25 - 26 AOÛT 2010


 - 26 AOÛT :

 - ROYAUME-UNI : Butleight -  The geophysical surveys mapped out dense features hidden underground, indicating structures such as foundations to long-forgotten buildings and buried floors. After seeing the results, the team dug test pits over what appeared to be the most intense activity on site and brought up evidence of Romano-British activity including deposits of ceramic building materials, broken lias thought to be evidence of the demolition of the building, and Roman artefacts including nails and pieces of pottery. Absolute Archaeology has recently completed its second training dig of the site, uncovering a late Roman villa that shows evidence of continual occupation into the so-called "Dark Ages". There has been a wealth of finds, from rare Roman coins to pieces of Roman pottery, a quern stone, and a limited amount of metalwork. But the most exciting discoveries uncovered in the trench included foundations of massive walls, an industrial hearth, a corn-drier and parts of mosaic floors later paved over with flagstones. The very bottom layer – the earliest sign of occupation of this building – is a mosaic floor which, helpfully, had within its membrane a Roman coin dedicated to the emperor Magnentius who ruled until 353AD.


 - FRANCE : Nice - La colline du château se livre. Après deux mois de travail, les fouilles ont mis au jour un cimetière datant du VIIe siècle. Près d'une dizaine de tombes et de squelettes ont ainsi pu être dépoussiérés. En cours d'analyse, ces découvertes qui jouxtaient les vestiges d'une église paléo-chrétienne du Ve  siècle révélée en 2009, pourraient bien remettre l'histoire de Nice en lumière...  Du Ve au XVe siècle, toute la ville se concentrait sur le rocher du château. Cela en fait un site majeur dont nous avons encore beaucoup à apprendre. Pour l'heure, seuls 10 % du lieu ont été fouillés. La crypte Garibaldi sera ouverte au public dès janvier 2011 : tour du XIVe siècle,  remparts du XVe siècle,  bastions du XVIe mais aussi  canal qui alimentait le palais sardes au XVIIe siècle. Quatre cents ans d'histoire qui devraient en faire la première crypte archéologique de France devant celle du Louvre.


 - ROYAUME-UNI : Newark - Widmerpool - The remains, along with Iron Age and Roman settlements, were uncovered during work to upgrade the A46 between Newark and Widmerpool in Nottinghamshire. The A46 follows the route of the old Roman road The finds included ancient flint tools and flint knapping debris dating back to about 11,000 BC - around the end of the last Ice Age when Stone Age hunter-gathers returned as the climate began to warm up. Evidence of such early people had been found in caves, but the pieces of flint found at Farndon appeared to show these people were making things out in the open, possibly in a temporary campsite. The excavations also provided insight into the Iron Age and Roman communities that used to live in the area. Evidence of an Iron Age settlement at Owthorpe Junction, just east of Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire, was uncovered, and a 4,000 year old Neolithic circular monument with eight Bronze Age burials was found further north at Stragglethorpe junction. The archaeological team uncovered part of the settlement that lined the road leading into the town, including Roman timber buildings, rubbish pits, wells and track ways, as well as a number of burials, all dating back around 2,000 years.


 - BULGARIE : Baalar Kayryak - During excavations of the ancient burial site Baalar Kayryak, located in southern Bulgaria near the town of Yambol, archaeologists discovered four burials from the late bronze age, around the time of the Trojan War, 1300 BC. The four burials were uncovered in one of the three funeral mounds, which are currently being excavated. The other 8 burials in the area are even older – about 2500 BC. In the second mound, the sites are most likely from the Roman Age. The three mounds lay at between 150 and 300 metres from one another and form a joint necropolis, which has been a sacred burial site for over 1,500 years. Archeologist also found a number of ceramic vessels.


 - AZERBAIDJAN : Gazamalar - Material monuments related to domestic and funeral traditions were found during archaeological digs in Balakan region. According to historians, the history of funeral objects can be observed in the burial mounds in Goztala settlement of Gazamalar village. Graves, stone structures, walls related to the period of Caucasian Albania were found in the result of archaeological digs. The ceramic objects feature the skills of the third and fifth centuries.Archaeological digs on the area continue.


 - 25 AOÛT :

 - ITALIE :  Oetzi, the 5,000 year old "Iceman" found in the Italian Alps, may have been ceremonially buried. An autopsy showed that Oetzi had been murdered, dying of an arrow wound. While this is not disputed, a new study suggests that months after his death, Oetzi's corpse was carried to the high mountain pass where it was found. In the new study, researchers produced a detailed map of where the corpse and artefacts were found. Based on guesses about how the artefacts had dispersed down slope over time, they inferred that the body had originated on a rock platform nearby. They argued that this was a later burial site, and not the original scene of his murder.  Analysis suggests he died in the spring because the pollen of plants that bloom at that time of year is found in his gut. However, pollen within the ice suggests that the corpse was deposited in the late summer. Professor Bondioli and his team say that these facts makes most sense if the body was deliberately carried to its site of discovery many months after death. This suggests a burial.


 - INDE : Uttaramerur - The change that has come over the 1,200-year old Kailasanathar temple is unbelievable. The temple, which was in total ruins, with dense vegetation growing over its vimana (the tower above the sanctum) and collapsed mantapas, looks as good as new today. The vimana has been restored to its original beauty, its broken stucco figurines re-created, the foundation's granite stones re-stitched and the fallen mantapas re-erected. Six inscriptions, one of Aditya Chola, (regnal years 871 - 907 CE), three of Rajendra Chola (regnal years 1012-1044 CE), one belonging to the Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya (early 16th century CE) and another of the late Vijayanagara period were found. A beautiful sculpture of a young bull (Nandi) and bas reliefs of Tamil Saivite saints Sundarar, Tirugnana Sambandar and Appar were among the other discoveries. Ballustraded steps of the Pallava period were excavated. This Kailasanathar temple was built by the Pallava king Dantivarman towards the end of the 8th century CE. It was “a Mahaprasada,” that is, “a great temple.”


 - TURQUIE : Zeugma - The ancient city of Zeugma is in the process of being renewed with a number of restoration, conservation and excavation activities. Zeugma, located near Birecik Dam in the town of Nizip in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, drew international attention from archeology circles when part of the city was submerged under water as a result of the dam in the 1990s. Zeugma is considered to have been among the four most important cities under the reign of the Kingdom of Commagene. It was named for the bridge of boats, or zeugma, that crossed the Euphrates there. Zeugma was originally founded as a Greek settlement by Seleucus I Nicator, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, in 300 B.C. When mosaic fragments were discovered during construction of Birecik Dam, which commenced in 1996, the Gaziantep Museum had the work halted while excavations were carried out, revealing a bath and gymnasium and 36 mosaic panels, which were added to the museum’s collection.


 - TURQUIE : Myra-Andriake -  An archaeological team has unearthed 1,500-year-old dye production facilities during excavations of the ancient city. The Andriake port was a center of dye industry and not only an international trade center. Myra was an ancient town in Lycia. Andriake was Myra’s harbour in classical times, although it silted up later on. The main structure there surviving to the present day is a granary built during the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian. Beside this granary is also a large heap of Murex shells, evidence that Andriake had an ongoing operation for the production of purple dye.


 - BELGIQUE : Tournai - Une importante découverte archéologique a été mise au jour par une équipe d'archéologues mercredi sous la rue Perdue. Le tombeau d'une femme née au IVe siècle après Jésus-Christ a été découvert dans un excellent état de conservation. Selon les premières expertises, il s'agirait d'une femme qui occupait une fonction importante à l'époque vu les objets découverts dans son tombeau. Des vases, des bijoux ou encore des pierres précieuses ont été retrouvés. Les archéologues ne désespèrent pas de trouver d'autres trésors dans cette rue située dans le centre de la cité des Cinq clochers.


 - EGYPTE : Dashour - Archaeologists have discovered a large structure – to the northeast of the 4,600 year old Bent Pyramid – which may be the remains of an ancient harbour.  It connects to one of the pyramid’s temples by way of a 140 meter long causeway. The structure is mostly unexcavated and only a portion of the causeway has been unearthed. The structure itself is U-shaped, 90 meters by 145 meters. It was built with mud brick and has no wall on its east side. It’s possible that ships could enter by a canal in this area. Harbours are known from later Egyptian pyramids and may have served as a receiving point for the body of the pharaoh. The causeway runs due east of the temple and has a vaulted roof. This appears to be the earliest known instance in which a roofed causeway was used in an Egyptian pyramid complex. The walls - they built them to a really astonishing height, almost three meters. The interior of the causeway contained a passageway more than 2.5 meters wide. Its walls were lined with undecorated white and yellow plaster which appears to have been maintained for a long time. Four phases of the plastering could be distinguished which attest that it was renewed several times.


 - KENYA : Mambrui - The China-Kenyan Lamu Islands Archaeological Project was officially launched in July 2010. The project's main purpose is to confirm the authenticity of some local villagers' claims that they are "descendants of the ancient Chinese people" and to salvage the ships in Zheng He's fleet, which were sunk 600 years ago.  After searching for nearly one month, the archaeological team has found many relics, including the "Yongle Tongbao" of the Ming Dynasty. The most convincing evidence archeologists have found are the "Yongle Tongbao" Ming Dynasty coins and the Long Quan Kiln porcelain provided only to the royal family in the early Ming Dynasty. Now they have found this kind of porcelain in Kenya, he believes that it may be related to Zheng He because as an official delegate, Zheng may have brought some imperial porcelain there as rewards or presents."Yongle Tongbao" are coins minted during the Yongle Emperor's reign. According to historical records, during Zheng He's voyage to the Western Seas, he carried large amounts of "Yongle Tongbao" coins with him. The discovery has a significant meaning and is convincing evidence of China's trade with Africa hundreds of years ago.


 - ROYAUME-UNI : Kibworth - Finds from the dig included Samian pottery from Roman times, prehistoric flint blades and part of an Anglo-Saxon bone comb, as well as 1,200-year-old Middle Saxon pottery.


 - ROYAUME-UNI : Folkestone - Evidence of the importance of Folkestone as an Iron Age site has been unearthed as part of an archaeological project in the town. Work on A Town Unearthed: Folkestone before 1500, has begun at East Wear Bay. It is the first time since 1989 that the site has been excavated. Exploratory trenches have been dug to the north of the Roman villa and already evidence of Iron Age and Roman occupation has been found in the form of ditches filled with pottery, tile and animal bone. One of the most interesting discoveries so far was a spread of compacted greensand chippings and dust with an unfinished quern stone, used for grinding corn, on top. It has been known for some years that a quern stone industry, dating to around 2,000 years ago, existed at East Wear Bay, as many unfinished stones have been found at the site and on the beach below. This find provides conclusive evidence of manufacture of querns on the cliff top, probably during the first century BC. Very few quern production sites have been identified and this new discovery reinforces Folkestone's position as an internationally important Iron Age site.