29 MARS 2011 NEWS - Cavanaugh Mound - Istanbul - Carvin - Umapura-Laheshwara - Perry Mesa -


 - 29  MARS

 - USA – Cavanaugh Mound - The process began Monday (Mar. 28) to learn what may be buried on top of the Cavanaugh Mound and possibly to learn how the mound was built. The mound, located behind the New Liberty Baptist Church in south Fort Smith, is believed to have been constructed by Native Americans (possibly Caddo Indian ancestors) between AD 1100 and 1300. The mound, originally about 200 feet long at the base of each of the four sides and about 40 feet tall, is a project- Tim Mulvihill, an archeologist with the University of Arkansas system, Jami Joe Lockhart, coordinator of the Computer Services Program for the Arkansas Archeological Survey of the University of Arkansas System, and Bob Dalton, a founding member of the Ark-Homa chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society and Oklahoma Anthropological Society, gathered Monday morning to begin the underground mapping process. Lockhart brought three devices to map the mound — a tool that uses electrical resistance to determine what is just a few feet under the surface, and two ground-penetrating radar units. The three spent about an hour using stakes and ropes to create a grid on the mound top. Mulvihill then used the resistance device to map the top layer. Previous research on the mound suggests there could be 12 non-Native American burial sites on the mound top. A 400 megahertz radar measured the mound from the top to about 10 feet down. A 200 megahertz radar measured the mound from the top to about 30 feet down. It is believed the Caddo Indians built the mound in several phases. Results of Monday’s scanning are expected within two weeks.


 - TURQUIE  Istanbul Two skeletons dating back 8,500 years, making them the oldest ever found in what is now Turkey, have been discovered during archaeological excavations in Istanbul’s Yenikapı area. “Such remains have not been discovered during the excavation before; these are the oldest graves in Anatolia- The use of wooden blocks – preserved to this day – to cover the coffins makes them distinctive from other finds. Since the excavations around Yenikapı, the site of the ongoing construction on the Marmaray tunnel underneath the Marmara Sea, started in 2004, many shipwrecks, amphoras, cemeteries and around 40,000 artifacts have been uncovered in the area. Several archaeologists have collaborated with some 200 workers to carefully excavate a 60,000-square-meter area where many traces of human history have been discovered 16 meters belowground and nine meters below sea level. The two ancient coffins were found 40 days ago but only revealed recently by the excavation team. The find was the first time a coffin was found together with its wooden cover within the city walls, said Sırrı Çömlekçi, who is leading the Marmaray excavations. Typically, cut wood decays in around 15 to 20 years, but these samples have lasted for more than eight millennia thanks to a black clay material that has preserved them to the present day, said the archaeologist. “We can clearly say that the artifacts found next to the graves date back to 6500 B.C. These coffins also date back to the same period. Their exact age will be revealed using carbon-14 dating. After DNA tests are applied, we will find out from where these people came to Anatolia and learn information about their roots,” Çömlekçi said.


 - FRANCE  Carvin - Sur la zone du château, à un jet de pierre de la future piscine intercommunale, les archéologues s'attendaient à découvrir des vestiges remontant au néolithique. Finalement non...  Il y a huit jours, une pelle mécanique est venue croquer la terre et creuser de larges tranchées. « On teste 12% du terrain , indique Vaïna Vincent, archéologue de l'INRAP . On ouvre le sol, on distingue les vestiges, puis on essaie ensuite de les dater. Le plus souvent, on trouve de la céramique. » Ça tombe bien, Vaïna est céramologue de formation ! Parmi les découvertes surprenantes, il y a des vestiges gallo-romains. « Un fragment de mur, des fossés... Ce devait même être un site important, et l'on sait par ailleurs qu'il y avait un autre site gallo-romain à proximité », commente l'archéologue. Les chasseurs de trésors seraient déçus : ni vieilles pièces de monnaie, ni meubles ouvragés ne sont sortis de terre. Tout juste une ferrure de porte médiévale trouvée dans un fossé. Le plus étonnant, sur ce type de chantier, c'est que des signes anodins pour un oeil profane sont des plus parlants pour l'archéologue. Ici, pour eux, c'est une douve, là c'est la marque d'une fondation... « Voyez cet alignement de trous de poteaux : ils indiquent qu'il y avait là des constructions légères avec des murs en torchis », observe Vaïna Vincent. Au cours de leurs recherches, les experts ont également pu constater une présence humaine au Moyen âge, vraisemblablement aux alentours des XII e et XIIIe siècles. Une datation possible, là encore, à partir de la céramique. « Là où nous sommes, on se situerait du côté de la basse cour du château de Carvin, qui se trouvait en face, à la place du magasin Chrétien », commente l'archéologue, qui, avec ses collègues a repéré les douves qui entouraient le site. Une fois les fosses rebouchées, et les vestiges inventoriés, datés, l'archéologue envoie un rapport.
Lequel est transmis au service régional de l'archéologie qui décide in fine, si oui ou non, il convient d'engager des fouilles. Si elles ont lieu, le chantier ne devrait pas débuter avant une bonne année.


 - INDE  Umapura-Laheshwara  - Umapura-Laheshwara are twin towns in Basavakalyan taluk, and are home to some of the most exquisite temples, dedicated to Neelakantha, Mahadeva, Parvathi and Ganapathi. These temples that were on the verge of collapse have now been dismantled and rebuilt by the Archaeology Department, without marring their original beauty. The town of Umapura was earlier known as ‘Uma Maheshwara’ and was full of ponds and craters, with blooming lotuses. It is said that in centuries gone by, the lotuses for the royal palaces were procured from these ponds. Kalyana was the capital of the Chalukyas during the time of Someshwara I. His second son Vikramaditya, the VI was coronated in 1076, and he ruled for fifty years. It was during his reign that Kalyana reached its peak of glory. Several temples were constructed during Vikramaditya’s period, among them was Umapura’s temples, according to historical records. The Mahadeva temple that is the shape of a chariot has three mukha mantapas. There are sculptures on the walls of the temple, including those of gods, goddesses, dancers et al. Apart from the Mahadeva temple, is a Parvathi temple, with the deity of Uma-Maheshwara installed.  Then, there is the Neelakantheshwara temple, which had collapsed. Efforts are now on to reconstruct this temple. In the vicinity of this temple is a big well, where it is believed, one can see a reflection of deity Ganesha- The Ganesha idol installed in the vicinity is eight feet high and five feet wide, and is flanked by 12-feet-high pillars. Try and shake the pillars a bit, and the sound of a series of temple bells ringing resonates. That’s because the two pillars are indeed separated by a row of bells. It is said that there was a Shiva-Parvathi temple in the town centre. Today, there are only houses there. One kilometre away from the town is the Padmavathi kere. There’s a statue of deity Padmavathi on top of the hill on the outskirts of the village. It is said to have been a Jain basadi at some point. One kilometre south of Umapura is a place called Raiwad, where the palace of Bicchala, the ruler of Kalachuri dynasty is said to have been located. Stones from here were carried to Basavakalyan for the construction of the fort there, locals say. 


 - USA Perry Mesa -  From the Archaic to the present, people have inhabited Perry Mesa, located in Agua Fria National Monument, and left their mark on the landscape. “Landscape Legacies: The Art and Archaeology of Perry Mesa,” an exhibit at Arizona State University’s Deer Valley Rock Art Center, examines how these marks changed over time through the use of photographs and scientific analysis. The Deer Valley Rock Art Center has the largest concentration of Native American petroglyphs in the Phoenix Valley. Visitors hike a 1/4-mile trail to view more than 1,500 petroglyphs made between 500 and 7,000 years ago.