26 JUILLET 2013 NEWS: Gansu - Easton - Edirne - Istanbul - Newcastle -






CHINEniya-silk-road.jpg Gansu - Archaeologists have unearthed relics that suggest prehistoric humans lived along the Silk Road long before it was created about 2,000 years ago as a pivotal Eurasian trade network. An excavation project that started in 2010 on ruins in northwest China’s Gansu Province has yielded evidence that people who lived on the west bank of the Heihe River 4,100 to 3,600 years ago were able to grow crops and smelt copper, the researchers said. The site was originally believed to date back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC - AD 220). But over the past three years, archaeologists have discovered a variety of copper items, as well as equipment used to smelt metal, said Chen Guoke, a researcher with the Gansu Provincial Institute of Archaeology. “People back then mainly dealt with red metal. They also began to make alloys,” said Chen, who is in charge of the excavation project. Chen added that a rare copper-smelting mill was also found in the ruins. “The mill is the earliest of its kind that has been unearthed. It will be of great help for studies of the history of Chinese craftmanship,” said Zhang Liangren, a professor at Northwest University in Xian, capital of Shaanxi Province.


USAbal-easton-dig-lam.jpeg Easton - In Easton, an untold story of free African-Americans is being discovered through bits of glass, shards of pottery and oyster shells. Piece by piece, archaeologists and historians from two universities and the community are uncovering the history of The Hill, which they believe is the earliest settlement of free African-Americans in the United States, dating to 1790. Treme, in New Orleans, is recognized as the oldest free black community in the nation, dating to 1812. But researchers say that could change based on findings from the Easton dig. Former slaves founded such settlements, where they enjoyed early emancipation and the chance at property ownership and commerce. Slaves who had bought their freedom and others freed by Methodists and Quakers on the Eastern Shore likely formed The Hill, which historians say could have been the largest community of free blacks in the Chesapeake region. During the first census in 1790, some 410 free African-Americans were recorded living on The Hill — more than Baltimore's 250 free African-Americans and even more than the 346 slaves who lived at nearby Wye House Plantation, where abolitionist Frederick Douglass was enslaved as a child. Reaching into a labeled brown paper bag, he pulled out part of an olive-green glass bottle with a decorative cluster of grapes on one side. It was likely used to hold wine, Woehlke said. The technique used to make it — hand-blown using a mold — dates it to the late 18th or early 19th century. Other artifacts include bits of a blue opaline glass pitcher from the 1800s and a 1-cent coin featuring Lady Liberty, dated 1794. More importantly, researchers have found evidence of making nails and raising chickens on the land — activities far more likely to have been carried out by free blacks who lived on the land than by the property owner.

VIDEO = http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/eastern-shore/bs-md-easton-dig-20130725,0,7066484.story

TURQUIE – n-51402-4.jpg Edirne - The restoration of Edirne Palace, where Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II planned his conquest of Istanbul and which was set on fire by Governor Cemil Pasha before the Russian occupation in 1878, is continuing. Mustafa Özer, the head of Edirne “Yeni Saray” excavations, has announced that items such as kitchen utensils that have been found in recent excavations shed light on the Ottoman cuisine culture, referring to Matbah-ı Amire (palace kitchens). “We think the kitchen utensils that have been found are mostly associated with the Ottoman palace’s kitchen, the Matbah-ı Amire. A huge spoon from the 15th century drew our attention most,” he said, adding that the restoration, documentation and conservation were still continuing alongside the excavations. The findings were cleaned at the excavation sites in order to take them to inventory. Excavations also continue in the “su maksemi” (water distribution pools), which was used during the Ottoman period. Some pieces of marble epigraphs that gave clues as to the year of construction of the palace have recently been found. “Our aim is to complete the other pieces of the epigraph to find out which part it belongs to,” Özer said, adding that their expectation was to complete the excavations by the end of September. he construction of the Edirne Palace began with the order of Sultan Murad II in 1450 on an island between the two reaches of the River Tuna. When the sultan died, construction was left unfinished for a short period time. It was finished by Mehmet the Conqueror and was given the name Saray-ı Cedid-i Amire. In later years, the palace became a magnificent structure, with many additional sections built during the reigns of the Süleyman I (the Magnificent) and Mehmet IV. However, the palace which was used as an arsenal in the 1874 Ottoman-Russian War, was blasted with the order of Cemil Pasha, the governor of Edirne before the Russian occupation in 1878, in order to prevent the Russians from taking possession of the arsenal. The palace includes 72 different structures with 117 rooms, 18 Turkish baths, eight small mosques, 17 gates, 13 cellars, and 14 mansions. It was ruined almost completely during the 1878 Russian occupation. Only remnants of the Adalet Mansion, the Kum Mansion Bath, the Cihannüma Mansion (the office of sultans), the Matbah-ı Amire, and the Bab-üs Saade (gate) have survived until today.


TURQUIEn-51309-4.jpg Istanbul - Historical ruins including a vaulted ceiling were intentionally destroyed yesterday with heavy construction equipment in Inönü Stadium, which is undergoing reconstruction, despite the Istanbul Archaeology Museums’ appointment of archaeologists to inspect the area. However some historical ruins were demolished yesterday, despite the Istanbul Archaeology Museum’s previous notices that construction should stop if any artifacts were found. Archaeologists made reports and took photos of the ruins and museum officials said destroying the archaeological site was illegal and the construction should be suspended immediately.


ROYAUME UNItmp-nec-250713woodenrail-06jpg-5325622.jpg Newcastle - Wooden rails from the end of the eighteenth century have been uncovered along the banks of the River Tyne. The rails were part of a railway used by wagons for hauling coal at the shipyard. This 75-foot stretch of track is thought to be the earliest surviving example of the standard gauge railway. “One of the gifts of the North East to world history is the development of the railways. Coal and the railways are Tyneside’s heritage and this wagon way was part of that because without the wagon ways the coalfields would not have developed,” said Newcastle historian Les Turnbull.