16 MAI 2018: Plovdiv - Kujawy 2 - Nidderdale - Jersey - Slatina nad Bebravou -
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BULGARIE – Plovdiv - The foundations of a massive, first-century A.D. triumphal arch have been uncovered in the ancient city of Philipopolis. The bases of the structure were discovered on either side of a Roman road measuring about 23 feet wide, near an inscription glorifying Roman Emperor Diocletian that dates to A.D. 303. So far, the excavation team, led by Elena Bozhinova of the Plovdiv Museum of Archaeology, and Kamen Stanev of the Cyril and Methodius Scientific Center, has uncovered one side of the structure to a depth of about six feet. “The building material is sandstone because at the time the Romans had not started to process the local syenite,” Bozhinova said. Large holes in the blocks held cramp irons covered in lead that held the stones together. Architectural fragments recovered earlier in the dig are now thought to be part of the arch’s upper elements. The arch is thought to have collapsed during an earthquake, and its large stone blocks reused in a building set in the middle of the Roman road. Bozhinova said the remains of this arch are in better condition than the arch built at the ancient city’s Eastern Gate.
POLOGNE – Kujawy 2 - Fragments of equestrian gear and Roman soldiers’ uniforms have been discovered in north-central Poland, outside the borders of the Roman Empire. Bartosz Kontny of the University of Warsaw said the fittings had been made in the shapes of male and female genitalia. “These amulets were believed to ensure happiness and protect against evil forces,” he said. One artifact, made of gold-plated copper, would have been worn on a hip belt. It depicts the spear of a beneficiarius, a high-ranking army officer, as a symbol of his power. Similar artifacts have been found in central Germany, where the Roman army is known to have been. Kontny thinks the soldiers may have been in Poland to protect the amber trade. “The Romans valued this material,” he said. The Romans may have also ventured into Poland from Germany while recruiting soldiers to assist the Vandals in their fight against the Suebi. “According to the records of the Roman historian Cassius Dion, the Emperor Domitian sent a hundred riders to help them,” Kontny said. “It is possible that some of the objects we discovered were parts of equipment of one of those riders.”
ROYAUME UNI – Nidderdale - New archaeological excavations have unearthed evidence of farming dating back to before the Romano-British period in Nidderdale. Previously unrecorded features have been identified through field surveys using GPS technology at 15 farms and excavations at three sites, Blayshaw Gill, Knott’s Gill and Colt Plain. The earliest ancient farming site was found to be around 2,000-years-old and evidence recovered from hearths and storage pits included different forms of wheat and barley, natural resources such as hazelnuts and the remains of coppiced wood. Paved floors and walls of houses were excavated suggesting farmers then did not live a hovel existence, pieces of rock art were found carved nearby and two pieces of Romano-British pottery were unearthed.
BULGARIE – Plovdiv - The great episcopal basilica in Plovdiv was built with the financial help of the emperors of the Eastern Roman Empire. This was part of Constantinople's policy of helping the largest episcopal center in Thrace and demonstrating the power of the new Christian religion in the Empire. It has already been proven that the Great Basilica of Philippopolis is located on place where were earlier buildings, said Jani Tankova, head of the archaeological research in recent years. Jani Tankova - archaeologist: "We hope to find a temple devoted to the imperial cult." We have long been of the opinion that it is most likely about a earlier Roman cult building. " Excavations continue this year to clarify the function of earlier buildings, as well as to establish the most accurate start of the construction of the basilica.
ROYAUME UNI – Jersey - The Seigneur of Samarès, Vincent Obbard, says that when he was approached by the Société Jersiaise, which wants to undertake archaeological investigations at Samarès Manor, he was only to too happy to oblige. The group’s archaeological section are hoping to dig exploratory trenches in an extensive area of lawn that stretches south – from the manor house to the dove house – to look for the foundations of earlier buildings which appear on a map of the Island dated 1790. However, as the manor and its grounds are among the most historic in Jersey, no turf can be cut or ground broken until planning approval has been granted. ‘Over the years, different people at different times have spent many funds redoing the place,’ Mr Obbard said. ‘Parts of the manor date back to the 12th century, but it has been massively altered over the years. ‘It is a very historic site but we know so little about it. While we know the names of the people who have built it we know very little about its buildings.’
SLOVAQUIE – Slatina nad Bebravou - Archaeologists found a significant discovery at a Celtic sacrificial place near the village Slatina nad Bebravou. They discovered relief-decorated shoulder boards made from bronze that were part of a breastplate of a prominent Greek warrior.“It is the oldest original Greek art relic in the area of Slovakia,” said deputy of director of Slovak Archaeological Institute in Nitra, Karol Pieta, as quoted by the SITA newswire. The relief was made in the Greek colony of Taranto in southern Italy in the middle of the fourth century BC. It came to Slovak territory about one hundred years later.“There is a justified hypothesis that Celtic warriors, who at that time were moving to the area of middle Danubeland, brought those bronze reliefs here. Theoretically, it is possible that the discovery was stolen from the Delphi oracle, which Celts plundered in the first half of the third century BC,” said Pieta for SITA. The sacrificial place, located about 1.5 kilometres away from a significant Celtic ancient fortified settlement on Udriana hill, was found by accident in 2016, thanks to the attention of the locals. This place used to be full of blood in the past because Celts used to bring not only material and animal but also human sacrifices to their gods that were ritually burnt, which is why the majority of objects found here are burnt. Archaeologists did research here in 2016 and 2017, followed by an analysis of the findings. Professor Regine Thomas from Cologne University analysed the parts of the found breastplate. She worked out a special analysis by digitizing small pieces of the shoulder boards. Through this method she succeeded in reconstructing the Hellenic scene decoration. “It was a so-called Amazonomachy, a portrayal of the mythical battle between the Ancient Greeks and the Amazons, a nation of all-female warriors,“ explained Pieta, as cited by SITA. Celtic sanctuaries and sacrificial places are one of the curiosities of Celtic civilisation found in Slovakia but not surrounding countries. The finding from the village Slatina nad Bebravou from the end of the third century BC is the fourth ritual place of Celts found in Slovakia. Archaeologists found a sacrificial hole as well as the place where a sacrificial pillar stood. They found also burnt human and animal bones, bracelets from blue glass, a spur and remains of metal clothing decorations. A large amount of ceramics were also found, left after sacrificial feasts that used to take place after sacrificial rituals. Celts used to drink a beverage and throw the container to the bonfire. They would break various objects and then burn them to release the spirit of the sacrifice. “Blood of victims – animals or humans – trickled down to the sacrificial hole,” explained Pieta for SITA.