23 MARS 2011 NEWS - Libye - Bannockburn - Khapatedanda - Le Caire - Luanda - Tours - Lassay sur Croisne -


 - 23  MARS

 - LIBYE - The U.N. agency in charge of the world's cultural heritage urged all sides in Libya on Wednesday to preserve the country's ancient treasures, including the former Greek colony of Cyrene and its temple of Apollo. "From a cultural heritage point of view, Libya is of great importance to humanity as a whole," Irina Bokova, head of the Paris-based UNESCO, said in a statement. While no damage has yet been reported, at least three sites were cause for particular concern due to their proximity to Tripoli and other strategic areas, Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO's assistant director-general for culture, told Reuters. Among five Libyan sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List, he highlighted the Roman ruins of Leptis Magna and the ancient Phoenician trading post of Sabratha, within 130 km (80 miles) west of the Libyan capital Tripoli. Another vulnerable site was the ancient mountain city of Cyrene, once given as a gift to Cleopatra by Roman general Mark Antony, which faces the Mediterranean Sea east of Benghazi, the stronghold city of rebels challenging Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's four-decade rule. Bokova appealed to Libyans and international forces engaged in air strikes against Gaddafi to respect the Hague Convention of 1954 on wartime protection of cultural sites.


 - ROYAUME-UNI – Bannockburn - Ancient pottery that may have been used by Robert the Bruce and his Scottish army before the battle victory of 1314 has been discovered by archaeologists. The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) commissioned a dig to investigate part of its site at Bannockburn- They discovered a small number of green-glazed pot sherds in an area near the Borestone, the site where Scots king Bruce set up his camp. Dr Tony Pollard, Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology, which carried out the work, said the pieces would be sent to experts to determine whether they date from the time of the battle. He said: "Borestone could have been the site for the Scots camp prior to the famous Battle of Bannockburn. "If a large number of Scottish spear-men and camp followers stayed on this spot in the first half of June 1314, it is possible that artefacts and rubbish pits may have been left behind. "We found some sherds of pottery which may be medieval. They will go away for dating, but they may be an indication of Bruce's camp." Dr Pollard said the site was not thought to have seen actual fighting in 1314. But he said there may still be important artefacts linked to the camp and later activity. He said: "We would have been very surprised to find evidence of the battle itself, which is widely understood to have taken place elsewhere, nearby but this could have been the site of the camp.” The investigations located mainly 19th century field drains with clay drainage pipes and the bases of furrows perhaps belonging to the 16th to 18th centuries. Metal detectors were also used to help recover both copper alloy and iron artefacts.


 - NEPAL – Khapatedanda -  Archaeologists have hopes that an excavation at Khapatedanda in Siraha district could develop a larger understanding of human civilization in ancient Nepal at the time Buddha was born. The Khapatedanda site in the northern Chure hills is replete with artifacts dating back to 600- 800 BC, which in archaeology are termed Painted Grey Ware (PGW), and those to 1000 BC called Northern Black Polished (NBP) Ware. Buddha is believed to have lived and taught his philosophy sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries. Archaeologists are planning to corroborate findings from the Khapatedanda site with those already collected from different sites in Lumbini-Kapilvastu area. This is the second site in Nepal that could unearth PGWs and NBPs. Khapatedanda is now drawing deep curiosity from archaeologists.  “Any find at Khaptedanda could also shed light on what the society of Tilourakot lying in the same southern plain looked like,” they argued. Archaeologists said bricks were unknown in Buddha´s era but people then could have used ornaments as abundance of beads at Khapatedanda indicates.
Archaeological findings have it that people started using bricks only in the second century.


 - EGYPTE – Le Caire - A group of Egyptian archaeologists has threatened to strike- The archaeologists sent a letter to Prime Minister Essam Sharaf in which they demanded the appointment of either a minister or a head of an independent body affiliated to the Cabinet. In the letter, Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, the director of the Central Administration for Antiquities in Alexandria and Lower Egypt warned of the seriousness of the situation, saying that it “has resulted in the total paralysis in the decision-making process needed for the continuance of archaeological work. Maqsoud also said the current lack of any responsible official had hindered the work of the permanent committees of Egyptian antiquities, which are responsible for granting approval to foreign missions to work at archaeological sites. They have also been hindered in making other decisions related to work at archaeological sites that require the approval of the appropriate official or his representative, he said.


 - ANGOLA -  Luanda - The Director of the National Slavery Museum, João Lourenço, considered as needed for the country to promote a strong archaeology services, aimed at increasing the assets of that institution. To him, Angola should have a greater archaeological work, from the coastal side of the museum up to Cabo Lombo zone, where there are many things related to the slavery. According to João Lourenço, it is needed to train more staff, such as archaeologists and tourist guides that can speak English and French, among other languages. The museum was founded on 7 December 1977.


 - FRANCE  Tours - Rue Charles-Gille, à proximité de la gare SNCF, les travaux de dévoiement des réseaux couplés à une campagne de fouilles archéologiques ont permis de mettre au jour une nécropole médiévale a priori postérieure au XII e siècle, le long d'un chemin qui menait de la ville médiévale jusqu'à la léproserie de Saint-Lazare, qui a fait elle-même l'objet de fouilles voici quelques années. Les représentants de l'antenne tourangelle de l'Inrap et ceux du service d'archéologie du conseil général, qui sont à pied d'oeuvre ensemble sur ce site, ont dégagé  les ossements d'une quinzaine d'individus, sur une petite section de 12 m 2 , à 2,50 m de profondeur. Il n'est pas exclu qu'ils en trouvent d'autres, car les squelettes sont empilés les uns sur les autres. « Il s'agit probablement d'une sépulture commune, peut-être liée à une épidémie », estime Philippe Blanchard, le responsable de ces fouilles. La peste ou le choléra ? Il faudra attendre le résultat d'analyses ultérieures pour le savoir. Il peut aussi s'agir de décès liés à un accident ou des faits de guerre. Une certitude : les morts ont été inhumés en même temps. Dans l'immédiat, l'équipe de l'Inrap va enlever les ossements, les photographier puis les laver avant de les diriger vers les laboratoires compétents, en particulier celui de paléobiochimie moléculaire, à la faculté des sciences de Marseille. « Si les défunts sont morts de la peste, on le saura car le bacille reste inscrit dans les ossements, même s'il n'est plus actif », explique l'anthropologue Murielle Delémont- Quant à la nécropole gallo-romaine du I er ou du II e siècle de notre ère qui se cacherait aussi dans le secteur, les archéologues n'en ont pas trouvé de trace pour le moment. « Elle se situe probablement plus à l'Est, avance Philippe Blanchard. Pourquoi pas sous la gare SNCF ? » En l'occurrence, il ne s'agirait pas de squelettes mais d'urnes funéraires, puisque nos ancêtres gallo-romains incinéraient leurs morts. « C'était la mode de l'époque », souligne le chef d'équipe.


 - FRANCE   Lassay-sur-Croisne   - Des fouilles viennent de s'achever sur le site d'un futur lotissement, dans le bourg. les traces avérées d'occupation de l'espace remontent au IX e siècle. D'abord par des traces de culture. Ensuite, au XI e , est venu s'installer un « chevalier paysan » dans un « manoir à connotation défensive » abandonné au XIII e siècle. D'Hugues Capet à Philippe-Auguste, ce sont deux cents ans d'occupation qui sont étudiés. Aux XIV e et XV e , on observe des silos de stockage et des fosses d'extraction de l'argile qui ont servi ensuite de « dépotoir ».  La terre très acide à cet endroit n'a pas permis la conservation des éléments en fer, on ne retrouve donc pas de monnaie. On ne sait pas pourquoi le site a été abandonné. On constate un déplacement de l'activité.  Quelques années auparavant, en 1995, Henri Delétang, responsable du GRAHS (Groupe de recherche archéologiques et historiques de Sologne, à Lamotte-Beuvron), et féru d'histoire locale, a pris d'avion une vue du site. La photo, transmise aux archéologues, laissait apparaître une trace circulaire qui s'est révélé être un site fossoyé médiéval.