18 AOUT 2015 NEWS: Tal Abu Sowan - Fort George - Folkestone - Landsjö -







JORDANIEJordanie  Tal Abu Sowan - An archaeological excavation team from the University of Jordan (UJ) has recently unearthed two human skulls that date back to the Neolithic period (7500-5500 BC) at a site in Jerash, the head of the excavation site said Saturday. The importance of the discovery lies in the rarity of the skulls, as archaeologists estimate that a maximum of 12 sites across the world contain similar human remains, according to Maysoon Nahar, the dean of the university’s archaeology and tourism faculty. Nahar, who led the excavations, told The Jordan Times that the skulls discovered at the Tal Abu Sowan site near the Roman ruins, are thought to belong to a male and a female who enjoyed “high social status” due to their contributions to regulating agricultural activities and family-ownership of land. The burial technique and direction indicate their significance, she said, explaining that the skulls faced the west towards Jericho, one of the oldest agricultural cities in history. Furthermore, one of the two skulls had a shell in the place of the eye, which also symbolises social significance. Nahar said the excavation team carried the findings to the laboratory without cleaning the pieces of soil as the process requires “special attention”, expecting the privately  owned land where the excavation took place to be purchased by the government and turned into a tourist site to add further depth to the Roman sites in Jerash, some 48km north of Amman. The Tal Abu Sowan and Ein Ghazal sites are what we call mega-sites as they were inhabited by central communities that were surrounded by smaller ones,” she told The Jordan Times over phone.


USA Fort george Fort George - Fort George was designed as a massive fortress, made of limestone quarried from the hill it sits on. It was designed to be a northern British outpost in Great Britain’s struggle for control of the North American continent during the French and Indian War. This was the key to the French and Indian War and the American Revolution (20 years later),” Sarnacki said. “Whoever controlled the corridor from New York City to Montreal controlled the continent.” But the British capture of French-held Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) under Major General Jeffery Amherst in late summer 1759 made Fort George obsolete. Construction, which had begun that same year, quickly came to a halt. The only visible reminder is the large southwest bastion, whose roughly 20-foot high wall was reconstructed during the 1920s and 30s. Until now, researchers thought this bastion was the only work that had taken place in 1759. But this year’s field school produced evidence that soldiers had also begun laying the foundation for the southeast bastion and the fort’s east wall as well. “This would have been the largest fort in North America at that time,” Gersten said. The Field School, under the direction of Plymouth State University Professor David Starbuck, has been held annually in Lake George and Fort Edward since the early 1990s. In addition to uncovering the southeast bastion’s foundation, this year’s school had two other main objectives. One was excavating a structure within Fort George’s southwest bastion. Sarnacki, Schmid and Gersten were part of a team that unearthed a clearly defined limestone-and-mortar wall. Our best guess is that it was a casement, a storage room where powder, ammunition and other supplies would have been kept,” Schmid said. “It would have had a massive roof on it to protect it from cannon fire.” However, it’s unknown if the roof was ever built. This whole hill is limestone,” Schmid said. “Two quarries on the north and south side of the hill would have produced the mortar.” Many bricks were also found, most likely made in a nearby brick kiln that’s indicated on old maps.


ROYAUME UNI Folk Folkestone - Archaeologists in Folkestone have discovered a stone works from the Iron Age that could explain where the town gets its name from. A team of volunteers who have been digging at East Cliff uncovered dozens of half-finished quern stones, which were used for grinding corn and flour around 2,000 years ago. Andrew Richardson, outreach manager at Canterbury Archaeological Trust, said the team believe it means the site was originally part of a stone works. He said this could be where the name Folkestone originated. The excavation site is that of a Roman villa, but Mr Richardson said the Iron Age quern stones are more interesting. He said: “There are dozens of them lying about half-finished, so we believe this place made them, it was a factory for them. The quern-stone industry and everything that goes with it is from the first century BC and the first century AD, and the Roman villa is from around 100AD. When the villa was built, I suspect they did not want it next door to a stone-working industry. So I think it probably came to an end then.”


SUEDELandjo Landsjö - Late Iron Age settlements are full of copper alloy objects, making them the preferred site category of metal detectorists. High Medieval castle sites, on the other hand, are quite poor in these often distinctive and informative finds. The picture above shows all the copper alloy and lead that my team of ~15 found in over two weeks of excavations at Landsjö castle this past July, screening the dirt and using a metal detector in our trenches. Only seven objects! We collected 133 pieces of iron in that time, of which 77% are sadly nails in various states of completeness and thus not terribly informative. 172 is a piece of folded sheet lead. I’m going to ask the conservator to unfold it, because sometimes they hide magic spells inscribed with runes. 173 is a piece of thin embossed foil that broke after we lifted it. It just might be a really debased bracteate coin. Conservation will tell. 174 is a half-pipe fitting that has been riveted onto something, maybe a strap. Hoping for some decoration to show up. 175 is a rose-shaped embossed-sheet dress spangle, a ströning. 176 is a thick domed sherd, probably from a tripod cooking pot. 177 is an 18th century jacket button. 178 is a cylindrical cap made of thin sheet, probably also from the 18th century. I don’t know what this may have been part of.