28 AVRIL 2017 NEWS: Caesaria - Port Royal Sound - Champion - Beiyangcheng - Langzhong - Dover Strait -
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ISRAEL – Caesaria - Archaeologists in Israel have begun work to restore a once-towering ancient-Roman temple in the modern-day Mediterranean city of Caesaria. Caesaria was a vibrant Roman metropolis built in honor of Emperor Augustus Caesar by King Herod, who ruled Judea from 37 BC until his death in 4 BC. Historians tell how the temple loomed above the ancient skyline, perhaps as tall as the Acropolis in Athens, and could be seen from afar by ships voyaging to the holy land. The dig has also unearthed some surprises, like a small mother-of-pearl tablet engraved with a symbol of the Jewish menorah, which is a seven-branched candelabrum.
USA - Port Royal Sound - A remaining mystery is the location of a 16th-century French corsair called Le Prince. The heavily armed galleon boasted a 300-ton capacity and carried 180 Frenchmen on a voyage “raiding and trading in Spain’s New World possessions,” said Jim Spirek, the underwater archaeologist who began the search for the ship when he joined the S.C. Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology in 1996. Spirek believes Le Prince wrecked on the shoals at the mouth of the Port Royal Sound, in 1577 about three miles offshore.
USA – Champion - A search is underway for lost gravestones that used to stand in an undocumented cemetery on the Freeman Farm in the town of Champion. The town wants to make sure all of its cemeteries are accounted for. It has tasked town historian, Lynn Thornton, to excavate lost gravestones there. "There's only one burial that's on record for here and it's for Asa Hadsell," she said. Asa Hadsell just happens to be one of the earliest settlers of the town, moving there in 1802, only 4 years after the town's founder. But the search is a slow one. Timothy Abel is an archaeologist out of Carthage and is leading the search. "In my line of work, you never know what is under the ground until you actually look under the ground," he said. After a couple hours poking and digging through the underbrush, it seemed like this method would prove unsuccessful. But in a twist of fate, as Abel was about to leave with his gear, he stumbled over exactly what they were looking for. "I was looking down and I almost tripped over the edge of that stone there and I recognized it right of the bat as a tombstone," he said. The name Asa was clearly legible on the stone.
CHINE - Beiyangcheng - archaeologists have discovered an ancient inscription carved in a cliff cave in northern China's Hebei Province, believed to be a place of seclusion for a renowned Shaolin monk, local authorities said Wednesday. Dating back to more than 1,400 years ago, the inscription is made up of eight big Chinese characters and several lines of smaller characters, saying "Master Sengchou once lived here for a life of religious seclusion," according to the cultural heritage administration of Cixian County. The inscription was carved on a smooth mountain wall in a cave near Beiyangcheng Village of Baitu Township and remains well-preserved, according to the administration. Cultural relics scholars believe that an ancient ruin in a mountain near the village might be the temple where Sengchou promoted Zen Buddhism. According to historical records, Sengchou was born in Hebei's Changli County and good at martial arts. Later, he learned Buddhist doctrine at the Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of Zen Buddhism and widely believed to be a cradle of Chinese kungfu. He played a significant role in the tradition of Shaolin monks practicing martial arts. "The discovery offers precious materials to study the history of local Buddhism and the Northern Qi Dynasty," said Liu Xinchang, head of the history association of Handan city
CHINE - Langzhong - Archaeologists announced Wednesday neolithic ruins dating back 4,500 to 5,000 years had been found in southwest China's Sichuan Province. The ruins was found on Ling Mountain in the ancient city of Langzhong last July, when villagers were building a reservoir, said Sun Zhibin, from the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute. A team led by Sun excavated the ruins from September 2016 to January 2017. A total of 108 items were found at the ruins, including porcelain pots and plates, and stone tools, such as axes and spears. "The discovery has provided new material for the research on cultural blending in the Sichuan Basin and its surrounding culture," he said. The discovery, the first ruins dating back to the late neolithic period near the middle reaches of Jialing River, has put back human activity at Langzhong from 3,000 years ago to 4,500 to 5,000 years ago, said Sun.
EUROPE – Dover Strait - Researchers have found evidence of how ancient Britain separated from Europe, which happened in two stages, they report in Nature Communications. Nearly 450,000 years ago, when Earth was in the grip of an ice age, ice stretched right across the North Sea, from Britain to Scandinavia. The low sea levels meant that the entire English Channel was dry land, a frozen tundra landscape, crisscrossed by small rivers. Britain’s separation from mainland Europe is believed to be the result of spill over from a proglacial lake – a type of lake formed in front of an ice sheet – in the North Sea, but this has remained unproven. Now, researchers from Imperial College London and their colleagues from institutes in Europe show that the opening of the Dover Strait in the English Channel occurred in two episodes, where an initial lake spill over was followed by catastrophic flooding.