26 - 27 JUILLET 2010


 - 27 JUILLET :

 - BULGARIE : Makaza Pass - Four teams of Bulgarian archaeologists are taking up “rescue excavations” of a large area in the Rhodope Mountains slated for the construction of an international road. The area of 2 hectares includes four archaeology sites from different time periods :  an early Bronze Age settlement near the village of Sedlare and  a prehistoric village near today’s village of Varhari. The other two archaeological sites are smaller – the teams of archaeologists will be studying medieval structures.


 - U.S.A. : Middletown -  For 280 years, the manor house here has been known as the home of philosopher George Berkeley, a powder-wigged gentleman who ruminated on religion and reality. After Berkeley returned to England in 1731, Whitehall served a multitude of purposes: tavern, gentleman’s tea house, a refuge for British soldiers and a tenant farm during the 19th century.  Excavators probed part of Berkeley’s old backyard to uncover two centuries of history.


 - 26 JUILLET :

 - ROYAUME-UNI : Aberystwyth - Archaeologists have discovered a 4th Century villa, the first time they have found evidence of Roman occupation of North and mid Wales. The villa is likely to have belonged to a wealthy landowner, with pottery and coin finds on the site indicating occupation in the late 3rd and early 4th Centuries AD. It was roofed with local slates, which were cut for a pentagonal roof. The walls were built of local stone and there was a cobbled yard. Roman villas were high-status homes of wealthy landowners which sat at the heart of a farming estate.


 - U.S.A. : Hampton - After four weeks of excavation, James River Institute's archaeologists have accumulated more than 500 artifacts: bits of ceramic, pieces of an ornate teapot, broken wine bottles and stemware, the carved bone handle of a brush and a piece of ornate pewter that may have been a spoon. Old Point's spending on archaeological research will foster a better understanding of Hampton's history, which fits in with the city's celebration of its 400th anniversary this year.  The team has uncovered evidence that English settlers were living in the vicinity before Hampton was incorporated in 1691.


 - AUSTRALIE : Murray-Darling - Eleven thousand years ago a tall and solidly built Aboriginal man lived a hard life. His bones reveal he had multiple breaks in both forearms, a fractured ankle so severe his shin bones fused together and arthritis in his jaw. But since his skeleton, known as Nacurrie, was discovered in 1948, near Swan Hill on the Murray River, it has been the changes to his skull that have been of most interest to Professor Brown. The shape of his cranium suggests Aborigines practised body modification, specifically manipulating the contour of the skull. Several other skulls found in the Murray-Darling area also had modified skulls. It is clear from the archaeological record that a group of people living on the Murray River used to do this … between 10,000 and 13, 000 years ago.


 - TIMOR ORIENTAL Archaeological research in East Timor has unearthed the bones of the biggest rat that ever lived, with a body weight around six kilograms. The cave excavations also yielded a total of 13 species of rodents, 11 of which are new to science. Eight of the rats weighed a kilogram or more. Carbon dating shows that the biggest rat that ever lived survived until around 1000 to 2000 years ago, along with most of the other Timorese rodents found during the excavation. Only one of the smaller species found is known to survive on Timor today. People have lived on the island of Timor for over 40,000 years and hunted and ate rats throughout this period, yet extinctions did not occur until quite recently.


 - ITALIE : Zannone - A team of marine archaeologists using sonar scanners have discovered four ancient shipwrecks off the tiny Italian island of Zannone, with intact cargos of wine and oil. The remains of the trading vessels, dating from the first century BC to the 5th-7th century AD, are up to 165 metres underwater, a depth that preserved them. The vessels, up to 18 metres long, had been carrying amphorae, or large jars, containing wine from Italy, and cargo from North Africa and Spain including olive oil, fruit and garum, a pungent fish sauce that was a favourite ingredient in Roman cooking. Another ship, as yet undated, appeared to have been carrying building bricks.


 - PEROU : Machu Picchu - A team of archaeologists found three ceramics from the Inca era that had been used as offerings. The three ceramic vessels with long necks and pointed bases were coated with circular pieces of stone. The objects would have been part of a ceremonial rite of tribute to the earth during the time of the Inca Empire (13th-16th centuries), the first of their kind found in Machu Picchu, in an area known as the “cemetery,” though no human remains have ever been found in the citadel. Also found at the site were nine kinds of stone brought by the ancient pilgrims from different parts of the neighboring region, including the valley of the Urubamba River and the Sicuani district, the experts were able to determine.