26 SEPTEMBRE 2018: Cascais - Mit Rahina - Stirling - Zominthos - Joshaqan - Nawa - Arai Horinouchi -
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PORTUGAL - Cascais - Archaeologists have discovered a remarkable intact 400-year-old trade ship sunken off the coast of Portugal, with its artefacts "well preserved". The ship, buried 40ft in the sea near the town of Cascais in Portugal, was filled with "well preserved" Chinese ceramics, bronze cannons and cowrie shells - the African slave trade currency used throughout the 15th century. Divers also discovered spices, such as pepper, which was frequently used in Portugal's spice trade hundreds of years ago. The ship was believed to have sunk between 1575 to 1625, on route from India to Portugal. Jorge Freire, the scientific director of the archaeological project, described their findings as the "discovery of the decade".
EGYPTE – Mit Rahina - Egypt says archaeologists have discovered a "massive" ancient building in the town of Mit Rahina, located 12 miles south of Cairo. The Antiquities Ministry said Tuesday that archaeologists also uncovered an attached building that includes a large Roman bath and a chamber likely for religious rituals. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the building is likely part of the residential block of the area, which was the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis.
ROYAUME UNI – Stirling - The remains of a 13th Century friar have been discovered near Stirling with a belt buckle found on the body of the young man helping archaeologists to solve the mystery over his identity. The skeleton was found during the excavation in the city’s Goosecroft Road, the site of a Dominican friary, with tests suggesting he may have lived in the area during some of the most turbulent events in Scottish history, including the battles of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn. Members oft he public are known to have been buried at similar friary sites across Scotland but the belt buckle found on the front pelvic area of the skeleton gave experts a significant lead as to his true identity. A spokesman for GUARD Archaeology said: “The archaeological evidence suggests that this young man was a friar himself, which is usually quite difficult to demonstrate. “However, as friars were buried in their habits, buckles found near the pelvis indicate those individuals being friars of orders such as the Dominicans, as their rule required them to wear a belt with a buckle, rather than a rope cincture worn by other orders such as the Franciscans.” The bronze buckle held traces of textile which showed it was fastened against a piece of clothing. It also suggested the man was a friar rather than “simply a local individual,” the spokesman said. He added: “Furthermore, his skeleton was radiocarbon dated to AD 1271 - 1320 so it is possible that this friar was a witness to some of the most significant events of the Scottish Wars of Independence during late 13th and early 14th centuries, not least the battles of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn.” Historical research reveals that this friary belonged to the Dominican Order - the Blackfriars – for over three hundred years, from 1233 to the Scottish Reformation in 1559. The remains of the friar were found carefully buried in a foundation trench of a wall with his crossed arms suggesting he had been firmly wrapped in a shroud. Other finds made at the site included pottery sherds from cooking vessels and jugs from across Britain and Continental Europe. Bob Will, of GUARD Archaeology, who led the excavation, said: “The Blackfriars of Stirling had access to luxury table goods from around the North Sea, foodstuffs such as figs and raisins and wine.“The friary as well as the burgh of Stirling was well positioned to receive imports, which may have been brought to land at Cambuskenneth Abbey which lies on the River Forth and was then navigable from the sea.’ Archaelogists believe they may hav efound the remains of a lavatorium or kitchen at ths site. Two small shards of window glass were also found.
GRECE - Zominthos - The Minoan palace of Zominthos was a complex with three-story buildings grounded in the rock at 1,200 meters above sea level. As early as 2000 BC, worshippers started placing offerings in clefts in the rock, such as “egg cups” – simple cup-shaped vases with a disc-like base – both painted and plain. The honorary director of the Antiquities Department, Dr Efi Sapounas-Sakellarakis, spoke enthusiastically to Kathimerini about the results of the annual excavation of the Archaeological Society at Zominthos, a small plateau in the northern foothills of Mount Psiloritis on Crete. The palace of Zominthos, she says, had more than 150 rooms.“It was a brilliant architectural combination in both design and construction. The large limestone floor slabs, which look like marble, have not been found elsewhere in the area,” she said, adding that “they were brought there from a quarry 20 kilometers away.” “It was a religious, political and economic center that was also in use in the post-Mycenaean era, as shown by the separate ritual vase found in one of the rooms on the west side. Fragments of a rhyton in the shape of a bull’s head, 30 centimeters high, were found by the late Yannis Sakellarakis east of this building, but we did not find such religious objects.” This section yielded bronze daggers, seals, stone vessels and a fragment of a chalice with a small bronze spoon, dated to before 1750 BC. Sapounas-Sakellarakis also points out that, in excavation terms, it is the first time a multistory building has been found on a rock in a center of habitation. Interestingly, a stone vessel with a relief depicting a worshipper placing an offering on an altar between rocks had previously been found in the area of Gypsades Hill at Knossos. Zominthos, where 20 years ago Yannis Sakellarakis launched the excavations that have been continued by his wife, is inexhaustible. This year, an entrance from north to south was discovered with a double door leading to a paved area built on a suitably shaped part of the rock. In Minoan times it may have served as an outdoor area for sports or ceremonies, and later as a courtyard of the building that the Romans built on the Minoan ruins. Also interesting for the archaeologists was the discovery of a coin depicting the Emperor Hadrian. This, together with another one featuring Marcus Aurelius that was unearthed last year, confirms a Roman presence at the site.
IRAN – Joshaqan - The third season of explorations in the Estark area in Joshaqan in Kashan are underway in two workshops. This season of archeological explorations in the Estark area is underway with a summer school and in the presence international professors from the University of Warsaw, including Arkadiusz Sołtysiak, Yvan Schimck and Matthew William, a Geneticist from the Centre for Ancient DNA of the Adelaide University and 10 students from the US, Italy, Iran, etc,' he noted. Javari further remarked that the current archeological explorations are underway in two workshops, in one of which 10 shaft graves were discovered with the burial of man, woman, child and infant. The archeologist pointed to the historical touches in eight graves and elucidated that the touches occurred during the same period and were probably to obtain bronze objects. Stressing that the pottery had not been removed from the graves, Javari said that the cemetery had been in use for 600 to 800 years and remains of the Bronze up to the Iron Age had been discovered there. The second workshop, so far two shaft graves have been discovered, he added. The archeologist referred to the grey pottery, stamp, beads made of stone and agate, metal objects including spears, bangles, earrings, cloth and head pins made of bronze as the findings obtained from the discovered graves. Among the noticeable discoveries of the current exploration season he referred to the discovery of a container with the remains of three legs of sheep or goat which were buried next to the head of the deceased, adding that two years ago a case similar to this was discovered in Khorasan. He concluded by saying that the summer school was held with the collaboration of the Archeology Research Center and Kashan University and paticipation of the faculty members and students of Kashan University helped accomplishment of the third season of explorations in Estark area in Joshaqan.
SYRIE -Nawa - An archaeological stone cistern for reserving water was found by archaeologists from Daraa Antiquities Department in al-Sanamain city in Daraa Province. Head of the Department Bassel al-Jahamani said that a team from the Department was touring in the area when they found the cistern, clarifying that armed terrorist groups were conducting arbitrary excavations in the Old City of Nawa in order to find precious antiquities and after the areas was liberated of terrorism the team found the water reservoir. The tank is a 7.5 deep square building with a capacity of 100 barrels. Its base is built of basalt stone and covered with ground basalt and it has arches inside. Some engraved stones of basalt picturing two lions, a sheep head and a vase were also found in the site.
JAPON - Arai Horinouchi - A study using X-ray imaging confirmed that a ceramic jug unearthed late last year contains more than 260,000 feudal coins, weighs more than a ton and is worth tens of millions of yen. The jug is estimated to date back to the first half of the 15th century and was discovered in December at the Arai Horinouchi archaeological site in the Kurohama district of Hasuda, Saitama Prefecture, once home to a samurai residence surrounded by a double moat. The study also confirms that it contains one of the biggest hauls of medieval coins ever discovered in Japan. -ray imaging was then carried out with the help of a private screening device maker on Aug. 9. It revealed that coins fill the large jug from top to bottom. Based on the assumption that the jug weighs 60 kg and one coin weighs 3.75 grams, the education board deduced that the entire relic weighs 976 kg. The number of coins is consistent with a description written in ink on a “mokkan” wooden tablet discovered at the edge of the container’s stone lid. It states, “Nihyaku rokuju (thousand)” (260,000). The 74-centimeter-tall Tokoname ceramic jar was found 2 meters below the ground surface at a road construction site. The width of its mouth measures 60 cm in diameter while the jug at its widest part has a diameter of 94 cm. Tokoname, a city in Aichi Prefecture, is famous for its ceramics. The oldest coin in the container is Kaigen Tsuho, which was first forged in 621, while Genpo Tsuho made in 1078 and Eiraku Tsuho produced in 1408 were also discovered inside. The container is not only one of the largest coin jars found in Japan, but it also contains one of the largest volumes of coins discovered.