Archaeology news

stone age Gobi

At http://scienceinpoland.pap.pl/en/news/news,410066,archaeologist-many-tho... ... life flourished not just in the Gobi but in the Mongolian Gobi (and the Altai mountain region). The Gobi is the second largest desert in the world - but that was not always so. Nowadays, where only nomadic people live on the fringes of the Gobi, the region was full of humans and abundant wildlife (anaimals and vegetation).

Thule and Bog

At www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/bronze-buckle-shows-ancient-link-betwe... ... evidence of trade between Alaska (and the Thule culture) and East Asia (possibly China, indirectly if not directly) in the medieval period. We know that Vikings were trading with people in the NE Arctic zone but the same thing was happening in the NW (from across the Bering Straits). The prize was walrus and narwhal ivory - prized in countries such as China and Korea. The article is published in June's issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science (2016).

Indus Roots

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/indus-valley-civil... ... begins by telling us 'climate change' was probably not the sole reason for the collapse of the Harappan civilisation in the Indus-Chaggar-Hakra river valleys of India and Pakistan. The new study says the inhabitants did not give up and roll over as they appear to have adapted to cereal crops such as the millets which are more drought resistant.

Saved by thaw

At http://phys.org/print383558171.html ... in 1242 the Mongol army was set to conquer central Europe when it mysteriously turned around and went back into Russia. A new study claims it was climate that persuaded the Mongols to put the conquest on hold, although the normal interpretation is that internal Mongolian politics were involved. They never attempted to subdue central and western Europe again. Now, climate change is blamed for a lot of things and at this point in time we are talking about temperatures getting much colder (rather than warmer).

females that get around

At http://phys.org/print383372337.html ... women during the Corded Ware cultural period in central Europe may have been highly mobile it is being proposed - or swapped around. The study was published at online journal PLoS ONE (May 2016).

Phoenician DNA

At http://phys.org/print383372275.html ... the mtDNA of a Phoenician (possibly a Cathaginian) living 2500 years ago has been sequenced. He had the genes of a rare European haplogroup suggesting he had ancestors from somewhere on the opposite side of the Mediterranean from Carthage (such as Iberia or southern France). The findings appear in the May issue of PLOS ONE (see also http://carolynperry.blogspot.nl/2010/10/boy-reconstructed-ariche-carthag...

Topper

At www.postandcourier.com/20160521/160529887/topper-site-find-reveals-peopl... ... the Topper archaeological site has revealed evidence of fire going back 50,000 years agao - long before humans are thought to have arrived in the Americas. Al Goodyear says the human occupation at Topper goes back well before 15,000 years ago (the mainstream preferred date) but evidence of fire somewhat earlier raises the possibility they were in the Americas before the Late Glacial Maximum.

Pre-Clovis

Evidence of pre-Clovis occcupation of N America is now being found more and more often - which just goes to show how much was being suppressed prior to the dam bursting. The idea of Clovis First is taking a hammering and the latest tale in the saga can be found at http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/spring-2016/article/prehistoric-sit... ....

A Lost Maya City

This story is fascinating as it has a boy wonder with an amazing theory and some older critics that got hold of the wrong end of the stick and made a fool of themselves - see for example www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/05/11/did-a-teen...

camels and axes

At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/spring-2016/article/ancient-trading... ... which concerns a modern study of camel DNA and the movement of ancient caravans across the deserts of Arabia that may have shaped the genetic diversity of the Arabian camel (over the last 3000 years). Little is actually known about camel domestication, only that wild camels are a thing of the past.