27 SEPTEMBRE 2017 NEWS: Darley Abbey - Hasankeyf - Calabria - Cork - Baley - Gyeongju -
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ROYAUME UNI – Darley Abbey - Are we getting closer to solving one of Derby's biggest mysteries? A team of archaeologists thinks so. The abbey that gave Darley Abbey its name was so thoroughly destroyed by Henry VIII's lackeys in the 16th century that no one knows for sure where it stood. For hundreds of years, it was a hive of activity yet today, aside from the Abbey pub, hardly anything remains. The site, in the city-owned Darley Park, is believed to be very close to the lost Abbey of St Mary which was demolished entirely in 1538. Many believe the dig could expose stonework or important artefacts from over 500 years ago. So far, they have found remnants of medieval pottery, animal bones and even what seems to be a summer house from the Victorian era. They are also hoping to unearth an ancient ice-house, a building used to store ice before the invention of electric refrigeration. The heritage group is confident that one such ice house existed around 150 years ago at the dig site after scouring maps from 1881. “We think the abbey is somewhere in the vicinity here around the town hall. There should be many buildings like a church, dormitories, toilets and more from the medieval period but we are yet to find any. “We’ve dug five trenches total right now but there will be more in the future. You would expect to find something with a building that large. “We’ve actually found a Victorian red brick structure that we believe to be a summer house or something similar. It wasn’t what we set out to find, but it is interesting nonetheless.
TURQUIE – Hasankeyf - A settlement from 11,500 years ago has been unearthed in the Hasankeyf Mound on the Tigris River’s coastline in the fifth stage of archaeology works at the ancient town of Hasankeyf in the southeastern province of Batman, which has been initiated with the Ilısu Dam HES project protection and rescue works of the cultural heritage. The head of the excavations in Hasankeyf, Assistant Professor Mevlüt Eliüşük, said 12 Japanese archaeologists are also working in the mound. “Excavations continued in the settlement in the first three months and then the conservation of findings was made. Analyses revealed that the settlement in Hasankeyf Mound dates back to 9,500 B.C., which is 11,500 years ago,” he added. Eliüşük said they found some fields in the excavations and they believe there were steles like the ones in Göbeklitepe there. “But the steles have not survived until today,” he added. He said life continued for 1,000 years in the mound. “The most important feature of the mound is that the settlement did not last there. Settlement began there 11,500 years ago but people abandoned the settlement after living there for 1,000 years,” he added. Japan’s Tsukuba University academic Yutaka Miyake, the consultant of the excavations, said the mound dates back to the beginning of the Neoltihic Age and the source of living was hunting and collecting.“They hunted wild sheep the most. As for plants, we found wild peanuts, almonds and terebinth berries. It is interesting that we did not find pieces of grain or wheat. This place was a settlement before its transition to a field of agriculture or breeding,” Miyake said. According to him, two phases existed in the mound. “In the first phase, the architectural structure of houses was round. They dug a hole and put up a wall around it. In the second phase, they began building rectangular houses. This reveals the existence of two phases in the settlement.” Miyake said they unearthed 120 tombs beneath the houses and there were gifts next to the dead in the tombs. Among the gifts was a stone bowl, beads and sea shells, Miyake said. “We detected two colors - black and red - in the bones of one third of these burials. These skeletons have line-like paint. After burying the dead, they waited for the body to decay. When the body decayed, they colored the bones with this paint. In some skeletons, the anatomic structures of the bones were preserved but bones have come loose. Then they replaced these bones back to their place,” he added. Miyake said the settlement in the mound has similar features with Göbeklitepe in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. He said a child’s skull was also buried next to the tomb of the adults. “We also found the skulls of an animal, which we believe belonged to a wild sheep or goat. We found six tombs like this,” he noted. Works in the Hasankeyf Mound is set to continue through Dec. 15.
ITALIE – Calabria - This summer, a team of University of Kentucky archeologists explored two previously unknown archaic Greek sites in Calabria, Italy’s southernmost region, one of which may be the largest Greek mountain fort yet uncovered in that area of the country. The findings deepen scholarly understanding of Greek territorial organization in the toe of Italy, and of the interstate conflicts that occurred across the region throughout the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. Based on pottery shards, roof tiles and bronze arrow points found at the site, the fort has been tentatively dated to circa 500-300 B.C. This was a period of Greek expansion and cultural achievement in southern Italy, Sicily and elsewhere in the western Mediterranean. Built with boulders and roughly hewn blocks of local granite at 3,192 feet above sea level and at nearly nine miles from the Ionian seacoast, the fort appears to have had a rectangular plan covering about 30.000 square feet. It probably guarded the main overland route between the Greek city of Locri Epizephyrii and its sub-colonies of Medma and Hipponion on the western coast of Italy. The identity of an adjacent building discovered by the UK team is still uncertain. Its location, architectural plan and smaller dimensions, do not preclude the possibility that it may be a frontier sanctuary. The south Italian Greeks often built sanctuaries to mark the boundaries of their territories, but no Locrian frontier sanctuary has been found thus far. This building has a square plan covering an area of at least 17,000 square feet and seems to be earlier than the fort. It has been dated to 550-400 B.C. by the ceramic finds. “Although we have not yet found evidence of votive offerings (i.e. terracotta figurines, miniature pottery, bronze objects, etc.), that would confirm the presence of a sanctuary, we only sampled less than 1 percent of this site,” Visonà explained. “But we still have a significant quantity of fineware, especially wine cups, from our test units. It could be a clue that this is a special type of building.” The team plans to continue digging in the coming year. Visonà hopes that the identity and functions of the smaller site will be confirmed through more extensive excavations. “Our research is changing the history of Magna Graecia,” Visonà said. “No one had thought that the Greeks of southern Italy had a defensive network as early as the archaic period (600-480 B.C.). They also may have introduced fort architecture earlier than the mainland Greeks, as our work has shown. So, southern Italy was a very innovative region of the Greek Mediterranean
IRLANDE- Cork - A 1,000-year-old Viking weaver’s sword has been discovered by archaeologists at the historic site of the former Beamish and Crawford brewery in Cork city. The perfectly-preserved wooden sword is a little over 30cm in length, made entirely from yew, and features carved human faces typical of the Ringerike style of Viking art, dating it roughly to the late 11th century. Consultant archaeologist Dr Maurice Hurley said it was one of several artefacts of “exceptional significance” unearthed during recent excavations at the South Main Street site, which also revealed intact ground plans of 19 Viking houses, remnants of central hearths and bedding material. The sword was used probably by women, to hammer threads into place on a loom; the pointed end is for picking up the threads for pattern-making. It’s highly decorated - the Vikings decorated every utilitarian object
BULGARIE – Baley - A large number of uniquely decorated ceramic vessels from ca 1400 BC have been described during archaeological excavations in the necropolis of a Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age settlement near the Danube town of Baley, Vidin District, in Northwest Bulgaria. The settlement near Bulgaria’s Baley belongs to the so called “Culture of the Encrusted Ceramics of the Lower Danube", and has been researched for over 40 years now but keeps yielding new impressive Bronze Age finds. Every single one of the newly discovered encrusted pottery vessels from the Baley necropolis is truly unique in that none of the same shapes and decoration patterns is seen more than once, the archaeologists point out, as cited by BNT.
COREE DU SUD – Gyeongju - Experts believe they have uncovered a 'flushing' toilet dating back more than a millennia. The toilet, thought to belong to Korean royalty in the eighth century AD, was uncovered during an archaeological dig in South Korea. It is the first time a bathroom structure, toilet and drainage system have all been found at an ancient site in the country. It appears to have been constructed during the Unified Silla Dynasty, which reigned between 668 and 935 AD. The oval-shaped flush toilet is made out of granite and has a drainage channel, according to reports on KBS Korea. It features two rectangular slab stones on either side, for users to place their feet on while squatting over the lavatory. The bathroom had no water supply of its own, so excrement would have been flushed down the drain by pouring water into the toilet. A spokesman for the research institute said: 'This area is the centre of the former royal capital, which is dense with historic relics related to Silla royal castles and national temples.