16 – 17 AVRIL 2011 NEWS - Brougham - Nakhon Si Thammarat - Surat Thani - Dresden - Abu Dhabi - Umm an-Nar Island - Annigeri - River Bluffs -


 - 16 – 17  AVRIL

 - ROYAUME-UNI   Brougham - Archaeologists working on the site of a Roman settlement in Cumbria have released details of how it might have looked in its heyday. The site, near Brougham, was discovered in 2008 by United Utilities engineers excavating for a sewage pipeline. It included remains of timber buildings and streets, and is now believed to date back to the 1st Century.A team from Oxford has been examining the site, which is believed to be a civilian settlement attached to a fort. During their excavations, archaeologists uncovered artefacts including gaming counters, jewellery, coins and drinking vessels. The settlement has been named Brocavum and experts are now preparing a detailed analysis of the findings. Buildings were constructed of timber frames infilled with wattles and clay but in order to inhibit decay, the walls were raised above the ground on low sandstone foundations-


 - THAILANDE - Several ancient sites in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani have been severely affected by the recent floods, the Fine Arts Department's Archaeology Division reported yesterday. The damage assessment report by Fine Arts Office 14 in Nakhon Si Thammarat said that satellite photo analysis showed 52 ancient sites in Sichon district, estimated to belong to the 12th-14th centuries of the Buddhist era, which were yet to be fully explored, were submerged. The floods also damaged the Tumpang archaeological site in Tha Sala district, Wat Chaeng's Chinese pavilion, and the ancient wall and fortress on Ratchadamnoen Road in Mueang district, the report said. In Surat Thani, the Wiang Sa ancient city was severely hit by the floods while the Kuan Tharae, Tha Sathon and Nam Rob temples on the banks of the Tapi River were also damaged by flood waters.


 - USA   Dresden - After nearly 25 years waiting at the gate — the last three of which involved heavy negotiations and deal-making among multiple parties — a Dresden property considered to be one of the most archaeologically significant sites in Maine is protected for research. the Dresden property offers researchers a unique look at the lives of native people living here between 5,000 and 8,500 years ago. Arthur Spiess, senior archaeologist with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, said the Dresden location could provide clues about a time in which natives made the transition from more nomadic lives to ones in which they gathered in small village-like communities. To make that societal change, he said, natives needed to be coerced by an abundant and predictable food source in one location. The Maine coast has been slowly sinking since the end of the Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago. Put another way, sea level has been creeping slowly inland on the Kennebec Estuary. Merrymeeting Bay became completely tidal some time around 3,000 to 5,000 years ago. “Looking at the local topography and river depths, we see that the Kennebec River forced its way between Swan Island and the Dresden shore before the ‘back side’ of Swan Island flooded out by the rising sea level,” he continued. “Thus, this location was an intense falls. For awhile it must have been the first major falls on the Kennebec, and thus a focus for catching anadromous fish in season. We surmise that people camped at the site during fishing season, and probably also camped here when they were forced to break a journey by carrying baggage around the — now drowned — falls.” The stone tools and fish bones recovered by amateurs and during preliminary tests support Spiess’ theory, so far, but researchers are anxious to engage in a full-scale dig to learn more. The appeal of the site extended into the European colonization of the country, Friedman said, as British navigation maps of the area from 1772 indicate that a home stood on the uphill portion of the property at that time.


 - UAE – Abu Dhabi – The most ancient period represented so far in Abu Dhabi Emirate is the Middle Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) which has been recently identified at Jebel Barakah in the western region. The first diagnostic stone artifacts discovered there by the author in 2006 indicate that the site belongs to the early phase of that period (150000-20000 years ago). Nothing has been discovered so far from the long gap between that remote period and the Neolithic (New Stone Age) which stated around eight thousand years ago. By the end of the fourth millennium BC, a few centuries after the invention of first writing in Mesopotamis, the Bronze Age started in Abu Dhabi and the whole of Southeast Arabia. This age covers the whole of the third and most of the second millennium BC and divided into three main phases (Early, Middle and Late). The early phase is represented by hundreds of beehive stone tombs yielding pottery vessels of Mesopotamian origin. The middle phase comprises two cultures (Umm an-Nar and Wadi Suq Cultures) The Wadi Suq Culture (2000-1600 BC) which inherited the sophisticated culture of Umm an-Nar witnessed a decline, while the poorly represented last phase of the Bronze Age (1600-1300 BC) has only been vaguely identified in a small number of settlements. This last phase of the Bronze Age was followed by a boom when the underground irrigation system (the falaj) was introduced during the Iron Age (1300-300 BC) by the local communities.


 - UAE - Umm an-Nar Island - The Historic Environment Department of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage has published a monographic book that summaries and discusses the current state of the sites on the Umm an-Nar Island, which must have lived at least three centuries (2600-2300 BC). The Umm an-Nar culture, as indicated from inland 3rd millennium BC, covers no more than seven centuries (2700-2000 BC). Seven tombs out of fifty and three areas at the ruins of the ancient settlement were examined by the Danish Archaeological Expedition. During their first visit they identified a few exposed shaped stones fitted together at some of the stone mounds. The following year (February 1959) the first excavations started at one of the mounds on the plateau, now called Tomb I. Two more seasons (1960 and 1961) were carried out digging more tombs, while the last three seasons (1962/1963, 1964 and 1965) were allocated to examine the settlement.


 - INDE – Annigeri - King Ahamed Sha ruled over Bijapur and adjacent provinces, which extended up to Annigeri, during the Adil Shah period. During his rule, Ahmed Shah was said to have beheaded and killed around 20,000 people mercilessly including children and women, along the Tungabhadra belt during the 15th century.  After the massacre the King was said to have held a festival to celebrate the event, along the Tungabhadra river belt. Annigeri is also near the Tunga Bhadhra river belt of Hospet area.  Some of the human skulls discovered in Annigeri might belong to those who were killed and beheaded by Ahmed Sha. As per the reference in the Gazetteer, the human skulls found in Annigeri might have some connection with the incidents like the massacre or killing of hundreds of people by Ahmed Sha during the Adil Sha period, the officer added. Darpan Jain, deputy commissioner said there were also some references in Dharwad Gazetteer about some clashes and minor battles that took place in Dambal of Gadag district near Annigeri about 250 years ago. During that time, massacres might have taken place there, he added.  "But, we will be able to unravel the mystery behind discovery of the human skulls only after receiving the carbondating report from Bhubaneshwar.


 - USA  - River Bluffs - River Bluffs Open Space is not only a refuge for native Colorado wildlife and native vegetation, but was home to prehistoric peoples for at least 1000 years. The archaeology of this open space is important to understanding the lives of people living during the Early Ceramic period. The people that lived on the River Bluffs Open space 1000 years ago left projectile points made from rocks that originate in the Rocky Mountains, as well as over 500 small, tubular bone beads.