17 - 18 AOÛT 2010


 - 18 AOÛT :

 - ITALIE : Paspardo - An international team  has been involved in the search for new prehistoric rock-art sites around Paspardo, high up on the intermediate slopes of Valcamonica. Carved rock-art scenes depict wild and domesticated animals, hunting parties, duelling warriors and structures (interpreted as huts and houses). To record all them, the team used a number of different techniques including mirror reflection from oblique angles, acetate tracing, and 3D and laser photogrammetric survey methods. 


 - ROYAUME-UNI : English Fenlands - A team of scientists led by the University of Leicester has published new research on a fossilised landscape, providing insights into how an ancient environment functioned. Thousands of years ago the English Fenlands, stretching across what is now Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and north Norfolk was a gigantic coastal swamp, not quite land and not quite sea, but inhabited by Bronze Age settlers who hunted and fished amid its fertile waters. The whole area has subsided by up to four metres, so that much is now below sea level. As this has happened, a thick surface layer of peat has wasted away -- revealing the treasures of a 5,000-year-old 'fossilised' landscape beneath. These scientific treasures include ancient human constructions such as at Flag Fen -- and also spectacular, perfectly fossilized ancient watercourses.


 - INDE : Kerala - Kerala is all set to offer its new tourism product to visitors — an ancient city near the port city of Kochi called Muziris which was a mystery for archaeologists and historians until recently. Some 23 monuments in and around the historic Kodungallur town have been identified as part of the Rs1.4 billion Muziris Heritage Project (MHP), the first phase of which will be launched later this month. Researchers say this was once a buzzing trade center that attracted Romans, Greeks and Arabs as well as being a landing point for Judaism, Christianity, Islam and a number of world cultures in the southern Indian state. Vessels came to this port from across the seas with gold and went back with black gold — the pepper that was abundant in ancient Kerala and various aromatic spices collected from its forests. Muziris was famous for more than 2,500 years and excavations have revealed fragments of imported Roman amphora, mainly used for transporting olive oil; also Yemeni and West Asian pottery and Indian wares have been found in Egypt. The findings suggested that Muziris was a port of great international importance and that south India was involved in active trade with several civilizations of West Asia, the Near East and Europe through the port. Researchers say Muziris could have been established as a city from before 1500BC and the port was already a bustling center of trade by 500 BC. Valmiki’s Ramayana, Vyasa’s Mahabharata, Sangam literature, the First Century Natural History of Pliny the Elder, the Second Century Geographia of Ptolemy, the Second Century Muziris Papyrus and the Fourth Century Tabula Peutingeriana refer to the city.According to them, both the port and the city ceased to exist around the middle of the 13th century, possibly following an earthquake or the great flood of 1341 recorded in history, which caused the change of course of the Periyar River but no clear evidence has emerged as to when the port was first established. St. Thomas, the apostle of Jesus Christ, and Muslim preachers are believed to have arrived in India through this port and it is here that India’s first church, Mar Thomas Church and the first mosque, Cheraman Juma Masjid, are located.


 - U.S.A. : Great Smoky Mountains - The students, from the Cherokee and Snowbird communities, had a personal connection with the "dig" because they helped excavate a tenth century ancestral Cherokee house. This site offered an opportunity to learn about a poorly understood period in Cherokee prehistory. Archeologists use the term Mississippian (AD 1000- 1350) to describe this period in prehistory. Populations during the Mississippian period moved to large scale agriculture with crops of corn, beans, and squash supplying a large portion of their diet. Mississippian populations concentrated around large ceremonial mound complexes. Social complexity, trade networks, communal cooperation and warfare all expanded during the Mississippian period." The site involved in this project is old even by those standards. "Radiocarbon dates indicated that this structure occurs just prior to this period (AD 970 ±70 years). The site occurs on a small landform isolated from any known Mississippian mound center and could be considered to have occurred in a ‘rural’ setting. Therefore, it offered an opportunity to examine what is proto-Mississippian and what was life like somewhat distanced from people’s image of the mound builders in the Midwest and Southern Appalachians.  Items discovered in the excavations included numerous ceramic vessel fragments, hickory and black walnut hulls, quartz and chert used for making stone tools, groundstone tool fragments for pulverizing and grinding plant materials, and a small gaming stone used in game of chance. Features as well as objects were excavated, including storage pits and post holes (places where structural posts once were placed). Sediments from these features were retained for further analysis in the laboratory.


 - ROYAUME-UNI :    Inchmarnock - A 4,000-year-old skeleton, known as the Queen of the Inch, is to be re-interred in the tiny island of Inchmarnock in the Firth of Clyde. The grave was found by a farmer in the 1950s. Preserved in an ancient cist, the remains included a necklace and dagger. Despite being examined by archaeologists and reburied in the 1960s, the skeleton was recently exhumed and studied using modern research techniques. Scientists have since been able to determine that the woman lived on Inchmarnock and came from the Clyde Estuary and that she did not eat seafood, despite the fact she lived on an island. She must have been a queen or chieftain or something very important in her own right.There were plenty of people who lived on the island but very very few were given cist burials and with something as spectacular as the necklace, which obviously she was allowed to keep. It was buried with her. It didn't pass on to anyone else.


 - TURQUIE : Antandros - Archaeological work that has been in progress for a decade in the ancient city of Antandros -- located in modern-day Balıkesir province’s Altınoluk district -- is nearly complete. Archaeologists have uncovered a Roman villa, necropolis and residential areas.  A boat will be built to historic specifications, the Tempest, which will depart from Altınoluk and follow the course used around 700 B.C., using only an oar and sails. We want to repeat that historic journey with the Tempest, from the Aegean islands and the shores of Greece through to Italy’s city of Castro. According to mythological sources, Aeneas was the national hero of the Romans and the father of Emperor Augustus. According to legend, after the fall of Troy, Aeneas led the Trojans to another city in search of a new home, first gathering with survivors at Antandros (Altınoluk) and setting sail on the open sea from there. They are said to have been blown off course, landing in Kartaca where they were hosted by its Queen Dido until setting sail again, eventually landing in Italy, where they would join forces with the Sabines and go on to found Rome.


 - 17 AOÛT :

 - RUSSIE / COREE : Bohaï -  Russian and Korean archaeologists have been trying to get to the bottom of the founding history of the ancient Bohai nation-state. Bohai- the first documented state in the Far East, located on the vast territories of the modern Manchuria, the Maritime region and the Northern Korean peninsula lasted for more than 200 years. The excavations, including in several areas in the Maritime region are evidence of the high palatial-religious architecture, as well as sculptural and fresco decorations which were done in Bohai. The Russian-Korean excavations have unearthed different ceramics and experts from both sides will begin a detailed study of their findings at the end of the current expedition on September 18th.


- AFGHANISTAN :   Aynak - Archaeologists have uncovered Buddhist-era remains in an area south of Kabul. There is a temple, stupas, beautiful rooms, big and small statues, two with the length of seven and nine meters, colorful frescos ornamented with gold and some coins. Some of the relics date back to the fifth century (AD). We have come across signs that there are items maybe going back to the era before Christ or prehistory. The excavation site extends over 12 km (7.5 miles) in the Aynak region of Logar province.


 - COREE DU SUD :   Changnyeong - Archaeologists have unearthed a rare neolithic period wooden boat oar, believed to date back about 7,000 years but still in good condition. The oar was discovered in mud land. One of the oldest boats or related artefacts was found in China's Zhejiang province in 2005 and was believed to date back about 8,000 years. The oar, which was found intact in its entirety, is 1.81 metres long. 'The oar was well preserved because fine mud layers completely blocked oxygen from decaying it. The oar and boats were made from pine trees. The technique that made them indicate there might have been a certain form of neolithic period trade using boats between Japan and the Korean peninsula. 'With this set, we can picture trade between the Korean peninsula and Japan, sailing techniques and a lifestyle back then,' Mr Yoon said, pointing to a similar find in Japan. Japanese archaeologists discovered an oar, believed to date back about 6,000 years, on the Sea of Japan (East Sea) coast in 1999.


 - PEROU : San Cristobal de Rapaz - Rapaz’s isolation has allowed it to guard an enduring archaeological mystery: a collection of khipus, the cryptic woven knots that may explain how the Incas  ruled a vast, administratively complex empire without a written language. Archaeologists say the Incas, brought down by the Spanish conquest, used khipus — strands of woolen cords made from the hair of animals like llamas or alpacas — as an alternative to writing. Rapaz, home to about 500 people who subsist by herding llamas and cattle and farming crops like rye, offers a rare glimpse into the role of khipus during the Inca Empire and long afterward. The village houses one of the last known khipu collections still in ritual use. Even here, no one claims to understand the knowledge encoded in the village’s khipus, which are guarded in a ceremonial house called a Kaha Wayi. The khipus’ intricate braids are decorated with knots and tiny figurines, some of which hold even tinier bags filled with coca leaves. The ability of Rapacinos, as the villagers are called, to decipher their khipus seems to have faded with elders who died long ago, though scholars say the village’s use of khipus may have continued into the 19th century. Testing tends to show dates for Rapaz’s khipus that are well beyond the vanquishing of the Incas, and experts say they differ greatly from Inca-designed khipus.


 - ROYAUME-UNI : Orkney - A team from Glasgow School of Art and Historic Scotland will scan the chambered tomb of Maeshowe, the Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae settlement. The two-week project is part of a plan to build up three-dimensional images. The recording process will involve a laser being fired millions of times a second at each of the monuments.The end result will be a precise record of the sites, accurate down to just millimetres. The data will be used to assess the physical condition of the structures and provide a foundation for future conservation, site management and aid archaeological understanding.


 - TURQUIE :   Aizanoi - Archaeologists began this year's excavations at ancient site of Aizanoi, in western Turkey, where they hope to find new early Roman-era artifacts around the temple of Zeus. This year's work would focus on restoration of the ancient temple together with excavations at the site. Excavations will center on the canal discovered at the ancient city three years ago. Aizanoi, dating back to 3000 B.C., experienced its golden age in the second and third centuries A.D. and became the center of episcopacy in the Byzantine era. The city is home to the temple built for Zeus which is the best-preserved temple in all of Anatolia. There is also a 20,000-seat theater and a 13,500-seat stadium adjacent to the large theater. There are two Turkish-style baths, one of them decorated with mosaics, plus a gymnasium, five bridges on Kocaçay river which are still used today, an old dam, a trading building, avenues with columns on both sides, necropolis (cemetery) areas and the sacred cave of goddess Meter Steunene.