23 – 24 AVRIL 2011 NEWS - Bagdad - Trèbes - Lahoun - Alichiga Tengani - Siridao Cave - Linfen - Blythe -


 - 23 – 24   AVRIL

 - IRAK Bagdad - Iraq wants to conclude a new international agreement that will designate the dealing of antique Iraqi artifacts a crime- Iraqi officials said the goal is to preserve the country's heritage from thieves and smugglers. There are more than 12,000 archaeological sites in Iraq from the successive Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Islamic civilizations of the past 4,000-5,000 years.


 - FRANCE  Trèbes - Aux portes de Trèbes et de Carcassonne, sur la zone de Béragne où des fouilles préventives ont été menées avant la mise en place d'une zone artisanale, le pôle Sabatier, le chercheur et ses assistants ont mis au jour une villa antique et un village médiéval quasiment intact, avec sa place son église, un mausolée et un grand nombre de tombes, dont l'inventaire est sans doute encore incomplet. Le village médiéval mis au jour sur le site de Béragne, entre Carcassonne et Trèbes doit être à nouveau enfoui pour laisser place à une zone artisanale.


 - EGYPTE – Lahoun - Excavations at the Lahoun archaeological site in Fayoum have been halted due to negligence of the excavators- The Permanent Committee of Egyptian Antiquities decided today to stop all excavation works being carried out by the Egyptian mission at Lahoun archaeological site in Fayoum. The committee has also approved the decision taken by the archaeological mission which was sent in early March to inspect excavation works being carried out in Lahoun and the artefacts discovered there. The archaeological mission was sent at the request of Zahi Hawass, who was then minister of state for antiquities affairs, and found that the site was subject to deterioration. A collection of ancient Egyptian mummies discovered at the site were damaged due to negligence, while clay sarcophagi were left in the sand without any protection or restoration, which led to their deterioration.


 - INDE - Alichiga-Tengani -  The State Archaeology Directorate has requested the Forest Department for allowing it to initiate steps for the preservation of the Alichiga-Tengani archaeological site located inside the Nambar Reserve Forest of Golaghat district.  In its proposal submitted to the Forest Department in this connection, the Archaeology Directorate has said that the Alichiga-Tengani area, located near the Borpathar area, bears features of an ancient planning of a river port (pattana)-cum-garden (arama) and this is datable back to 400-500 AD. The development of the Alichiga-Tengani site is linked with the Dhansiri (South) river. An old channel of the river is noticed at the northern direction of the site.  Physiography of the site is undulated and a number of mounds, ditches, swamp, dead streams, etc, dominated the natural landscape of the region. The natural advantage of the undulated physiography was taken up to lay an architectural plan of a water fort, known in ancient times as jaladurga, in the area. However, due to several factors, this ancient settlement was abandoned and the locality disappeared. Ultimately the jungles devoured the area.  Its very location is suggestive of the fact that it had connection with the other culturally developed areas of ancient India. Dhansiri is a southern tributary of the Brahmaputra. It was navigable and until the British era, ships used to sail upstream to Deopani and beyond, with merchandise.  The architectural plan of the site which has now been found, suggests that on the top of other things, there was a commercial port called pattana in the area. The entire architectural plan of the area was laid in line with the ancient Indian shilpashastra such as the Arthashastra of Kautilya.  The site was fortified with a central embankment surrounded by square-size ditches (parikha) laid on a square ground plan keeping only two guarded earthen passages. The site had a rampart to guard as fortification in the north with a watchtower, called attalaka in ancient times. The site also had a dock where boats used to ancho.  The name of Ratnavarman is found engraved in the stone slab inscription found at the site. Besides, the name of Vasundharavarman was found engraved in the terracotta seal found at the site.


 - INDE – Siridao Cave - A housing project proposed near a centuries-old cave on a hill slope at Siridao has caused concern among some villagers and heritage lovers as they feel the fate of the heritage landmark could be at stake. The cave with a single cell carved out of stone stands at the foot of a jackfruit tree, barely 100 m west of the national highway. But it was camouflaged by a thick but low vegetation cover. A few months back the cashew plantation was cleared by labourers, exposing the heritage landmark. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials had inspected the cave site and recorded measurements and other details. "We are carrying out comparative studies to assess its features," a source said. They say the man-made cave could date back to the sixth or seventh century, but this needs to be confirmed. Some consider the Siridao cave as a habitation cave and not a cave temple. "In Goa, the Pandava cave at Aquem, Margao, and this cave at Siridao are known to be habitation caves- Comparatively, the Aquem cave is a bigger one- It appears that these caves were used for the purpose of living by the primitive man- But ASI sources do not rule out that it could have been used for religious purposes. "A small depression at the centre of the cave may have been carved for placing a sculpture or idol for worship," a source said. But ASI is also looking out for other clues. The finding of broken bangles and coconut shells has led to some speculation among heritage lovers. Some locals confirmed to Phalgaonkar that some rituals are being carried out here, but no details were available.


 - CHINE – Linfen - An unknown kingdom dating back to 1046 B.C. has been unearthed in north China, archaeologists said. The kingdom is probably from the Xizhou dynasty (1046 to 771 B.C.), Xinhua reported. Engraving on bronze wares found in tombs in Shanxi province’s Linfen city indicate that the region was reigned by Ba Bo, or Count of the Ba kingdom, the archaeologists said. The Ba kingdom had never been seen in any historical record before, they said. ‘The tombs gave us a chance to see the Ba kingdom that had been forgotten by history. It also sheds light on the Xizhou dynasty’s feudal system and technology as well as exchanges and integration of different ethnic groups of that time,’ said Wang Wei, head of the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. ‘Records of the kingdom might have been lost in history. It is also possible that Ba was among a cluster of small kingdoms and was neglected by ancient historians,’ said Xie Yaoting, deputy head of the Shanxi Institute of Archaeology.


 - USA   Blythe - The longtime Chicano activist and descendent of Chemehuevi and Yaqui Native American tribes unflinchingly finds himself at the center of a storm — a legal battle threatening to derail the state and federal governments' multi-billion-dollar solar energy development plan for the California desert. - Figueroa is part of La Cuna de Aztlan Protection Circle, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the Blythe Giant Intaglios — ground drawings of humans, animals and shapes also known as geoglyphs left by native peoples centuries ago. They are created by removing darkened stones from the desert pavement and exposing the lighter ground beneath. La Cuna in 2008 entered into a collaborative agreement with the federal Bureau of Land Management to help protect the geoglyphs and several hundred other sacred sites along the Colorado River from Needles to Yuma, Ariz. Now La Cuna is suing the BLM and four solar projects — the Blythe, Ivanpah, Calico and Genesis projects in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.