Archaeology news

Australian Aborigine stone circle

Okay, the political correct are comparing a circle of waist high stones with Stonehenge but this is Auntie - what do you expect. At www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15098959 ... the stone ring is also egg shaped, like many stone circles catalogued by Alexander Thom. It seems that Australian Aborigines were not as 'primitive' as the 'elite' formerly allowed (and read here the current Auntie view of the plebs). There was a story some years ago about Aborigine eel ponds constructed and designed to breed and semi domesticate them for later ritual use.

Stonehenge axe symbols

This is an old post but worth looking at again. At www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/revealed-early-bronze-age... ... is about a laser scan of some of the sarsens that revealed a further 72 engravings, 71 of which were of axe symbols and the other one was a downturned dagger blade. Axes, it is admitted, are normally associated with storm gods. In this instance, perhaps a meteor storm as indicated by Moe Mandelkehr in his several SIS Review articles.

Teotihuacan

The pyramids of Teotihuacan, located just outside modern Mexico City, is a vast complex that was abandoned for over 1000 years when the Aztecs migrated into the region in the 14th century AD. Archaeologists have recently found a tunnel 40 feet below the foot of the Temple of the Plumed Serpent (mentioned in an earlier post) and many artefacts were dug out of the ground. At its peak the city was home to 100,000 people - but it was suddenly abandoned around 200AD (or a bit later).

Hopewell demise - 400AD

In the Journal of Archaeological Science (December 2014) there is an article on blades and flints from the Hopewell Culture (Ohio, Missouri, Tennesee) - see http://apps.ohiohistory.org/ohioarchaeology/bladelets-flint-ridge-flint-... ... and see also www.dispatch.com/content/stories/science/2014/12/07/01-flint-tool-disapp...

The 2300BC event hits Orkney

At http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/08/neolithic-orkney/smith-text ... the temple complex at the Ness of Brodgar was built around 3000BC but only some 10 per cent of stone buildings at the site have been excavated. A lot has been talked about the pottery, Grooved Ware, as it pops up at Stonehenge.

Another vindication of Steve Mitchell

The relevant article is in Current Archaeology 298. It is currently on sale in Smiths over the Christmas period, and no doubt some other newsagents. It is the issue for January 2015 but is released for sale in December 2014. It will eventually be uploaded on to their website, www.archaeology.co.uk, but this won't be for a few months otherwise nobody would buy the journal. It concerns the erosion of cliffs in Northumberland where archaeology is literally being washed away by the North Sea.

Vikings and Slavs

Member Gary Gilligan sent in an interesting link to put up - go to www.ancient-origins.net/history/headless-vikings-dorset-002382 ... which is in fact a story that was at BBC a couple of years ago. It has also been back in the news since then as the bones have been analysed more fully - and now it appears to have percolated far and wide. We don't know why the locals decided to butcher a group of Viking warriors who appear to have surrendered - as they were unarmed at the point of execution, and buried enmasse.

Antikythera Mechanism

At www.pugetsound.edu/news-and-events/campus-news/details/1345/ ... the ancient Greek Antikythera Mechanism, known as the world's first computer, salvaged from an ancient ship wreck, may be older than scientists first thought. It seems it might go back as far as 205BC according to recent calculations. It is thought to be an eclipse calculator rather than a computer - but why the Greeks would want to predict eclipses is another matter. It may be that eclipses are the least controversial explanation of the mechanism. The latest research brings the date nearer Archimedes.

Steve Mitchell vindicated by Irish sea level changes in post Roman period

At www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/antlers-and-horse-bones-datin... .... red deer antlers shed by young animals and horse bones dating back to between 430 and 548AD appear to suggest pagan practises were still in vogue even after the introduction of Christianity to Ireland by St Patrick. I suppose that is one way of looking at it if you suppose there is a ritual angle. However, the author does not pick up the fact that the low growth tree ring events between 536-45AD are smack bang in the mix of the C14 margins.