Archaeology news

North Africa and the spread of early humans

Humans living in North Africa, including what is now the Sahara desert, are thought to have been at the vanguard of the Out of Africa movement, the consensus scenario of human origins. Modern humans, that is. They were ideally placed to enter Europe and western Asia. This fact can actually be turned on its head as North Africa is ideally placed for migration in the opposite direction, from Europe and western Asia into Africa, as happened during the Holocene period.

Gunnar Heinsohn and the first millennium AD

Gunnar Heinsohn and Trevor Palmer are currently locked into a debate that mainly centres around the conventional version of Roman history. Palmer is on the mainstream side, producing reams of evidence in support of his position, and Heinsohn, as is his want, is lobbing the occasional hand grenade to cause a splutter or two. Now, Heinsohn's ideas have been taken up by the redoubtable Tim Cullen and he has his own variation on it all - - go to ...

Defending the consensus model

At ... a set of tusks in a museum, once attached to a mastodon skull that was thrown overboard, ended up in the nets of fishermen from Chesapeake Bay, along with some stone tools. They have been stored away for some 40 years or so, in the dark recesses of a museum. The interesting thing about them is that the sea floor in which they were dredged up from is continental shelf that would have been dry land during the last Ice Age. It is the North American equivalent of the North Sea basin.

Steve Mitchell and London

Steve Mitchell, in an article in SIS Review claimed Anglo Saxon Londinwec was situated further up the Thames terracing than it was during the Roman period. Londinium was moved as a result of higher sea/river levels and a general flooding of coastal Britain in the Late Roman period was a reality - which meant early Saxon trading emporiums, or wics/wicks, were located on higher ground. In Current Archaeology 294 September 2014 (see page 6, there is a short report on a trench dug beneath a building on the Strand in order to instal a lift shaft.

Mount Bego petroglyphs

Rens van der Sluijs has twice featured Mount Bego on Thunderbolts - and it also appears in his books. Under the title Rock Science it is worth reading again as petroglyphs must be telling us something. Why would somebody go to all the trouble of punching holes in rocks to create images if there was not something bothering in his head - something he had witnessed, or felt strongly about, something that set him on a mission. There are, I repeat, over 35,000 petroglyphs on rocks and in the vicinity of Mount Bego in the Alps. Something extraordinary appears to be intimated.

Mount Bego

Considering that we are part of the European Union we appear to have very little news content of what is happening on the continent - even in France and Germany. This situation is also true of science - what they are doing on the other side of the Channel is largely ignored - let alone research from further afield, in other parts of the world. Allen and Delair collated a lot of data from Russia during a time the Russkis were not very popular - which was unusual. A great deal of criticism levelled at them was they used obscure sources - which encapsulates the mindset.

Sea Henge mark 2

It seems there were two timber henges discovered at Holme on the Norfolk coast. The New Age druid demonstrators made a lot of fuss about the removal of the first one (now preserved in a museum setting) and yet there was another one out there all the time, in its watery grave. Inroads by the sea are hastening its disappearance - and the kind of ending that would have occurred if the first henge had not been saved (as the demonstrators wished).

co2 magic dust

At ... we are told a team of scientists have discovered some CAGW fairy dust - a giant burp of co2 from the North Pacific Ocean that triggered the end of the last Ice Age, 17000 years  ago. According to the theory, as that is what it is, a change in ocean circulation helped trigger the co2 burp. No explanation is offered as to why the ocean circulation changed - although of course there are plenty of theories for this out there as well.

Blick Mead update

Blick Mead, overlooking the river Avon, is also the feature of an article in Current Archaeology 293 (see once again, - but remember the articles in the current issue are not uploaded to the web site for several weeks afterwards, otherwise people would not buy the magazine). The Mesolithic period remains (prior to 6000BC) were found beneath what became an Iron Age hillfort - Vespasian's Camp (a bit of antiquarian speculation as it long pre-dates the Roman general and emperor of that name).

What was Silbury Hill built to imitate?

An article in Current Archaeology 293 (July/August 2014) (see also makes the point that Silbury Hill sits at the head of the Kennet River - which joins the Thames at Reading. Although modern maps have the head of the Thames near Lechlade, but might this be regarded as one of several tributaries. It asks, perhaps Neolithic people saw the Kennet as more properly a continuation of the Thames, rather than the long loop that goes by way of Oxford. They go further and say, Silbury Hill was positioned in a special landscape.