among the largest found in Iceland, 31.4m (103ft) long. “It is also the richest longhouse ever excavated in Iceland. We have found 92 beads and 29 silver objects, including Roman and Middle-Eastern coins.” The bead horde at Stöð is twice as large as the next two largest found in Iceland combined. In fact, it is one of the very largest ever found at a Viking-Age site in all of Scandinavia. Even more interestingly, the farm is built on the ruins of an even older longhouse. “It was built inside the fallen walls of the older structure that appears to have been huge, at least 40m (131ft) long.” To put this in context, the largest longhouses found in Scandinavia measure 50m (164ft). “It also appears to be at least as old as the oldest structures we have previously excavated in Iceland. Based on radiocarbon dating and other evidence, I estimate this structure dates to around 800 AD.” Bjarni’s theory is that the older longhouse was a seasonal hunting camp. He believes such camps were operated in other parts of Iceland as well. Seasonal camps would have played a vital role in the settlement of Iceland, extracting valuable resources and thus financing further exploration and settlement. Recent paleoecological research suggests the valuable resource that drew them there was walrus ivory.
INDE – Nayagarh - Remains of an ancient temple have been discovered from the Mahanadi river in Bhapur block of Nayagarh district of Odisha. The development occurred during the documentary project of Mahanadi Valley Heritage Sites. It is being said that the temple is at least 500 years old. The 60-feet high temple has an idol of Lord Gopinath (Vishnu). Its structure can be estimated to be of the 15th or 16th century. According to locals, there used to be a village named Padmavati here in the 1800s. Due to frequent floods in the Mahanadi, this village submerged in the river. People moved to a higher place, but some of the art and culture of the village sank in the river. People say that it is part of the ancient Gopinath temple. According to the researchers, the place where this temple is found is called Satpatana. There used to be seven villages here and people from those villages used to worship Lord Vishnu in this temple. Padmavati village was also one of these seven villages. Later, due to repeated floods in the river, the village got engulfed in the river and the people here settled in high places. It is also being said that in the village named Borehi in the 1800s, a temple got absorbed in the river in a similar situation
CHINE – Xinjiang - Archaeologists discovered the ruins of an ancient settlement site dating back 3,500 years ago in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The site corresponds to the Bronze Age (3,000 BC-1,200 BC). It was discovered recently when archaeologists conducted a rescue excavation of a 2,000-year-old tomb group of the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD).
SRI LANKA - Fa-Hien Lena cave - Researchers have unveiled new evidence showing that early humans living in Sri Lanka around 48,000 years ago crafted hunting tools from animal bones. Beads, awls used to make clothing or nets, and arrowheads were found at the Fa-Hien Lena cave in southwest Sri Lanka. The discovery is the oldest evidence of archery to be found in the region and potentially all of Eurasia, according to a report published Friday in the journal Science Advances. Fa-Hien Lena is also the site of the earliest fossil appearance of Homo sapiens in South Asia. Some of the bones in Fa-Hien Lena had already been made into tools, giving the researchers a clearer picture of how they were used and for what. "The fractures on the points indicate damage through high-powered impact -- something usually seen in the use of bow-and-arrow hunting of animals," Griffith University's Michelle Langley said. "This evidence is earlier than similar findings in Southeast Asia 32,000 years ago." While at Fa-Hien Lena, the archaeologists uncovered a total of 130 projectile points. Fractures and wear patterns on the points were then magnified under the lens of a microscope, making it clear they were too short and heavy to be used as blowgun darts. In addition, the team noted that the length of the projectile points increased over time. They believed this showed that hunters eventually moved on to hunt larger game for their meals. But weapons weren't the only relics discovered. The cave yielded decorative beads made from mineral ochre, shark teeth and marine snail shells. They estimated the beads are likely around 45,000 years old. Roberts believes the beads are proof that the early humans in Sri Lanka were trading goods with other populations, developing social networks.
BULGARIE – Bourgas - A Thracian pit sanctuary estimated to date from the fifth to the fourth century BCE has been found by archaeologists in Bulgaria’s southern Black Sea city of Bourgas. The find was made in the Izgrev complex in the city after archaeological excavations at the site began on May 26 2020. Currently, 14 ritual pits are being studied and at least 10 more have been found. Items found include fragments of ceramic vessels, including bowls and amphorae. There are human and animal bones in the pits, as well as coal. No finds of metal objects have been made at this stage. Miroslav Klasnakov of the Regional Historical Museum in Bourgas said that close to 80 per cent of the pottery found at the site was handmade and was certainly the work of local inhabitants, Thracian tribal communities. The dating of the materials found indicates the fifth to the fourth century BCE. “Probably the fragments of the amphorae will expand the chronology to the third century BCE,” Klasnakov said.
KAZAKHSTAN – Zaïssan - Les anciennes routes de la Soie passaient-elles par les steppes du Kazakhstan ? Le 8 juin dernier, l’agence de presse kazakhe Kazinform a rapporté que des restes de fortifications médiévales avaient été trouvés dans le district de Zaïssan, situé dans la province du Kazakhstan-Oriental. Selon l’archéologue Abdech Toleoubaïev, qui dirige les fouilles sur le site, ces fortifications auraient pu servir de caravansérails le long de l’itinéraire nord des routes de la Soie. En direction de l’est, cet itinéraire traversait probablement la chaîne du Tarbagataï, avant de suivre le cours du fleuve Irtych jusqu’en Chine. L’expédition a permis de mettre au jour deux ensembles de fortifications, distants d’une petite trentaine de kilomètres. D’après Abdech Toleoubaïev, cité par le média kazakh Inbusiness.kz, le premier ensemble, situé quatre kilomètres au nord du village de Sarijira, comprend des remparts et plusieurs cours, formant un carré de 130 mètres de côté. Des restes de tours peuvent être distingués aux angles du quadrilatère. Le second ensemble est de taille plus conséquente, mais sa configuration n’a pas été précisée. Ces constructions, qui se sont effondrées au fil du temps, n’ont pas encore été exactement datées. Néanmoins, l’archéologue estime qu’elles ont été bâties entre les Vème et XIIème siècles. Comme l’a rapporté Kazinform, des vases en céramique, de la vaisselle et un couteau en cuivre, ainsi que des fragments de bijoux en pierre, ont notamment été repérés par les archéologues.
KAZAKHSTAN - Aïagouz / Tarbagataï - La mission archéologique a trouvé plusieurs sites funéraires dans les districts d’Aïagouz et de Tarbagataï, tous deux situés à l’ouest du district de Zaïssan. Selon Abdech Toleoubaïev, cité par , ces sites, vieux de moins de 5 000 ans, datent principalement de la fin de l’âge du bronze et du début de l’âge du fer. Le plus grand « kourgane » (tumulus) découvert mesure 4,5 mètres de hauteur, pour un diamètre de 45 mètres. Au total, les archéologues ont découvert plus de 150 monuments funéraires de tailles et d’époques différentes dans ces deux districts. Plusieurs monuments présentent des traces d’effractions et de pillages.
IRLANDE – Lisacul - Un écolier de 12 ans, a découvert accidentellement un bateau en bois d’environ 5 mètres de long, alors qu’il faisait du kayak sur un lac, à l’arrière de son jardin à Lisacul (Co. Roscommon). Le bateau, était alors partiellement enfoui dans la boue, mais a réussi à éveiller l’attention du jeune irlandais, sa pagaie ayant heurté une partie de l’embarcation. Les archéologues ont immédiatement émis l’hypothèse que ce bateau pourrait dater de l’ère néolithique… Une quasi certitude, d’autant plus que Lisacul, possèderait déjà de nombreux vestiges préhistoriques, dont un crannóg (une île artificielle utilisée comme habitation à l’époque) présent sur le même lac où a été découvert le bateau, et de 7 ringforts (forts préhistoriques circulaires), entourant la ville de Lisacul. Il y a donc fort à parier que la datation du bateau découvert soit issu des mêmes époques. Toutefois, les archéologues ont fait le choix de replacer le bateau au fond de l’eau, afin d’éviter que ce dernier ne se détériore à l’air libre. De futures recherches sur cette découverte seront planifiées.