17 JANVIER 2011



 - IRAN –  Bazgir Tepe - Over 500 ancient metal artifacts have recently been discovered during an archaeological excavation on the Bazgir Tepe in Gorgan Province in northeastern Iran. The artifacts, all of which are made of copper, comprise weapons, farming tools, drug tubes and pans, which date back to about 1800 years ago- The artifacts are comparable to relics previously discovered in archaeological excavations on Gorgan’s Turang Tepe and the Teppeh Hesar of Damghan in northern Semnan Province, and several ancient sites in Turkmenistan and Tajikistan- Ruins of a large Parthian castle built of 37x37 centimeter mud bricks, which are similar to ruins previously discovered at the Turang Tepe and the Narges Tepe, have also been unearthed in the upper stratum of the site- In addition, the archaeological team currently working at site has discovered a number of grey and red earthenware items that dates back to circa 300 BC based on carbon-14 dating. In the lower stratum, they have also found a number of legged earthenware dishes of the Achaemenid era. The artifacts are similar to the pottery first unearthed at an archaeological site near the town of Aq-Qala in northern Golestan Province.  The diversity of the artifacts indicates that the region had enjoyed brisk commerce in ancient times. Covering an area of two hectares, the Bazgir Tepe is located near the village of Bazgir, about four kilometers north of the city of Minudasht.


 - USA - Delaware - For Don Shomette, coastal waterways in the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia region offer a treasure trove of history beneath the waves. "In the Chesapeake, there are a total of eight sunken fleets," he said. "It's the most fought-over body of water in the Western Hemisphere." The Delaware Bay is a close second, Shomette said. Now, at least part of that history is being told in a map of the Shipwrecks of Delmarva, commissioned by National Geographic. Shomette, who's written volumes about nautical history, was tasked with culling the 7,000 known shipwrecks to the 2,200 featured ones on the map. Based on predictive modeling, he said between 10,000 and 12,000 wrecks are believed to lie on or beneath the sea floor.



FRANCE – Nantes - Le passé attend d’être révélé par les fouilles engagées dans le sous-sol du quartier Bouffay-Feydeau. Au Moyen-Âge, l’entrée principale au sud de la ville se faisait par la rue de la Paix. La porte donnait sur le pont de la Poissonnerie qui enjambait la Loire jusqu’à l’île de la Saulsaye, devenue au XVIIIe siècle, l’île Feydeau. Dans le cadre de l’aménagement urbain du secteur Est de Feydeau et sud du Bouffay, des premiers sondages archéologiques ont été effectués en février 2009. Côté Allée Flesselles, une voûte a été mise au jour. En face, rue Léon-Maître, à la pointe Est de l’île Feydeau où se trouvaient l’ancienne Poissonnerie et l’immeuble Neptune, les premiers sondages ont révélé les fondations du mur de façade de la Poissonnerie de 1853 et une partie du quai délimitant la cale sud de ce même bâtiment en rotonde. Un mur atteste un aménagement plus ancien de l’île avec une cale, datée des XVII-XVIIIe siècle. L’Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives engage les fouilles sur l’ancienne rive nord pour en savoir plus. Les objectifs scientifiques visés concernent principalement la topographie militaire de Nantes et la question de la relation de la ville au fleuve. Ces fouilles devraient ainsi permettre de mieux comprendre l’évolution du quartier du Bouffay. Il s’agit de sondages profonds (15 mètres) qui seront réalisés en complément d’un diagnostic effectué en février 2009. Ils pourraient avec un peu de chance, permettre de dater la première occupation de l’île, et peut-être, la localisation du port antique de Nantes.


 - JAPON – Sagami Bay - Four large stones believed to have been quarried on Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture more than 400 years ago for the reconstruction and expansion of Edo Castle have been found in Sagami Bay. The stones were found during an underwater survey jointly conducted by the Asian Research Institute of Underwater Archaeology and Ishichoba Iseki Kenkyu-kai- The stones, believed to be among many quarried into usually square shapes, were found at a depth of two to five meters in areas about five to 30 meters off the coast. One of the stones is approximately 90 centimeters by 90 centimeters by 2 meters, about the same size as stones used in the central part of the castle grounds. The stones are believed to have been quarried in 1606 in a project carried out by feudal lords under the order of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1867). Some of the stones had holes called ya-ana that are thought to have been drilled into them to make them easier to quarry. According to documents, about 3,000 ships carried stones quarried on Izu Peninsula to Edo for the reconstruction project. The four recently discovered stones are highly likely to have fallen off a ship on the way to Edo (modern-day Tokyo) or washed out to sea when they were piled up on the coast. "It [the finding of the stones] is an important initial step to learn how marine transportation--which until now has only been known through documents or drawings--was carried out," said Soichiro Kitagaki, head of Ishikawa Prefectural Research Institute of Kanazawa Castle and an expert on stone walls. "I hope traces of a port will also be discovered."