15 JUILLET 2013 NEWS: Amasya - Yoros Castle - Shillington - Christchurch - Caherduggan - Williamsburg - An Grianan Ailigh - Smyrne -






TURQUIEn-50658-4.jpg Amasya - Archaeological excavations in the Black Sea province of Amasya have revealed 2,000-year-old mosaics with kilim-like motifs that are believed to date back from the Roman period. The excavations are being carried out by the Amasya Museum Directorate in the Yavru village. Officials said that the mosaics with kilim motifs were “unique.”  Çorum-based Hitit University Black Sea Archaeology Research and Practice Center Deputy Director Associate Professor Esra Keskin said the mosaics that had been found in a palace-like place had a different design when compared to the other artifacts in the same era. Keskin said the mosaics were surrounded by curbstones. “The eye shapes on the kilim designs of the mosaics still retain their secrets. The mosaics cover an area of 30 square meters and the kilim-like motifs on it show that they might have been the coat of arms of a military unit in the Roman era.”


TURQUIEn-50683-4.jpg Yoros Castle - Excavations that began in 2012 in Istanbul’s remaining Byzantine castle, Yoros, could soon continue in a restricted military zone pending approval from army officials. Professor Asnu Bilban Yalçın said excavations had started on July 1 this year and that they would work for two months within the castle, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. “We started working with an environmental cleaning. It has taken so long. Then we will start archaeological works.” Speaking about the castle, the professor said it was a place for defense, adding that it defended the entrance of the Bosphorus and functioned as a military barracks in Ottoman times. She said they had unearthed underground structures from the Ottoman period, objects used in quotidian life by soldiers, as well as stone and bronze cannon balls and plates used to eat food. In this year’s excavations, they found a few coins that had been delivered to the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, she added. She said the excavation area was quite big. “The Yoros Castle region consists of an area starting from the Anadolu Kavağı neighborhood until Yuşa Hill. Besides the upper castle, there is also a wide lower castle here [in the area currently controlled by the military]. The castle is made up of these two parts and considered as a whole.”


ROYAUME UNI –  Shillington - Ancient remains excavated in an archaeological dig have helped to shed light on the early history of one Chronicle Country village.  Aspiring archaeologists from across Shillington dug up some 22 test pits in gardens around the village in the two-day project. Derek Turner from the history society said: “The new discovery shows that people were settling in Shillington before the Romans arrived in 45 BC and long before a local Saxon chief called Scyttel gave his name to the village in about 700 AD.  “Only one piece of Roman pottery appeared but plenty from the late Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Plantagenet periods suggest that the village was thriving for many centuries until the plague decimated the population in the late 1300s. “Other excavated items included an 18th century metal candle snuffer and a Butlins badge from the Clacton 
holiday camp which was made in 1957.


NOUVELLE ZELANDEskeletonfinal.jpg Christchurch - It may have been a circus pony performing one last trick more than a century after its death, or it may have been a working horse that pulled a coach.  The answer may never be known, but the discovery of the buried skeleton of a pony under the site of a historic New Zealand theatre during work at the site a fortnight ago has certainly piqued interest.  Archaeologist Katharine Watson, of Underground Overground Archaeology, was called in after the discovery was unearthed during work to demolish and rebuild part of the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch. Watson said the area in Gloucester St where the pony was buried was pasture until 1906, when the theatre was built. The skeleton, she said, would have been buried some time from the mid-1800s until the theatre’s construction.  The skeleton was mostly complete and mostly articulated. It still had one shoe intact.


IRLANDE - Caherduggan  - The 13th-14th century leather harness, which went around a horse’s chest and was attached to the saddle, is covered in gilt, copper-alloy shields, and boasts heraldic symbols. It may have belonged to a medieval knight and is the only intact example ever found in Britain or Ireland. The treasure trove of artefacts includes scores of pieces uncovered around the castle at Caherduggan, near Doneraile, Co Cork. Archaeologist Damian Shields yesterday said they had discovered a number of extremely interesting finds, the most important of which came from a medieval water well. Among the items found were a bone dice for gaming, a medieval woman’s shoe, and one of the most important finds they had ever uncovered — the complete 13th/14th century leather horse harness known as a peytrel.


USA – Williamsburg - Colonial Williamsburg is planning to reconstruct an 18th-century market house at the historic area. In the early 18th century, the colonial legislature set aside an open space midway to be used for markets and fairs. The 1757 market house was used through the early 19th century until it was replaced by a new structure in 1835. Archaeology on the site will be conducted this summer and reconstructed market house could be in use by 2015. The wooden structure with a brick base will serve as the location for outdoor sales.


IRLANDEan-grianan.jpg An Grianan Ailigh - Last weekend a gang of up to 40 people vandalized one of Ireland’s historic monuments which dates back to to 1700 BC.  The Irish Examiner reports that the drunken thugs pulled stones from An Grianan Fort in Co. Donegal and defecated in a holy well before they verbally abused tourists.  The ancient ring fort sits 750 feet above sea level and offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.


TURQUIEturkey-smyrna.jpg Smyrne - A rich Greek graffiti collection has been found in the İzmir (Greek Smyrna) agora during excavation work in the area. The graffiti shows daily life in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The graffiti is estimated to date back to the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D. Experts have said the graffiti was the richest Greek graffiti collection in the world. Besides writing and paintings done with paint, there are also dozens of carvings on the wall. The graffiti shows that İzmir was very tolerant even in ancient times. The writings on the wall mention the names of different cities, showing tolerance of other cultures. There are many different figures in the graffiti, from trade ships to gladiators. There are also confessions; one read, “I love someone who does not love me.” One inscription read, “The gods healed my eyes, this is why I dedicate an oil lamp to the gods.” Another piece of graffiti read, “The one who ensouls,” which symbolized Jesus Christ in early Christianity. There are also riddles that have not yet been solved on the walls. Professor Cumhur Tanrıver said İzmir had the most Greek graffiti in the world. “There are some pieces of graffiti under the plaster as well that we cannot prepare yet. We are having talks with Swiss experts to uncover them without damaging the ones on the top layer.”