21 MARS 2017 NEWS: Rome - Aha Hills - Chester le Street - Minjiang - Ein Hemed - Ubali - Avignon - Cateau-Cambrésis -
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ITALIE – Rome - Archaeologists in Rome have discovered the remains of a second Arch of Titus commemorating the siege of Jerusalem by Roman emperor Titus in the 1st century C.E.Like the original Arch of Titus, it was built around 82 C.E. by Domitian, the younger brother and successor to Titus as the leader of the Roman empire. The second arch was located less than a mile away from the first one. According with lead archaeologist Marialetizia Buonfiglio, it was rare for Roman leaders to build two monuments to the same war. Domition may have built the second arch as a way to boast of his power after Rome had just weathered a devastating fire and the destructive eruption of Mount Vesuvius.The original arch of Titus is one of the most iconic depictions of Jewish history in the world. Located on the Via Sacra in Rome, it includes a detailed relief of the siege of Jerusalem.
NAMIBIE – Aha Hills - Dans le nord-est de la Namibie, à la frontière avec le Botswana, un nouveau programme de recherche dirigé par Laurent Bruxelles (géomorphologue à l’Inrap), prospecte une zone encore vierge pour la paléontologie et la Préhistoire ancienne des hominidés : les Aha Hills. Géomorphologues/karstologues, paléontologues, géologues, paléoanthropologues, archéologues et geomaticiens (traitement des images satellites et SIG) explorent cette région à la recherche de remplissages contemporains des premiers hominidés. L'objectif est de trouver des pièges à fossiles que sont les grottes. Au programme des premières missions : visites de cavités connues côté Botswana pour s'imprégner du contexte, puis prospection systématique à pied dans les Aha Hills, collines namibiennes du désert du Kalahari, à la recherche d'indices de cavités karstiques.
ROYAUME UNI – Chester le Street - A Roman bathhouse has been unearthed beneath town centre street by amateur archaeologists, exposing the first evidence the legionnaires who lived there were recruited from Gaul tribes. The remains, which have lain beneath Chester-le-Street for almost 2,000 years, were pinpointed using 19th century records and discovered under the back gardens of houses in an undisclosed residential street. The discovery sheds new light on the history of the County Durham town and has revealed details about the Roman soldiers who manned the town’s second century fort, known as Concangis. Excavations proved the walls were the changing rooms of the legionnaires’ bathhouse and they followed the line into the next-door garden, where the doorway and drainage from the baths’ cold room was unearthed, followed in the next neighbour’s garden by the hot room, complete with its distinctive underfloor heating. The team were unable to examine half the building because modern-day structures were in the way, but they were able to calculate that a 40-metre building, complete with cavity walls and hypocaust to spread heat, stood on the site. Few artefacts were found during the dig, but one, a stamp tile revealed, for the first time, the name of the unit which garrisoned the fort, The Fifth Cohort of Gauls, raised among the conquered tribes of modern-day France. Mr Mason said: “In a Roman baths, the soldiers would move along through cold rooms and hot rooms, then apply oils which would be scraped off with a bronze blade to take the dirt and perspiration off. “It was a considerable building because there was a unit of 500 men and each day around half of them would want a bath. “The military authorities would consider a bathhouse vital because it keeps their troops clean, improves levels of hygiene and therefore reduces the risk of disease which would reduce their effectiveness as a fighting force.“There would be certain times when the civilian population could use it, because it’s in the army’s interests to keep the civilians clean and healthy so disease doesn’t spread to the soldiers.
CHINE - Minjiang River - Archaeologists on Monday said that they have recovered more than 10,000 gold and silver items that sank to the bottom of a river in southwestern Sichuan Province over 300 years ago. The items included a large amount of gold, silver and bronze coins and jewellery as well as iron weapons such as swords, knifes and spears, said Gao Dalun, director of Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute. The characters carved in the gold and silver utensils are still clear and the embossed patterns on the jewellery show exquisite craftsmanship, state—run news agency Xinhua quoted archaeologists as saying. The treasure site, located in the intersection of Minjiang River and its branch Jinjiang River, is 50 km away south of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. It is believed that in 1646, peasant uprising leader Zhang Xianzhong was defeated in the area by Ming Dynasty (1368—1644) soldiers while attempting to transfer his treasure to the south. About 1,000 boats loaded with money and valuables sank during the skirmish. Archaeologists said the excavation will last until April and the team expects to unearth more items.
ISRAEL – Ein Hemed - A cache of nine bronze coins that may have been stashed by terrified Christians fleeing ahead of invading Persian forces has been found in an archaeological dig ahead of roadwork on the highway to Jerusalem. The coins date from the 7th century C.E., which is the late Byzantine era, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority, which in June conducted a salvage excavation ahead of widening Highway 1 between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Dating the coins was a cinch because they bear the images of the Byzantine emperors Justinian (483-565 AD), Maurice (539-602 CE) and Phocas (547-610 CE). They were struck at three different mints, Constantinople, Antioch, and Nicomedia, all located in today's Turkey. An image of the emperor wearing military garb and carrying crosses is depicted on the obverse of the coins, while the reverse indicates the coin’s denomination. “The hoard was found amongst large stones that had collapsed alongside the building," says Annette Landes-Nagar, director of the excavation on behalf of the IAA. "It seems that during a time of danger the owner of the hoard placed the coins in a cloth purse that he concealed inside a hidden niche in the wall. He probably hoped to go back and collect it." If so, he didn't.
INDE – Ubali - Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University has unearthed significant archaeological evidence at Ubali at Kalmeshwar Taluka in Nagpur district. Dr Preety Trivedi, Head and Professor of the Department who was also the Director of this excavation said, “The evidence brought to light from this excavation has provided interesting information regarding the close Human-Equine Associations with the discovery of an intact horse skull from one of the burial pits within the Megalith, for the first time in Vidarbha.”The Director of the excavation, Professor Preety A Trivedi, is the first lady Head of the Department, also endeavours to bring about heritage and archaeological awareness among the local people of Ubali and Nagpur towards these seemingly unpretentious monuments, which contain a wealth of information dating back to the Iron Age, also known as the Vedic Age in India. “This village has approximately 67 Megaliths situated on a hillock surrounded by plains. Megalithic stone circles are burial tombs and represent a very important and extensive aspect of the archaeology, culture and ritualistic practices prevalent among a specific group of people in the pre-Christian Era. These tombs are commonly found in Vidarbha and may be identified as big boulders, arranged in a circle,” elaborates Dr Trivedi.
FRANCE – Avignon - Des travaux ont exhumés une fresque le long de l’hôtel de ville d'Avignon. La fresque date du premier siècle avant ou après Jésus-Christ. Cette fresque exceptionnelle restera enfouie car elle fait partie d'un portique déjà recensé par les spécialistes. C'est en creusant pour installer des poubelles qu'une équipe d'ouvriers a exhumé un mur peint, décoré d'un Eros couronnés, entourés de motifs géométriques et bordé d'une frise dont les couleurs or, rouge, bleu et vert sont encore remarquablement conservées. La fresque est du troisième ou quatrième style pompéien de fresque murale selon l’archéologue du département, Dominique Carru. Son emplacement ne surprend pas les spécialistes puisqu’à cet endroit déjà, les Gallo-romains de la ville d'Avenio avaient installé leur forum, la place centrale où les citoyens traitaient leurs affaires politiques et économiques. Un portique monumental de 120 m de long a déjà été recensé par les archéologues qui ont décidé de laisser enfouie la fresque. Elle sera photographiée.
FRANCE – Cateau-Cambrésis - Au Cateau-Cambrésis, le chantier de construction de la nouvelle école Langevin, qui devait débuter dans les prochains jours, a été suspendu. En cause, la découverte, lors des fouilles archéologiques préventives, de silex qui pourraient dater du Paléolithique. Le diagnostic archéologique préventif a mis au jour des vestiges laissant supposer aux archéologues « l’existence d’un site paléolithique qui pourrait dater d’entre 80 000 et 100 000 ans avant notre ère », a fait savoir le maire du Cateau, ce jeudi matin.