Archaeology news

Gault Revolution

At https://phys.org/print450944776.html ... Clovis First dominated archaeology for years - but now we have archaeologists exploring below Clovis layers (at Gault near Austin in Texas for example). Here the finds go back to 16,000 years ago, possibly as early as 20,000 years ago at the height of the Late Glacial Maximum. Gone are the days when humans are thought to have been inhibited by the ice sheet in the north. Somehow they got to the Americas - and the evidence is now being taken seriously (instead of being hushed up).

Girsu

In Current World Archaeology 90 (August edition, 2018) (see www.world-archaeology.com) we have news of ongoing research (post Iraq war) at the Sumerian ancient city of Girsu - and the temple of its tutelary god, Ningursu, the Eninnu. The temple Eninnu is recorded by Gudea of Lagash (late 3rd millennium BC). Gudea left behind many inscriptions and statuary. More resilient however is the Birdge of Girsu which seems to have suvived intact (albeit, buried) for over 5000 years.

2300BC in Spain

At https://phys.org/print450422309.html ... an archaeological site near Seville in Spain was occupied between 3200 and 2300BC - two dates of significance as they coincide with two major narrow growth tree ring events. Where the people arrived from in the first place is unknown - but so too is their fate as the site was abandoned between 2400 and 2300BC (the narrow growth event is dated by Baillie at 2345BC). This was a megalithic culture site - with a funerary function.

Suffolk Neolithic Trackway

At https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/28/health/neolithic-site-uncovered-windf... ... brought to you by CNN - but is this fake news? Plans to build a super windfarm have come up with an archaeological site of unusual depth - deep in the heart of Suffolk (eastern England). Most prominent in this news release is the Neolithic trackway - dated at 2300BC. There was also the skull of an auroch (4000BC) as well as pottery from various periods, buildings (or their outlines), lots of bones, coins and various other interesting bits and pieces.

Medieval Leprosy in Europe

At https://phys.org/print449220213.html ... a medieval leprosy hospital at Odense in Denmark has been excavated and some of the bones have been analysed. The hospital was the final resting place of people that died from the disease around 700 years ago - caused by an infection of Mycobacterium leprus bacterium. Scientists have found traces of the infection in the skeletons. Results of the study on well preserved DNA will, it is hoped, shed light on the outbreak that ravaged Denmark and large areas of Europe, and also on how diabetis developed (which still impacts the modern world).

German Stonehenge Link

At www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/06/rituals-performed-german-stonehenge-may-... ... which concerns an article published in Antiquity journal (the archaeological journal that is a mirror on the world beyond the shores of Britain). The impetus for this new  thinking seems to be the genetic discovery of folk movements across Neolithic and Bronze Age Europe - which may have introduced new ideas into Britain from the continent (including the idea of henges, a circle composed of a ditch with bank).

Cockatoo

An image of what looks like an Australian cockatoo has led to the claim that the Islamic world was trading along the northern coast of the southern land mass in the medieval period. This is not impossible of course as Islam became embedded as the religion of the larger Indonesian islands at around this moment in time. However, it is also known that the Chinese were sailing such waters - umtil the 14th century (when it chose to isolate itself from the outside world).

Ice Man still a source of research

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/p-stf061318.php ... continuing study of the ice amn found in a melting glacier in the Alps a few years ago has found a different dimension to write about - his use of stone tools. The ice man dates back to around 3200BC (although now backdated by IntCal2013 a bit earlier). His stone tools were made of chert - a form of flint. It seems they originate from different locations in what is now the Trentino region of Italy. For the full paper go to http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0198292

Whale Bone Artifacts

At https://phys.org/print448179407.html ... large scale whale hunting goes back to the 6th century AD we are told, according to a new study in the European Journal of Archaeology (2018). Museum collections in Sweden contain thousands of Iron Age board game pieces - most of which were made from the bones of whales. In addtion, all the pieces come from the Right Whales. This gained its name as the 'right' whale to hunt down as it swims slowly, close to shore, and contains so much blubber it floated after being harpooned.

Radiocarbon inaccuracies

At https://phys.org/print447421745.html ... the theme here is that C14 carbon dating is a big tool as used by archaeologists  in order to date the age of organic material (including timbers). Is it all its cracked up to be. Apparently, Sturt Manning has reservations. He and his team have revealed variations in the radiocarbon cycle at certain periods of time. Before anyone gets over excited he is talking about very short period of 20 years - not the big changes as envisioned by revisionist historians.