27 - 28 OCTOBRE 2010


 - 28 OCTOBRE :

 - ISRAËL :   Ramat Rachel - Ancient gardens are the stuff of legend, from the Garden of Eden to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University, in collaboration with Heidelberg University in Germany, have uncovered an ancient royal garden at the site of Ramat Rachel near Jerusalem, and are leading the first full-scale excavation of this type of archaeological site anywhere in the pre-Hellenistic Levant. This dig is an unparalleled look into the structure and function of ancient gardens. This excavation will lead to invaluable archaeological knowledge about ancient royal gardens in the Middle East. The discovery dates back to the 7th century B.C.E..  Such gardens were once the ultimate symbol of power. It makes an obvious statement of status to have a massive and lush green space surrounding one's palace, especially when the surrounding area is bare, as it would have been in the dry climate of the Judean Hills only two miles from the Old City of Jerusalem. In fact the garden would have been the most prominent feature of Ramat Rachel, visible from the west, north and south.  One of the dig's most important aspects is water management. In ancient times, control over water indicated political strength. A main feature of the Ramat Rachel gardens is its intricate irrigation system, the likes of which have never been seen before outside of Mesopotamia. Features include open channels and closed tunnels, stone carved gutters and the framework for elaborate waterfalls. In similar Assyrian gardens, trees and plants would have been brought in from all over the empire, this type of garden, also in the Babylonian or Persian kingdoms, would have also served a spiritual function as a place of peace, tranquillity and connection to nature. Preliminary results show that while Ramat Rachel was built by the Judeans, the people of the ancient kingdom of Judah, it was commissioned by foreign powers. These results may reveal information about a wide variety of empires that ruled in Israel at one time. The team hopes to delve deeper into the history of the garden with a close analysis of soil and other findings to determine what kind of plant life would have grown there, and which, if any, animals called the garden home.


 - ROYAUME-UNI :   Cirencester - Expert analysis has shed new light on the history of Cirencester. Scientists have examined the teeth of human remains found during an archeological dig. They believe the people were not local, but had travelled here from the far south-west – probably Devon or Cornwall. Also, they lived here before the Romans arrived in the early first century BC. The excavation gave archaeologists a remarkable window into Cirencester’s prehistoric past, and provided a wealth of information about Cirencester before Corinium. The human remains were both women, and they were found during excavations two years ago at a housing development at Kingshill. One of the women was thought to be of high status as she was buried with a cowhide and ceramic beaker in a small burial mound surrounded by a ditch. It is thought they were part of a settlement attracted by the rich farm land which gave excellent feeding for livestock. Experts believe the settlement was abandoned when Cirencester, or Corinium, was established as a town. The inhabitants of the farmstead either moved into the new town, or were "re-housed".


 - ESTONIE :  Öötla - Local resident Aivar Piirsalu from the town of Öötla in Järva County was exploring a seemingly ordinary field with his metal detector on October 26, when he discovered and dug out jewelry from 500 years ago. After digging a 35-centimeter hole, Piirsalu called archeologist Mauri Kiudsoo to the scene. They found nine greenish chest ornaments, as well as five silver beads and several gold-plated silver pendants.


 - TURQUIE : Ani - Damaged frescoes in the Church of St. Gregory of Tigran Honents tell a story of neglect in the medieval city of Ani, now part of Turkey. Settled by Armenians in the 10th and 11th centuries, Ani holds churches and other buildings that helped inspire the Gothic style across Europe. The city was abandoned in the 14th century, when all Armenians were forced to leave under Turkish rule. Today the unprotected ruins are prone to looting and vandalism.


 - PEROU : Kuelap - A large tomb dating from ancient Inca times was found in the southern sector of Pueblo Alto of Kuelap fortress, located in the department of Amazonas.  In the vicinity of the tomb, fine ceramic offerings from the Tahuantinsuyo (Inca Empire) were also found, which apparently were taken there from Cusco. This tomb has an unusual dimension and was sealed by a thick stuffing. As archaeologists were cleaning, they run into materials that they had never found before in other structures of Kuelap. In previous tombs, only evidences of household activities such as mortars were found. Next week more details on what the tomb really houses and whether it is about an important figure, as suspected, will be known.



 - 27 OCTOBRE :

 - ROYAUME-UNI : Eden area - Residents of Orton and Tebay discovered new evidence dating to the time of the first farmers and proving the area’s significance as a transport route for at least 4,000 years. They unearthed stone tools made from flint from the Yorkshire Wolds and south of England and also a type of volcanic glass called pitchstone which originates from the Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland.        http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/8475978.Eden_archaeology_volunteers_trace_transport_links_back_4_000_years/?ref=rss

 - U.S.A. :   Santa Barbara Channel - Should global warming cause sea levels to rise as predicted in coming decades, thousands of archaeological sites in coastal areas around the world will be lost to erosion. With no hope of saving all of these sites, archaeologists Torben Rick from the Smithsonian Institution, Leslie Reeder of Southern Methodist University, and Jon Erlandson of the University of Oregon have issued a call to action for scientists to assess the sites most at risk. Writing in the Journal of Coastal Conservation and using California's Santa Barbara Channel as a case study, the researchers illustrate how quantifiable factors such as historical rates of shoreline change, wave action, coastal slope and shoreline geomorphology can be used to develop a scientifically sound way of measuring the vulnerability of individual archaeological sites. They then propose developing an index of the sites most at risk so informed decisions can be made about how to preserve or salvage them. Urban development, the researchers point out, also is a significant threat to the loss of archaeological data. Coastlines have long been magnets of human settlement and contain a rich array of ancient archaeological sites, many of which have never been excavated. Urban development is projected to remain high in coastal areas, representing a significant danger to undisturbed sites. Thousands of archaeological sites—from large villages and workshops to fragmented shell middens and lithic scatters—are perched on the shorelines and sea cliffs of the Santa Barbara Channel, the researchers point out. The archaeological record is never static, and the materials left behind by one generation are altered by the people and environment of the next. However, increasing threats from modern urban development, sea level rise and global warming are poised to increase this steady pattern of alteration and destruction. The vulnerability of sites in the Santa Barbara Channel is generally lower than sites located along more open, more gently sloped or unstable coastlines, such as the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America. Measuring threats and identifying vulnerable sites is not an end in itself, the researchers say. "We must find ways to act…by quantifying those sites most vulnerable to destruction, we take a first step toward mitigating the loss of archaeological data and the shared cultural patrimony they contain."