15 AVRIL 2016 NEWS: Yalda - Mexico - Ninive - Culloden moor - Faliron -
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IRAN – Yalda - An archeological dig at Yalda Hill in Sistan has unearthed 5,000-year-old kilns with a capacity for the surplus production of ceramics. The Shahrvand daily reported on Wednesday April 13 that the archeological team consisted of 25 archeology graduates headed by Hosseinali Kavosh, supervisor of the fourth season of archeological excavations from Zabol University.Kavosh stated that the discovery of the kilns indicates that the settlers of the hill had the capacity to produce ceramics beyond their own needs and perhaps exported them to other settlements. He added that in addition to the kiln, they have uncovered five architectural spaces, unique human and animal statuettes, seals, woven mats and counting tools.Sistan-Baluchsitan in southeastern Iran has been the site of several ancient archeological discoveries.
MEXIQUE – Mexico - Archaeologists have found a massive stone slab covering the tomb of one of the first Catholic priests in Mexico following the 1521 Spanish conquest, a grave sunk into the floor of what appears to be an Aztec temple. The discovery suggests the extent to which the Spanish re-used the temples of the Aztec capital in the first years after capturing it. The huge slab was uncovered in recent days at the site of the now-disappeared first cathedral of Mexico City, built in 1524 yards from the current cathedral that replaced it in the 1620s. The nearly 2-meter-long slab was sunk into the same level of the stucco floor of what appears to be an Aztec temple. The cathedral was simply built over the temple and apparently used the same floor. The Spaniards apparently gave the floor only a thin coat of lime white-wash before using it for their church. ‘‘The Spaniards, Hernan Cortes and his followers, made use of the pre-Hispanic structures, the temples, the foundations, the floors,’’ said Raul Barrera, an archaeologist for the government’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. ‘‘They even used the walls, the floors. They couldn’t destroy everything all at once.’’ The name of priest Miguel de Palomares was found carved on the slab. Archaeologists must still confirm it his burial place, and hope to find his remains when they lift the stone slab in the coming weeks. De Palomares was a prominent priest who died in 1542 and was buried inside the old cathedral, apparently near an altar. Barrera said stones near one end of the slab appear to be part of that altar. Within 30 years after his burial, the first cathedral was already deemed too small and in bad shape to serve the thriving new colony. The second cathedral was built next to it between 1573 and the 1620s, when the old cathedral was torn down and, apparently, quickly forgotten. At some time before Mexico gained its independence in 1821, someone drilled a hole into the ground where the tomb stands and sank a wooden post or a cross into the tomb. The capstone slab bears a hole where the post stood and the stone is fractured into two parts, perhaps as a result. Archaeologists have long known the Spaniards often appeared to prefer to build their churches atop Aztec temples, but it was thought that was for symbolic purposes, to signal the displacement of old Aztec gods by the Christian church. But it may also have been a practical decision, as the pre-Hispanic temples had good foundations, walls and floors that the Spaniards could use, saving them the trouble of building new ones. The grave slab was found by accident, when engineers were trying to dig foundations for lamp posts to illuminate the current cathedral.
IRAQ – Ninive - The Islamic State has destroyed another archaeological treasure – the ancient Mashqi Gate in the biblical city of Nineveh, adjacent to modern Mosul, Iraq, reported United Press International. Nineveh, once capital of the ancient Assyrian empire and then-largest city in the ancient world – its walls so thick chariots could race along the top – was synonymous with wickedness according to the biblical record. The Prophet Jonah reluctantly, but successfully, preached a message of repentance there after spending three days in the belly of a fish. A prophesied judgment against the city – “Nineveh is laid waste!” – described in detail its coming destruction in 612 B.C. Six centuries later, Jesus declared those of his generation who ignored Him would be judged by the men of Nineveh who had repented at the warning of Jonah. The Mashqi Gate, excavated in the 1960s and subsequently restored, dated back to the 7th century B.C. during the reign of King Sennacherib, also mentioned in the Bible. Sennacherib invaded Judah in 705 B.C. during the reign of the Jewish King Hezekiah and laid siege to the city of Jerusalem – an event so momentous, it is told in three different places in Scripture. Sennacherib himself recorded the military expedition in a bas-relief along the walls of his palace, located near the now destroyed Mashqi Gate. Those original artifacts are safely displayed today in the British Museum.
ROYAUME UNI – Culloden moor - Archaeologists from the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) employed cutting-edge laser scanning technology to provide a detailed model of Culloden moor. In April 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie's tartan-clad and lightly armed Highland warriors lost heavily to the Duke of Cumberland's vast Hanoverian army of redcoats on the bleak moorland, effectively ending the Jacobite uprising and the Stuart's claim to the throne. To mark the 270th anniversary of the slaughter, the NTS employed state-of-the-art LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) equipment to reveal the full details of site, close to Inverness.
GRECE – Faliron Delta - Archaeologists conducting excavations at the Faliron Delta, southern Athens, have discovered a mass grave dating to antiquity, the Greek ANA-MPA news agency reported on Thursday. According to reports, the grave contains 80 bodies. The bodies were placed side by side and some were shackled, archaeologist Stella Chrysoulaki from the Ephorate of Piraeus, Western Attica and the Islands, noted during a presentation on Wednesday. The skeletons appear to be those of young men. The discovery of two trefoil jugs dating to the third quarter of the 7th century BC near the bodies may connect the grave’s findings to the Cylonian affair, the archaeologist noted. The excavations were being funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.