Archaeology news

new nasca figure

At ... confirms that Greenpeace did 'irreparable' damage to the Nazca lines looking to make a point about CAGW alarmism.

A Japanese team has observed a mythical beast with its tongue hanging out - an otherwise unknown geoglyph. This follows on from a discovery in 2011 of a geoglyph characterised as 'as scenario of decapitation' (a universal theme it would seem).

Irish bog bodies

Having a snort at another myth beloved of some people, the idea that bog bodies were ritual sacrificial victims - go to ... the word bog is derived from the Irish word bogarch which means soft. Peat bogs cover 17 per cent of Ireland. Peat is mostly composed of water - with rotted vegetation, pollen, dust etc. The cold acidic and oxygen free conditions within peat prevent decay and tend to mummify and preserve the tissue of animals and humans. Around a hundred bodies have been found in Irish bogs.

Marija Gimbutas

Mariza Gimbutas was all the rage at one time among the eager youngsters of the 1960s and 1970s. She was the author of 'Goddesses of Old Europe' (1974) and she claimed that Copper Age people living around the mouth of the Danube (in modern Bulgaria) were organised into matriarchal societies - being peace loving farmers. The nasty patriarchal hordes arrived later, Indo European horsemen from the steppes, wiping out the matriarchal societies and bringing in thousands of years of persecution of women.

Roman villa in garden

At ... electricians digging a hole to lay a cable to a snooker and games room struck a mosaic floor - and luckily the owner was interested enought to call in archaeologists to have a probe around the field behind his house. They found he had been using a stone sarcophagus for his bedding plants (not realising it was used for an ancient burial) and the land around abouts had harboured a massive villa complex (a sort of Roman manor farm).

Old Testament writing

At ... which refers to a Swiss excavation by Cornelius Pilgrim who unearthed two headless statues on the island in the Nile, Elephantine. One of the statues has an inscription and belongs to an Old Kingdom ruler - and in all likelihood the other statue dates from the same period of history.

Pythagorem Theorem

At ... we have a clay tablet from Babylonia that was originally pulled from an excavation of Old Babylonian (Middle Bronze Age) archaeology in what is now Iraq. It concerns school work - and the knowledge of mathematics in the second millennium BC.


Staying with Australia, at ... which is another effort to understand the origin of the dingo, a dog that some people see as bearing similarities with Indian village dogs, and others trace only to south east Asia. Its appearance in Australia is dated to around 5000 years ago - and assumes new migrants arrived at that time (but from where).

Star Maps

A fascinating article from The Conversation but regurgitated at ... Aborigines used the stars to compose a series of 'way points' (usually water-holes or turning places) as a memory aid to journey across the Outback. The teaching and memorising was by song - song lines. These are more readily learnt, to heart. Some of the routes were for hundreds of miles - one example is from Alice Springs to Quilpie in Queensland. These might be where different Aboriginal tribes met for joint ceremonies or to exchange trade items.


This story has been long running. At first we had a denial by the Egyptian Antiquities people and Reeves came in for some flak and certainly a fair measure of criticism. However, as things will the Egyptians realised they might be able to take advantage of the situation and reinvigorate their tourist industry, and some preliminary scans were taken of the Tutankhmun tomb just to see if they might be something behind the far wall - a cavity. The scan was inconclusive.

Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang province in Nepal, between 400 and 650AD, was part and parcel of the silk road as silk has been found dating from that period. Trade between India and China seems to have flourished and the route across Nepal was probably one of the roads the merchants took. It illustrates the longevity of Nepal as a kingdom with links both north and south and the recipient of new ideas and a trade destination in its own right. See