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Archaeologists Excavate 800-year-old city wall in China

These were confirmed as dating to the period between 1127 and 1912 when the Southern Song Dynasty and later the Qing Dynasty was in power

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More than 300 relics and evidence that a complete defense system existed at the time have been unearthed in China (Representative image) Wikimedia

Beijing, October 15, 2017 : Archaeologists have excavated 800-year-old city walls and gates in China’s Chongqing. More than 300 relics and evidence that a complete defense system existed at the time have been unearthed.

A township in Fengjie county’s Baidi was once a very important military fortress. The archaeological dig launched at the site in February discovered the ruins, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the first six months, 20 sections of the city wall, gates, defence towers and armouries were found.

These were confirmed as dating to the period between 1127 and 1912 when the Southern Song Dynasty and later the Qing Dynasty was in power.

Over 300 relics, mainly iron weapons and some ceramic, copper and stone artifacts, have also been unearthed, Chongqing Cultural Heritage Research Institute said.

The project also identified the layout of Baidi. Other sites discovered outside the town have shown that a complete defence system existed at that time, archaeologists said.

The Cultural Heritage Research Institute of Chongqing and the Cultural Relic Management Office of Fengjie jointly conducted the excavations. (IANS)

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Humans reached Australia 65,000 Years Ago, About 15,000 Years Earlier than Previously Thought: Study

Researchers were also able to retrieve several tools in three different layers of sediment, including an ax, the oldest-known grindstone in Australia, and some early paints showing the oldest-known use of minerals

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Madjedbebe rockshelter
Madjedbebe rockshelter, Australia during the 2015 excavation. Wikimedia
  • The first settlers of Australia reached the continent 65,000 years ago, about 15,000 years earlier than experts previously thought
  • The archaeologists made the conclusion following an excavation at the Madjedbebe rock shelter near Kakadu National Park in northern Australia
  • The latest research included new techniques of analysis, like luminescence dating

Canberra, July 23, 2017: The first settlers of Australia reached the continent 65,000 years ago, about 15,000 years earlier than experts previously thought, a new archaeological study revealed on Thursday.

The archaeologists made the conclusion following an excavation at the Madjedbebe rock shelter near Kakadu National Park in northern Australia, one of the most important archaeological sites in the region known for its early rock paintings, reports Efe news.

The site was last excavated nearly 30 years ago by a group of archaeologists, who suggested that the site was between 50,000 and 60,000 years old, considered to be one of the first human settlements in Australia. Between 2012 and 2015, archaeologists returned to the site to conduct new excavations.

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The latest research included new techniques of analysis, like luminescence dating – which can determine when single grains of sand were last exposed to sunlight – allowing the research team to verify the age of the sediment surrounding the objects.

Researchers were also able to retrieve several tools in three different layers of sediment, including an ax, the oldest-known grindstone in Australia, and some early paints showing the oldest-known use of minerals.

“We found there was an incredible richness of evidence of wonderful human behaviour that we didn’t really have indications of from earlier excavations,” said Chris Clarkson, project leader from the University of Queensland.

Clarkson noted that the findings of his research, published on Thursday by the journal Nature, indicated a solid cultural continuity at the site across thousands of years. The archaeologist added that this discovery could also contribute to a better understanding of humans’ migration from Africa to Southeast Asia. (IANS)

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Artifacts in US Holocaust Memorial Museum Preserve Holocaust Stories for Future Generations

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A conservator at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's conservation and research center points out a hidden pocket on a piece of clothing worn by a prisoner at a Nazi concentration camp. VOA

April 25, 2017: The small wicker doll chair was a modest toy, but it meant the world to Louise Lawrence-Israels. A gift for her second birthday, it was the only toy she possessed during the approximately three years she spent hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam, just five blocks from the house where Anne Frank wrote in her diary.

The chair is one of thousands of artifacts housed in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s new conservation and research center, which opened Monday on the annual memorial day for the 6 million Jews killed by Nazi Germany during World War II.

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“It was a big thing for me to actually give the chair, because it was a significant thing,” said Lawrence-Israels, 75, one of about two dozen Holocaust survivors who attended the center’s opening. “A lot of people can look at it and see how it was for a little child in hiding.”

The David and Fela Shapell Family Collections, Conservation and Research Center, located in the suburbs of the nation’s capital, is a state-of-the-art facility with 103,000 square feet (9,570 sq. meters) for documents and artifacts, with room for expansion.

The center houses thousands of items in eight climate-controlled vaults in a building designed to withstand tornadoes and hurricanes. Its collection includes everyday objects, from children’s toys and clothes to sewing machines used in concentration camps.

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Travis Roxlau, director of collections services, said center officials have spent 25 years gathering the items.

“We collect stories, and all of the objects that go along with those stories, because as the surviving generation passes on, these are going to be the objects that are left to help us tell the history of the Holocaust,” Roxlau said.

Survivors say the center’s holdings are critical to preserving the reality of the Holocaust.

“I think the most important thing is to make sure that the memory of the Holocaust isn’t forgotten,” said Alfred Munzer, 75, who donated a silver teething ring that went with him at the age of nine months when he was put into hiding with a Dutch-Indonesian family in the Netherlands in 1942. He also donated two small photographs of him that his mother kept hidden while she was confined in concentration camps.

Munzer, of Washington, D.C., said the center and its artifacts will serve “as a lesson to the world as to where hate can lead to.”

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Lawrence-Israels, of Bethesda, Maryland, noted that she and other Holocaust survivors are “not going to be here forever, and once we’re not here anymore the museum and this institution will speak for us.”

“This is the only evidence that we leave behind, and with the climate today it’s important that people see that this was real,” Lawrence-Israels said.

Scholars and researchers will have access to materials in the facility. A reading room is scheduled to open in the next year. The museum also is in the process of making documents and images available online. (VOA)

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17-year-old Assyrian Christian Artist Nenous Thabit is resisting Islamic State (ISIS) Terrorism with Art

The United Nations cultural agency UNESCO has condemned the destruction at Nimrud as a war crime

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Nenous Thabit, Facebook

November 21, 2016: A 17-year-old Assyrian Christian artist and sculptor is resisting terrorism – with art. Nenous Thabit, who is from Mosul, fled the Islamic State as the group overtook the area two years ago.

A year after the initial invasion, ISIS also destroyed the ancient city of Nimrud, which is near Mosul and contained many historic artefacts and priceless works of ancient art because to them, these mere relics only symbolised idol worshipping, mentioned CNN.

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The United Nations cultural agency UNESCO has condemned the destruction at Nimrud as a war crime. “They waged a war on art and culture, so I decided to fight them with art,” Thabit told CNN.

“In Iraq, there are people who are killed because they are sculptors; because they are artists. ISIS views them as apostate,” he told CNN in an interview over the phone.

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Over the past year, Thabit has sculpted 18 Assyrian statues and one mural; the report said. He has also started sculpting workshops for kids. The destruction included three Lamassu sculptures – depicting a deity with the head of a man, the legs of an ox, the body of a lion and the wings of a vulture. Thabit can make a new one in about 15 days. This assault on his heritage and culture made him realise his true potential and fight against evil in a nonviolent yet threatening way, mentioned CNN.

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In the video released by ISIS, it showed the militants using sledgehammers and electric drills in order to destroy the artefacts. Such insults to a 3,000-year-old city that stands as the pride of a community could not be tolerated by an art-lover like Thabit. He is now sculpting the statues that resembled some of those destroyed in Nimrud in an apartment in the Kurdish city of Urbil where he and his family took refuge, Assyrian International News Agency reported.

– prepared by NewsGram team