21 JUILLET 2014 NEWS: Hunsrück - Cho Lach - Gallow Hill - Callosa del Segura - Truro - Manuden - Tel Lachish - Purana Quila -
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ALLEMAGNE – Hunsrück - Des gravures ont été découvertes sur un rocher de schiste situé dans le Hunsrück, un massif montagneux d'Allemagne. Quatre animaux y ont été représentés : deux grands chevaux, un autre plus petit et un animal indéterminé. Ces gravures pourraient dater de -20 à -25.000 ans, et seraient les premières gravures rupestres paléolithiques d'Allemagne.
VIET NAM – Cho Lach - Experts from the Ben Tre Museum and the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City unearthed a tomb and a smaller one perpendicular to it at Cho Lach Town in the district of the same name. According to Assoc. Prof. Pham Duc Manh, dean of the school’s Faculty of Archaeology, the tombs might date back to the late 18th or the early 19th century. They embody features of those built for aristocrats under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). The bigger tomb was built in the form of a traditional house, while the other is similar to a small temple, he said. Notably, they were built from a mixture of substances, including shell, sand and, especially, sap extracted from “o duoc” trees (Lindera myrrha) – which is said to help structures endure. The corpses, including one of a child, were buried directly underground with the depth of up to 275 cm. This is the first time Vietnamese experts have discovered a whole tomb made from such a mixture reserved for a child, Manh noted.
ROYAUME UNI – Gallow Hill - Archaeologists are investigating whether human remains discovered at a North-east distillery site belonged to prisoners condemned to death. Glen Moray Distillery in Elgin called in the experts after two skeletons were found in a shallow grave on its site. The remains were discovered near Gallow Hill, which was once the place where public executions were carried out. Aberdeen-based Cameron Archaeology has since excavated the site, and says further research is now needed to determine the age and gender of the skeletons.
ESPAGNE – Callosa del Segura- The latest excavations by the Archaeological Museum of Alicante (MARQ) at the site of the Argaric 'Hillside Castle' in Callosa del Segura, has exposed three graves inside a family home. They are of a child under two years old, buried inside an earthenware sontainer, an adult male and a child of about 6 or 7 years of age, next to which they also discovered two important ivory buttons. Burials inside houses was a common practice by this ancient civilization that lived in the south of the province of Alicante over 4000 years ago. The residents of Algar were a Bronze Age settlement that occupied the southeastern area of the Iberian Peninsula between the years 2100 and 1500 BC. The site of 'Las Laderas del Castillo’ (the Slopes Castle), was first explored in the early twentieth century by Jesuit Julio Furgús and later by the Catalan archaeologist Josep Colominas. The site is one of the most important Bronze Age settlements found on the Iberian Peninsula covering twenty hectares with over a thousand residents. Meanwhile a Little further up the coast in Calpe, excavations carried out in Pobla d'Ifach has unearthed a document confirming the ‘right to fire’ in their homes in the fourteenth century. The 'fogatge' was a hearth tax, one of the oldest taxes known, which was imposed on settlements by the landowners, in this case to 100 families, which implies that the settlement would have about 400 inhabitants. The team of archaeologists from the Archaeological Museum of Alicante (MARQ) have so far discovered 50 tombs in which the have made many new ‘finds’. including many bodies of children, their bones showing signs of premature disease which suggests they were suffering from poor nutrition. Archaeologists have speculated that the settlement came north, perhaps from Lleida, looking for a better life.
ROYAUME UNI – Truro - Minor treasures of Cornish history found by metal detectors, in gardens and on fields will go on show in Truro for the first time this week. The finds, made mostly by amateur archaeologists and members of the public, include the hoard of a Bronze Age metalworker from St Buryan and a collection of Roman coins found at Luxulyan. Other gems include a Bronze Age gold twisted torc neck ring, bronze axes, bronze brooches, a bronze razor, an Iron Age coin from Brittany, Roman gold jewellery, Anglo-Scandinavian stirrup strap mounts, a Medieval silver seal matrix, a rare Medieval silver piedfort or reckoning counter, post-Medieval silver gilt dress hooks. The exhibition, which is at the Royal Cornwall Museum, has been made possible by a significant grant from the Art Fund, with support from The Headley Trust.
ROYAUME UNI – Manuden - A human skeleton possibly dating from Anglo Saxon times was discovered during an archaeological dig in Manuden. The remains were found close to the main road in one of 10 test pits that were dug in gardens of homes around the village.“The skeleton is thought to be male, about 6ft tall and it was a Christian burial as his hands were crossed over his pelvis,” said Fiona Bengtsen, chairman of Manuden and Berden History Society. “As the pits are only one metre square only part of the body was visible. It was right at the bottom of the pit as the students were about to close and backfill the pit so photographs were hurriedly taken and samples of soil taken before the pit was closed. “The skeleton was very deep in the soil and was ancient, possibly Anglo Saxon. Other test pits produced evidence of habitation in the village over many centuries including a George II 1739 coin, burnt flints, bone needle case fragments, a dog burial, medieval pottery fragments and many more finds. A spokesman for the University of Cambridge said: “As well as adding to the evidence we already have about the earliest known settlement in Manuden, the test pit excavations have now thrown up the intriguing mystery of the skeleton in the garden.” It is the fourth year Manuden has hosted the dig.
ISRAËL – Tel Lachish- Prof. Yosef Garfinkel states that current excavations at Tel Lachish have discovered a new, earlier entrance to the city on the northeast side of the tell. This is the opposite side of the mound from the known Iron Age gate. It lies on the southwest side of the tell and was discovered in the 1930s by Starkey and Tufnell. This gate and its approach ramp relate to the city levels destroyed by Sennacherib of Assyria in 701 B.C. and Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 587/6 B.C. Garfinkel believes the northeast section of the tell would have been a natural entrance point to the city in earlier times. The 2014 excavations exposed and clarified ancient fortifications in this area. Garfinkel gives the newly-discovered entrances a preliminary dating to the early Iron and Middle Bronze ages. (Biblically, this is the period ranging from the early kingdom years back to the Patriarchs.) Gates are important discoveries for several reasons. They are key fortification points and can provide useful data on the defenses and layout of related city levels. City gates were also centers for trade, exchange, tax collection, worship/cultic practice, legal matters and record keeping.
INDE – Purana Quila - For the first time, the Archaeological Survey of India has unearthed evidence connecting 2,000 years of ancient history of inhabitants of Delhi from the Sultanate period (1205-1526 A.D.) to the Mauryan Empire (322-298 BC.) All the evidence has been excavated from the Purana Quila by the Delhi Circle of the ASI. This is for the first time the ASI has been able to unearth evidence connecting modern, middle and ancient history from one site. The excavation undertaken under the supervision of ASI Delhi Circle’s chief archaeologist Vasant Swarnkar began in January. “The excavation was put recently put on hold due to monsoon showers. We have covered the entire site with polythene and clay. But the excavation will resume in October again,” a senior ASI official said. “This will be the first ASI site which will be open to visitors to attract tourists to the national capital,” he added. The excavation was primarily carried to establish who were the first inhabitants of Delhi. During the Mahabharata period, Indraprastha was the capital of Pandavas. Yudhisthira had been given charge of five villages — agpat, Sonepat, Tilpat, Inderpath and Panipat. The site was being excavated to see who were the first settlers in the Purana Quila area about 5,000 years ago. The archaeologists have unearthed a well, which has 18 rings, each of 18 inch width separated at a distance of 18 inches. The total depth of the well is of 27 meters. The well is said to be of the Mayuran period. The ring well clearly indicates that the water distribution system in the Mauriyan period was similar to that of the modern system. The ASI also found a pucca brick wall with lime flooring of the Sultanate period. A wall of kucha bricks and an idol of Lord Vishnu belonging to the Rajput period has also been found. The archaeologists also found several seals, with Brahmvant inscribed on them in Brahimini, of the Gupta period. As far as the Kushant period is concerned, the ASI found evidence of a house made of pucca bricks. Some bronze coins of the Kushant period were also found during the excavation. A building made up of stones and kuccha bricks, dating back to the Shung period were also found. A bathroom like structure with a chula has also been excavated. The ASI also found idols made of clay of the Mayuran period.