15 - 16 AOÛT 2010


 - 16 AOÛT :

 - OCEANIE : Vanuatu - Humans helped drive a species of giant turtle to extinction almost 3,000 years ago. An Australian research team discovered turtle leg bones - but not shells or skulls - on an island of Vanuatu. The bones date to just 200 years after humans' arrival, suggesting they were hunted to extinction for their meat. While Australian megafauna is thought to have died out almost 50,000 years ago, it appears that these turtles survived for far longer - until the arrival of a people known as the Lapita.


 - PAKISTAN : Pakistan’s devastating floods are now threatening ancient archaeological sites. There is danger to the 5,000-year-old Moenjodaro and Aamri archaeological sites. Aamri is exposed to greater danger because the river Indus flows along this ancient town. There is also a major canal and any overflow of water there would submerge this town. There is already pressure on its banks and danger is severe.


 - RUSSIE - Krapivna - A large settlement of the 14th-15th centuries has been discovered in the course of archaeological works in the vicinity of Krapivna. Excavations were carried out by workers of the Kulikovo Field museum. The finds are really unique - fragments of pottery, clay crocks, and other exhibits make it possible for researchers to describe thoroughly the living of inhabitants of Krapivna in the 15th century. According to the museum workers, the settlement used to be a suburb of ancient Krapivna. At that time Krapivna was a southern outpost of the Moscow State, and in 1613 the town was destroyed by Ataman Zarutsky.


 - ISRAËL : Mer Morte - When Israeli archaeologists began excavating caves near the Dead Sea, they found a real treasure: nine rare silver coins that are believed to date back to a failed Jewish rebellion against the Romans in the second century A.D. The Associated Press reports that archaeological finds relating to the three-year rebellion are rare, and these coins help tell the story of the families that Shimon Bar Kochba led into the caves of the Judean Desert at the end of the second Jewish uprising against the Romans to escape brutal repression--a move that resulted in their exile. One of the nine coins is particularly rare. Called the Petra Drachma, it is a half-ounce of silver and is the largest Jewish coin ever issued. AP notes that one side of the coin shows Jerusalem's second Jewish temple, destroyed by the Romans during the first Jewish rebellion in the year 70. The other side shows another important Jewish symbol, the image of four plants, known as the four species, used during ceremonies for the festival of Sukkot.


 -U.S.A. : Lawton -  The discovery of the exact location of a stockade and dozens of personal artifacts belonging to its Union prisoners is one of the biggest archaeological Civil War finds in decades. Outside of scholars and Civil War buffs, few people have heard of the Confederacy's Camp Lawton, which replaced the infamous and overcrowded Andersonville prison in fall 1864. For nearly 150 years, its exact location was not known. Life at Lawton, described as "foul and fetid," wasn't much better than at Andersonville, with the exception of plentiful water from Magnolia Springs. In its six weeks' existence, between 725 and 1,330 men died at the prison camp. The 42-acre stockade held about 10,000 men before it was hastily closed when Union forces approached.


 - REP. TCHEQUE : Hradiste -  Czech archaeologists were surprised at uncovering an unharmed hen´s egg at the burial site of Hradiste, a 9th-century Great Moravia settlement. Until recently, Hradiste was on the margin of researchers´ interest. Only four years ago it turned out that it is one of the largest Great Moravian burial sites with the number of graves estimated at 1500.The archaeologists have uncovered 350 of them so far, finding early medieval jewelry and weapons, along with human remains. The unharmed egg is a rarity among the finds. People in Great Moravia often put eggs in graves, but all eggs fell apart after some time. The "Hradiste egg" was put in a pot in which it survived unharmed for centuries. While taken out, the egg´s shell was slightly damaged. The content has been preserved but it is dry.



 - SUISSE : Lausanne -  Dans leur labo lausannois, des limiers tentent de percer les mystères de nos ancêtres celtes. Chaque objet issu de fouilles est analysé pour savoir pourquoi ils pratiquaient le sacrifice humain. Il s’agit des découvertes du site du Mormont, à Eclépens, près de La Sarraz, qui révolutionnent l’archéologie celtique. Les objets arrachés à la fouille sont directement acheminés vers le laboratoire. Là, les restaurateurs effectuent un premier tri. Les objets sont restés pendant des siècles dans le même milieu et sans contact avec l’air ambiant. En sortant de terre, ils subissent un choc qui peut leur être fatal. La priorité absolue: les objets en matière organique, os, cuir, bois. Il faut à tout prix les lyophiliser rapidement ou les plonger dans un bain, sans quoi ils tombent en poussière. Les objets en fer nécessitent également un traitement d’urgence. En contact avec l’humidité ambiante, ils peuvent exploser. Il faut les dessaler. C’est une opération lente: ils séjournent dans un bain chimique pendant six mois à 40 degrés. Ensuite, le fer est patiemment sablé et apparaît progressivement à la lumière. Le bronze et la céramique peuvent attendre un peu. Mais il faut aussi compter avec l’impatience des archéologues qui trépignent de voir et d’analyser ce qu’ils ont découvert.


 - U.S.A. : Malvern - Young and strapping, the 57 Irish immigrants began grueling work in the summer of 1832 on the Philadelphia and Columbia railroad. Within weeks, all were dead of cholera. Or were they murdered? Two skulls unearthed at a probable mass grave near Philadelphia this month showed signs of violence, including a possible bullet hole. Another pair of skulls found earlier at the woodsy site also displayed traumas, seeming to confirm the suspicions of two historians leading the archaeological dig. Anti-Irish sentiment made 19th-century America a hostile place for the workers, who lived amid wilderness in a shanty near the railroad tracks.  One victim has been tentatively identified, pending DNA tests.



 - TURQUIE : Golmarmara - A group of American archeologists found ruins of four ancient castles dated back to the 2nd century B.C. in western Turkey. Findings indicate that the castle could belong to the Arzawan kingdoms of Seha River Land. We believe that the castles constituted a settlement network. One of them could be the biggest castle built in western Anatolia during the period.


 - FRANCE : Marsal - Les fouilles archéologiques de Marsal mettent au jour la présence d’un site industriel exceptionnel dédié à l’exploitation du sel. Une opération à terre ouverte à laquelle assistent trois Chinois envoyés par l’université de Pékin. Un partenariat est né il y a trois ans, lorsque des sites similaires à celui de Marsal ont été découverts en Orient. Accumulation de briquetage issu d’antiques fourneaux, poteries du même type en témoignent. L’industrie du sel en Chine est plus ancienne (environ 1 200 ans avant JC). Céramiques domestiques, moules, bijoux, briquetage, outils ont déjà fait surface et sont datés entre 800 et 500 av JC.


 - 15 AOÛT :

 - HAWAII : Moku'ula - The team excavated an edge of the sacred island that was buried almost 100 years ago, and found rock walls and a spruce-wood pier once used to launch the canoes of Hawaiian royalty. The pier probably dates to the 1840s, when the island was occupied by Kamehameha III. Dating to a time when spring-fed canals flowed through Lahaina, and much of the area was a wetland, Moku'ula was a man-made island in the center of a pond that served as the cultural and spiritual center of the Hawaiian kingdom.


 - GUYANNE : Kabakaburi - Archaeologists have been making groundbreaking discoveries in Guyana in recent years, including unearthing the remains of a whale, a giant porpoise and a rock fish, all of which could be about 10,000 years old.  Another significant discovery is that of pottery, perhaps as old as 5,000 years, at Kabakaburi in the Pomeroon. The artifacts are among the oldest ever found in the Americas. The vessels found were of vast variety and included bowls and globular objects, the majority of which were fired and glazed.  Most of the pottery was plain while some had designs on it, Plew says. Importantly, further evidence was found to debunk initial views that the persons who occupied this area had settled there permanently.


 - SYRIE : Tal Shamia - Syrian Excavation Team discovers several archaeological findings dating back to Hellenistic and Old Bronze ages at Tal Shamia, 7km, north Ugarit in Lattakia Province, is based on a rocky mountainous area next to al-Arab River.Syrian Assistant Director of Excavation at Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums, Ahmed Farzat Taraqji, said excavation works aim at cleaning the tombs engraved into rock and draw their architectural projections to get some indications about their history.The mission's works could identify the eras of the finds: -Small architectural parts belong to the Hellenistic age. -Remains of clay jars similar to those found in Ugarit belonging to the middle Bronze Age were found at the southern part of the site. -Remains of clay jars belonging to the Old Bronze Age were found in the southern part of the site. - Human Skeletons belonging to the Third Bronze Age were found in the north-west of the sits. Taraqji said the finds indicate that the site was first inhabited in 2600 BC with coincidence of the second construction boom emerged in the Near East.