17 MAI 2013 NEWS : Danemark - Iona - Berkeley - Devdaha - Yuyao -






DANEMARK158547.jpg - Danish museum officials say that an archaeological dig last year has revealed 365 items from the Viking era, including 60 rare coins, AP reported. Danish National Museum spokesman Jens Christian Moesgaard says the coins have a distinctive cross motif attributed to Norse King Harald Bluetooth, who is believed to have brought Christianity to Norway and Denmark. Sixteen-year-old Michael Stokbro Larsen found the coins and other items with a metal detector in a field in northern Denmark. Stokbro Larsen, who often explores with his detector, said he is often laughed at because friends find him "a bit nerdy." Moesgaard said Thursday, May 16 that it was the first time since 1939 that so many Viking-era coins have been found, calling them "another important piece in the puzzle" of history.


ROYAUME UNI1778037445.jpg Iona - An archaeological survey on the famous Scots isle of Iona – where St Columba landed 1450 years ago to spread Christianity in Scotland – has shown signs of ancient burials. This is the first geophysical investigation to be undertaken away from the core focus of the Columban monastic enclosure and the Benedictine Abbey. The surveys were carried out on National Trust for Scotland land on the island by Dr Sue Ovenden and Alastair Wilson of Rose Geophysical Consultants. The pair examined two areas in the fields to the south of the village - one close to the current village hall and south of the Nunnery and the other at Martyr’s Bay. The area close to the village hall seems to show features of recent or natural origin which will be excavated later this year. However, the more interesting result came from Martyr’s Bay where there is a mound beside the road where skeletal remains were excavated in the 1960s. Derek Alexander, the Trust’s Head of Archaeology Derek, said: “The geophysical survey shows that on the landward side, this mound may have been revetted by stones and surrounded by a shallow ditch. This could be a sign of burials. “It has always been suggested that there are numerous burial sites on Iona and there have been various finds over the years, the most famous of which is in the graveyard at Relig Odhrain to the south of the Abbey. “The burials that have been discovered so far are absolutely fascinating. For example, those unearthed by excavations at Martyr’s Bay in the 1960s were quite unusual - there were some 40 skeletons packed into an area about 4m long by 2m wide. “These appeared quite jumbled and many may have been reburied, especially as the carbon dating showed that one skeleton dating from the 13 - 15th century was below one dating from the 6 – 8th century.


ROYAUME UNIimage-14.jpg Berkeley - The University of Bristol's annual archaeological excavations at Berkeley Castle continue this week. This year, the students will be studying Nelme’s Paddock, the Edward Jenner Museum Garden and the Castle Gateway area to the north of the Castle. In Nelme’s Paddock, the large open-area excavation begun in 2009 will continue with the students  concentrating on six main features identified in the 2010 to 2012 excavations: a series of intercutting pits and stone drains; a ditch of possible early medieval date that may have enclosed the Saxon/Norman church; a potential Anglo-Saxon hearth and any associated remains; the walls of a potential Anglo-Saxon building; a building that is currently thought to be of Norman date; and a cobbled surface, of possible Roman or Anglo-Saxon date. In the Edward Jenner Museum Garden, excavations will continue in a small evaluation trench opened in 2012 when a deposit of compacted stone, thought to be an external yard or working floor, was discovered that contained a number of small finds.  Beneath this was a layer which contained a large amount of slag, mortar and stone.  Work will continue on this layer to reveal the possible Anglo-Saxon and Roman period features which are believed to exist below. The Castle Gateway area to the north of the Castle will be investigated for the first time during the 2013 season.  It is thought that this area may once have formed part of the Anglo-Saxon burial ground for the minster.  A small geophysical survey will be conducted within this area prior to the beginning of the excavation to assess the archaeological potential of the site.  The dig runs until Friday 31 May.


NEPAL – Devdaha - Nepal’s archaeologists have discovered artifacts dating from the Buddha era from an excavation site at Devdaha of Rupandehi district, which is located at a distance of 20km from Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini in western Nepal.  A team of Nepal’s Department of Archeology (DoA) started excavation at the Devdaha area some two years ago after archeological evidences suggested that it was the maternal home of the Buddha.  The excavation at Bhawanipur began three weeks back. Walls, bricks, silver and wooden bracelets, clay utensils, butter lamps and stones are among the things discovered.  Prakash Darnal, officer at the archeological department, said that findings of relics such as a bust of the Buddha, a well and the ruins of the Siddhartha palace will help prove the area's relation with the Buddha. "Additional study and excavation are necessary to find which part of the area is the maternal home of Gautam Buddha," he said. Out of the 14 Buddha-related areas, he said, some parts only of Kanyamai, Bhawanipur and Panditpur were unearthed so far. "We have found remains dating back to 10th, 11th and 12th centuries," he said.  The Buddha was born in 623 BC in the sacred area of Lumbini, testified by the inscription on the Asoka Pillar erected by the Mauryan Emperor Asoka in 249 BC.


CHINEtelechargement-10.jpg  Yuyao - New archaeological discoveries in Yuyao city, in eastern China's Zhejiang province, provide a clearer picture of life in China's Neolithic age and confirm that the nation originated the practice of paddy cultivation.  Archaeologists are completing a 10-year dig in Tianluo Mountain, which demonstrates a clear layout of typical Neolithic tribes, Sun Guoping, captain of the exploration team, told China Daily on Tuesday.  "It is so far the best preserved site of the Hemudu culture," he said, referring to one of the cradles of Chinese civilization.  "We can see a clear wooden structure of the living and working areas of a tribe. There were walls, food stores, paddy fields and even piles of rice husks."  The Hemudu site recorded primitive activities of ancient China from 7000-5000 BC, one of the earliest recordings of China's Neolithic age. Archaeological exploration of the site began in 1973.  Discoveries at the Tianluo Mountain site prove that the practice of cultivating paddy started in China, Sun said.  He said the site covers an area of more than 30,000 square meters with six layers. Some 1,800 sq m of land has been explored during the past 10 years of exploration, and more than 7,000 relics have been discovered.  Yao Xiaoqiang, deputy curator of the Hemudu Cultural Site Museum, said that the Tianluo Mountain site had well-preserved paddy fields from the early and late Hemudu period. "The relics had recorded the developing process of the earliest agricultural activities in the world. You can see the complete layout of primitive paddy fields, which is of great research value," Yao said.  Many of the discoveries were the first of their kind in 40 years' exploration of Hemudu culture, he said. Ancient ladders made from a single piece of wood, big houses for ritual activities, wood-carved ritual wares with birds, and wooden swords allowed people to imagine what lives were like more than 7,000 years ago. "The ritual houses and wares proved that people at that period had certain kinds of beliefs, while the food stores told us what they ate," said Yao. The Tianluo Mountain site was accidentally discovered in 2001 by locals who were trying to drill a well. Sun and his team judged that it might be a well-preserved relic of the Neolithic age. After three years' research and preparation, exploration of the site officially started in 2004.:To better protect the site, the local government spent more than 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) to build a 4,000 sq m shelter above it. The shelter has been open to tourists since 2007.