21 SEPTEMBRE 2012 NEWS: Monasterace - Thiruvananthapuram - Istres - Lochbrow - Idaho - Aşıklıhöyük -
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ITALIE – Monasterace - A large mosaic, likely of ancient Greek origins, has been discovered in the southern Italian town of Monasterace. The discovery was announced Thursday by Mayor Maria Carmela Lanzetta. The polychrome mosaic, said to be well-preserved, measures 25 square meters and covers the entire floor of a room in a thermal bath. According to archaeologist Francesco Cuteri, who made the discovery, the mosaic is the largest found in southern Italy and dates from the Hellenistic period, which ran from about 323 BC to about 146 BC.
INDE – Thiruvananthapuram - The documentation of riches at the Sree Padman-abha Swamy Temple was temporarily suspended on Thursday after temple authorities opposed the entry of a woman archaeology expert into the “A” chamber. The protest came as a surprise as the lady archaeologist had been in the chambers several times in the past. Moreover, her name, along with the names of three other women, had been mentioned in the list of officials who would be assisting the expert committee. Temple executive officer Harikumar said the lady official’s demand to be allowed into the chamber was unacceptable, adding, “Traditionally, women are not all-owed into the sacrosanct chambers of the temple. ”It would amount to sacrilege if the female officer had entered the chambers before.
FRANCE – Istres - Dans quelques mois, entre le boulevard de Vauranne, l'avenue Aristide-Briand et la rue de la République, s'érigera le Forum des Carmes. Mais quels secrets seront renfermés sous ces 12 000 m² de surface commerciale ? Une équipe de l'Inrap (Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives) est en train d'essayer de percer le mystère. Des pistes sont déjà connues, grâce au diagnostic réalisé par les archéologues de Ouest Provence, au mois de juin 2011. "Ce diagnostic avait montré la présence d'habitations un peu éparses datant des XIIIe- XIVe siècles", rappelle Françoise Paone, la responsable du chantier actuel, obtenu par l'Inrap à la suite d'un appel d'offres. Les archéologues ont commencé les fouilles préventives - préalables à tout aménagement urbain - il y a six jours, et devraient opérer sur le site - fermé au public - jusqu'à la fin du mois de novembre, environ. Pour le moment, on procède à un décapage. On enlève entre 80 centimètres et 1 mètre de terre, avec une petite pelle mécanique, explique Françoise Paone. Là, on commence à peine à voir apparaître des murs, une voie. Mais nous en sommes vraiment à un stade embryonnaire." Ensuite, les archéologues de l'Inrap attaqueront le vif du sujet. Ils feront apparaître ce qui peut rester des maisons, les silos qui servaient à conserver le grain, les puits "qui renferment souvent de nombreux objets, précise Françoise Paone. Tous ces objets seront datés, étudiés." Et se retrouveront peut-être au musée d'Istres, en fonction de leur état de conservation. Un travail minutieux qui permettra de mieux comprendre les habitudes de vie des Istréens, il y a 800 ans. Plus encore, grâce aux céramiques, monnaies et autres objets retrouvés, il s'agira pour les archéologues de retracer les évolutions de la fin du Moyen Age jusqu'au XVIIIe siècle.
ROYAUME UNI – Lochbrow - An unassuming field off the M74 near Lockerbie is to be the focus of a major geophysical survey next week by top archaeologists. It is believed that the empty land at Lochbrow was an important location over several thousands of years from the Neolithic to the Iron Age periods. There is nothing physical to see above ground there but grass and cows, however, it is what lies beneath that has got experts so excited. Aerial surveys by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland show cropmarks formed by the growth of crops over buried archaeology – pits and ditches – on the multi-period site. And it is believed it is a complex prehistorical landscape with many archaeological sites surviving below ground. They are particularly interested in the cropmarks of two palisaded enclosures and a ring-ditch. The experts believe there is a timber cursus monument (long enclosure defined by timber posts) which is Early Neolithic and exclusive to Scotland, of which around only 26 are known to date. And possibly two timber circles, which are another monument dating from the Later Neolithic into the Bronze Age, and several round barrows which are later prehistoric monuments. The project is also looking into the landscape around Lochbrow.
USA - Idaho - This year’s fire season not only cleared out thousands of acres of vegetation, but has also exposed culturally and historically significant artifacts across south-central Idaho. Public lands officials are now urging people not to disturb the relics. “The chances are pretty high that people are going to be running across something,” said Suzanne Henrikson, archeologist with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Burley field office. “Especially in burn areas, these relics have no vegetation to cover them.” The BLM is charged with protecting these relics and is prohibited by federal law from pinpointing the exact location of those they do find. However, Henrikson said that running across a historically valuable artifact is possible across the entire 400,000-acre BLM Twin Falls District. “These are areas where Native Americans lived for thousands of years before we ever showed up,” Henrikson said. “These artifacts vary from arrowheads to just everyday items that Native Americans might have used back then.”
TURQUIE – Aşıklıhöyük - Excavations in Aşıklıhöyük have reached the bottom layer, revealing information about the first settled life that began there 10,300 years ago. The more than 80 skeletons found in the area show the approximate average lifespan of the people living there then was between 25 and 30 years. The head of the Aşıklıhöyük excavation, Professor Mihriban Özbaşaran, said the area was the earliest-known village settlement in the Central Anatolia and Cappadocia region. Archaeological work in the area began in 1989, and has obtained a great deal of important data that sheds light on both world and Anatolian history. “With a history of 10,300 years, Aşıklıhöyük was the first village in Cappadocia and also a place that led many technological and scientific developments in the world, such as the first agricultural activities and the first brain surgery,” Özbaşaran said. “This year we tried to understand the lifestyle of the people who arrived in the region first. We started working in this field in 1989, and over time found that these people had lived in oval-shaped brick houses that were halfway underground. We unearthed three houses in the area this year. There were also large open spaces in the area, and we worked on those in order to understand the daily activities of the people. Among those activities were leather processing and animal slaughter, both of which took place in the open areas.” Most of the skeletons found in graves at Aşıklıhöyük belong to women and children, Özbaşaran said. “It is interesting that there was a high number of deaths among children and women. Probably many deaths occurred during birth. Epidemic diseases were also prevalent. We determined that the average age of death was between 25 and 30 in Aşıklıhöyük, which is very young. A man who died between the ages of 45 and 50 had one of the longest lives.” This year a skeleton was unearthed that had been buried in a nontraditional way, Özbaşaran said. “The dead were usually buried under the houses in the fetal position. But we found a child of six or eight years lying in a furnace, which was very different from the other 80 skeletons we have found. We are investigating whether the child died accidentally. Reports from physical anthropologists will reveal the correct answer.” Human life at Aşıklıhöyük continued for 800 years, Özbaşaran said. Her team will continue its work excavating the area next year.