Archaeology news

Mammoth Trap

William sent in the link to ... which concentrates on the fact that scientists, until now, didn't think humans targeted mammoths as a food animal - although among European archaeologists this seems to be a given. At ... the focus is on the trap - or what is thought to be a human prepared trap. It contains 800 bones and is situated at Tultepec, just outside Mexico City.


At ... excavations at Gla in Boeotia are ongoing. The prime stage of occupation dates back to the Mycenaean era (LB age) and it was destroyed in a spectacular conflagration - or that was the considered opinion of archaeologists during an earlier excavation. This aspect is left unmentioned (in the press release at least) but it is worth bearing in mind as many other Mycenaean cities and towns were subject to destruction at the same point in time.

Stone Age Boats

At ... newly discovered motifs in rock art in Sweden show stone age seafaring was a fact. We know that Mesolithic people used boats as a boatyard dating back 8000 years ago was found in the Solent (under the sea and close to a cliff face). However, these mobile hunters in Sweden appear to be related to people akin to the Finns as similar motifs are known from Finland and the Koala Peninsular in Russia - as well as the northern regions of Scandinavia.

Europeans migrate to levant

This seems a strained theory as they do not actually have evidence of this happening but reason it might have happened - and anything can happen of course. William sent in the link - see for example ... where it is clear, and the idea revolves around accepting the various C14 dates of Neanderthal remains undertaken in Europe and the Levant. These are somewhat ambiguous as archaeology has shown that modern humans always follow Neanderthals and it is a false assumption to think they overlapped.

Forest of Dean

In the thick of it inside the Forest of Dean, lots of tall grass and trees and wild pigs, a LiDAR survey has turned up a ring cairn - see ... It is 80 feet in diameter with a 5m wide (or 16 foot) rubble bank (with as many as 10 white limestone standing stones peaking out of the top of the bank. They are currently around 3 feet high - so nothing overwhelming - but situated on the very top of the bank. Ring cairns have survived mostly in upland areas and have probably been ploughed out in the lowland zone - so this find is important.

Naxos Neanderthals

At ... on the island of Naxos in the Aegean evidence has been found of Neanderthals - going back 200,000 years. The findings challenge long term views on human movements in the past, we are told. It seems 'scholars' believed Mediterranean islands were first occupied by early farmers, just 9000 years ago. The idea was that nobody previously had the boat handling and navigations skills required to reach those islands - even in the Cyclades.

Ancient Weather and Solar Storms

William sent in this link. A Japanese research team claims the Ancient Assyrians referred to a solar storm even between 679 and 655BC as a cuneiform tablets mention an unusual red sky. It would indeed be unusual to see aurorae that far south which means a powerful CME was involved, overloading the ionosphere - see ... The Book of Maccabees also appears to refer to aurora phenomena - in the second century BC.

Early Bronze Age metropolis

Not the sort of metropolis of the modern world but a town, or city if you like, with around 6000 inhabitants - dating back to early in the Bronze Age. At ... an urban complex has been uncovered in Israel as a result of road works, said in one source to be the New York of the ancient world. They hype is just that - a headline grabber. Nevertheless, it is a large site for the period and dates to Early Bronze Age IB (late fourth/early third millennium BC).

Wrangel Island Mammoths

Mammoths lived on Wrangel Island, albeit in a pygmy form, right up to the late 3rd millennium BC - a surprising new discovery. William sent in the link to ... The majority of mammoths died out during the Younger Dryas event as a result of an abrupt switch in climate (and possibly other factors) but a few were left stranded on islands in the Arctic Ocean. It seems that in the Late Glacial Maximum these islands may have been part of the mainland (now submerged).