26 MAI 2023 NEWS
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ANGLETERRE – Carlisle - Rare head sculptures of two Roman gods have been discovered by volunteer archaeologists during a dig. The well-preserved finds were unearthed earlier this week during the latest excavation of a Roman bathhouse at Carlisle Cricket Club. The sandstone artefacts are thought to date back as far as AD200 and once formed part of full-figure pieces about 12-15 ft (3.5-4.5m) high.;Lead archaeologist Frank Giecco said they were "unique and priceless". The stone sculptures, three times the size of a human head, were found at the edge of what was once a cobbled Roman road close to Hadrian’s Wall in the city. More than 1,000 artefacts - including pottery, weapons, coins and semi-precious stones - have been found at the site since 2021.Mr Giecco said figures were not an unusual find in bathhouses "but sculptures of this size are really special". "You can probably count on one hand examples of this kind in Britain," he said.
CHINE – Yanghai - Archaeologists have unearthed an elaborate leather horse saddle — possibly the oldest ever found — from a grave in northwestern China, according to a new study. The saddle, preserved for up to 2,700 years in the arid desert, was discovered in the tomb of a woman at a cemetery in Yanghai, in the Turpan Basin of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The woman was dressed in a hide coat, woolen pants and short leather boots, and had a "leather saddle placed on her buttocks as if she was seated on it," according to the study, published Tuesday (May 23) in the journal Archaeological Research in Asia.The saddle — two cowhide cushions filled with a mixture of straw and deer and camel hair — was made between 724 and 396 B.C., according to radiocarbon dating. It may predate saddles known from the Scythians — nomadic, warlike horse riders from the western and central Eurasian Steppe who interacted with the ancient Greeks and Romans. The earliest Sythian saddles seem to date from between the fifth and the third centuries B.C. and have been found in the Altai Mountains region of Russian Siberia and in eastern Kazakhstan.
ESPAGNE – Castellet-Barranc del Salt ravine / Port de Penáguila - The team's remarkable find was made during a drone survey of the Castellet-Barranc del Salt ravine and Port de Penáguila, providing unprecedented access to previously inaccessible mountain shelters. The researchers employed small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with cameras to capture detailed photographs and record videos of the walls within 18 shallow cavities. Within two of these shelters, the team stumbled upon cave paintings that offer a fascinating glimpse into the past. The del Salt ravine, in particular, features captivating depictions of anthropomorphic archers alongside images of deer and goats. Notably, some of the animals appear wounded, struck by arrows, yet immortalized by the ancient artists. These cave paintings also include representations in a schematic style that pose challenges in interpretation. However, dedicated study and analysis of this unique art form will undoubtedly contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the Neolithic period and the evolution of cave art in the region.
USA – Jumonville Glen - The French and Indian War (from 1754 to 1763) was part of the broader conflict known as the Seven Years’ War. This particular theatre was fought between the British Empire’s North American colonies against the French, with both factions receiving assistance from various Native American tribes. The British colonists were supported at various times by the Iroquois, Catawba, and Cherokee tribes, and the French colonists were supported by the Wabanaki Confederacy member tribes which included the Abenaki and Mi’kmaq, and the Algonquin, Lenape, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Shawnee, and Wyandot (Huron) tribes. The conflict started over a disagreement regarding authority over the confluence of the Allegheny River and Monongahela River, known as the Forks of the Ohio. The dispute erupted into violence at the Battle of Jumonville Glen in May 1754 near present-day Hopwood and Uniontown in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Virginia provincial troops under the British flag, commanded by 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington, led an attack supported by allied tribes against a French campsite, resulting in the death of 13 Frenchmen and 21 captured. A joint archaeological project have uncovered 18th century ballistics and other artefacts from the skirmish at Jumonville Glen, providing evidence of the first shots fired that ignited the French and Indian War. “The archeology project was the first serious investigation of the historic skirmish site.
AZERBAIJAN – Aghdam - Azerbaijani archaeologists have been working for about 50 days in Aghdam on the territory of the Imaret complex. Almost the entire territory of the complex, more than 1000 sq. m., has been investigated, and more than 30 graves of the khan's descendants have been discovered. The Imaret complex of Karabakh Khans of the 18th century, consisting of two buildings, is one of the first estates of the Khan dynasty. As opposed to other Khan palaces located across Azerbaijan, it was a luxurious estate. Therefore, it was also called Panah Ali Khan's palace. The Imaret cemetery located near the Khan's palace, where many representatives of the dynasty of the Karabakh Khans were buried.
ANGLETERRE – Peterborough - A 2,000-year-old jug - thought to been an offering to the gods - has been discovered during construction work of a new water main. The jug was unearthed near Peterborough, along a 90-kilometre section of the grid linking Grantham, Peterborough and Downham Market. Archaeologists think it was a “votive offering’ – something that 'Romano-British' people would have left for the gods to win favour with them. Before that, the 30cm tall, burnished jug was probably used to store oil. The term Romano-British describes people living in the UK when much of it was part of the Roman empire, between the years 43AD and about 410AD. Two copper rings and a decorative pin were also found. The rings were both intact and their original designs can still be seen. One still had some of the original enamel on it. Experts believe it is a ‘late Roman ring’. The coins are believed to date from the third or fourth centuries
JAPON – After the family that had passed it down through the generations permitted the artifact to be examined, a relic from the era of the “hidden Christians” in Japan centuries ago is creating a stir here. Although the item may seem like a simple vase, it’s a word painted on the bottom that makes it important. The word suggests the vase held fragrant oil used during Catholic Mass, and likely for a very important person. The artifact is 25 centimeters tall and painted in three colors. It was made in China around 1600. The item is owned by a family who lives in the Sotome district, where Japanese Catholics were driven underground during the Edo Period (1603-1867) to avoid persecution. The vase may have been used in a ceremony for Konishi Yukinaga, a Christian feudal lord in the 16th century, according to a May 16 theory by the Nagasaki prefectural government.
NORVEGE – Sunnfjord - The river waters lapped at the edge of a peninsula in Norway. Buried under the surrounding patchwork of grass, remnants of an ancient cult site sat quietly — until now. Archaeologists uncovered the prehistoric site along a river in Sunnfjord, the Vestland County Municipality said in a May 16 news release. The site is located at a prominent spot easily visible from the water. Digging into the dark brown soil, archaeologists unearthed remnants of structures, several graves and fire pits — indications the area was once a cult city and burial site, the release said. The graves and cooking pits were grouped together in a small area of the site, archaeologist Andrea Skrede said in the release. The arrangement suggests that the cooking pits were used for ritual meals over 1,200 years ago. The finds are probably from Norway’s Late Iron Age, the release said. This was a period from 400 to 800 A.D. Archaeologists were especially interested in some nails and iron fragments uncovered from one of the graves, Lars Jølle Berge said in the release. The nails were just over an inch long and might have come from a coffin or a boat grave, the release said. Boat graves were a burial custom where the deceased was placed inside and subsequently buried in a boat. Boat graves were usually located near a water source during the Late Iron Age, experts said. The burial custom honored the deceased’s journey into the underworld.
BULGARIE – - A 1,100-year-old inscription written in Cyrillic has been found on a breastplate unearthed at a fortress site located on what is now the border between Greece and Bulgaria, according to a Live Science report. “The text was written on a lead plate worn on the chest to protect the wearer from trouble and evil,” said Ivailo Kanev of Bulgaria’s National Museum of History. The text mentions Pavel and Dimitar—Pavel is believed to have been a relative of Dimitar, who is thought to have been a member of the garrison stationed at the fortress, Kanev explained. Based upon the shapes of the letters and the location of the inscription within the fortress, Kanev has dated the artifact to between A.D. 916 and 927, during the reign of Tsar Simeon, who ruled the Bulgarian Empire from 893 to 927.
INDE – Hyderabad - Archaeologists here have recently found rare stone tools, belonging to the neolithic age, with the findings indicating the city's history goes back to about 6,000 years. The Neolithic age relates to the period when humans used tools and weapons made of stone and had just developed farming. It was for the first time that neolithic tools have been found in the city, said E Sivanagi Reddy, said he and S Haragopal of 'Kotha Telangana Charitra Brundam' (an organisation working on the history of Telangana) recently visited a natural rock formation at BNR Hills in the city, locally known as 'tortoise rock', to explore if there were any prehistoric rock paintings when they stumbled upon the said discovery. He said they closely looked at a gap between two rocks and found as many neolithic stone tools. ''...to our surprise, we noticed two neolithic stone tools which are known as new stone age tools. One is 12 cm in length and another is 9 cm. The width is 2.5 cm...these two stones are very, very important archaeologically. They are dated 4,000 to 2,000 BC,'' he said. These stones are well polished at the bottom and each one has a butt end to hold or to fix to a wooden shaft so that it can be used as an axe, either for food collection or as a tool of self-defence, he said. These tools are made out of blue granite stone, he added. This important find shows that around 4,000 BC, these rock shelters served as temporary habitation site for people of the neolithic age whose subsistence was from agriculture, domestication of animals and hunting and gathering, Reddy said. The conclusion arrived is that people lived at BNR Hills, adjacent to the posh Jubilee Hills, about 6,000 years ago, he said.
FRANCE – Cherbourg - Des fouilles archéologiques, réalisées en mai 2023 ont permis de mettre au jour des fortifications d'une tour et de rempart, datant du début du XIVe siècle environ. Un autre bâtiment, inconnu des plans, a lui aussi été découvert au pied du pont tournant à Cherbourg.
VIDEO = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS_BoNLP1I4
BELGIQUE – Mons - Mons, ville de patrimoine et d’Histoire. Difficile de le nier alors que de nouveaux trésors archéologiques ont été récemment dévoilés dans le cadre des travaux de réaménagement du square Roosevelt, aux abords directs de la Collégiale Sainte Waudru. Des équipes d’archéologues sont en effet à pied d’œuvre pour permettre la stratigraphie de la zone. Les travaux ont déjà permis de mettre au jour d’anciens carrelages du 16e et XVIIe siècle.”Il pourrait s’agir d’un ancien hospice qui était situé sur le site”, affirme Joëlle Kapompole (PS), députée montoise, dans une question adressée à la ministre du patrimoine, Valérie De Bue (MR). “En 2021, des fouilles cette fois menées au niveau de la rampe Sainte Waudru avaient permis de mettre au jour un cimetière. Il y a donc fort à parier que le square révèle à son tour des vestiges archéologiques.”
MEXIQUE – Tenochtitlán - Seeking to unravel some historical mysteries, archaeologist Erika Lucero Robles Cortés’ research into the remains of Mexica-era crocodiles has taken her in unexpected directions. Robles was fascinated by the remains that late-20th-century excavators had found in the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlán, in what is now modern-day Mexico City. There have been 21 remains found within the site, along with eight pendants incorporating crocodile teeth, all dating back about 500 years. The remains were unearthed in ritual deposits and offerings, as well as in a dignitary’s tomb. In most cases, their skin had been painstakingly kept intact. Robles has studied the crocodile’s significance in contemporaneous sources such as codices and has noted that the reptiles are not endemic to central Mexico. Their natural habitats in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean were hundreds of miles away from the Mexica (Aztec) capital.“Airplanes, and all the ways of transport we have now, didn’t exist,” Robles said. “We can imagine it was very difficult to transport all the animals from other parts of the empire to the center of Mexico.” Trying to catch a crocodile can be deadly for both the hunter and prey. As Robles wrote for the Harvard University publication ReVista in February, a roped crocodile can break free with enough force to dislocate a human arm, while a captured specimen can become so frightened that it suffers a lethal glycemic shock. “The crocodile symbolized many things,” Robles said. “For example, its mouth represented the underworld. The plates all over the back represented the earth. Also, the crocodile represented the fertility of the earth.” Their remains were placed in Aztec ritual deposits to represent the earth, joining other terrestrial or semi-terrestrial reptiles such as turtles and snakes. She added that cipactli (thorny being), one of the Nahuatl names for the crocodile, is also the name of “the first day of the calendars of [peoples] in Mesoamerica. And so the animal is linked with the earth, with the underworld, with fertility, with the days in the calendar, with creation and also with water.” Even today, Robles noted, “In many towns, the people think crocodiles can call the water, the rain.” She cited contemporary festivals in which residents dress as crocodiles to ask for rainfall and a festival in San Pedro Huamelula, Oaxaca, involving a symbolic marriage between the mayor and a reptile variously described as a crocodile, caiman or alligator.