18 AVRIL 2011 NEWS - Colchester - Coppergate - Prescott - Delhi - Islamabad -
- 18 AVRIL
- ROYAUME-UNI – Colchester - Archaeologists believe they have uncovered the remains of two Roman soldiers beneath one of Colchester’s former barracks. The remains of two spearmen, laid to rest on their backs with their weapons and armour, have been discovered in a cemetery beneath the former Hyderabad Barracks. The Colchester Archaeological Trust believes they could have been Saxon soldiers hired in the 4th or 5th century AD – the final days of the Roman empire. Trust director Philip Crummy said one strong theory is the spearmen were related to 4th century remains found buried in a similar style near the Roman chariot circus. Many men from the continent were hired by the Romans and posted at frontier towns and cities like Colchester to act as limitanei – lightly armed soldiers who were given land in return. Some then turned on their masters and paved the way for the conquest of much of eastern Britain by their own kind from across the North Sea. The recently-discovered bodies were buried with their shields on their chests and spears by their sides, while one had a dagger held in a belt around his waist. The wooden parts of the weapons have largely decayed, but the ironwork shield bosses, spear heads and dagger remain. The trust, which is carrying out the excavations for developer Taylor Wimpey, plans to carry out tests later this year to discover whether the soldiers lived at the end of the Roman era, or during the subsequent Anglo-Saxon period. The excavations at the Hyderabad and Meanee barracks mean there is little left of the former Roman Garrison area for archaeologists to explore, as it is being turned into a major housing development. While the highlight was the discovery of the starting gates of the Roman chariot circus in the gardens of the sergeants’ mess, Mr Crummy said plenty more of interest had been found. He said: “Taylor Wimpey deserves huge credit for the very significant archaeological successes of recent years on the Garrison site including, of course, the discovery of the Roman circus.
- ROYAUME-UNI – Coppergate - Academics at Dundee University have helped recreate the face of a Viking woman whose skeleton was unearthed in York more than 30 years ago. The facial reconstruction was achieved by laser-scanning her skull to create a 3D digital model. Eyes were then digitally created, along with hair and a bonnet, to complete the look. The female skeleton used was one of four excavated at Coppergate in York. The reconstruction process was carried out using specialist computer equipment which allowed the user to "feel" what they were modelling on screen. The anatomy of the face was modelled in "virtual clay" from the deep muscles to the surface. Dundee University researcher Janice Aitken took the digital reconstruction and added the finishing touches. She explained: "I use the same sort of software as is used to create 3D animations in the film industry. I digitally created realistic eyes, hair and bonnet and added lighting to create a natural look.
- USA – Prescott - When Dave Kurr was a kid exploring the hills north of Prescott with his friends, he was bummed out when they would find arrowheads and he never did. It took him until he was 43 years old to find an Indian artifact, but he's made up for it by finding an amazingly rare ceramic jar on the Prescott National Forest. Kurr found an intact clay jar used by the Yavapai people long ago. Realizing that the location of an artifact is important to understanding it, he photographed it, marked its coordinates on his GPS and left it in place. Then he looked around on the Internet to find an archaeologist he could tell about his find. But Kurr had no idea just how rare the jar is. It's called a Tizon Wiped jar, and only a handful are known to exist. "To find one pretty much whole is phenomenal," said Elaine Zamora, an archaeologist on the Prescott National Forest who helped relocate the jar and bring it to the forest offices in Prescott. "It's a thrill to see it."
- INDE – Delhi - It was touted as the biggest public-private collaboration in Delhi between the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the heritage conservation body, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach), but an agreement between these two bodies to restore five protected monuments in Lodi Garden has hit rough waters. In the first phase, Bara Gumbad, Shish Gumbad and Mohammed Shah's tomb were to be conserved and phase II consisted of Sikander Lodi's tomb and Athpula.
- INDE – Delhi - With over 1,200 heritage buildings in the city out of which 173 are under central protection of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and about 50 more with the state government, Delhi is one of the most historically rich cities in the world and now even the state government is seriously contemplating sending a proposal to Unesco for getting Delhi a world heritage city tag. Plans are afoot by both ASI and the state archaeology department to give a facelift to the city's many monuments and work is in progress at sites like Hauz Khas, Adilabad Fort, Lodi Gardens, etc.
- PAKISTAN – Islamabad - After devolution of the Department of Archaeology and Museums (DOAM), more than 200 sites and monuments scattered across the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), including two forts built in 15th and 16th centuries, face a gloomy future. Naturally defended by a small Himalayan range from one side and the Soan River on the other, the Pharwala Fort was built by the Gakhars in the 15th century on the ruins of a 10th century fort. It has been continuously facing neglect over the years. Similarly neglect had done more damage to the 16th century Rawat Fort than the battle between the Gakhar chief, Sultan Sarang Khan, and Sher Shah Suri in 1546. The two forts, properties of the federal Department of Archaeology, were protected under the Antiquities Act 1975. Other sites and monuments under the purview of DOAM include the Sari Kharbuza of the Mughal period, Bobri, Kenthala, Kuri, Mohra Malhair, Shah Ditta, Peja, the Rawal Lake temple, Ahadra Cave, rock shelter in sector G-13, and archaeological remains in G-12.
- PAKISTAN – Islamabad - UNESCO has developed a “National Database for Pakistan’s Cultural Assets” to safe guard, conserve and preserve the cultural and natural heritage of NWFP.The database is a Geographical Information System (GIS) compatible database in which contribution was made possible due to the cooperation from the Ministry of Culture and its attached bodies: National Institute of Folk Heritage (Lok Virsa), Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) and the Department of Archaeology and Museums (DOAM)-