Archaeology news


Christopher Columbus, and other early settlers in the Caribbean, spoke about the indigenous islanders and described the Caribs as a fierce tribe that abducted women and cannibilised men (referring to attacks by Caribs on Arawak communities). These stories have been dismissed by modern commentators as a myth - implying Columbus was telling porkies. It fits in well with the modern mantra that cannibals did not exist except in the prejudiced minds of the early settlers.

Misalignment of New Build

An interesting study at ... Early Neolithic house plans in central and eastern Europe appear to display small changes in orientation and this has puzzled archaeologists. They were picked up by geophysical magnetic measurements. In a new study they are said to be due to 'pseudo-neglect' - on the observation that healthy people prefer their left visual field rather than the right. They are inclined to divide a line regularly left of centre.

Venus Statue

Tricky one this. At .... concerns the discovery of a Palaeolithic Venus figurine which is said to be 17,000 years old. It was unearthed in Romania and excited the local archaeologists at first and now might become an embarrassment. It was unearthed by two amateur archaeologists (the professionals had gone home and for some reason these two took it upon themselves to root around).

Fearful Vikings

At ... we have a rather misleading header - 'mysterious Viking inscription reveals they feared climate change'. As most of modern climate  change is non-existent and in any case involves warming which is not a problem to most people, especially those living in northern Europe, it kind of trivialises what has been revealed. The inscription belongs to a period of time when real climate change was happening - the 6th century AD (otherwise known as the post Roman Little Ice Age).

Walarus ivory and Greenlanders

At ... a well preserved Scythian warrior grave was opened up by Polish archaeologists in Siberia. It comes from what is described as a giant kurgan (earthen mound) dating from the 7th or 6th centuries BC.

Prehistoric Feasting

At ... archaeologists have unearthed what appears to be dwellings at Dewerstone and White Tor on Dartmoor - going back to the early to middle Neolithic period.

Tomb of Khuwy

William sent in a link to the discovery of a stunning 4000 plus years old Egyptian tomb - see for example ... the tomb is at Saqqara, a vast burial ground in Egypt to the south of Cairo. It was the resting place of Khuwy, a nobleman of dynasty 5. It is L shaped with a small corridor heading downwards into an ante chamber - and a larger chamber with painted scenes ...

Monkeys in Aegean Art

At ... some see the Minoans as early forerunners of the Phoenicians but more importantly there was a three pronged trading by ship activity in the Bronze Age that linked the Egyptians with what later became Phoenicia, the eastern Mediterranean part of the Levant, and the Aegean world (centred around Crete and the Cyclades, and later, with mainland Greece). The Minoan world had plentiful links with the Egyptians - and trading entrepots such as Byblos, Ugarit, Tyre and Sidon etc.

Birch Bark Tar

At .... which is derived from the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (2019) see .... for open acess full article. Scientists have identified the use of birch bark tar in early medieval Britain - a product known from prehistory (the Palaeolithic period). It is very sticky - and water resistant. It was used throughout Europe, from France and the UK to Scandinavia and various points eastwards. From the Mediterranean in the south to the Baltic in the north.

Sea Level Changes

At ... or ... as well as ... a submerged 7000 year old village and sea wall are said to represent the earliest known coastal defence barrier against sea level rise - the obligatory nod to climate change in order to be published without any hassle.