28 JUILLET 2023 News






ARABIE SAOUDITE – 3921446 1558553159 - Dhi Al-Majaz - Saudi Arabia’s Heritage Commission concluded the first season of archaeological surveys and excavations at Dhi Al-Majaz market site in Makkah with participation of a group of Saudi experts. Located 20 kilometers east of Makkah city, the site constitute a historical, cultural, and archeological significance as one of the most well known Arab markets in the Arabian Peninsula dating back to pre-Islamic times.The commission work revealed a number of architectural units of different sizes and characters that were likely shops with service facilities.The site plans showed several structures situated by a long stretch that could potentially serve as a main passage that might represent a commercial market.The findings also included Islamic inscriptions, pottery shards and ceramic fragments from different vessels.The market, alongside Souk Okaz and Majanah, were known as Hajj markets because they took place during the Hajj season.Pilgrims and merchants flocked to the market where deals took place and cultural events were held.


ALLEMAGNE – Architectural gem min  Posaer Berg  - Archaeological excavations have been taking place on the Posaer Berg (Posa Hill) near Zeitz (Burgenland) every year since 2017. They have already provided numerous surprising insights into the history of construction and use as well as new insights into the historical significance of the medieval complex on the prominent mountain spur above the Elsteraue. The focus of the current excavation, which has been ongoing since March 2023, is the area south of the church, where the cloister of the monastery was once located. First of all, the massive accumulation of rubble that had been leveled on the area after the demolition of the monastery from about 1657 was cleared. At that time, the monastery served as a quarry for the extraction of building material for the new construction of Moritzburg Castle in Zeitz. Large areas of the foundations of the monastery buildings were also broken down to the last stone. Beneath this leveled layer of debris, some parts of the south wing of the enclosure were found in an unexpectedly good state of preservation. The north facade of the cloister is still about 70 centimeters high over a length of about 10 meters. The buttresses made of ashlar masonry towards the cross courtyard are particularly impressive. There are even remains of plaster on the inside of the cloister. The floors of the southern cloister wing are still almost complete. The upper one consisted mainly of very high-quality red brick chippings, which was probably supposed to have the appearance of red marble. Flaws in the screed floor indicate the position of grave slabs, which were removed as valuable building material. Surprisingly, larger sandstones were also found in the up to 1.80 meter thick layers of rubble above the ruins, which had obviously been overlooked when the building material was salvaged or were perhaps simply too heavy. In addition to parts of the vaulted ribs of the cloister, some of which still have remnants of a red paint finish, a completely intact keystone of the former cloister vault represents a special find. Vine leaves and grapes are depicted on its face. They refer to the long history of local viticulture, which was successfully revived just a few years ago. The finding of the keystone and some other stones now allows a comparatively exact dating of the southern wing of the cloister to the end of the first third of the 14th century. Comparable stones of this type are known from the cloister of the Zeitz Cathedral and the Naumburg Cathedral. The 14th-century cloister at Posa replaced a Romanesque predecessor. The monastery church, rediscovered in 2017, also shows a modernization of the originally Romanesque building in the Gothic style during the 14th century. Further archaeological investigations will focus on parts of the southern and eastern cloister wing and the cross courtyard. The aim is to learn more about the older church, believed to be beneath the Gothic and Romanesque walls and floors. The first traces of this presumed early sacred building have been uncovered in recent years. It was probably built in the 10th century and burned down at the end of the 11th century. Findings from the 9th century are also of great scientific interest. They are the oldest evidence of a settlement on Posa Hill and are closely related to the large ramparts that enclose the entire mountain. The research excavation in Posa will continue throughout the year.


ANGLETERRE – 130505116 witillustrationoftinyromandog jpg  Wittenham Clumps - An archaeological dig at Wittenham Clumps in Oxfordshire has uncovered the 1,800-year-old remains of a 20cm tall pooch. The animal's remains were unearthed at the site of a villa believed to have been owned by a wealthy Roman family. Researchers say the dog is one of the smallest found in the UK, and was likely to have been a "much-loved pet". Hannah Russ, a zooarchaeologist who analysed the animal remains, said: "While it's possible that this dog was used for hunting, we know that Romans in other parts of the empire had begun to breed and keep small dogs as pets. "The fact that this dog was so small and had bowed legs suggests that she probably wasn't bred for hunting [and] makes it far more likely that she was kept as a house dog, lap dog, or pet." Maiya Pina-Dacier, from DigVentures, said the uncovered villa would have been occupied by a "relatively wealthy Roman family, who ran a farm with an assortment of working animals, including hunting or herding dogs - as well as this tiny canine".The remains, along with other items from the dig, including a brooch and a copper bracelet, will be displayed for the first time at Earth Trust in August.


ISRAEL – V7uqfpa 1320x880  Ein Gedi  - A 2,000-year-old silver half-shekel bearing the Hebrew inscription “Holy Jerusalem” has been discovered in the Judean desert. The rare coin, dated to 66/67 C.E., the days of the first Jewish revolt against the Romans, was discovered at the entrance to a cave near Ein Gedi.  Yaniv David Levy, a researcher in the IAA’s Coin Department, said, “You can see an inscription written in unvowelized Hebrew… on this coin from the first year of the rebellion. This may be proof of the process of formulating inscriptions… in later years of the rebellion, the inscription ‘Holy Jerusalem’ is written in plene spelling [in which letters normally omitted are present].” A goblet appears on the other side, and above it the Hebrew letter alef is inscribed, indicating the first year of the rebellion, as well as the inscription “Hatzi Shekel” [half shekel], indicating the value of the coin. The goblet was a symbol typical of the coins used by the Jewish population in the late Second Temple period. These coins were minted in values ​​of “shekel” and “half shekel” during the first rebellion against the Romans, which took place in the Land of Israel from 66 to 70 C.E. This rebellion ended in the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.


TURQUIE – Number stone min e1690410790522 Yeşilova Höyük - The 8,000-year-old numeral stone, which is thought to have been used while calculating during the Yeşilova Höyük (Yeşilova Mound) excavation carried out in the Bornova district of İzmir, has been found. Ege University, Department of Archaeology faculty member, and head of the Yeşilova mound excavation, Assoc. Dr. Zafer Derin said that they discovered an equilateral quadrilateral stone the size of a broad bean during the excavations at the mound. Stating that the stone, which they determined to be made of black hematite, was dated to 8 thousand years ago, Derin noted that such stones, which emerged from the Neolithic period, attract attention with their weight, color, and smooth surfaces. Derin emphasized that the stone has a symbolic characteristic related to the mathematics of the prehistoric period and stated, “These types of stones have continued to be used as weights in commercial life 4,000 years before our time. It has made it easier to calculate and count in social life.” Assoc. Dr. Derin said that excavations continue in Yeşilova Mound, which brings the history of İzmir back 8,500 years and where nearly 200 finds are unearthed every year. In progress since 2005, excavation has already revealed some critical traces of the Neolithic Age and much about the early settlers in the Izmir area off the Aegean coast, their surroundings, and their culture. For example, they lived in separate houses, with separate roof systems, unlike Catalhoyuk in middle Anatolia, where the houses are next to each other.


ITALIE –Clay figurine min e1690372812313  Battifratta cave - Archaeologists from Sapienza University of Rome discovered a figure with female features in the Battifratta cave, near Poggio Nativo in the Sabina area, Lazio. That is a clay figurine dating from around 7000 years ago, from the Neolithic period, when the peninsula’s first farming communities existed. The modern research at the Battifratta Cave is part of a larger project being conducted by the Sapienza Grand Excavations Fund on the prehistoric settlement of the Farfa Valley and its surrounding territories. A multidisciplinary study coordinated by the Department of Ancient World Studies of the Sapienza University of Rome is looking at “the technological and stylistic aspects” of the figurine to better understand how it was made. The doll’s facial features, according to the archaeologists, are only schematically hinted at. The researchers, however, stated that the artisan who created the artifact took “greater care” in representing the hairstyle and body decorations. Dr. Cecilia Conati of Sapienza University said when the presence of ceramics is combined with faunal and botanical finds on several stratified levels, and the discovery of a human skeleton beside the doll, secrets are revealed. This all suggests the spring at the mouth of the cave was not only used for water supplies, but also for “burial and ritual purposes.” The Battifratta Cave provided shelter and protection for early human inhabitants who relied on hunting, gathering, and rudimentary agriculture for survival around 7000 BC. While specific evidence of ancient rituals in Battifratta Cave is limited, the clay doll strongly suggests it was used for ceremonial purposes.


BULGARIE – Heraclea sintica min Thracian horseman votive tablet min e1690494407403 Heraclea Sintica - A stone votive relief depicting a Thracian horseman was found during excavations at the ancient city of Heraclea Sintica, located in today’s Southwest Bulgaria, on the southern slopes of Mount Kozhuh and within the territory of Rupite village, under the jurisdiction of Petrich municipality. The ancient city of Herculaneum Sintica (also known under the names Cynthia, Herculaneum Sintica or Herculaneum Strimonska) İn ancient times the town was a center of the Sintica region, inhabited by the Thracian tribes Sinti. The town has been destroyed by the worst earthquake in 388 years. The Thracian horseman, or Thracian rider, is a recurring motif depicted in Hellenistic and Roman reliefs in the Balkans, primarily between the third and fourth centuries BC and AD. These motifs usually represent the solitary hero on his horse vanquishing a boar or similar beast. Another piece of terracotta from the same period was found a few days ago, along with coins, bone needles, and a votive tablet depicting Artemis, which shows that Thracians have gradually managed to increase their presence in the city, Vagalinski said. After the accidental discovery of a large Latin inscription in 2002, Assoc. Prof. Georgi Mitrev discovered Heraclea Sintica near the village of Rupite.  In essence, this is a letter from Emperor Galerius and Caesar Maximinus Daya in 308, in which the rulers addressed the Heraclians in response to their request to restore the lost city rights. In 2005, Assoc. Prof. Georgi Mitrev published another inscription mentioning Guy Lucius the Scotsman and the Heraclian. With it he proves convincingly that this is Heraclea Sintica. Since 2007, the Heraclea Sintica archaeological excavations have been continued


TURQUIE – 64c227054e3fe112d422b8a6 Bathonea - During the excavations in Bathonea, traces of two ancient harbors called “Large” and “Small,” dated to the Hellenistic and Roman periods, and an ancient lighthouse, have been discovered. It is the second ancient lighthouse in Türkiye after the one in the ancient city of Patara. In addition to the port structures, the remains of a giant open cistern castle, which was determined to be built by Emperor Constantine the Great (330 A.D.), and a large palace complex with mosaic floors, underground water channels and ancient roads have been unearthed during the excavations. Also, traces of a Viking neighborhood have been unearthed in the ancient city. “We unearthed seven clues that indicated the Vikings once lived here,” said Blazei Stanislawski, a Polish Viking expert who joined the team after he first learned that Vikings lived in Bathonea. This year's excavation work will be completed in September.


ANGLETERRE – Sword and mirror min  Bryher - Archaeologists conducted a DNA analysis of the tooth enamel of a person who died more than two millennia ago on Bryher, one of the islands Isles of Scilly, an archipelago off the southwest of England. It was buried with a beautiful bronze mirror and a costly sword. Archaeologists have debated for years whether the burial chamber with stone walls that were found on Bryher in 1999 held the remains of a man or a woman. Along with the sole person’s remains, excavations turned up a sword in a copper alloy scabbard and a shield, both of which are typically associated with men. But there were also a brooch and a bronze mirror that had what appeared to be a sun disc motif and was typically associated with women. Due to the presence of both a mirror and a sword, the grave is unique in iron age Western Europe. It was previously thought that only Iron Age women were buried with mirrors and only warrior men with swords, but the body now identified as a woman owned both, in death and presumably in life. The discovery could shed light on the role of women warriors at a time when violence between communities is considered a fact of life. Dr. Sarah Stark, a human skeletal biologist from Historic England, said the findings could shed light on the role of women in Iron Age Britain.  “Although we can never know completely about the symbolism of objects found in graves, the combination of a sword and a mirror suggests this woman had high status within her community and may have played a commanding role in local warfare, organizing or leading raids on rival groups,” Stark says. She adds: “This could suggest that female involvement in raiding and other types of violence was more common in Iron Age society than we’ve previously thought, and it could have laid the foundations from which leaders like Boudicca would later emerge.” The research was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science Reports.


DANEMARK– Patrice e1690414913445  Falster - In the center of Falster, southeast of Denmark, a man with a metal detector has made an important discovery. The discovery is so important that it could help write a few chapters for Danish history or at least the local history of Falster. A faint beep has indeed revealed a special stamp in the ground – a so-called Patrice – that was used to make gold images, which are believed to be gifted to the gods. The Museum Lolland-Falster has been informed. The only two-centimeter-long object in Falster’s soil may be a trace of a former royal power on Falster, the museum said. “This indicates that we are standing in a place that has meant some trade and probably also had some form of cultic activity. And although it’s a bit wild to say, it could also indicate that it was once a center of power on Falster,” museum inspector and archaeologist Marie Brinch from the Lolland-Falster Museum told Tv2 Øst. She emphasizes that the discovery was made in an area with names dating back to the Viking Age or even earlier and that the marshland was discovered in an area that had been sacrificed to the gods in the century preceding the stamp’s creation. Archaeologists have before come across several signs of activity from the Iron Age and the Viking Age have been found,  including an enormous shipyard and a large castle from the Viking Age at Falster. However, only a small number of discoveries have been made that can demonstrate where the island’s wealthy elite resided in the years prior to the beginning of the Viking Age. The new find may help to shed light on that.