Archaeology news

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 http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/c02-burp-helped-tri... ... 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, www.archaeology.co.uk - 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 www.archaeology.co.uk) 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.

What was happening in the years leading up to 1300AD?

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/ancient-baby-boom-h... ... the lesson the co-authors have in mind is that over population is supposed to be a problem and the modern world is seriously over populated - in their opinion. They go further as they claim they have found an ancient record of over population that ended in tragedy after a bout of drought - but they are lean on the extent and magnitude of the drought or the possibility of migration by those affected by drought.

Noctilucent dog outings

Daphne Chappell reports letting the dog out for a jimmy riddle at 1.00am in the morning and looked up at the sky - and saw noctilucent clouds. These are spectacular - please visit www.spaceweathergallery.com

Kurgans in Georgia

At www.livescience.com/46513-ancient-chariot-burial-discovered.html .... in Georgia in the South Caucasus, a chariot burial has been dug up from beneath a kurgan (burial mound). It dates back to the Early Bronze Age, or the second half of the 3rd millennium BC, and there were, in fact, two chariots each with four wooden wheels. Various artefacts were found, even though the tomb was robbed in antiquity.

Skyscape Archaeology

Following on from yesterday, this story can also be seen at http://phys.org/print322808453.html --- and comes with some nice images. Stone chambered tombs in the northern part of the Cotswolds appear to be astronomically orientated while on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall the three stone circles known as the Hurlers are reputed to be based on the three stars in the Belt of Orion. Further information is available at www.ras.org.uk/nam2014 - the web site of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Dr Daniel Brown, Fabia Silvia.

Dr Daniel Brown of Nottingham Trent University is intending to bring archaeo-astronomy out from the shadows of the controversies engendered by Alexander Thom and an establishment unprepared for the fact that Neolithic people were not quite as rustic or backward as the orthodox consensus allowed in the late 20th century. A new generation of archaeologists are not quite the stuffed shirts of old and hence, archaeo-astronomy, at last, is getting a dust down and coming out of the closet, where it was swept away all those years ago, in the flower of our youth.

The lost army of Cambyses

At http://phys.org/print322466839.html ... a new slant on that story famously told by Herodotus. Egyptologist Olaf Kapar has a theory that has a ring of truth about it. According to Herodotus a column of 50,000 soldiers belonging to the king of Persia entered the desert west of Thebes - and was never seen again. They were swallowed up in a sand storm. The key is in the destination of the army, the oasis of Dakla. This is where an Egyptian leader in rebellion against Persian control of his country had set up a base to harry the foreigners - and their cohorts.