Ancient history news

John Davis

Interesting post at the New Chronology Yahoo Group by John Davis - talking about a TV programme featuring David Rohl.

Irish origins

A study published in PNAS in December of 2015 documents the genome of 4 Irish people - a Neolithic woman (dated 3343-3020BC) from a tomb at Ballynahatty (not far from Belfast) and 3 men of the Bronze Age (dated 2020-1574BC) from a cist burial on Rathlin Island. The DNA of the woman resembled mostly early farming communities from the eastern Mediterranean, the Levant and Anatolia. In contrast, the men, dating a 1000 years later, had a completely different origin - as they had the most common Irish Y chromosome type with blue eye alleles etc.

star bethlehem

A surprising number of article have been written on the Star of Bethlehem that suggest a comet as a possible candidate - see for example the list at http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~gent0113/stellamagorum/stellamagorum_com... ... and www.staff.science.uu.nl/~gent0113/

amazing genetics

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/ancient-genome-from... ... the story begins with a genome taken from a skull in a cave in Ethiopia dating back 4500 years. The genome of this person is not too different from modern people living in Ethiopia. However, it is said to predate a migratory event which is purported to have occurred 3000 years ago. Think about that for the moment. We are at the end of the Late Bronze Age and the early Iron Age in western Asia.

Hittites or Hurrians

At www.hurriyetdailynews.com/unearthed-hittite-artifacts-in-istanbul-break-... ... the title of this piece is a question mark - Hittites or Hurrians? It begins by saying objects of the Hurrian civilisation have been found near Istanbul - and this proves the Hittites reached Europe. So, are the finds Hurrian - or Hittite? If they are Hurrian they could be the leftovers of loot pillaged by the Cimmerians from the Hurrian Urartu empire in the 7th century BC (as finds have turned up in the Gordion tombs).

Diffusion

The idea of great migrations and new influences on cultures went out of fashion in the 1960s to 1990s - as a result of Marxist influence on archaeology (and almost all the academic disciplines). The idea that outsiders were solely responsible for new innovations had probably been taken too literally and stetched too far in the inter-war years - and the consensus did require a dose of reality.

putting the cat to bed

In this instance, the cat as in catastrophism - sky fairies and all that. We are back to 536AD and the sky darkening across Europe (and elsewhere) as a thick dust cloud rolled in and stayed overhead for some 18 months. Procopius said the Sun shone as dimly as the Moon (which is very low energy) which caused summer frosts and summer snow falls. Crops and fruit failed to ripen. Three years later a similar dust veil blocked out sunlight several months and famine presaged the Great Plague of Justinian which is said to have wiped out a third of the population in parts of Europe.

Solomon and Shishak

News of an important new book for chronologists. Solomon and Shishak - go to www.barpublishing.com/solomon-and-shishak.html. Unfortunately it will set you back £47 - as Bob Porter informed the members of the New Chronology Yahoo Group. As it is published by Archaeopress of Oxford this is understandable. Bob has a chapter on C14 and dendrochronology anomalies (similar, I expect, to what he has written in SIS journals). The big news is that there are a variety of authors, some who support the Shishak = Shoshenk synchronism - and others that do not.

The Axis Age

Michael Wood, in BBC History magazine (Christmas issue 2014) writes from China - and specifically, from the birth place of Confucius. In East Asia the erstwhile Confucius defines the collective values of hard work, duty, and benevolence. A very important cultural figure.

Eratosthenes and the Trojan War

At NewChronology [at] yahoo [dot] group [dot] com ... the dating of the Olympiad is being discussed as presented by Shaw in her book, 'Discrepancies in Olympiad Dating and Chronological Problems of Archaic Peloponessian History' (2003) which was reviewed by G Huxley, somewhat unfavourably, at 'The Classical Review' 56 (2006) and 'Hermathena' 184 (2008).