29 - 30 AOÛT 2010


 - 30 AOÛT :

 - INDE : Nedunkudi - Five rare inscriptions dating back to the 14th century were unearthed by a team of epigraphists at the Sri Kailasanathar temple. The inscriptions throw light on important procedures being followed then for diversion of surplus funds from the ‘rich' to ‘poor' temples and also exemption of temple lands from the ambit of tax. These inscriptions refer to the names of the rulers of the 13th  and 14th  centuries as Pandya ruler Sadayavarman Sri Vallaba Sundara Pandian and the local chieftains of Sooraikudi.


 - ESTONIE :  Salme - Another ship burial discovered this year in the village of Salme may turn out to be a pre-viking era battleground burial, an unparalleled find in Europe. So far, 16 skeletons of men killed in battle have been discovered on the site. There is no doubt that a fierce struggle took place some 1,250 years ago near what is now the village of Salme on the island of Saaremaa. The skeletons bear sword marks. There were also arrowheads found in the skeletons and in a shield. The foreign warriors were buried with their belongings. For example, the findings included a gilded bronze sword handle. The archaeologists plan to extract a tooth from one of the skulls and submit it to a DNA-analysis to find out where the unwelcome visitors might have arrived from.The estimated length of the ship is 18 meters and the width 3.5 meters. In 2008, a smaller ship with an estimated length of 10 meters was discovered during excavations in Salme.


 - ESTONIE  Valjala -Ongoing archeological excavations in the late medieval church yard of Valjala, an old settlement on the island of Saaremaa off the western Estonian mainland, have revealed 15 graves from the mid 13th century. Five people were originally buried in limestone coffins but fragments of wood, some of it resembling birch bark, still await exploration and, according to the local newspaper Saarte Hääl, they give reason to believe that at least one child had been buried in a wooden coffin. The height of one of the men was at least 180 centimeters and he had a remarkably sturdy bone structure, which contributes to the hypothesis based on historical records that Saaremaa's population in general was significantly taller than other Europeans in the 12th and 13th centuries.Also of interest at the site is that the deceased women were not wearing their copious jewelry but it was found beside them, or under them, in the graves. Unlike in other 12th century burials from the same region, men had no jewelry.  The relatively small island of Saaremaa (2,673 square kilometers) was first Christianized during a lengthy struggle from 1215 to 1227 by the forces of the Danish king and German crusaders. For centuries prior, the island's inhabitants, saarlased, were known as bold seafarers, shipbuilders and pirates feared by the Danish, Swedish and Russian merchant fleets. Viking-type ship burials dating from the Bronze Age have been discovered in several coastal regions of the island.


 - TURQUIE :  Kültepe - Archaeologists have unearthed 4,000-year-old tablets that represent one of the first written trade agreements in Anatolia.  Archaeologists have been carrying out excavations in Karum village near the Kültepe mound, where Assyrians used to live, since 1948. They have unearthed some 23,000 cuneiform-script tablets so far. Around 4,500 tablets have been smuggled abroad since 1948. Assyrian tradesmen who settled in the region 4,000 years ago sold tin and fabrics they brought from Mesopotamia. The two tablets indicated that the oldest trade agreement in Anatolia was made 4,000 years ago. The Assyrian Kingdom in Mesopotamia made written trade agreements with the Kanesh and Hahhum kingdoms near Adiyaman. Kültepe is a modern village near the ancient city of Kanesh (Hittite Neša). Kanesh was inhabited continuously from the Chalcolithic period through Roman times. It flourished most strongly as an important “karum” (merchant colony) in the Old Assyrian kingdom, from about 20th to 16th centuries B.C. A late (c 1400 BC) witness to an old tradition includes a king of Kanesh called Zipani among 17 local city-kings who rose up against the Akkadian Naram-Sin, who ruled from about 2254 to 2218 B.C. It is the site of discovery of the earliest traces of the Hittite language, and the earliest attestation of any Indo-European language, dated to the 20th century B.C.


 - ISRAËL  Jerusalem - Israeli archeologists unveiled a 2,000 year old semi-precious cameo bearing the image of Cupid. The cameo is 1 cm in length and 0.7 cm in width, and was discovered in the Givati Parking Lot Excavation. The cameo was made from two layers of semi-precious onyx stone. The upper layer, into which the image of cupid is engraved is a striking blue color which contrasts with the dark brown background color of the lower layer. The brown layer is the side of the cameo which would have been inserted into the round metal setting of a piece of jewelry, apparently an earring. The cupid’s left hand is resting on an upside-down torch which symbolizes the cessation of life. The inlaid stone was of the "Eros in mourning" type, one of a group of visual motifs linked with the imagery of mourning practices.


 - ISRAËL : Tel Aviv - Israeli archaeologists believe thousands of ancient shards of flint found scattered around a fire pit in a cave near Tel Aviv might be the world's oldest known disposable knives. Dating to the Stone Age, the tiny knives are believed to be at least 200,000 years old. A Tel Aviv University excavation team found the tools around a fireplace littered with charred animal bones.  Stone Age hunter-gatherers used the rough, round-shaped cutlery — ranging from the size of human teeth to guitar picks — for slicing through cooked meat because they were found next to the animal bones. The bones were used to determine the age of the knives. The number of knives found, coupled with the fact that they had no signs of sharpening, indicates they were disposable because they would have dulled after several uses. The knives were made from recycled material — parts of larger knives and tools designed for other uses such as butchering animals and scraping hides.


 - ROYAUME-UNI : Dry weeks in early summer have already made 2010 a vintage year for archaeology. The conditions allowed hundreds of cropmark sites – created when crops grow at a different rate over buried features – to be seen from the air. A Roman camp near Bradford Abbas, Dorset, was found after three sides appeared in parched barley fields. The lightly built defensive enclosure would have provided basic protection for Roman soldiers while on manoeuvres in the first century AD and is one of only four discovered in the south west of England. Newton Kyme, near Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, was shown to be home not only to a 2,000-year-old Roman fort but also to a larger defence built in AD290. Stone walls up to three metres thick and a ditch 15 metres wide were revealed. Flights over the Holderness area of the East Riding proved particularly productive with around 60 new sites, mainly prehistoric, found in just one day, including livestock and settlement enclosures.


 - ISRAËL : Galilée - Des indices de la tenue d'un festin datant d'environ 12 000 ans, soit avant le début de l'agriculture, ont été mis au jour dans une grotte servant de lieu de sépulture. Les archéologues ont découvert les restes d'au moins 71 tortues et de trois autres animaux sauvages, une densité inhabituellement élevée pour cette période, dans deux fosses creusées de façon particulière. Les carapaces de tortues et les ossements des autres animaux portaient des marques indiquant qu'ils avaient été dépecés et cuits pour la consommation humaine. Une fosse a été creusée dans le cadre d'un rituel de sépulture humaine et l'autre dans celui d'un festin. Dans la première, les carapaces de tortues étaient disposées dessous, autour et au-dessus des restes d'une vieille femme enterrée apparemment selon des rites, ce qui laisse penser que le festin était organisé à l'occasion de ces funérailles. La viande qui provenait des tortues seules pourrait avoir nourri environ 35 personnes.


 - 29 AOÛT  - FRANCE :  Jaunay-Clan -Des fouilles sont actuellement en cours sur le chantier de la LGV. Des vestiges d'habitat de l'âge du bronze ont été mis au jour. Les indices les plus anciens remontent à l'âge du bronze (moins 2000 à moins 800 avant notre ère). Il s'agit de bâtiments sur poteaux. Des zones d'ensilage où des fosses (silos) étaient aménagées dans le sol permettant le stockage après récolte des graines en milieu confiné. Un enclos funéraire datant de cette période a été mis au jour « seul un fossé circulaire de 13 mètres de diamètre subsiste », ajoute la responsable. Sur près de 400 mètres, une quinzaine de fossés parallèles et régulièrement espacés démontrent une occupation antique de ce secteur. Appartenant à une exploitation rurale des Ier et IIe siècles de notre ère, ils semblent dédiés à une activité horticole. Leur est associé un petit bâtiment dont la vocation n'est pas encore déterminée. Le réseau viaire antique délimite encore le territoire de ce secteur à l'époque médiévale. Il subit des réaménagements ponctuels. Il induit l'implantation de plusieurs bâtiments et de zones d'ensilage qui se développent de part et d'autre. La vocation de cette occupation datée des Xe et XIIIe siècles, semble être artisanale, basée sur le stockage des céréales.


 - TURQUIE : Yoros - The base of the castle, which is 128 meters above sea level, is within the borders of military land. This is why there has been no excavation work at this level before now. The excavation team is preparing to present a project to the Defense Ministry. According to the information provided by the excavation team, on the first day of the excavations, which started on July 16 and is scheduled to continue six years, stoneware from the Ottoman and Byzantine periods was found, as well as a water pipe. The team has two big goals: One is to find a temple that is mentioned in ancient sources and the other is to determine when Greek colonies first arrived in the Black Sea. The castle was named “Hieron” (holy place) in the ancient times in Greek and Latin sources. There was once a temple dedicated to Zeus on the spot. The castle had served as a customs facility in the Byzantine and Ottoman periods and continued: “At the time of the Byzantines, one more castle was built directly opposite to this castle in order to defend against raids from the Russians. According to ancient sources, there was a huge chain between the two castles to block the entrance of the strait.”


 - CANADA : Vaughan - It is thought to be on or near the site of a historically and culturally important Huron village from the 13th and 14th centuries. The dig site is also just metres away from a mass grave containing the remains of some 400 Hurons, discovered in 2005 during the widening of Teston Rd. The village site is likely located mostly in a forested area adjacent and to the north of the field. The tips of longhouse shadows found at the northern edge of the field and the small scattering of artifacts at the site all led him to deduce the village is in the forested area, which is environmentally protected and can never be built on. The village, which is considered important both archaeologically and historically, would likely contain storage pits, hearths, post moulds and other longhouse remains. There are even possibly more burials.