28 AVRIL 2020 NEWS




BELGIQUE - Sint-Niklaas - The earth around Sint-Niklaas (East Flanders) has given up new secrets after traces of five houses dating from the late Iron Age as well as several Roman cremation graves were uncovered.  The five houses probably belonged to farmers who worked the sandy soil of the Waasland District for some considerable time.  “Often they had a hard time producing enough food to see them through the year” says archaeologist Bart Lauwers. When the harvest was poor people must have lived on the verge of starvation. The farms were simple buildings.  They were built from wood and had thatched roofs.  There were a number of granaries as well as fences in areas where livestock could be kept.  The people who lived here survived on the produce of the soil and everything their animals gave them.”


EUROPE – Pottery 505 Région Baltique - An international team of researchers led by Harry Robson of the University of York analyzed food residues on pottery fragments recovered from 61 archaeological sites in the Baltic region of Europe, and found that different groups of hunter-gatherers living between 6,000 and 7,000 years ago developed distinct cuisines, despite the availability of similar resources. The cuisines were likely to have been based upon traditions and cultural habits, the researchers concluded. Marine and freshwater fish, seal, beaver, wild boar, bear, deer, hazelnuts, plants, and even dairy products were detected in the pot residues, Robson explained. The dairy products may have been obtained from early farmers through trade or looting, he added. 


ESPAGNE –  Driebes - An ancient battlefield believed to be the site of Hannibal’s first major victory has been discovered in central Spain. The Carthaginian general famously led his army and dozens of elephants to invade Italy. His audacious trek across the Alps occurred during the second Punic War against Rome, which lasted from 218 B.C. to 201 B.C. Before his invasion of Italy, however, Hannibal fought a number of engagements in what is now Spain. A site near Driebes in the province of Guadalajara has now been identified as the possible location of the Battle of the Tagus in 220 B.C., according to experts. Archaeologists have identified a site on a pre-Roman road that crossed the river Tagus near the ancient settlement of Caraca. Researchers think that the site also offered Hannibal and his outnumbered troops a key tactical advantage. Hannibal, regarded as one of the foremost military tacticians of the ancient world, cleverly placed his 25,000-strong Carthaginian army and 40 elephants in defensive positions on the bank of the river Tagus to defeat a 100,000-strong force of local tribes. In their study, the experts explained that Hannibal’s army was returning to its base Qart Hadasht, which is now the modern-day Spanish city of Cartagena, after conquering the city of Helmantica (now modern-day Salamanca). Laid down with the spoils of war, Hannibal’s forces would have taken the fastest route back to Qart Hadasht, researches said, which would have taken them across the Tagus near Driebes. Temporarily stable fords are also a feature of that part of the river Tagus, according to researchers. Local tribes are believed to have used the fords to attack Hannibal’s forces, effectively entering into a trap where they were picked off by the Carthaginian troops. Researchers also identified the remains of a square or quadrangular structure at the site, believed to be part of a palisade designed to force the tribes through two of the fords over the Tagus. Experts also noted that what appears to be a moat was discovered near the structure. “There is a depression of about one meter [3.28 feet] as a channel on both the N [north] and W [west] edges of said quadrangular structure,” they explained. “This channel or depression could be associated with a moat excavated before the battle.”


ROYAUME UNI – Pas wilt 0f898cl 1024x848  Historicengland centaureaflowerheadspas15aromanvesselhoard 4Vale of Pewsey - Surviving organic matter from the Anglo Saxon period is rare, but these fragile remains of flowers and heads of bracken are 1,500 years old. They were discovered in 2014 inside a hoard of eight Roman bronze pots dating to the very earliest part of the post-Roman / early Anglo Saxon period, and whoever buried the hoard had done so carefully, either to keep the bronze bowls safe or perhaps as a votive offering. For packing they used common knapweed, bracken and other plants as we might use bubble wrap to safeguard a parcel today. Analysis of the condition of the flowers leads experts to believe the bronze cauldrons were buried in the late summer sometime in the fifth and sixth centuries. The bowls were Found by metal detectorists in the Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire and reported to the Wiltshire Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, who brought in a team to excavate the find site. Although the bronze vessels had been removed from the ground by the detectorists, crucially they had not attempted to clean them and the delicate remains of the packing material, effectively sealed and preserved inside, were still in place. By combining the plant macro and pollen evidence the experts were able to identify the time of year the vessels were buried, the packing material used, the nature of the surrounding vegetation and the likely date of burial. The team also identified several seed remnants of flowers and plants including buttercup, clover, cowslip and black bindweed.


EGYPTE – 2020 637233345731509352 150 2020 637233346138221206 822 Dra abu naga 2 Draa Abul Naga - A 17th dynasty anthropoid coffin containing a mummy, along with a mud-brick offering chapel and a pile of mixed materials from funerary equipment, have been unearthed in Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor’s West Bank. These objects were unearthed during excavation work carried out in the area located in front of the open courtyard of Djehuty’s tomb (TT 11). The coffin was carefully placed on the ground horizontally. It measures 1.75 by 0.33m, and was carved in wood cut from a single sycamore tree trunk, then coated with a whitewash and painted in red. Inside the coffin was found the mummy of a 15- or 16-year-old girl resting on her right side. The mummy is in a bad conservation condition. The mummy is wearing two earrings in one of her ears, both with a spiral shape and coated with a thin metal leaf, maybe copper. It also had two rings, one made of bone and the other with a blue glass bead set on a metal base and tied with string. Four necklaces tied together with a faience clip are around the chest.One necklace is 70cm long and made rounded faience beads, alternating dark and light blue.The second one is 62cm long, and made of green faience and glass beads. The most beautiful is the third necklace which measures 61cm and is made of 74 pieces, combining beads of amethyst, carnelian, amber, blue glass and quartz. It includes two scarabs, one depicting the falcon god Horus, and five faience amulets. The fourth necklace is made of several strings of faience beads tied together at both ends by a ring combining all the strings. At the opposite side of the mud-brick chapel, a small coffin made of mud was also found. It is still closed and tied together with string. Inside there was a wooden ushabti wrapped in four linen bandages. The ushabti figurine and one of the linen bandages are labelled in hieratic text identifying its owner, “The Osiris, Djehuty,” who lived under the 17th dynasty (c.1600 BCE). In the same area, but inside a funerary shaft, a pair of leather sandals was found together with a pair of leather balls tied together with string, also dating to the 17th dynasty.“The sandals are in a good state of preservation, despite being 3,600 years old,” Galán noted. He added that they are dyed in a vivid red colour, and engraved with various motifs showing god Bes, goddess Taweret, a pair of cats, an ibex and a rosette.From their decoration and size, he said, the sandals probably belonged to a woman, and also the balls, which were used by a woman for sport or as part of a dancing choreography, according to daily life depictions in Beni Hassan tombs of the 12th dynasty. 

USA – x Mound Key -   Web3 mound key map san anton de carlosAn archaeological team has announced the discovery of Fort San Antón de Carlos, a 16th-century Spanish colonial settlement containing the site of one of the earliest Jesuit missions in North America. The report, which was published on the academic reference site Springer Link.  The team found the elusive historical site thanks to a technology called Lidar, a remote sensing method that can create detailed pictures through the use of pulsated lasers. Along with the presence of one of the oldest Jesuit missions, the ruined Fort San Antón de Carlos is further significant because it contains the earliest example of “tabby” architecture in North America. According to Wikipedia, “tabby” is a term referring to a type of concrete made by burning oyster shells to create lime, then mixing it with water, sand, ash and broken oyster shells. This method was used to strengthen and stabilize the Spanish-made structures.


IRAN – 3436763 Natanz - A 14,000-year-old evidence of human social life has been identified by experts who examining rock carvings being found near Natanz, which is situated in the heart of the Iranian plateau. “Archaeologists believe that the custom of creating petroglyphs began at the end of the Paleolithic period, so the style of petroglyphs and symbols the bear, as well as the tools used to create them, along with influencing environmental factors, are valuable criteria for determining the historical background of these objects,” the official explained. He said the petroglyphs were previously discovered near Arisman, a village in Emamzadeh District of Natanz County, Isfahan province.With the discovery of the ancient site of Arisman in previous years and the study of excavated works in it, the historical background of the civilized life of the people of this region reached six thousand years ago.”Over the past years, various petroglyphs have been discovered in nearby plains of various townships such as Afushteh, Badrud, and Natanz, so research on the structure of these petroglyphs, as well as determining their historical values, began in the past.”“At the beginning of the current year, archaeologists found that the collection of petroglyphs, which are located open-air sites, dates from the late Paleolithic era onwards,”With the completion of these studies, the history of human social life in the northern part of Isfahan province is spanned from six to fourteen thousand years ago,” he noted. Yazdanmehr expressed hope that this valuable collection of petroglyphs could be protected against atmospheric factors by allocating the necessary funds (from the government). Enigmatic evidence of human presence on the Iranian plateau as early as Lower Paleolithic times comes from a surface find in the Bakhtaran valley, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The first well-documented evidence of human habitation is in deposits from several excavated cave and rock-shelter sites, located mainly in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran and dated to Middle Paleolithic or Mousterian times (c. 100,000 BC). There is every reason to assume, however, that future excavations will reveal Lower Paleolithic habitation in Iran. The Mousterian flint tool industry found there is generally characterized by an absence of the Levalloisian technique of chipping flint and thus differs from the well-defined Middle Paleolithic industries known elsewhere in the Middle East. The economic and social level associated with this industry is that of fairly small, peripatetic hunting and gathering groups spread out over a thinly settled landscape. By approximately 6000 BC patterns of village farming were widely spread over much of the Iranian plateau and in lowland Khuzestan. Though distinctly different, all show general cultural connections with the beginnings of settled village life in neighboring areas such as Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Central Asia, and Mesopotamia.