15 DECEMBRE 2017 NEWS: Drumnadrochit - Assouan - Huarmey - Durham - Rayannapeta - Kisar -
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ROYAUME UNI – Drumnadrochit - Archaeologists say they are finding increasing evidence that a site near Loch Ness was important for burials in the Bronze Age. A second 4,000-year-old grave has been located in an area being developed in Drumnadrochit where a stone-lined grave known as a cist was found in 2015. The discovery two years ago included human remains. The latest grave had filled with soil causing degradation to the pit, but a single Beaker pot was found. Archaeologists said the decorated pot may have held an offering to the person who was buried in the cist. Historically, there was a large cairn shown on maps of the area but you can imagine that centuries of ploughing in these fields have removed any upstanding reminders of prehistoric occupation. The archaeologist added: "During the work, we actually found a displaced capstone from another grave that either has not survived or has not yet been discovered.
EGYPTE – Assouan - Egypt's Antiquities Ministry says archaeologists have uncovered four intact burial sites, part of a cemetery and an incomplete statue in different areas in the southern city of Aswan. The burial sites are for children and date back to the 18th dynasty, some 3,500 years ago. They include wooden coffins and funerary furniture. The ministry also said archaeologists have uncovered part of a cemetery including mud-brick tombs from the First Intermediate Period. Another mission unearthed a headless statue carved in limestone dating to the Greco-Roman era. The statue's feet and right hand are missing but preliminary studies show it is dressed like the Greek goddess of virginity, wilderness and hunt, "Artemis."
PEROU – El Castillo de Huarmey - Archaeologists have learned a great deal about “the Huarmey Queen” in the five years since they discovered the tomb at El Castillo de Huarmey in Peru and found her body inside. They’ve learned that she was from the pre-Incan Wari culture and she lived about 12 centuries ago. They know that she lived past the age of 60, and that though she was just one of 58 noblewomen — including four queens or princesses — who were found in the remarkably untouched tomb, she was clearly special among them. Her body, surrounded by jewelry, gold ear flares, a copper ceremonial ax, a silver goblet and weaving tools fashioned from gold, was found in a private chamber. Her skeleton revealed that she had a strong upper body and spent most of life seated, indicating that she had been a weaver — a position of great renown among the Wari, who revered textiles more than gold and silver.Early this year, National Geographic archaeologist Miłosz Giersz, who co-discovered the tomb with Peruvian archaeologist Roberto Pimentel Nita, asked Swedish archaeologist Oscar Nilsson if he could reconstruct the Huarmey Queen’s face.
ROYAUME UNI – - Durham - The face of a 17th century Scottish prisoner of war who died after being captured by Cromwell’s troops has been revealed using the latest digital technology. The soldier was among 3,000 marched south in 1650 following the short but bloody Battle of Dunbar to the then-abandoned Durham Cathedral. In 2013, between 17 and 28 skeletons were found in a mass grave close to the cathedral and Durham University experts carried out extensive research on the remains to identify who they were. Archaeologists have collaborated with Liverpool John Moores University’s Face Lab specialists – who used sophisticated software to create a digital image of what one of the soldiers looked like. They took parts of the skull of one of the soldiers, a man aged 18-25 known as Skeleton 22, carefully rebuilt them and then made a scan to work from to rebuild his face. What emerged on screen was a wide-mouthed man with a strong nose and he has been depicted wearing a blue bonnet and the brown jacket typical of a Scottish solider of the time. Bone testing has revealed Skeleton 22 had suffered periods of poor nutrition while growing up in south-west Scotland. Around 1,700 prisoners died in Durham and their remains could be buried around what is now a World Heritage site. Some of those who survived were transported to the US and Barbados, while others were set to work in mines. Once the studies have been completed in 2018, the remains of all the skeletons will be buried in a local churchyard. After Oliver Cromwell’s unexpected victory over Scottish forces who supported Charles II, around 6,000 were captured, with 1,000 of the sickest being freed. A further 1,000 of the hungry, defeated soldiers died on the gruelling march south, while many escaped and some were shot for refusing to walk further.
INDE – Rayannapeta - For the first time in South India, archaeological authorities have found rare multi-colour semi-precious stone beads in large quantities during ongoing excavations at a megalithic burial site at Rayannapeta of Yetapaka mandal in East Godavari. As many as 69 beads of crystal, carnelian and chalcedony with red, white and blue-brown colour combination were found and they were dated back to fourth or fifth century BC. Each bead is six mm in diameter with three mm thickness. Carrying out excavation at the disturbed burial site, the authorities have found a good number of beads just 20 to 30 cm below the earth’s surface. According to the authorities, discovering semi-precious stone beads belonging to neolithic period in such a large number and that too at one place is very rare, though beads in small number were found earlier in other places. The archaeological authorities have been carrying out excavations at mega-lithic burials dated between 1,000 BC to third century AD in the Polavaram project affected areas in order to relocate, restore and preserve the stone inscriptions, idols of local deities and historically significant artefacts for the benefit of the people. In the process of doing so, they have found a rare collection of beads and have secured them.
INDONESIE – Kisar - On a speck of an Indonesian island, a team of archaeologists from the Australian National University in Canberra have uncovered a cache of incredible ancient cave paintings. The 28 rock sites housing the paintings were found on an island called Kisar, which has, until now, remained uncharted. The motifs in these paintings suggest that they were created during the Bronze Age, approximately 2500 years ago. They hold a plethora of historical information about the region’s trade and cultural practices. The island was part of a vibrant spice trade, which is hinted at in the artwork, with illustrations of boats, horses and ceremonial drums. The works share a feature found on paintings on nearby Timor-Leste – a protocol of depicting humans and animals only 10 centimetres high. Strikingly, these small but dynamic depictions also bear resemblance to those found in north Vietnam and south China, which are assumed to be from the same period. This points to the fact that all these regions were interacting and trading with each other, leading to an exchange of artistic expression. Sue O’Connor led the expedition and the findings were published in Cambridge Journal of Archaeology, published in Cambridge Journal of Archaeology.