22 NOVEMBRE 2016 NEWS: Tiruvallam - Kunal - Haifeng - Plovdiv - Hérouvillette - Dourges - Subiyya -
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INDE – Tiruvallam - A half-buried stone structure surrounded by thick vegetation may not attract tourists to this remote village of Tiruvallam in Vellore district. But when a senior archaeologist recently walked to the site, the half-buried structure attained significance. With the help of inscriptions on the slabs of the ruined structure, he discovered that king Vikrama Chola (1118-1135), a Chola king who ruled the region during the 12th century , had donated generously to the temple. Situated among the paddy fields in Kambarajapuram, a remote village barely a kilometer from Tiruvallam town, the temple is in ruins. Despite lying close to the historic Shiva temple in Tiruvallam, this one is today a neglected site.The temple is known as `Karuppu Koil' because of the black colour of the rock used for its construction. "The most interesting aspect of the temple is that it has beautiful `Makara Thoranas," (Crocodile arches). Although half of the structure is buried under earth, I couldn't read the inscriptions completely. There are chances of getting more inscription stones if we remove the mud surrounding the temple," said K Sridharan, former superintending archaeologist of the State department of archaeology , who recently surveyed the shrine. Although Sridhar believes that the temple had received donations from Vikrama Chola, he has another point to make when it comes to the existence of the temple. "I think the structure must have been there since the 10th century .I could understand from the scattered inscription slabs that Vikrama Chola had donated valuables to the temple.We will get a clear picture only if we study the inscriptions in detail," he said. As the ruined temple doesn't belong to either the state archaeology department or the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), no one takes care of it. "It has been more than five decades since a Pooja was performed here. There is no sign of worship. It's a picture of ruins. If we don't take care of it now, even portions that survived will disappear soon," he said.
INDE – Kunal - A major new project of excavation at Kunal in district Fatehabad has been initiated by Haryana department of archaeology and museums. Kunal being one of the earliest Harappan sites in Haryana, the excavation aims at bringing out the earliest material culture of the site which might push the history of the civilization back by over a thousand years. The excavation was first conducted under Haryana state archaeology department during the year 1985-86. A large number of precious antiquities like silver objects and gold beads in early Harappan fabric pot were reported by the excavator in one of the house from Period 'IC' which is exceptional of its kind in early Harappan sites of our sub-continent. Copper smelting furnace was also found along with large number of copper objects and also typical classical Harappan crucible (Terracotta) was found.
CHINE - Haifeng -After four months of excavation at the Haifeng Town in Huanghua City, the ruins of an ancient hearth, fire pits and wall footings have been uncovered among bricks, tiles and broken porcelain. Staff working at the site have also unearthed a 6-meter-wide main road, flanked on both sides by the ruins of buildings. Judging from preliminary assessment of the unearthed ruins and items, they are presumed to have been used during the Jin (960-1276) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties, said Lei Jianhong, director of the research office for underwater archaeology at the Hebei Cultural Relics Institute, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The excavation area, which is 30-meter-long and 10-meter-wide, is only a small part of the building cluster of the Haifeng Town ruins. The rich findings indicate that there was intense human activity at the site and the ancient town is likely to have had a flourishing economy and trade, said Mr. Lei, who led the dig starting in July. Standing at the mouth of a river, the town is thought to have been a port for the trade of porcelain and salt. Scholars have said the ancient Haifeng Town is likely to be the northern tip of the Maritime Silk Road, from which Chinese porcelain was shipped across East Asia and beyond.
BULGARIE – Plovdiv - A Plovdiv regional prosecutor who volunteered to take part in archaeological excavations at the Bulgarian city’s Great Basilica site has participated in the finding of a human skeleton. Examining the remains, prosecutor Gergana Mutafova said that they appeared to be of a middle-aged man, with the skeleton dating from the 10th to the 11th century. And, she concluded, there were no signs of violence.The skeleton was on a mosaic near the main entrance of the basilica. A small ceramic tile had been placed under its head. Other human remains were found nearby, part of a large mediaeval cemetery that had been located at the site. Archaeologists also have found the remnants of a beautiful marble fountain in the courtyard of the basilica.
FRANCE – Hérouvillette - Depuis début septembre et jusqu’au 30 novembre 2016, une dizaine d’archéologues s’activent de part et d’autre de la route entre Sainte-Honorine-la-Chardronnette et Hérouvillette, à l’est de Caen (Calvados) . En 2013, un premier diagnostic avait permis de repérer un site gallo-romain sur le site. Les fouilles réalisées depuis le 1er septembre 2016 le confirment. « Nous avons découvert un sanctuaire antique, comme un petit temple, datant des Ier et IIe siècles après Jésus-Christ », explique Jan Véron, responsable de l’opération sur le site d’Hérouvillette. Parmi les vestiges mis à jour, les archéologues ont pu trouver un chemin en pierre pour accéder au site, alors qu’à l’époque, les chemins étaient plutôt en terre. « C’est très rare, surtout en milieu rural. » Des objets de culte, des ex-voto ou de la vaisselle brisée ont également été retrouvés sur le chantier. La terre d’Hérouvillette a encore quelques secrets à livrer ; en 2017, c’est un site gaulois situé à quelques centaines de mètres du chantier qui sera sondé.
FRANCE – Dourges - Si l’exploitation des relevés n’est pas terminée loin s’en faut, il est déjà possible d’en tirer de précieux enseignements sur l’habitat et l’activité économique du site. « Il s’avère qu’on est en présence d’une occupation continue du Ve siècle avant JC jusqu’au IVe s ap. JC. Cela offre un regard super-intéressant sur la dynamique de l’occupation des sols de la protohistoire jusqu’à l’Antiquité tardive », s’enthousiasme Jérôme Georges, chef d’opération. Au fil des mois, ont été identifiés des bâtiments sur poteaux, des silos, un puits, des fermettes d’époque gauloise et gallo-romaine. À l’arrivée des Romains, l’habitat change. « L’occupation évolue par une rationalisation de l’espace. Les Romains quadrillent le territoire, ils font un système orthonormé à angle droit. » Les archéologues ont ainsi mis au jour une villa gallo-romaine à plan axial de 4,5 hectares du IIIe siècle ap JC. Ceinturée de fossés, elle est organisée autour de six bâtiments dont les fondations sont en craie. Certains servaient sans doute au stockage de denrées alimentaires selon les archéologues. Deux bâtiments ont livré des éléments de confort (hypocauste), « témoignant d’un certain luxe dans l’habitat ». La maison du maître n’est pas identifiée mais un bassin d’agrément, réalisé en béton hydrofuge, a été localisé. Archéopole a également relevé les traces de douze incinérations et une inhumation « mais sur 2 500 ans d’histoire ». Il apparaît également que Dourges se distingue comme un lieu de passage de l’époque protohistorique à la fin de l’Antiquité.
KOWEIT – Subiyya - A joint team of archaeologists have discovered a 7,300-year-old human fingerprint – the earliest in the Near East region – in Subiyya in northern Kuwait. The fingerprint was found on a piece of a broken clay pot dating from the Stone Age (8,700 BC to 2,000 BC) in the Bahrah I Excavation Zone in Subiyya, an official from the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) announced on Friday. “The find adds to a list of important discoveries recently excavated in the area – these include an ancient town, a temple, a cemetery, wells and pottery, which provide important clues on the life of primitive man,” said Dr Sultan Al-Duweesh, director of NCCAL’s archaeological and museums department.