16 NOVEMBRE 2017 NEWS: Longhouse Close - Beacon - Rusocastro - Bhamala
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ROYAUME UNI – Longhouse Close - The dig at Longhouse Close on fells above Seathwaite, Cumbria, was excavating Norse longhouses, dating from the early 10th Century. But 70 volunteers, led by professional archaeologists, have uncovered remains of a Bronze Age settlement underneath the Viking structures. Duddon Valley Local History Group said the discovery was "highly significant". Chairman Ken Day said finding what appeared to be two longhouses on one site "was a surprise to us to start with". But "the carbon dating of the material that we found showed it to be 1300 BC - that was something we were not expecting," he said. Their three-year survey of the Duddon Valley identified 39 structures which could be Norse longhouses. Fourteen were thought worthy of preservation and investigation. Of these, three were chosen for further excavation. Remains of fireplaces have been found along with evidence the site had been in continuous use as a settlement up to the 16th or 17th Century. But further confirmation was needed, Mr Day said.
AUSTRALIE – Beacon island - Being shipwrecked on a tropical island might sound like an interesting (or even fun) adventure, but archaeologists are discovering that the reality was much different for hundreds of passengers who met their doom on a small island some 400 years ago. Researchers are searching for clues to explain how the bloody massacre unfolded on what has been nicknamed “Murder Island.” The horrifying incident dragged on for months after a Dutch ship called the Batavia struck a reef and became incapacitated in 1629. Forced to abandon ship and head for land, hundreds attempted the swim to nearby Beacon Island, with several dozen drowning before making it ashore. For those who survived the difficult swim, their life on dry land was nothing short of a nightmare. Beacon Island is one of dozens in the Abrolhos island chain near Australia. With no means of summoning a rescue, the survivors waited and hoped. As the days dragged on, tensions apparently flared, and some of the passengers took it upon themselves to abandon all semblance of order or decency, resorting to rape, torture, and murder. Well over 100 of the survivors were mercilessly killed over several months, with women being kept alive simply to be repeatedly raped by those who had taken charge. As reported by 60 Minutes, archaeologists are now combing through the long-decayed remains in a massive makeshift graveyard where the victims were unceremoniously hidden. The researchers still have no idea what the exact death toll was, but they’ve already found 125 human skeletons of men, women, and children. The ship was thought to be carrying over 300 passengers when it met its demise. The effort aims to offer more information on how the shipwreck’s survivors lived and ultimately died, painting a clearer picture of the lives they lived and the horrors they endured before finally meeting their untimely ends. The excavation will continue for the foreseeable future.
BULGARIE - Rusocastro Fortress - Archaeologists have discovered a huge water cistern plastered on the inside with pink waterproof mortar in the fortress of Rusocastro, a major stronghold which changed hands many times between the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires in the Middle Ages, and whose ruins are stiuated in today’s Burgas District in Southeast Bulgaria. The water cistern of the Rusocastro Fortress is estimated to have the capacity to store at least 300 cubic meters of water. The newly discovered water cistern in Bulgaria’s Rusocastro Fortress has been found in the southeast corner of the fortress citadel. Its western wall is 15 meters long, its eastern wall is 12 meters long, and it is 8 meters wide. Its northwest corner is shaped as an arc. Two massive stone pillars were erected inside the water cistern, which had an arched roof. As the roof collapsed, huge chunks of it have fallen inside the tank, and have been preserved in there, the Burgas Museum explains, adding that they are to be extracted in 2018. The water cistern of the Rusocastro Fortress was protected by the southern and eastern fortress wall of the fortress castle which were 2.5 meters wide, and by a large fortress tower which was 7 meters in diameter. The water cistern has also been found to have had a “second floor", which a staircase leading up to it.
PAKISTAN – Bhamala- Pakistan unveiled the remains of a 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha image on Wednesday. The ancient Buddhist site in Bhamala province was first discovered in 1929. Eighty-eight years on, excavations resumed and the 14-metre-(48-foot)-high Kanjur stone Buddha image was unearthed. “This is from the 3rd century AD, making it the world’s oldest sleeping Buddha remains,” Abdul Samad, director of Bhamla’s archaeology and museums department, told Reuters. “We have discovered over 500 Buddha objects and this 48-foot-long sleeping Buddha remains,” he added. The region was once the center of Buddhist civilization that took root under the Mauryan king Ashoka 2,300 years ago.