28 AVRIL 2016 NEWS: Kedah - Janakpur - Exeter - Sangiran - Antiocheia -
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MALAISIE – Kedah - History is waiting to be unearthed at the Sungai Batu archaeological site in Kedah, and it will cost over RM100 million to realise that. This is according to Universiti Sains Malaysia centre for global archaeological research director Prof Datuk Dr Mokhtar Saidin who said it would cost that much to raise five ancient ships researchers have found in an ancient river that flowed at the site thousands of years ago. Mokhtar said at least RM25 million was needed to raise each vessel, a prohibitive cost as the work demands expertise and special equipment. "Excavation under water is more difficult than on land. Special equipment is needed to suction soil and water; it is a delicate job as utmost care is necessary due to the factors of preservation and conversation," he said. Last August, Bernama reported researchers found ancient ships, almost two years earlier, buried in a swampy and muddy area at the site where a deep and wide river flowed thousands of years ago. In 2012, the researchers found the masts of the vessels and nails, he added. He said more holistic data on the Sungai Batu civilisation would be included in the secondary school history syllabus, but it would take time. The data compilation began in 2007 following the discovery of the Sungai Batu archaeological site.
NEPAL – Janakpur - Archaeologists have discovered several artefacts and remains of ancient houses at 52 Bigha Maidan in Janakpur. Bhaskar Gyawali of Department of Archaeology (DoA) said they have found earthenwares, an oven, a trident and remains of a house that could belong to the people who lived in the ancient kingdom of Videha. He said the finds could provide a better understanding of the culture and lifestyle of the period. The area where the DoA is conducting excavation work belongs to Janaki Temple. Earlier, the area used to serve as a grazing field for cattle. Two years ago, Janakpur Sub-metropolis had proposed converting the land as a dumping site. The plan was halted following a protest by the locals. At one time, the temple authority had also proposed selling the land. Naresh Yadav, a local resident, said the area has an immense historical significance, even more so after the archaeological finds. The locals have urged the government to conserve the area and expand the dig.
ROYAUME UNI – Exeter - Roman military base has been unearthed at the Exeter & Devon Crematorium on Topsham Road, and it could date back as far as 1st Century AD. Works to create a brand new overflow car park at the crematorium began four weeks ago. And, during the initial groundwork by local firm JTT Construction, two Roman military buildings were found to the delight of local archeologists. The site, on the former home of the St Loyes Foundation represents a stretch of a Roman road extending from a probable Roman port at Topsham to the main fort at Exeter. Topsham Road leads to Rome: Incredible discoveries made during Exeter crematorium works. Bradninch-based AC Archaeology were commissioned to undertake an excavation last year and to be in attendance during the initial excavation. Among the incredible discoveries so far was the oddity of a pit containing the complete skull of a pig. Despite being only 100 years old, why it was buried at the site remains a mystery. The Roman buildings discovered are classic military type, and constructed by digging narrow trenches where horizontal timbers are inserted and supported by upright posts. The site is divided into a series of small rectangular rooms and archaeologists think the small barrack blocks used by the Roman Army during their conquest of the South West in the second half of the 1st century AD. The buildings are located next to an earlier structure, which is a 'roundhouse' dating to the Late Iron Age period. This house could have been lived in when the Roman army invaded and, by constructing their buildings so close to this, it may have been a deliberate attempt to subdue the local native population.
INDONESIE – Sangiran - After the absence of any discoveries of ancient human fossils for 80 years, a resident of Sragen, Central Java, found a Homo erectus skull in Sangiran, an archaeological site in the regency, in February. The skull was found in an area along the Bojong River in Manyarejo village, Plupuh district, Sragen, and is considered a rare and important discovery. Most of the fossils discovered in the Sangiran Dome are from animals or plants. The skull’s volume is around 800 cubic centimeters, less than the volume of the skulls of Homo sapiens, which reach 1,400 cc. The first Homo erectus skull was found by Gustav Heinrich Ralph von Koenigswald, a paleontology expert from Berlin, Germany, in 1936. Since then, no Homo erectus fossils have been found in Sangiran until this year.
TURQUIE – Antiocheia - A phrase written on an ancient mosaic found in the southern province of Hatay, which reportedly read “Be cheerful, live your life,” continues to pique the interest of experts, with writer and researcher Murat Bardakçı claiming the writing on the mosaic was wrongly interpreted. “The mosaic says, ‘You get the pleasure of the food you eat hastily with death,’” wrote Bardakçı in daily Habertürk on April 27, while adding that it could be a quotation from one of the famous people in that era. The writing on the centuries-old mosaic, which could be considered an ancient motivational meme, was reported to read “Be cheerful, live your life” in ancient Greekafter it was discovered during excavation works in Hatay on April 22. Demet Kara, an archaeologist from the Hatay Archaeology Museum, claimed the mosaic, which was called the “skeleton mosaic,” belonged to the dining room of a house from the 3rd century B.C., as new findings have been unearthed in the ancient city of Antiocheia. Turkish historian İlber Ortaylı paid a visit to the excavation area and said the mosaic was a very important and rare artifact, and a museum should be established at its excavation site to display the mosaic.