19 AOUT 2011 NEWS : Chassenon - Haldummulla - Coats Hines - Volcano -


 - 19  AOÛT 


     PRE-INSCRIPTION : 15 Juin – 31 Août

     PRE-REGISTRATION: June 15th - August 31st

 - FRANCE –  Chassenon - A Chassenon, les archéologues bénévoles entament de nouvelles fouilles sur le site de Cassinomagus. Un des sites les plus riches d'Europe, des vestiges de constructions sur plus de 130 hectares, Cassinomagus la cité romaine n'a pas fini de livrer ses secrets. «Il faudra plusieurs générations pour dévoiler l'agglomération qui se cache ici, c'est un travail tellement minutieux» explique Gabriel Rocque qui coordonne le chantier de fouilles. «Fouiller le sol n'est que la partie découverte de l'iceberg. Derrière, il y a un long travail de collecte et de classification des informations» poursuit Gabriel Rocque. L'objectif de ce chantier est de comprendre l'histoire de la construction de la cité, son organisation spatiale et la fonction des bâtiments.


 - SRI LANKA – Haldummulla - The oldest human dwelling so far identified in Sri Lanka has been discovered in Haldummulla. Prof. Raj Somadeva, of the post graduate institute of Archaeology in the Kelaniya University, said that it was discovered in an archaeological excavation carried out near Koswatta village in Haldumulla. Earlier a burial ground was found 0.5km from the recently discovered settlement. The archaeological site is situated 850 meters above sea level where the foundations of four houses, fire places, coal, iron, rock tools, pieces of clay pots and beads have been found. Prof. Somadeva said that it is the first ancient human dwelling to be found in the central hills. Further investigations are being carried out with regard to the artifacts. The foundations of two houses date back 3750 years. Two iron tools were found inside the foundations; pieces of red-coloured clay pots were also discovered, along with another object that resembles a pendant. The excavations started last year and the second phase, now under way, will end in the next two weeks.


 - USA – Coats Hines - Paul Litchy’s backyard at the end of a modern-day Franklin cul-de-sac was once a stomping ground for ice age man and beast. This week, his backyard became one of 11 places added to the National Register of Historic Places by the state Historical Commission. An archaeological excavation last fall turned up the bones, artifacts and animal remains that archaeologists now say prove human activity occurred here before 12,000 B.C. Litchy’s property — known as the Coats-Hines site — is one of the two oldest human settlements documented in Tennessee. The other oldest human settlement in Tennessee is known as the Johnson Site, along the Cumberland River east of Nashville. Since the first excavations began here in 1977, the property has made archaeologists such as Aaron Deter-Wolf beam because the artifacts show so much about life at the end of the last ice age. Excavations at the property in 1994 revealed the only known example in the southeastern U.S. of mastodon remains directly associated with human-made stone tools in an undisturbed context, according to Deter-Wolf, state prehistoric archaeologist. Last fall, archaeologists and students from Middle Tennessee State University turned up human artifacts, pollen samples and more than 1,500 animal bones that can be traced to a variety of species. Ultimately tests on last fall’s samples put early humans at the site before 12,000 B.C. While the bones and artifacts are important, the Coats-Hines site is nationally significant because it is a rare instance in which archaeologists can show ancient people interacting with animals and their context. Archaeologists believe there was a pond in Litchy’s backyard where animals were killed by hunters. Those animals included mastodons — elephant-like creatures related to woolly mammoths. Crews have recovered bones from three mastodons at the site. “Coats-Hines is extremely important to our understanding of both Tennessee and the Nashville area’s ancient past,” Deter-Wolf said. It “has the potential to provide important new information on initial human migration into North America, the tools these earliest Americans used, the food they ate and how they adapted to the changing environment at the end of the last ice age.”


 - USA – Volcano - Porcelain fragments, wine bottles, shoe leather and buttons were among the artifacts uncovered during the archaeological dig held this week around the foundation of Thornhill Mansion in Volcano. The dig is being conducted at the former home of oil and gas pioneer W.C. Stiles. The mansion was built in 1874 by Stiles, also known as the "Father of Volcano." Overlooking the once-booming oil town of Volcano, the estate was surrounded by flower gardens, orchards, a tennis court, a barn, caretaker's house and a wine, vegetable and fruit cellar. "We started out by doing a lot of research on Mr. Stiles and creating a map of the foundation," said Ericksen. "We've roped off an area around the foundation about 40 by 40 meters, and we basically dig down, in sections, until we reach a level with no artifacts. During the first four days, the group uncovered a coin, fragments of marble, animal bones, leather, wine bottle fragments and porcelain.