16 AOÛT 2016 NEWS: Tel Recheš - Mayo - Chedworth - Stirling - Nerik - Alamo - Patara - Kınık -
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ISRAEL – Tel Recheš - A synagogue dating back to the end of the Second Temple Era was discovered on the Tel Recheš Peak in the Galilee last week in a rare and unique archaeological find. An excavation team discovered, just ten centimeters below the peak’s surface, a synagogue from the first century AD. The find contained a huge and impressive room nine meters high and eight meters wide with walls lined with benches made of limestone blocks. Diggers also discovered one of the two foundational pillars supporting the synagogue's roof.
IRLANDE – Mayo - Hill-walkers recently came across skeletal remains in a previously undiscovered section of caves near Newport, Co. Mayo. Anthropologists will now carry out a detailed examination to determine whether the bones are that of a human or of an animal. "The bones have been removed from the cave. They will be tested by anthropologist to determine their age and whether they are of human or animal origin," Westport-based Garda Superintendent Sean Colleran told RTÉ News. Local outdoor enthusiast Chambers explained to Mayo News that even locals did not know of this cave system before his accidental discovery, and that they were hidden in a way which would make them easy to miss. He added that he believes there to be more caves in the Nephin Range as his grandfather used to assist the local IRA in hiding there during the War of Independence. The new complex of caves is also expected to be investigated by anthropologists in the coming weeks.
ROYAUME UNI – Chedworth - Archaeologists are spending two weeks at Chedworth Roman Villa to explore for the first time in decades what lies beneath parts of the ancient dwelling. From Monday (August 15), the team of National Trust archaeologists will be digging in the northern wing of the villa around one of the bath houses and near the spring, or Nymphaeum. The work hopes to build on discoveries of mosaics in the last three years, including some tantalising pieces of what is thought to be a wall mosaic made of small thin tiles. The team will also dig deeper into an area where pieces of painted plaster appear to have lain undisturbed for 1600 years. The dig is part of a five year programme to investigate the north range of the villa and see what condition the still-buried archaeology is in. Martin Papworth, the National Trust’s South West archaeologist, is leading this year’s dig. He said: “One of our trenches last year didn’t appear to get to the bottom levels so we will be opening that up again and extending it to fully understand what is there. “We found the area full of pieces of painted plaster and pieces of mosaic which we think might be a rare wall mosaic. “The tiles are much smaller and thinner than those used on floors and we hope to find more of that. “By the Nymphaeum we want to check an earlier floor level and a lower doorway from an earlier phase of building at Chedworth.
ROYAUME UNI – Stirling - Archaeologists searching for a lost Iron Age roundhouse hope to conduct the first excavation of it. The hunt for Stirling's lost broch, a 2000-year-old tower structure, is to begin with digs at Wester Livilands next month. It is believed the original discovery of the possible broch was made in 1872 but was ignored as it was found by a woman. Stirling Council archaeologist Dr Murray Cook is leading the project and said: "Not many people these days have heard of Christian Maclagan, who lived in Stirling and is buried in the old town cemetery. "She was Scotland's first female archaeologist and she is often credited with being one of the first people to undertake modern excavation and in 1872 she identified a possible broch at Livilands.
TURQUIE – Nerik - The 11th archaeological excavation season has recently begun in the ancient city of Nerik, recognized as the religious center of the Hittites, in the northern province of Samsun’s Vezirküprü district. This season the works are being carried out by 30 people, headed by German archaeologist Prof. Rainer Maria Czichon, the head of the Uşak University Archaeological Department. Czichon said excavations were first initiated in the ancient city 2005, after geophysical exploration. He said they had deepened the works since 2007 and unearthed various finds, adding, “Since this is a prehistoric era settlement, we find lots of stone and loom artifacts because Anatolia has always been a production place.” The professor said they had also unearthed many mining tools, which were for copper deposits in the Tavşan Mountain field. He said among the most valuable findings were cuneiform tablets. “Only in this place in Samsun do cuneiform tablets exist. Looking at these findings, we can definitely say that this is Nerik,” he added. Czichon said that Nerik was a Hittite-era city and had relations with Hattusa. “More than 20,000 tablets have been unearthed in Hattusa in the Central Anatolian province of Çorum. Among them were ones about Nerik. It is mentioned as the religious center of the Hittites... All the kings came here from Hattusa during festivals. They made vows and gave gifts to the god of air. The city was like Mecca and Medina in today’s Islam world.” Czichon also said they had also found an inventory list, in addition to the cuneiform tablets. “The tools used in the shrine are listed. Among them are silver trays and gold god symbols. Of course we don’t know where this shrine is but we think that this list belongs to this shrine,” he said.
USA - Alamo – Archaeologists have recovered the tip of a Mexican sword while excavating at the south wall gate of the Alamo. The artifact is believed to be from a sword issued to a non-commissioned officer in the Mexican infantry and dated about 1835, according to Nesta Anderson, the lead archaeologist on the dig. It could have been used in the famous battle for the Alamo in 1836 or in construction along the southern wall.
TURQUIE – Patara - Excavations have recently resumed in the ancient city of Patara, located in the southern province of Antalya’s Kaş district. This year’s work will focus on the excavation and restoration of the largest structure in the ancient city, its basilica. The capital of the Lycian Union, Patara has been undergoing excavations for 27 years. Besides digging in the basilica, storage work and ceramic drawings of the artifacts unearthed in the ancient city will also continue. A statuette of the goddess Asteria and a seal owned by Egyptian King Ptolemares and his wife Arsinoe, as well as a Lydian coin dating back to 610-570 B.C. and a figurine from 3,000 B.C., were among the findings that have been unearthed so far in the ancient city. Patara was a very wealthy city due to trade and was one of the six principal cities of Lycia. Following its capture by Alexander the Great, the ancient city became an important naval base as well. Many legends exist explaining the origin of the name Patara. During the time of Lycia’s Ptolemy domination, Ptolemaios II (who reigned from 285-246 B.C.) renamed Patara as Arsinoe in honor of his wife. However, the original name was soon again in use. During the Roman period, Patara was the judicial seat of the Roman governor, and the city became the capital of both the Lycian and Pamphylian provinces. In Christian history, Patara is famous for being a place of St. Paul’s missionary work at the end of his third missionary journey as he changed ships while en route to Jerusalem. It was also the birthplace of St. Nicholas, the bishop of Myra, whose gift-giving later gave rise to the model of Santa Claus. Some significant structures in Patara include the Tepecik Acropolis and Necropolis, the Harbor Bath, the Vespasian Bath, the Central Bath, the Amphitheater and the Bouleuterion.
TURQUIE – Kınık Mound - Excavations at Kınık Mound in the Central Anatolian province of Niğde have unearthed a 2,500-year-old temple from the Persian era. Located in the province’s Yeşilyurt district, excavations started at Kınık Mound in 2010, and this year a team of 30 archaeologists from Italy and Turkey are continuing to work in the field. The temple was found when the team was working to unearth a 6,000-year-old, 13-meter-high monumental wall, which was realized two years ago. The temple has four rooms and statues of various animals inside. New York University academic Prof. Lorenzo D’Alfonso, the head of the excavations, said, “A Persian temple had not been found so far in the Central Anatolia. This is why this a very important find. We found lots of artifacts in the temple including an Iranian artifact. But the most important ones are Turkish artifacts. For example, we found a solid stone hawk statue as well as [a] cow and birds. These things are normal for a temple but they have not been found in Anatolia before. The most important find here is the hawk statue because it is hard to find it in the center of a temple.”Italian Pavia University postgraduate student Andrea Trameri said they had been working in the mound for four years. She said that they had found the four-room structure in a 100-square-meter field, adding, “This temple is different from the others because there is a local tradition here. For example, ancient Greek temples have only one big room for the statue of [a] god; there are many rooms here. It draws our attention because there are many worship tools here.”