Archaeology news


At .... archaeology at Megiddo - Biblical Armageddon. The last battle - the last conflagration etc. The mound of the city is SE of Haifa, not far from Nazareth. The mound is composed of 20 cities (built on top of each other, very often after one of them was destroyed in a conflagration). It began life around 5000BC. In other  words, Megiddo has experienced a number of armageddons - and a final one as the mound was abandoned in the 3rd century AD. Why did it become the focal battle of Revelation?

Toba Survival

At .... human populations survived with little effect, the so called Toba life ending super volcano that erupted 74,000 years ago. Another study on the subject, this time with firm archaeological evidence to back it up. It seems the Toba super volcano was not as devastating as previously allowed - and neither did it cause a human bottleneck. It seems like they may have to look elsewhere for a bottleneck - if one exists.


At .... the title of this piece, the start of the dogocene is dated 'at least' 28,500 years ago. The dogocene = the emergence of domesticated canids (whether from  wolves or what). This date derives from a set of teeth from the Czech Republic which suggests two sets of canids, one dog like and the other, wolf like. This is consistent with the domestication of dogs and the emergence of a genetic shift.

What are cities and towns

At ... ancient 'megasites' may reshape what we think is the history of urban life - and how towns and cities evolved. The spotlight is on a small village in the Ukraine set amidst rolling hills and green fields. It seems it was not always a quiet back alley. Beneath the surface of the surrounding landscape there are the remnants of a megasite - a spaced out settlement unlike a town or city archaeologists might usually find on mounds and tells.


This discovery sufaced a couple of weeks ago and may already have been mentioned but here is a new link - ... archaeologists from the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago were involved in the discovery at the lost city, near the modern village of Turkmen-Karahoyuk, in southern Turkey. A local farmer directed them to a huge stone with a strange inscription ...

Shanidar Cave

Also sent in by Gary, ( ... and by William. The skeleton of a Neanderthal individual (sex as yet undetermined) that lived around 70,000 years ago has been unearthed at Shanidar Cave in Kurdistan. The cave was the scene 60 years ago of a famous discovery of 10 sets of remains of Neanderthals. Some of them were laid in a channel in the cave floor which had been intentionally dug out to accommodate the bodies along with pollen (suggesting flowers had been deposited with them in an intentional show of grief).

Sent in by Gary

At ... a burial site of victims of the Black Death (14th century AD) has been uncovered at Thornton Abbey in Lincolnshire in what was once a monastic hospital cemetery. Some 48 bodies were found which included 27 children.


Necropolis at Asyut

At ... concerns the acropolis of Asyut - which goes back 4000 years. An ancient city with its temples, palaces, libraries and houses was later overcome by Nile flood sediments. These were possibly as a result of the river changing channels as it did on a number of occasions. A recent excavation, in the mountains above Asyut, has provided new information on the city that existed during the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom.

Tel Motza

Gary sent in this link - temple near Jerusalem challenges the claim there was just one temple in Jerusalem, that of Solomon. This appears to refer to the position in the reign of Josiah (late 7th century BC or even the situation after the Exiles returned from Babylon. Not sure if it applies to the Monarchy period as a whole - but that might spoil the story at ... this story may also be impacted by chronology - a revision of Iron II strata from 10th to 9th centuries BC which is heavily contested by some factions.

Oral Traditions

At ... Aborigines and traditions. It seems some of these traditions allude to volcanic eruptions and meteors - and some of them may date back thousands of years. In SE Australia there are 400 basaltic intrusions as a result of eruptions -  probably dating within the last 100,000 years,  it is suggested. Aborigines have been in Australia a long time - possibly over 50,000 years. Their Denisovan ancestors even longer.