27 - 28 SEPTEMBRE 2010



 - GRECE : Crète - Greek archaeologists have found an ancient skeleton covered with gold foil in a grave on the island of Crete. Excavator Nicholas Stampolidis said his team discovered more than 3,000 pieces of gold foil in the 7th-century B.C. twin grave near the ancient town of Eleutherna. The tiny gold ornaments, from 1 to 4 centimetres (0.4 to 1.5 inches) long, had been sewn onto a lavish robe or shroud that initially wrapped the body of a woman and has almost completely rotted away but for a few off-white threads. The whole length of the grave was covered with small pieces of gold foil — square, circular and lozenge-shaped. The woman, who presumably had a high social or religious status, was buried with a second skeleton in a large jar sealed with a stone slab weighing more than half a ton. It was hidden behind a false wall, to confuse grave robbers. Experts are trying to determine the other skeleton's sex. The grave also contained a copper bowl; pottery; perfume bottles imported from Egypt or Syria and Palestine; hundreds of amber, rock crystal and faience beads; as well as a gold pendant in the form of a bee goddess that probably was part of a rock crystal and gold necklace. The ruins of Eleutherna stand on the northern foothills of Mount Ida — the mythical birthplace of Zeus, chief of the ancient Greek gods. Past excavations have discovered a citadel, homes and an important cemetery with lavish female burials.The town flourished from the 9th century B.C. — the dark ages of Greek archaeology that followed the fall of Crete's great Minoan palatial culture — and endured until the Middle Ages.


 - TURQUIE :   Aizanoi - This year's archaeological excavations have ended in the ancient city of Aizanoi, which is also known as Turkey's second Ephesus, in western Turkey. Prof. Ralf Von den Hoff, head of the excavation team from Germany's Freiburg University, carried out excavations in the ancient city from August 16 to September 27. Aizanoi is located in Cavdarhisar town, some 50 kilometers from the western province of Kutahya. The ancient city, dating back to 3000 B.C., experienced its golden age in the second and third centuries A.D. and became the center of episcopacy in the Byzantine era. The city is home to the temple built for Zeus which is the best-preserved temple in all of Anatolia. There is also a 20,000-seat theater and a 13,500-seat stadium adjacent to the large theater. There are two Turkish-style baths, one of them decorated with mosaics, plus a gymnasium, five bridges on Kocacay river which are still used today, an old dam, a trading building, avenues with columns on both sides, necropolis areas and the sacred cave of goddess Meter Steunene.


 - CHINE : Yacheng -  Chinese archaeologists have discovered a 50-meter-long city wall from the Song Dynasty (960-1279) on southern China's island province of Hainan. The adobe wall, discovered  in Yacheng Town, Sanya City, is believed to be the wall of Yazhou City, China's southern-most city more than 2,000 years ago. The discovery has proved the existence of adobe city walls in Song Dynasty as described in historical records.          



 - FRANCE   Mouliets-et-Villemartin - Les équipes de recherche de l'Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives ont recueilli, au cours de cette fouille préventive  faite sur le site Lacoste, près de 2 000 pièces. Pour la première fois, une conférence, le 1er octobre à 18 heures dans la salle Cascante de Castillon-la-Bataille, sera organisée pour informer le public sur ces toutes nouvelles trouvailles. Pour se replacer dans l'histoire, c'est à l'époque où Alexandre Le Grand s'en allait conquérir l'Asie Mineure, que, tout près de chez nous, aux confluents des voies naturelles offertes par la Dordogne et la « route » qui se dirigeait vers le pas de Rauzan, sur une plaine alluviale non inondable de l'actuelle commune de Mouliets-et-Villemartin, s'est développé un des plus anciens et importants centres commerciaux et artisanaux du Sud-Ouest de la Gaule. Plusieurs tribus celtes étaient implantées dans le voisinage et échangeaient là, sur près de 30 hectares, des denrées et des marchandises. Plusieurs centaines d'habitants y vivaient en paix du commerce et de l'artisanat. Le passage du gazoduc par Total Infrastructures Gaz France a permis de fouiller ce site et de mieux en comprendre l'importance.


 - HONGRIE : Budapest - The remains of a 7,000-year-old village have been unearthed in southwest Budapest's 22nd district by archaeologists of the Budapest History Museum. During the excavations, which precede earthworks for a section of the M0 ring around the city, the experts have discovered the foundations of six buildings which originally had clay walls supported by wooden beams. Next to the houses, the archaeologists have found remains of baking ovens, storage pits and waste holes in the ground, yielding a rich collection of broken clay vessels and stone tools from the Linear Pottery Culture. Near the Neolithic site, a short section of the limes connecting fortifications along the frontier of the Roman Empire, as well as part of a village from the 7th-8th century A.D. have also been found.


 - ROYAUME-UNI : Bearsted - A previously unknown Roman road and evidence of a medieval manor house have been uncovered during excavations in Kent. This exciting find, on private land near Bearsted, has emerged during careful archaeological surveys carried out during the excavation work before South East Water lay the pipe.


 - FRANCE : Pont-à-Marcq - Sur les 3,5 kilomètres de la future route -  Frédéric Loridant, responsable du service archéologique départemental, supervise une série de sondages. Des tranchées de deux mètres de large et 80 centimètres de profondeur hachureront 10 % de la surface. Deux mois de diagnostic pour lesquels les archéologues ont commencé à travailler au bord de la Marque, dans une zone inondable derrière l'école. « Historiquement, on s'attend à trouver des choses près de la rivière. Ici, on est en zone inondable, mais je suis quasiment sûr qu'on va décrocher quelque chose quand on sera plus haut, pressent l'archéologue. Il y a comme un bruit de fond gallo-romain avec probablement, aussi, du mérovingien et du médiéval ! » Dans le secteur sur lequel il cherche actuellement, les trouvailles sont « anecdotiques » : des traces d'occupation romaine avec un fossé correspondant à une petit bâtiment dont la trace n'a pas été retrouvée, des fragments de tuiles, des tessons de céramique des VIe et VIIe siècles... Sans oublier ce puits en bois, fait d'un tronc d'arbre coupé en deux et évidé en son centre qui pourrait dater du Moyen Âge.


 - ROYAUME-UNI : Londres - The British Library in London has posted over a quarter of its Greek manuscripts, equating to more than 280 volumes, online, the latest step toward digitizing important ancient documents. The manuscripts, freely available online at www.bl.uk/manuscripts, are part of what the library calls one of the most important collections outside Greece for the study of more than 2,000 years of Hellenic culture. The library holds a total of over 1,000 Greek manuscripts, over 3,000 Greek papyri and a comprehensive collection of early Greek printing. They contain information for scholars working on the literature, history, science, religion, philosophy and art of the Eastern Mediterranean in the Classical and Byzantine periods.