Archaeology news


Evidence of people living in western Australia 50,000 years ago has been discovered in the remote Carnavon Ranges. They lived in the region during a long part of the so called Ice Age - see ... and a similar, but longer report can be found at ... where it adds, '.. more than 50,000 years ago). The findings are published in PLOS One, an online journal, and the excavations are taking place in a rock shelter (with some deep diggings into the floor area).

A Beery Tale

At ... a study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science suggests beer brewing existed in the Levant (and Eastern Mediterranean) 500 years prior to its earliest human evidence fron northern China. Indeed, the Natufians lived in the period prior to the Younger Dryas event and so we are talking about a time prior to the establishment of farming (and people living in one place and not moving around). Three stone mortars from a 13,000 year old Natufian burial cave complex have been analysed.

Cheese in Croatia

Aty ... fatty residue on pottery from the Dalmation coast of Croatia has revealed the presence of fermented dairy products - soft cheeses and yoghurt. They datge back 7200 years ago.

3000-2300BC Kenya

At ... more evidence that migrations of people coincide with major low growth tree ring events. The Lothagum Pillar Site is near Lake Turkana in Kenya, and was built and used between 3000 and 2300BC. This is the pyramid age. It was constructed and used by new comers who brought with them a pastoral economy (sheep, goats and cattle) into what had always been a region dominated by hunter gatherers. Lothogum pillar site was a communal cemetery. Megaliths, stone circles, and cairns flank the 30m high platform.

Discovering Sodom

The book, 'Discovering the City of Sodom' is now listed as a number 1 best seller on Amazon. The author's are Steve Collins and Latayne C Scott. It is published by Howard Books ( a subdivision of Simon and Schuster) : 2013. I purchased my copy a couple of years ago and was impressed by the claims made in it - more or less blowing away the idea Babh ed-Dhra could have been Sodom. The Kikkar region is full of ruin mounds - much like most of the Near East. It is the roundish plain where the river Jordan meets the Dead Sea (in a delta formation).

Dating Thera Eruption

At ... courtesy of the University of Arizona (dendrochronology unit). An attempt has been made to resolve discrepancies between archaeological and radiocarbon methods of dating the eruption of the Thera volcano by tying up in knots the timeline of ancient Egypt, Crete, Greece, Turkey and the Levant.


We have further evidence of upheaval and climate change around 6200BC. The world suddenly cooled leading to a period of drier summers (and presumably colder winters) across much of the northern hemisphere. Early farming communities must have been impacted, we are told, but nothing was known about how they coped with change. The conditions were very much like a short dryas episode - lasting 200+ years. Hence, scientists decided to try and find out by looking at the ruins of the city of Catalhoyuk in central Turkey.

Laziness Extinction

From the edge of credulity comes this offering - laziness helped lead to the extinction of Homo erectus (see ... or is this a bad press release. Researchers at the Australian National University claim Homo erectus went extinct, in part, out of laziness. This is based on archaeological findings from the Early Stone Age. Basically, the claim is they failed to advance tool techniques - which remained pretty basic. In fact, it is mainly random stones that represent all we know of Homo erectus culture.

Submerged Mesolithic sites

At ... archaeologists have been searching lakes in SE Finland looking for submerged Mesolithic period sites from the early Holocene period. There are echoes here of the Mesolithic remains on the bottom of the North Sea and under the cliffs of the Solent. During early Holocene the water levels in lakes were much lower than today - across Scandinavia. Later, water levels rose as a result of uneven land uplift.