20 MARS 2018: Belfast - Parris Island - Xi'an -






ROYAUME UNICarrickferguscastlejpg Belfast - A major archaeological excavation is ongoing at Carrickfergus Castle. The excavation will investigate the ground at the entrance to the castle, where earlier investigations revealed buried structures and artefacts. It is expected to take up to six weeks and once complete, the information gathered will help consideration of possible redesign of the entrance ramp to improve access to the castle. It dates back to 1170’s and is one of the most complete examples of Norman architecture in Northern Ireland, and one of the most complete castles of its type in the British Isles. DfC Principal Inspector of Historic Monuments, Dr John O’Keeffe added: "Excavations at the entrance to the castle were carried out in 1950 by Dudley Waterman, and uncovered remains of a structure interpreted then as the drawbridge pit protecting access to the Gatehouse. The new investigations will determine how much has survived under the ground, and how it can be protected in the course of new works.


USA – Parris Island - Archaeologists have started mapping a 16th-century Spanish settlement that was once located on present-day Parris Island. Chester DePratter and Victor Thompson are using remote sensing to chart the archaeological history of the Santa Elena site. DePratter and Thompson found the former location of the elusive Spanish fort San Marcos in 2016 and continue to map out the site’s history, which dates back more than 4,000 years. The Santa Elena History Foundation said this month the archaeologists’ work will help paint a picture of what life was like during the 21-year occupation of Santa Elena, the former capital of Spanish La Florida. “Archaeologists began excavating the remains of the Charlesfort and Santa Elena site in 1979, but they have never had a good map of the settlement,” the foundation said in a news release. The Santa Elena settlement started as a military outpost in the mid-16th century before becoming the capital of Spanish Florida. It was abandoned in 1576 in a Native American attack, reoccupied in 1577 with the construction of the fort and abandoned again in 1587. It once covered almost 15 acres and had about 400 residents. Starting in 2016, Thompson and DePratter sent pulses and electric currents into the ground and measured differences in magnetic fields to map the settlement’s remains. They pinpointed the locations of two missing forts, a church, shops, houses, streets and a plaza. The work led to several new discoveries: The probable location of the remains of two native council houses that date to the mid-17th century; Areas that represent rows of dwellings for enslaved peoples; Circular features in the northern portion of the site dating to the Late Archaic/Early Woodland period of Native American prehistory, 2750-1360 BC, are roughly the same diameter of shell rings of the region and possibly represent a Stallings period Circular Village.


CHINEQin dynasty Xi'an - A bronze kettle containing liquor from a Qin Dynasty tomb, dating back more than 2,000 years, has been discovered by archaeologists in west China's Shaanxi Province. The kettle is a sacrificial vessel. It was among 260 items unearthed from a graveyard of commoners' tombs from the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC). Most of the relics were for worshiping rituals. Xu Weihong, a researcher with the provincial archaeological institute, said about 300 ml of liquor was found in the kettle, which had its opening sealed with natural fibers. The liquor is transparent milky white. Researchers believed it was made using fermentation techniques, as it was composed of glutamic acid substances. Also found in the tombs was a bronze sword 60-centimeters long. The sword has octahedrons in the middle, which increases the weapon's effectiveness. There are also breaches on the edge of the sword, suggesting it was used in a war. Another important finding was a turtle plastron shell 14-centimeters long. There were a dozen punches inside the shell, and burn marks on its edge. The characters suggest that it was used by a fortune-teller for divination.