FRANCE – F65edc77a2733870abf4ce2225cfc523 Autun - Un vase "exceptionnel" en verre ouvragé de la fin de l'époque romaine a été mis au jour à Autun (Saône-et-Loire) lors des fouilles des 230 sépultures d'une importante nécropole. Ce vase "rarissime", haut de 12 cm pour un diamètre de 16 cm, est orné de motifs décoratifs sculptés, rehaussés de lettres en relief formant les mots "Vivas feliciter" (vis en félicité). C'est le premier exemplaire entier découvert à ce jour en Gaule: on ne compte actuellement qu'une dizaine de vases diatrètes complets dans le monde antique.  Un vase diatrète est un type de vase en verre réticulé de la fin de l'époque romaine, autour du IVe siècle, considéré comme l'aboutissement des réalisations romaines dans la technique du verre.  Les archéologues ont également trouvé des épingles en ambre, un anneau en or finement ciselé et une bague en or sertie d'un grenat, enfermés dans un sarcophage en grès. D'autres sépultures de pierre ont livré des épingles ou des anneaux en jais, des pièces de monnaie, une boucle de ceinture en bronze et des perles de verre bleu. Des cercueils en plomb "de grande dimension" contenaient des fragments de tissus tissés de fil d'or. Un plus petit renfermait les boucles d'oreilles en or d'un enfant. Les fouilles de l'Inrap ont été menées de juin à la mi-septembre, sur un terrain de 1 300 m2 situé à Autun, à proximité de l'église paléochrétienne de Saint Pierre l'Estrier, l'une des plus anciennes d'Europe. D'anciennes sépultures de la Gaule avaient été découvertes sur le site, devenu un haut lieu de la chrétienté médiévale à la fin de l'Antiquité.


EGYPTE – Saqqara - Egypt announced Saturday the discovery of an ancient treasure trove of more than a 100 intact sarcophagi, dating back more than 2,500 years ago, the largest such find this year. The sealed wooden coffins, unveiled on site amid much fanfare, belonged to top officials of the Late Period and the Ptolemaic period of ancient Egypt. They were found in three burial shafts at depths of 12 metres (40 feet) in the sweeping Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo. "Excavations are still underway. Whenever we empty a burial shaft of sarcophagi, we find an entrance to another."  Antiquities and Tourism Minister Khaled al-Anani said. More than 40 statues of ancient deities and funerary masks were also discovered, the minister said. Another two wooden statues were found in the tomb belonging to an ancient judge of the 6th dynasty, according to Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. It was not immediately clear if the statues depicted any of the judge's family members but one statue is believed to depict an individual, by the name Heteb Ka, who was "venerated by the king", Waziri said.

VIDEO : https://www.france24.com/en/africa/20201115-egypt-discovers-ancient-treasure-trove-with-over-100-intact-sarcophagi

ROYAUME UNI – Rossett - Archaeologists have made an amazing discovery of a site dating back to 1st century. They have discovered a Roman villa near Rossett - the first of its kind ever to be discovered in north east Wales. The site was discovered through the cooperation of local metal detectorists who discovered Roman material at the site, this sparked a remote sensing survey which revealed clear evidence of a buried structure. The remains appear to be of a fairly typical form with a number of stone and tile buildings surrounding a central courtyard, the survey also suggested its association with a field system, a trackway and other related buildings and structures. Fieldwalking at the site has yielded artefacts from the late 1st century to the early 4th century AD, suggesting that the villa was occupied for the majority of Roman rule in Britain. The Roman army invaded Britain in AD 43 and quickly pushed northwards and westwards across the country. The fortress at Chester was established around AD 74 and with relative peace came the establishment of a network of towns and rural settlements. Most villas were essentially farming establishments, although ranged from relatively simple in design to very grand with mosaic floors, bath houses and underfloor heating systems. The discovery of architectural fragments found during fieldwalking suggest that this villa may incorporate at least some of these grander features.


NORVEGE – Iron age skeleton lofoten island Lofoten - An Iron Age skeleton has been uncovered by a team of researchers led by archaeologist Anja Roth Niemi of the Arctic University Museum on one of the Lofoten Islands, which are located above the Arctic Circle in the Norwegian Sea. The body was placed in a crouched position with one arm near the head and the other with a clenched fist. “The upper body has not been disturbed by soil levelling or other human activity,” she said. The lower half of the 1,300-year-old remains, found in an area thought to have been the site of an Iron Age farm, were damaged by plowing. An ax has also been found in the grave. “Right now we are trying to find out if the ax is stuck in the lower jaw or lying next to it,” Niemi added.


RUSSIE – Magas 1  Il’ichevskoe - The identification of Magas, capital of the medieval Kingdom of Alania, reveals a civilisation forged by global interconnections. In the medieval period, the most powerful North Caucasian kingdom was Alania, which dominated the region from the late ninth to early 12th centuries. Alania’s kings intermarried with Byzantine, Georgian and Khazar royalty; their kingdom was courted for its strategic position and its famous warriors. But their kingdom produced no written records apart from short inscriptions, so we know very little about it – not even which part of the North Caucasus formed its heartland.  According to the geographer al-Mas’udi, who wrote in the 940s, Magas was the possession of the Alan kings and was located in a densely populated country, with villages so close together that the cocks crowing in one village could be heard in the next. Magas was also heavily fortified and located in densely wooded terrain. When the Mongols invaded the North Caucasus in 1239, it took them three months to capture Magas, after which much of its population was massacred.  Given this historical significance, historians and archaeologists have searched for Magas for nearly 200 years, with many sites proposed for its location.  Now, the site of Magas may finally have been found. The Il’ichevskoe fortress is located in Krasnodar Krai, just outside of the autonomous republics which have claimed to be Alania’s heirs, and has therefore been previously overlooked. However, it fits our textual descriptions of Magas more closely than any previously proposed site. It is of the right date, being inhabited from the 10th to 13th centuries, and is located in a naturally strong position, straddling a narrow, forested plateau between the Kuva and Urup rivers. It also has several of the earliest churches found anywhere in the North Caucasus. These churches were dismantled and then rebuilt in the early 10th century, probably the result of the Alan kings briefly renouncing Christianity. This event, known from Mas’udi’s account, directly connects the site of Il’ichevskoe with the decisions of the Alan kings. But it is the size of Il’ichevskoe that truly impresses. Nearly 15km across and enclosing a territory of 600 hectares, Il’ichevskoe is by far the largest site in the historic territory of Alania. For comparison, this is larger than any city in Western Europe in this period. It was massively defended, with seven lines of defences a total of 2.5km long, including walls up to six-and-a-half metres thick. Despite these defences, it seems that in the mid-13th century Il’ichevskoe suffered a destructive attack.


BENIN Looted From next year, officials in Nigeria and the British Museum will take part in an archaeological dig to look for royal treasures in the former African kingdom of Benin. The excavation, described as the “most extensive ever undertaken” in Benin City, will begin at a site adjacent to the palace of the Oba, Benin’s traditional ruler, AFP reported. Benin City was the capital of Benin Kingdom, one of the most highly developed states in Africa, when it was ransacked and burnt down in 1897 by British forces. Its destruction in what became known as the Benin Expedition of 1897 led to the fall of the once successful and well-recognized Benin Kingdom located in what is now southern Nigeria.


AUTRICHEAustria paleolithic twins Researchers led by biologist Maria Teschler-Nicola of Vienna's Natural History Museum have analyzed three Paleolithic infant burials discovered in 2005 on the banks of the Danube River in northern Austria. DNA analysis revealed that the two infants buried together in an oval-shaped grave some 31,000 years ago were identical male twins, while the infant buried about five feet away may have been their male cousin. Examination of the infants’ top second incisors and skeletal development suggests the twins were full-term or nearly full-term babies, but one of them died shortly after birth. His brother lived about seven weeks before he also died. Teschler-Nicola suggests that the oval-shaped grave was reopened so that the second twin could be buried with his brother. The third infant was about three months old at the time of death. Chemical analysis of isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, and barium in the twins’ tooth enamel showed that they had been breastfed. Stress lines in the third infant’s teeth suggest he experienced feeding difficulties, perhaps brought on by the death of his mother, or her own health problems after the birth. “The babies were obviously of particular importance to the group and highly respected and esteemed,” Teschler-Nicola concluded. 


CHINE - Gongdong - A tombstone dating back more than 1,200 years has been unearthed in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, on which the epitaph was confirmed to be inscribed by a renowned calligrapher in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The tombstone was among three tablets of a 35.8-meter-long and 9.5-meter-deep tomb excavated in Gongdong Village of Qinhan New City, part of the Xixian New Area, according to the provincial research institute of archaeology. The owners of the tomb are believed to be Yuan Daqian and his wife Luo Wanshun. Yuan is a descendant of the imperial family of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-557), said Xu Weihong, a researcher with the institute who led the excavation. The epitaph of Luo was inscribed by Yan Zhenqing, one of the most renowned calligraphers in Chinese history who was a county official back then, Xu said. Luo died in 746 and during the same year, 38-year-old Yan wrote the words onto the tombstone, Xu added. According to Xu, this is the only authentic piece written by Yan at a young age that has been unearthed so far in China. The archaeological discovery will be significant for the study of calligraphy arts in Chinese history, she added.