27 MARS 2019: Vestfold - Pâques - Gebel el-Silsila - Shangxing - York -
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NORVEGE – Vestfold - Archaeologists in Norway have used ground-penetrating radar to locate what appears to be a Viking longship buried in the ground. Officials in Vestfold County, west of Oslo, announced the find on Monday. Vestfold County spokesman Terje Gansum said the ship burial — where a vessel is used as a container for the dead — was found in the Borre burial mounds, considered one of Norway's most important cultural heritage sites. The radar images show a boat shape as well as the faint outline of a circular recess, which may indicate that a wooden pile has been removed from the site. Gansum said Viking-era ships are always at least 15 meters (50 feet) long. “We are now going to investigate the discovery with several non-invasive methods and repeat the use of georadar,” he explained, in a statement. Archaeologists say they have no immediate plan to unearth the ship. The longship is the latest in a series of fascinating discoveries from the Viking era, which was approximately 793-1066 A.D. Earlier this year, researchers reported that a Swedish grave containing the skeleton of a Viking warrior, long thought to be male, was confirmedas female. Last year, a Viking “Thor’s hammer” was discovered in Iceland and archaeologists in Østfold County, southeastern Norway, used ground-penetrating radar to reveal another Viking longship. Also in 2018, an 8-year-old girl discovered a 1,500-year-old sword in a Swedish lake and a trove of silver treasure linked to the era of a famous Viking king was uncovered on an island in the Baltic Sea. Hundreds of 1,000-year-old silver coins, rings, pearls, and bracelets were found on the German island of Ruegen. In 2017, an incredibly well-preserved Viking sword was found by a reindeer hunter on a remote mountain in Southern Norway. In 2016, archaeologists in Trondheim, Norway, located the church where Viking King Olaf Haraldsson was first enshrined as a saint. Separately in 2016, a tiny Viking crucifix was found in Denmark.
CHILI – Ile de Pâques - From the fate of its once vibrant population to the origins of its moai statues, Easter Island is rife with mystery. As Ars Technica reports, a team of scientists may have answered one question related to the famous heads located on the island off the coast of Chile: Why were they placed in some spots on the island and not others? According to their study in the journal PLOS One, ancient islanders positioned the moai around precious sources of fresh water. This theory may seem confusing if you're familiar with the island's layout: Almost all of the stone artifacts are located along the coast. But the study authors write that the statues are markers for hidden water sources. On Easter Island, and other volcanic islands, volcanic tubes carry fresh water from underground into the ocean, creating patches of drinkable water surrounded by the salty sea. Fresh water is a limited resource on the island, and its inhabitants likely depended on these water pockets to survive. When researchers pinpointed these off-shore water sources, they found either moai statues or the platforms that were used to hold them next to each site. And this wasn't a result of islanders placing moai randomly along the coast: Further analysis revealed that the presence of a freshwater patch was the strongest indicator of where an Easter Island head would be. Easter Island's scant natural resources are part of the mystery that surrounds its ancient people. At its peak, the Easter Island may have sustained a population of 17,500, and the complex social structure of its inhabitants enabled them to achieve great things, such as carving and transporting 81-ton statues around the island. Though we now have an idea of why the moai ended up where they did, the question of how they got there is still up for debate.
EGYPTE - Gebel el-Silsila - Egypt says archaeologists have found a 3,000-year-old port where stones were transported to be used in the building of temples and obelisks. The Antiquities Ministry said Tuesday the port was located near the Gebel el-Silsila archaeological site in upper Egypt, near the southern city of Aswan. It says the port dates back to the 18th dynasty, which ruled from 1543 to 1292 B.C. Abdel Moneim Said, the director of the Aswan and Nubia antiquities area, says rocks quarried at Gebel el-Silsila were used in the construction of the ancient Egyptian temples at Karnak and Kom Ombo.
CHINE – Shangxing - A team of Chinese archaeologists have unearthed a large jar of eggs believed to have been buried in a tomb for about 2,500 years. Around 20 eggs were found and their shells appeared greenish blue, according to experts. They were kept in a clay jar with a closed lid when experts found them in an excavation site in eastern China's Shangxing Town on Sunday, reported Yangzi Evening News. Like a real-life echo to China's controversial delicacy, the century eggs, these ancient eggs are said to date back more than two millennia to the country's Spring and Autumn period (770-476BC). Experts say the eggs are similar to modern-day free-range eggs in size. They also suspect that the content inside the eggs is likely to have degraded over time, leaving only the shells which are formed largely by calcium. In addition to the eggs, experts found a number of porcelain cups, pots, plates and other cookware in the same tomb near the city of Nanjing, one of China's ancient capitals. '(The containers) were covered by mud, and the jar (with the eggs) were found above the mud. We opened the lid, and saw there were eggs,' one of the archaeologists, named Zhou Hengming, told Nanjing-based Modern Express. The extraordinary findings were excavated from a multi-level ancient tomb complex, which is thought to belong to a clan and contains 38 tomb chambers. There are a total of six layers in the tomb complex and the eggs were discovered in a chamber on the second to the lowest level. The owner of the tomb chamber was thought to be an important figure in the family as a full set of cookware and dinnerware were found in the chamber, experts told Nanjing-based Modern Express. Experts believe that the family members of the tomb's owner wouldn't want him or her to starve in the afterlife, therefore they buried a large number of containers and plenty of food.
ROYAUME UNI – York - Medieval historian Benjamin Pohl of the University of Bristol found an 819-year-old royal charter carrying King John’s wax seal in the archives of Ushaw College Library, which is managed by Durham University. Issued in York and dated March 26, 1200, during the first year of King John’s reign, the charter confirms the transfer of ownership of two hamlets in County Durham to Walter of Caen and Robert FitzRoger, Lord of Warkworth and Sherriff of Norfolk and Suffolk. Historians knew of the transaction because it had been recorded in an administrative copy of the original charter known as a charter roll, but the charter roll listed only three of the witnesses present at the signing of the original. Pohl said the newly discovered document lists nine witnesses, including some of the most powerful people living in northern England at the time, who would presumably have been eager to do business with the new king.