CHINE – Beijing - Smelting furnaces dating back to Liao Dynasty (907–1125) have been excavated in Beijing. The discovery has filled a blank in the research of smelting history in Liao Dynasty. After years of survey and analysis, relevant archeological protection department has announced that the ruin of smelting furnaces, which was accidentally found by local villagers in 2005, is an intact smelting site tracing back to Liao Dynasty.  From four smelting furnaces in the 150 square-meter site, archaeologists have unearthed a variety of historical relics using for smelting, such as raw material, fuels, and fire-proofing materials.
"Some of the furnaces were built by stones, but there were some fire clay between the stones to protect the furnace," acknowledged Chen Jianli, associate professor at the School of Archaeology and Museology in elite Peking University.  "A furnace like this could produce more than one ton of smelted products in Liao Dynasty and that means 200-300 people were needed," Chen added. The products from the ruins may be Iron weapons as the Beijing region then belongs to battlefield in Liao Dynasty. It also can serve as a piece of evidence to prove that the smelting skill spread from Central Plains to surrounding areas.


FRANCE une-statuette-de-6000-ans-devoilee-medium.jpg Villers-Carbonnel - Mise au jour sur un chantier de fouilles du canal Seine-Nord à Villers-Carbonnel, une mini-statuette «unique» a été présentée vendredi, pour la première fois, à Saint-Quentin. Une archéologue rayonnante présente une statuette féminine remontant au IVe millénaire avant Jésus-Christ. En terre cuite, la pièce est considérée comme unique pour son «entièreté» et la qualité de sa préservation. «C'est émouvant. Cette femme, symbole de la fertilité, avec ses hanches développées, qui a traversé 6000 ans», lâche, éblouie, l'archéologue Françoise Bostyn de l'INRAP. «Sa conception est d'origine orientale », précise encore la spécialiste. Mais c'est à Villers-Carbonnel qu'elle a été découverte dans un four au mobilier abondant, composé de vases, céramiques, silex et os de cerf. Entre fossés, trous et impacts d'obus de la Première Guerre mondiale, ce four a été exhumé d'une palissade de craie. La craie qui conserve mieux les restes de faune que le limon.


ISRAËL – Massada - C'est au cours d'une fouille archéologique entreprise à Massada, dans les années soixante, que des chercheurs découvrirent une graine qu'ils mirent d'emblée en terre, dans un endroit jusqu'ici tenu secret. L'arbre qui germa – un dattier aux vertus médicinales - a été replanté, jeudi, au kibboutz Ketura, dans la région de l'Arava. L'arbre, qui mesure deux mètres cinquante environ, donne des fruits qui pourraient être exploités à des fins thérapeutiques. Il y a quelques années, Sarah Sallon, experte en médecine naturelle, a obtenu du professeur de botanique Mordechai Kislev, de l'Université Bar Ilan, des "graines d'hibernation" qui avaient été retrouvées durant la fouille archéologique. Quinze mois après avoir commencé à pousser, l'arbre avait été remis à des chercheurs de l'Université de Zurich, où on lui fit passer un test de datation au carbone 14, d'où il ressortit que "sa semence remontait à l'époque du siège romain de Massada, il y a deux mille ans". L'arbre apparaît d'ailleurs sur certaines monnaies romaines, postérieures à l'échec de la grande révolte juive.
Réputé pour ses qualités thérapeutiques, et pour ses fruits au goût délicieux, il avait peu à peu disparu de la surface de la terre.


BULGARIE – Sozopol - Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a medieval church, said to date from some time in the 12th to 14th centuries, and the front gate of the ancient city on the location of today’s Sozopol, on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The north wall and the apse of the church are just metres from the ancient fortress in the city, Bulgarian National Television said. The church is near today’s St Cyril and Methodius church, which houses what are purported to be relics of John the Baptist, found on St Ivan island off the coast of Sozopol in summer 2010. The walls of the medieval church were close to 12 metres long, about 70cm thick and with an estimated height of between three and four metres.


INDE 29-yt-discover1-jpg-849613f.jpg Mysore - Constructed to house the royal family of Mysore as the earlier wooden palace was ravaged and destroyed in a fire in 1897, the existing palace will complete 100 years in 2012 to mark which the State Archaeology Department plans to have a series of events and have it declared as a protected monument. There are references to the maharajas of Mysore living in a palace in some of the texts belonging to the Mysore royal family such as Srimanmaharajaravara vamsavalli (annals of the Mysore Royal Family) while a description of the wooden palace has been provided in the Mysore Gazetteer, which notes that it was a constructed in the Hindu style with little or no trace of European influence, according to Dr. M.S. Nagaraja Rao, the former Director General of Archaeological Survey of India. But it is the new palace whose construction started in October 1897 and was completed in 1912 that beckons the tourists and beggars description. It was designed by Henry Irwin who was the consulting architect of the Government of Madras and also went on to design the Viceregal Lodge at Simla. The palace is an example of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and is a three-storeyed structure whose façade comprises nine impressive arches — three on each side flanking the giant central arch that is supported by two smaller arches. The central portion has a dome that towers to a height of 145 feet and the entire palace facing east, is surrounded by a fort. The main gate of the Fort leading to the palace is Jayamartanda Gate which is massive in proportion and is sublime despite its size. As one walks into the interiors, the visitors are ushered into the Kalyana Mantapa which is embellished with 26 murals capturing the glory of Mysore Dasara, and further on the visitors enter the durbar hall called the diwan-e-aam which is about 155 feet in length and 42 feet wide. The Diwan-e-khas is also called Amba Vilas and is lavishly embellished with inlay work, intricately carved designs filled with ivory. The then Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV who reigned from 1902 to 1940 entrusted the responsibility of beautifying the Amba Vilas section to the renowned artist K. Venkatappa, according to Nagaraja Rao. The palace has an impressive collection of objects of art including the model of the original wooden palace but the most famous of the exhibits is the golden throne and the golden howdah.