23 MARS 2016 NEWS: Glasgow - Latmos - Herculaneum -
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ROYAUME UNI – Glasgow - Remains of the legendary Partick Castle have been uncovered for the first time by construction workers carrying out improvements to the city’s waste water infrastructure. The ruins are thought to be of two separate tower houses, one at least 800 years old, that stood on a site by the River Kelvin, close to the present day Partick railway station in the west end of Glasgow. The first structure, dating back to the 12th or 13th century, is likely to be the base of a bishop’s castle. There is documentary evidence that charters were signed in Partick in medieval times, but until now there was no proof of where such a building stood. The second ruin is believed to be a later Partick Castle built in 1611 for George Hutcheson, a wealthy Glasgow merchant and benefactor. Historians writing in the 19th century suggested the structure was abandoned by 1770 and most of its stone was reused by locals.
TURQUIE – Latmos - Environmental campaigners are celebrating after an ancient temple on Mount Beşparmak (Latmos) in western Turkey was taken under protection, while noting that more needs to be done to save the area as a whole. The holy temple at the ancient site of Latmos in Turkey’s Aydın province was recently registered by the Aydın Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board and officials from the Aydın Archaeology Museum. One of the most impressive places in Latmos is the field of the holy temple of Dikilitaş. It is in a place in which life continued until 6,000 B.C. It is a field in which one can travel through history among historical artifacts. Recently, the field of Dikilitaş was set alight by people who have not been captured. As a result of the works carried out by the officials of the Aydın Archaeology Museum and the Aydın Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board, the holy temple, dedicated to Zeus Akroios, was registered. In addition to the holy temple, Latmos is also known for rock paintings that date back to the Neolithic era, but the early works of art have come under threat from the opening of rock quarries in the area, according to Professor Havva İşkan Işık, an archaeologist.
ITALIE – Herculaneum - Analysis of Herculaneum papyrus scroll fragments reveals the use of metallic ink in Greco-Roman literary inscription centuries earlier than previously thought, according to a study*. Scholars of ancient scrolls hold that texts from antiquity, particularly Greek and Latin literary manuscripts produced until the fourth century AD, were largely written in carbon-based ink on papyri, the fibrous structure of which allowed scribes to jettison ruling lines. Vito Mocella and colleagues used nondestructive synchrotron X-ray-based methods to chemically analyze the barely visible black inscriptions on two nearly flat, multilayered papyrus fragments that were found at the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum in the mid-18th century and are housed at the Paris-based Institut de France. The introduction of metal in writing materials is generally dated to fourth-fifth century AD, but the fragments’ high lead concentrations—around 84 µg/cm2 and 16 µg/cm2—suggest purposeful use of lead-containing ink, thus ruling out contamination from aqueducts, inkpots, or containers, and pushing back by several centuries the advent of metallic ink for literary inscription in the Greco-Roman period. Spots of concentrated lead likely correspond to the beginnings and ends of the scribes’ pen strokes on the scrolls. Letters on the fragments were bounded by naturally occurring horizontal lines of papyrus fibres that appear to have served as alignment guides for straight-line writing. The lines are likely signatures of cristobalite, a quartz-like mineral found in the papyrus plant. According to the authors, the findings might shape future analysis of unopened Herculaneum scrolls.