21 JANVIER 2011



CHINE –Chenjiashan - The cultural relics administration office of Qingshen County in Sichuan Province has completed its first excavation of the Chenjiashan ruins site- According to the office, archaeologists found five tombs belonging to Song and Yuan periods and clear cultural layers from periods ranging from the Tang dynasty to Qing dynasty. They collected nearly 1,000 samples of various kinds of pottery and porcelain. Also they unearthed some well-preserved funeral objects, including barn jars and pottery. In addition, a well-preserved stone hatchet was also discovered at the Chenjiashan ruins site. In the excavation area, which totaled 300 square meters, many things that were unearthed surprised archaeologists because they were seen for the first time appearances in a local archaeological expedition. These included two secondary burial tombs belonging to the period between the end of the Song dynasty and the early Yuan dynasty, a pair of barn jars full of a liquid that was possibly wine, a well-preserved stone hatchet (a kind of major tool of the ancient Chinese from the New Stone Age to Han dynasty) and a ceramic pendant for a fishing net.


ARMENIE – Arenie - The archaeological finds in Areni cave are sensational, director of the institute of archaeology and ethnography said. “The finds are being examined in international laboratories,” Pavel Avetisyan told journalists on January 21. For his part, head of the Armenian-Irish-American archaeological group Boris Gasparyan informed that a worm was found in the brain of a girl discovered in the cave last year. “Presently, scientists are trying to find out whether the worm penetrated into the brain before or after the girl’s death,” he said. Excavation in the Areni cave have been in progress since 2007. http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/culture/news/60029/Archaeological_finds_in_Areni_cave_sensational

CHINE – Xian - A conservation project on a temple dating to 634 AD along China's famed 'silk road' known as the Daming Palace has become a model for preservation and urban renovation at the same time, according to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). The Tang Dynasty monument, is considered the 'pinnace of palace architecture in China,' and became part of a local and national government initiative to "preserve while developing" the site. International archaeologists from ICOMOS have been monitoring the restoration of the neglected temple, located in a run-down area of the ancient city of Xi'an in China's central Shaanxi province. The project aims to salvage the city's archaeological area, which has been illegally built on in recent years. It is also upgrading delapidated and deprived residential parts of the area. The site is one of 12 archaeological areas that have earned China's 'National Archaeological Park" title. The site renovation is the result of a 2007 meeting in Xi'an when authorities agreed to follow the principles "efficient reserving...ancient culture while serving society." The Daming Palace National Heritage Park opened in October, 2010.


EGYPTE - Vallée des Rois - Many reports in the past two weeks announced the closure of this tourist magnet by the end of this year. Although suffering from the wear and tear caused by hordes of sweaty visitors drawn in by the elaborate murals and the boy king’s mummy, which is kept in a climate-controlled glass case, the burial won’t close its doors so soon. Tutankhamun’s tomb will not be closed in the near future. It is a long-term plan that has not been decided upon yet- The long-term plan involves a $10 million project called the “Valley of the Replicas.” Visitors will be directed to exact reproductions of the original tombs. The first three replicas will be the tombs of Tutankhamun, and the already closed burial sites of Seti I and Queen Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens. The three original tombs will remain open to tourists willing to pay a very hefty fee, perhaps as high as $8,500 per visit. One of the world’s most visited tombs, King Tut’s tomb, also known as KV62, is also one of the smaller of the 63 burials in the Valley of the Kings. The desolate, rocky place on the western bank of the Nile River near Luxor was supposed to be the ultimate hidden burial- Indeed, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to the 11th century B.C., mummies of kings and nobles were buried there in tombs cut from limestone. Ironically, the sacred burial site has become one of the world most popular tourist attractions, visited by some 9,000 people a day. The number of visitors to King Tut's tomb itself, which once saw an average of 6,000 tourists a day, is now limited to 1,000. Restrictions have been made necessary as the burial’s popularity increased with the public display of the glass-encased mummy in 2007. Indeed, exactly 85 years after Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon discovered the pharaoh's treasure-packed tomb, King Tut’s mummy left his original ornate sarcophagus forever and moved to a new coffin in the antechamber of his small underground tomb. Black, leathery, shriveled and cracked, the 3,300-year-old pharaoh, who ascended the throne at age nine and reigned until his death at 19, has been generating significant funds for the preservation of Egyptian antiquities- His mummified face, including his toothy smile, and his teenage feet are the only visible parts behind the thick glass walls. The boy king will eventually return to the peace and quiet he enjoyed for more than three millennia. When the doors of his tomb close forever, his mummy won’t be moved from its original resting place in the Valley of the Kings. The mummy will remain inside the tomb-