19 JANVIER 2011



 - USA – Ewing - A archeological dig that has been under way for months as part of the proposed Scudder Falls Bridge replacement project has turned up evidence that Native Americans lived at the site as long ago as 500 B.C. and as recently as 1500 A.D. The most intriguing evidence are the physical remains of a large number of hearths- They are the remains of where the Native Americans would have been cooking food for storage and for daily meals- The archeological team found the charred remains of nut shells that might be evidence of the Native Americans' diet. Other artifacts found so far include little chips of stone that the Native Americans might have used to create a tool, such as an arrowhead. Many of the artifacts would just be a piece of stone to a layman, but information about the technology being employed by Native Americans to make their tools tells us about their ways of life- About 10 percent of the artifacts are tools, including projectile points, pottery, markers used for drawings, kemp materials and hammer stones- The artifacts are taken from the site to an off-site lab where they are cleaned, processed and cataloged. Some objects, such as ceramics that may contain plant or animal residue, are sent to a specialized lab for analysis- The archeologists said they expect to find some of the same types of artifacts on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River.


 - INDONESIE – Sumatra- A recently discovered megalithic site and a mass grave in South Sumatra is now regarded as sacred and the land on which it was found as holy ground by the villagers of Segayun in the Gumay Ulu district of Lahat. The South Sumatra Archaeology Center has said it would first need to coordinate with the Segayun villagers, who are defending the site as their own protected land, before any excavation could begin or survey plans could materialize. A researcher for the center, Kristantina Indriastuti, suggested on Tuesday that the site was a prehistoric residential area, judging by a statue of half a human body found 30 meters away from the grave. She confirmed that a team of researchers would soon be sent to study the site, adding that she believed the villagers of Segayun would never allow any harm to come it.
“Nobody would dare interfere with that site. The villagers themselves are afraid to disturb it as they believe it is holy and has mystical powers,” she said.  Although it was too early to know the exact date of the site, she said, it almost certainly predated the spread of Islam to Indonesia. She added that the center needed to survey the ground and find out more about the people or objects possibly buried there thousands of years ago. Thamrin told  that a gravestone found in the area was carved with batik-like motifs. Kristantina said reports from the site stated that the batik motifs on the gravestone were about 50 centimeters high and 15 centimeters wide. She told that a temple complex — now named Bumi Ayu — had previously been discovered in the South Sumatran district of Muara Enim and has since become a popular tourist site for people outside the province.


 - ROYAUME-UNI    Bicester - Twelve skeletons have been found under the car park at a Bicester church. The bones were found by builders who are midway through constructing the John Paul II Centre in the grounds of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, in the Causeway. Archaeologists have exhumed the remains and believe the skeletons date from late Anglo-Saxon times, between 700 and 950 AD. The car park is believed to cover part of a Saxon church site, dating from between 410 and 1066AD. Experts believe the church itself was on or near the site of the current St Edburg’s Church in Church Street, with its cemetery to the west. Matthew Smith, senior archaeological consultant with heritage advisers CGMS: “The excavations offer an excellent opportunity to greater understand the people of Bicester in Saxon times.” He said early indications showed the bodies were buried according to Christian tradition of the time, facing east, but the remains were still being fully analysed. Mr Smith said: “The new community centre is being constructed in an area, which in Saxon times, was a focus of religious faith. “The Saxon people of Bicester, who were interred in the cemetery, would have had a distinct sense of local community.” Archaeologists hope to find out more details about those who were buried, including the kind of food they ate and when they died.


 - SRI LANKA – Great Basses - A collection of silver coins discovered from a wreckage of a ship that had sunk in the sea off the Great Basses reef (Maha Ravana) off Kirinda on the Southern coast about 310 years ago is now on display at the Galle Marine Archaeology Museum. The conservator of artifacts said many of the coins had been damaged and discoloured.  According to history, the ill-fated ship had been carrying a consignment of silver coins from Surat in the north western coast of India to the eastern coast and while it was sailing through Sri Lankan waters it had gone off course, probably due to a storm and had hit a reef. The archaeologist said that the coins manufactured during the reign of the last Mogul emperor Auranzib (AD 1638 – AD 1707AD) had been discovered by a team of marine researchers under Mike Wilson in 1961 and Dr Arthur C. Clark drawing the attention of international marine researchers. The researchers said that the sea off Kirinda where the ship had sunk was usually rough throughout the year excepting for about one month during the transition period between the South Eastern and South Western monsoons. Southern Province Chief Conservator of Artifacts K Y Saman Gamini said that the coins carrying the figure of Emperor Aurunzib had been manufactured as a mark of respect to the emperor. He said the coins that had been open to sea water for a long time were cleaned with a special chemical by the conservators before displaying them at the Marine Museum.  He said 17 artillery guns and four anchors of the ship were among other artifacts discovered from the wreckage by the marine archaeologists.


 - EGYPTE Visitors are causing so much damage to the tomb of Tutankhamun that Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities wants to close it and open a replica instead- There can be no disputing the problem. Howard Carter emptied Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922, leaving four rooms cut from the rock, one of them covered in paintings. It was recognised immediately that the sterile environment had been compromised: Carter's chemist found "air-infections" the day after they broke in. Those were nothing, however, compared with the humidity, fungi and dust wafted through the tomb by a thousand or more visitors a day. Cue staining, crumbling and erosion of the paint. Short of sand-blasting it, you would be hard pushed to devise a more efficient mechanism for destroying the 3,300-year-old art. The problem affects ancient sites around the world. The great thing about Tutankhamun's tomb will be the replica's quality. Technology means that a copy now can be visually indistinguishable from the original; and you can see it with better lighting and access. Indeed, the replication process is so precise, it brings new insights to the original, helping academics and tour guides alike. No, it's not the real tomb. But it is a real facsimile, and when you visit you will become part of a cutting-edge research project. Before, you were just a pan scourer.

 Vallée des Rois -


 - USA – St Augustine - A St. Augustine archaeologist and a team of volunteers believe they've found a piece of colonial history. A site dug up to make way for a new trolley station has uncovered some interesting finds. St. Augustine's city archaeologist, Carl Halbirt, says post holes and soil stains at the site indicate it may be one of the area's earliest wooden forts. Also discovered at the site are intact glass bottles, an ornate candlestick holder, shards of pottery, plates and animal remains.Halbirt believes it take another several weeks to be sure what they've found.