26 OCTOBRE 2012 NEWS: Tak'alik Ab'aj - Xi'an - Ratiaria - Bagneux la Fosse - Crawley -




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GUATEMALAr-guatemala-mayan-tomb-large570.jpg Tak'alik Ab'aj  - Archaeologists announced Thursday they have uncovered the tomb of a very early Mayan ruler, complete with rich jade jewelry and decoration. Experts said the find at Guatemala's Tak'alik Ab'aj temple site could help shed light on the formative years of the Mayan culture. Government archaeologist Miguel Orrego said carbon-dating indicates the tomb was built between 700 and 400 B.C., several hundred years before the Mayan culture reached its height. He said it was the oldest tomb found so far at Tak'alik Ab'aj, a site in southern Guatemala that dates back about 2,200 years. Orrego said a necklace depicting a vulture-headed human figure appeared to identify the tomb's occupant as an "ajaw," or ruler. "This symbol gives this burial greater importance," Orrego said. "This glyph says he ... is one of the earliest rulers of Tak'alik Ab'aj." No bones were found during the excavation of the tomb in September, probably because they had decayed. Experts said the rich array of jade articles in the tomb could provide clues about production and trade patterns. Susan Gillespie, an archaeologist at the University of Florida who was not involved in the excavation, said older tombs have been found from ruling circles at the Mayan site of Copan in Honduras as well as in southern Mexico, where the Olmec culture, a predecessor to the Mayas, flourished. Olmec influences are present in the area around Tak'alik Ab'aj, indicating possible links. Gillespie said that because it is near a jadeite production center, the find could shed light on early techniques and trade in the stone, which was considered by the Maya to have sacred properties.


CHINE – Xi’an - Chinese archaeologists have found the complete skeletal remains of a chicken buried some 2,000 years ago in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province in northwest China, xinhuanet.com reported on Thursday. According to Hu Songmei, animal archaeologist and researcher at Shaanxi Provincial Archaeology Institute, the chicken skeleton can provide important information on ancient China’s chicken cultivation. Since 2009, the institute has excavated 312 tombs of the Qin (221-206 BC) and Western Han (206 BC-24 AD) dynasties in the city’s Lintong district in order to coordinate the road construction projects. From pottery ware buried in one of the tombs, archaeologists excitedly found the chicken bones. Ren Jianku, folklore expert and associated researcher with Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, said that chickens were important in rituals celebrating birth, marriage and funeral ceremonies in ancient times.


BULGARIEscczen-ap121026194324-460x230.jpg Ratiaria - On the banks of the Danube, in the northwest corner of Bulgaria, lie the remnants of an ancient Roman settlement called Ratiaria, host to a priceless cultural heritage. Craters pockmark the huge site, evidence of a scourge threatening one of the world's great troves of antiquities: looters digging for ancient treasure to sell on the black market. Archaeologist Krasmira Luka, who heads a team excavating part of the 80 hectare (200 acre) site, says the area has been repeatedly raided by thieves who dig pits looking for ancient coins and jewellery. Everything else, including precious ceramic vessels and other historically significant artefacts, is smashed to pieces. "Destroying the items is not just a crime, it's an irreparable tragedy," Luka said, looking out at a moonscape littered with shards of ceramics or glassware destroyed by the diggers. "The day after our team leaves the site, the diggers are in place. It's an uneven battle." . The first excavations here were carried out by Bulgarian archaeologists between 1958 and 1962. They were renewed in 1976 by an Italian team, but lack of funding forced them to leave the site in 1991.;Western experts call Ratiaria a world-class archaeological site that is under grave threat. "Ratiaria has a great archaeological and historical significance not just of regional and national importance to Bulgaria but internationally for the study of the Roman Empire," said Jamie Burrows, an archaeologist at the Nottingham University, who has spent several years working at Ratiaria.


FRANCE20121026508a1b73f3f16-0-249781.jpg Bagneux la Fosse - Depuis le 18 septembre et jusqu'au 9 novembre, les archéologues de l'Inrap (Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives) sont au travail sur le terrain situé près de la salle des fêtes bagnolaise. « Lors du diagnostic effectué fin septembre 2011, les sondages réalisés ont permis de dénombrer pas moins de 55 structures archéologiques : murs, drains, trous de poteau, puits… ce qui a déclenché les fouilles », confie Virginie Desmarchelier, responsable de l'opération de fouilles archéologiques préventives. C'est dire si ladite opération était attendue et ne déçoit d'ailleurs pas les six archéologues en place. « Nous avons déjà pu dégager en plan toutes les structures et trois bâtiments ont été identifiés : un gallo-romain au nord-est, deux médiévaux au nord et nord-ouest. Tout cela prouve que l'occupation était assez importante avec des murs bien fondés. Le bâtiment gallo-romain que nous allons fouiller dès la fin de cette semaine devrait nous révéler de belles choses car ce type de construction maçonnée n'est pas courant dans la région. C'est vraiment un chantier intéressant. Il l'est d'autant plus que d'après les archives, le terrain est vide depuis 200 ans », reprend Virginie Desmarchelier. Ces premiers relevés attesteraient une présence à Bagneux-la-Fosse dès le Ier siècle. « Le mobilier, la céramique, les objets retrouvés permettent de dater en particulier la phase d'abandon. Le mode de construction apporte aussi des renseignements sur le commerce à l'époque, le mode de vie, les évolutions du secteur. On voit bien que ce terrain a toujours été très humide car il y a des drains partout et ils datent du Moyen Âge », ajoute l'archéologue.


ROYAUME UNI – Crawley - Archaeologists have uncovered groups of post holes at the site of the former Sussex House which suggests that a medieval timber-framed structure may have once stood there. The on-going dig, in preparation for the site to be developed, has turned up ditches, medieval pottery and pits containing iron slag. Archaeology consultant Iain Williamson said the finds dated from 1275- 1450AD and added that the large number of pits containing iron slag suggested that iron was being produced and possibly worked nearby.