Archaeology news

Pre-Clovis

Evidence of pre-Clovis occcupation of N America is now being found more and more often - which just goes to show how much was being suppressed prior to the dam bursting. The idea of Clovis First is taking a hammering and the latest tale in the saga can be found at http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/spring-2016/article/prehistoric-sit... ....

A Lost Maya City

This story is fascinating as it has a boy wonder with an amazing theory and some older critics that got hold of the wrong end of the stick and made a fool of themselves - see for example www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/05/11/did-a-teen...

camels and axes

At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/spring-2016/article/ancient-trading... ... which concerns a modern study of camel DNA and the movement of ancient caravans across the deserts of Arabia that may have shaped the genetic diversity of the Arabian camel (over the last 3000 years). Little is actually known about camel domestication, only that wild camels are a thing of the past.

Londinium

At www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/how-london-became-britain... ... one first has to wonder if Londinium was the capital of Britannia (rather than south east Britain) but assuming they are referring to something tangible, it is worth taking this at face value.

Bronze Age Scandinavia

Bronze tools found in Sweden dating to 1600BC were made using copper from the Mediterranean region. This is perhaps not surprising as a shipwrect off the coast of Devon a few years ago contained bronze oxhides with a possible origin in Iberia - and if oxhides were coming to Britain they were also reaching the Baltic as they had an important item of exchange and barter - highly prized amber.

alphabets

At http://archive.archaeology.org/0001/newsbriefs/egypt.html ... this is an extraordinary story in that the Egyptians had developed a phonetic alphabet by the early Middle Kingdom period (around 2000 - 1800BC). It seems that mainstream regards phonetic alphabets as more advanced than pictorial ones such as hieroglyphs, possibly because we use a modern phonetic alphabet, and this has clouded research. Modern bias is at work perhaps as the Egyptians continued to use hieroglyphs in spite of the availability of a phonetic alphabet.

Vitrification

We've all heard of vitrified forts in Scotland but who knows of the vitrified remains at Borsippa in Sumeria. Go to https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/vitrified-forts-surveying-the... ... in what is the second post in a series set to last the course of a few more days yet. The mainstream position is put to the test - by conjecture and digging.

new nasca figure

At www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-2000-year-old-geoglyph-spotted-per... ... 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 www.irishcentral.com/opinion/others/The-truth-about-Irish-bog-bodies-PHO... ... 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.