Archaeology news

Medieval Peasant Diet

At ... scientists from Bristol University have used chemical analysis of pottery fragments and animals bones to shed some light on what ordinary people ate during the Medieval era in Britain. It included cheese as one might expect and stews (old fashioned pottages) of meat and vegetables (cabbage and leeks in particular). The diet was quite good and not as frugal as one might have thought. Mind you, not much there for them to get fat and uneasy on the pins.

Jomon, Neanderthals and Mesolithic

At ... a Japanese DNA study on the bones of a Jomon woman on an island north of Hokkaido has found a genetic signature in common with Koreans, Filipinos, and the indigenous inhabitants of Taiwan. However, she also showed a genetic ability to eat a high fat diet which she shares with people of the Arctic north, including Inuit. Marine mammals are very fatty and numerous bones of them have been found in Jomon contexts.

North Sea Bottom

This one comes courtesy of ... a collation of 15 years research is being put together in a map of the bottom of the North Sea. Research is beginning on the finer details, dredging for evidence of human activity on what was dry land prior to 8000 years ago. Expect some surprises. Some interesting places which might produce results have been isolated from the mapping.

Footprint in Patagonia

At ... a human footprint that seems to shatter the peopling of the Americas mainstream song sheet. A sedimentary structure at Osome in southern Chile which is strongly associated with megafauna bones, as well as unifacial lithic tools, has what is said to be a Late Pleistocene footprint by a member of the Homo sapiens family. It is intimated that it is an hominid rather than a modern human footprint.

Anglo Saxon Burial

At ... (see also ... a small bump on a patch of grass in Essex, situated between a road and a railway line, has yielded the grave of an Anglo Saxon prince which shows influence of Christianity in around 600AD, when England was supposedly thoroughly pagan. It was spotted as a potential archaeological site as early as 2003 - but things move slowly in archaeological circles.

DNA Research

After spending the last couple of days ploughing through David Reich, 'Who We Are and How We Got Here; ancient DNA and the new science of the human past' Oxford University Press:2018, I came upon a press release on an article published in Science journal (March 2019) on the DNA of people in the Iberian peninsular (Spain and Portugal) and found the authors were pre-empted by Reich in his book.

The French and Stonehenge

At ... there are 35,000 megalithic constructs in Europe. A new study claims they were spread by a sea going culture that emerged in NW France 7000 years ago. It is said that the idea of megaliths were taken from Brittany in all directions - north and south, even into the Mediterranean, over a period of one thousand years (eventually reaching Salisbury Plain rather late in the sequence). C14 dates lie at the heart of the study, taken from 2000 sites across Europe.


At ... there are a succession of interesting articles. These cover a variety of subjects but all have a connection with Malta - such as Tectonic Rotation (the movement of land during big earthquakes); ancient remains on Lampeclusa, an island geologically linked to Malta by an extensive series of grabens of neotectonic origin; prehistoric mass burials in Scotland; and the Eddy Cycle. This all hinges on his book reviewed a couple of years ago on the Maltese temples - which appear to go back deep into the 4th or possibly even the 5th millenniums BC.

Dusty First Intermediate

Willliam sent in this link - ... the Akkadian empre was felled by dust reads the media blurb, a meaningless headline. The actual abstract at https:///www.pnas.orgh/content/116/1/67 is little better as the lead author doesn't want to go out on a limb and says something almost daft, the idea that climate affected ancient civilisations is provocative (or words to that effect). Facts must always take priority. If dust played a role that is a fact.

Archaic Human Spread

At ... humans colonised diverse environments in SE Asia and Oceania during the Late Pleistocene. This is just a news release but the actual article should be worth getting hold of. Do we have evidence of humans active in the region during the last Ice Age, and in particular, during the Late Glacial Maximum. What was the vegetation like - and what evidence of migrations have been found.