28 DECEMBRE 2015 NEWS: Ørland - Sammanthavayal - Fairfax - Thames - Phonsavan -







NORVEGE –  Ingrid ystgaard Ørland - A team of archaeologists discovered a pre-Viking Iron Age settlement belonging to over 1,500 years ago. This ancient village was excavated from at the site of a former Viking settlement in the middle of Norway's Ørland peninsula. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology said in a press release that the site of excavation includes three large longhouses arranged in a U shape, one of which had several fire pits possibly used for cooking, keeping warm and for handwork. They believe that the longhouse might have been used for community gatherings, to honor the chief of the settlement and possibly to store food. Ingrid Ystgaard, project manager at the Department of Archaeology and Cultural History at NTNU University Museum, said in a statement that the place appears to be very strategic. “It was a sheltered area along the Norwegian coastal route from southern Norway to the northern coasts. And it was at the mouth of Trondheim Fjord, which was a vital link to Sweden and the inner regions of mid-Norway” he said. Such a site is quite rare in Norway because several bones of animals, birds and fish are very well preserved in the site’s garbage heaps or middens. The soil found in the area comprises of seashells due to which it is not acidic, unlike much of the soil in Norway. The acid found in soil at other sites can easily break down bone and other organic matter due to which it is very difficult to find well preserved bones from before the medieval era. Enough number of bones has been collected from the site using which researchers can compare wild and domestic varieties of ancient time with those of today.


INDE Sammanthavayal- After the Heritage Club at SSAM Higher Secondary School discovered a stone idol of Lord Buddha in a paddy field at Sammanthavayal in Thiruvadanai taluk recently, the district unit of the State Department of Archaeology inspected the site and suggested that the idol could be preserved in the museum. He had stated in the report that the idol, with the lower portion buried in the field, should belong to the Chola period, dating back to 9th or 10th century, and it could be preserved in a government museum. Mr. Sakthivel also mentioned about a Chola period Logamma Devi Amman Temple dating back to 10th or 11th century at Suthamalli near Sammanthavayal and a Hero stone with line drawings few metres away from the Buddha idol site in his report. The discovery of the idol was yet another evidence to show that there were Buddha settlements in coastal and some interior parts of the district during the Chola period, he said.


USAImages 33 Fairfax - Along Ox Road in Fairfax County, near the border with Fairfax City, a bit of local history is buried. This rare find is a road to the past, a cedar-log highway believed to date to when Union and Confederate forces trod the ground now occupied by George Mason University students and suburban families. The old path, called a “corduroy” road because of its resemblance to the fabric, hadn’t changed elevation over the years, Sperling said in an interview, so archaeologists could digitally reconstruct what the thoroughfare would have looked like in the 1860s. In addition, because the logs were buried, they hadn’t deteriorated. Jim Lewis, a member of the executive committee of the Bull Run Civil War Round Table, said a corduroy road from the Occoquan River to the Fairfax courthouse was a major pathway in the war. The logs that the county workers found are almost certainly part of the first section of that road, from the courthouse to Fairfax Station, which was built in 1862, Lewis said. If the corduroy road does date to the Civil War, the historian said, it would have been traveled by Union Gen. Joseph Hooker, Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and other famous generals. The road would have been a link to get supplies from the railroad at Fairfax Station to the Fairfax courthouse, a significant Union supply depot, he said.


ROYAUME UNI - 4000 Thames - A very small treasure hoard – a handful of tiny fragments of beautifully worked Tudor gold – has been harvested from a muddy stretch of the Thames foreshore over a period of years by eight different metal detectorists. The pieces all date from the early 16th century, and the style of the tiny pieces of gold is so similar that Kate Sumnall, an archaeologist, believes they all came from the disastrous loss of one fabulous garment, possibly a hat snatched off a passenger’s head by a gust of wind at a time when the main river crossings were the myriad ferry boats. Such metal objects, including aglets – metal tips for laces – beads and studs, originally had a practical purpose as garment fasteners but by the early 16th century were being worn in gold as high-status ornaments, making costly fabrics such as velvet and furs even more ostentatious. Contemporary portraits, including one in the National Portrait Gallery of the Dacres, Mary Neville and Gregory Fiennes, show their sleeves festooned with pairs of such ornaments. Some of the Thames pieces are inlaid with enamel or little pieces of coloured glass. Despite the fact there is not enough gold in them to fill an egg cup, the pieces are legally treasure that must be declared to finds officers such as Sumnall, who is based at the Museum of London. She also records less valuable finds voluntarily reported under the portable antiquities scheme, and so has a good working relationship with the licensed mudlarks who scour the Thames shore between tides. Sumnall said they were an important find as a huge amount of skill had been invested in the intricate pieces. “These artefacts have been reported to me one at a time over the last couple of years. Individually they are all wonderful finds but as a group they are even more important. To find them from just one area suggests a lost ornate hat or other item of clothing. The fabric has not survived and all that remains are these gold decorative elements that hint at the fashion of the time.” Once the pieces have been through a treasure inquest and valued, the museum hopes to acquire them all, still glittering after their centuries in the mud.


LAOS –  1249280519097 Phonsavan - The enigmatic Plain of Jars in Laos is not easy to explore. The site of the mysterious, ancient field of giant pots lies about 250 miles northeast of the Lao capital, Vientiane. Those who do make the trek are treated to a bewildering display of thousands of stone urns that date back to the Iron Age, spread over miles-long fields in the mountains surrounding the small town of Phonsavan. The urns can be enormous, reaching up to ten feet tall and three feet wide, and weighing several tons, and are sometimes accompanied by circular stone discs that are thought to be lids. According to UNESCO, they “are also sometimes carved with representations of humans, tigers or monkeys.” The purpose of the massive jars remains a mystery yet to be cracked by archaeologists. Luckily, modern technology means curious minds can explore the mysterious jars from a safe distance. A new video of the site was taken by a drone and uploaded to YouTube by user Seaarch, who flew “over Sites 1, 2 and 3, and the quarry site of Phu Keng around the vicinity of Phonsavan,” according to the video description, adding, “UAVs like these will play an important role for safely surveying areas that have not been cleared of explosives yet.” It also lets future travelers know what to add to their bucket lists. 

VIDEO = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKWVEeA4FXY