17 FEVRIER 2011


 - 17  FEVRIER

 - HONGRIE – Nyiregyhaza -  Remains of a Bronze Age settlement and a former Sarmatian burial ground have been found at a construction site in the city of Nyiregyhaza in northeast Hungary. Several thousand metal objects, Roman bronze, silver and golden coins, and jewellery were excavated by archaeologists in the Oros district of the city, said the head of the excavation. One old pot contained as many as 34 bracelets. Some sixty dwellings have been excavated in the 56-hectare area and among the curiosities found has been a bone flute, she said. vNot far from the Bronze Age site, archaeologists also found some 100 graves from the period of the settlement of Magyars in Hungary. Many of the graves included bracelets and belt buckles.  A circular Sarmatian burial ground was also identified in the area but most of these graves have been robbed so archeologists could recover very few items from these. The restoration of the items is underway in the Andras Josa Museum of Nyiregyhaza, which has already displayed part of the findings.


 - BANGLADESH  Bogra - Many archaeological sites including the Mahasthangarh have fallen into ruin in Bogra mainly due to apathy among locals and neglect by the Department of Archaeology of Bangladesh. At least 50 sites bearing the legacy of Maurya, Gupta and Pala dynasties in Bogra are now at the risk of destruction as the archaeology department falls short of manpower to protect them. The historic Pundranagar popularly known as Mahasthangarh and other 33 archaeological sites centring around it were declared protected in 1922 under the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904 during the British rule. Md Badrul Alam, acting Rajshahi regional director of the Department of Archaeology, said official records show the department has purchased only 37 of the 516 acre-land in the Pundranagar. Md Shafiquel Islam, Shibganj upazila agriculture extension officer, said, “Locals have been growing vegetables and seasonal crops on 425 acres of land.” Md Abdul Khaleque, regional director of the archaeology department for Dhaka Division, said “Mahasthangarh is the only archaeological site where we have found so many archaeological objects from the pre-Mauryan to the Mughal period.” He said architectural stone structures, terracotta and other archaeological objects that date back to 5th-6th century AD, had been demolished and broken.  “Locals destroyed 'Chhoto Tangra', an archaeological site of the Pala period in Bogra, to clear land for cultivation a few years ago. It was declared a protected site during the British rule in 1922,” said Md Badrul Alam. A Franco-Bangladesh joint excavation team discovered an earthen stove dating back to 400 BC in Mahasthangarh a few years ago. A French team also discovered a brick wall built there in 300 BC. Locals had destroyed a mound and brick structures at Boro Tangra, another protected site of Gupta period.  Azmal Hossain, 40, of Palashbari village of Bogra said locals including him dug and destroyed brick structures at the archaeological site of “Mothurar Dhap” to clear land for cultivation. Badrul Alam said the temple at Mothurar Dhap was built in 7th century AD.


 - CHINE – Hami - The Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology reported on Feb. 14 that it discovered an ancient tomb group covering an area of more than 10,000 square meters 100 kilometers south of Hami City in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. This is the first time that a tomb group dating back 3,000 years has been found in Hami region. Chinanews reported that the tombs group has a large scale and a dense distribution. It was also the first time that a tomb with a sacrificial altar was found in the Xinjiang region. Most burial objects were made of pottery and wood, but some objects made from stones, bones, horns, bronze and iron were also found here.  The director of Hami's Cultural Relics Bureau said archaeologists had already excavated more than 150 ancient tombs in the last two months. At the excavation site, archaeologists found something special, including some materials never before discovered, special construction styles and some unique burial customs. In addition, they also found various precious cultural relics under unique cultural background. Judging from the current situation of the group, archaeologist said it might be remains of an early Iron Age settlement dating back about 3,000 years ago. The tomb group was located at the southern margin of ancient Silk Road. From those unearthed cultural relics, archaeologists were able to ascertain that the ecological environment, including the amount of water and plants, was much more favorable at the time than they are currently.


 - USA – Glenn Canyon - Bill Lipe, who now teaches anthropology at Washington State University, remembers his summers in Glen Canyon as the leader of an archaeological “salvage” crew as some of the best of his life. “When we went in there, of course to me, it was like a dream come true,” the self-described “sickly kid” and “flat-lander” from Oklahoma said of his days in the canyon. Lipe, who recorded archaeological sites and artifacts in the canyon from 1958 through 1961, before the dam was built and the scenes were flooded with water. The mission for the young archaeologists was to do “what we could with what we knew at the time,” Lipe said. “There was concern about the increased recreational activity to an area that had not seen a lot of visitors,” he added. “We were called in to salvage what we could before the archaeology was lost.” Crews found Pueblo homes and strongholds and storage rooms; they uncovered pottery and cotton looms and dried gourds; they mapped communities and unearthed kivas.  “There was much archaeology to do,” Lipe said. “Glen Canyon was a great area for rock art. It’s one of the things we tried to record but probably didn’t do as good a job as we should have.” Lipe regrets that the science of archaeology wasn’t as well developed then as it is now. His methods were “state of the art” at the time, he said, but “it was a project of its time. It would be done differently now.”


 - ROYAUME-UNI -  Hucclecote - Ancient secrets which may date back to the Romans could be unearthed as archaeologists begin their dig at the Hucclecote Centre. They are hoping to move in to start digging initial trenches tomorrow but Paul Nichols, senior project officer for the team, said they already had information about the site from past digs. He said: "There was an excavation in the 1930s in the area just to the north of the Hucclecote Centre, which is now the rugby field. "There is a Roman villa under there, which is a scheduled monument, and that area comes just slightly into the Hucclecote Centre site. "There were other bits of work done when the centre was built, but it wasn't very well recorded." He said his team were currently looking at the information they had from previous digs ahead of their first trip to the site later in the week. He added that although the area was known for its Roman villas, the dig was more likely to unearth some more basic ruins. He said: "We know that archaeology extends into the area, but it looks more like it's going to be basic field boundaries. "There is also some evidence of some bronze and iron age features. "The villa would have essentially been a farming building, with enclosures and everything you would expect from a farming settlement. "Obviously it's very close to Ermin Street, which is an old Roman road, so you can imagine similar villas in the area." Paul confirmed that although they were expecting to find boundaries and Roman pottery, any unusual finds could spark a full archaeological dig of the site if and when the building is demolished.


 - EGYPTE – Le Caire - Trois des dix-huit objets archéologiques qui manquaient à l'inventaire du célèbre Musée égyptien depuis qu'il avait été pillé pendant les manifestations populaires qui ont mené au départ d'Hosni Moubarak ont été retrouvés, a révélé mercredi l'archéologue en chef du pays. La révolte de 18 jours a porté un dur coup au tourisme égyptien, une des plus importantes sources de revenus du pays. Le Musée égyptien est toutefois la seule institution touristique à avoir été endommagée, a ajouté le ministre des Antiquités, le docteur Zahi Hawass. Il a dit espérer que le musée puisse rouvrir ses portes samedi, mais il attend encore le feu vert des autorités touristiques et sécuritaires. M. Hawass dit que les trois objets ont été retrouvés dans le musée ou dans la cour arrière. Ils comprennent une statue d'une déesse qui tient une figurine de Toutankhamon. Les pillards pourraient les avoir échappés en tentant de s'enfuir. Le plus important des objets manquants — une statue de calcaire du pharaon Akhénaton, debout et tenant une table cérémoniale — n'a toujours pas été retrouvé. 


 - ITALIE -   Bolzano - Une nouvelle reconstitution de l’apparence humaine d’Ötzi, la célèbre momie congelée retrouvée dans les Alpes italiennes en 1991, va être présentée à partir du 1er mars au Musée d’archéologie de Bolzano (Haut-Adige/Sud Tyrol) pour le 20e anniversaire de sa découverte. Cette oeuvre est signée par deux artistes néerlandais, Alfons et Adrie Kennis, déjà à l’origine d’une reconstitution d’un homme de Néandertal. Leur travail se fonde sur des résultats scientifiques et des prises de vue en 3D du squelette d’Ötzi, inhumé en montagne il y a près de 5.300 ans, au début de l’âge de pierre, après être probablement mort au combat. Les chercheurs ont pu par exemple établir qu’Ötzi, mort à environ 45 ans, avait les yeux marrons, et non bleus comme on l’a longtemps cru. S’il avait vécu de nos jours, Ötzi aurait porté des chaussures de taille 38. Avec 1,60 m et environ 50 kg, il est dans la moyenne des humains de son époque. Les techniques ayant évolué, le Musée archéologique de Bolzano va aussi modifier la méthode de conservation de la momie, préservée à une température de -6,5 degrés. La dépouille va ainsi être prochainement traitée avec de l’azote pur pour éviter sa détérioration. Objet de fascinations, Ötzi est aussi entouré de rumeurs de malédiction: les décès de plusieurs personnes à son contact depuis sa découverte le 19 septembre 1991 par un couple d’alpinistes allemands sur le glacier du Val Senales ont alimenté ce phénomène. Ainsi l’archéologue australien Tom Loy est mort alors qu’il était en train de rédiger un livre sur Ötzi en 2005. Avant lui, un des experts ayant analysé la momie avait eu un accident mortel en se rendant à une conférence sur le mystérieux homme des glaces. L’exposition au Musée archéologique de Bolzano doit durer jusqu’au 15 janvier 2012.


 - SYRIE   Apamée - The Hama Archaeology Department on Wednesday unearthed an ancient burial chamber dating back to the Hellenistic period.  The burial chamber, which was discovered during maintenance work in the historic city of Apamea, contains 6 graves dug into the earth, one of which contains pottery fragments from a cone-shaped burial urn. According to custom during the Hellenistic period, these funeral urns were placed alongside the deceased's body alongside some of their earthly possessions.