Archaeology news

underground city

The ancient Cappadocian city with a labyrinnth of underground tunnels and chambers serving as living quarters and storage facilities, a mess of hidey holes,is back in the news. Don't expect much information as the newspaper isn't really an archaeological forum. Go to ... the big question remains unanswered. Why did people want to be underground - what was falling out of the sky, or who were they hiding from.

Upper Tibet

Upper Tibet is basically the northern and western end of the plateau. We all know that Buddhism took fairly deep roots in Tibet - but what went on before as far as beliefs are concerned? At ... it seems the pre Buddha gods of Tibet were not a lot different than elsewhere, a pantheon associated with the stars, moon, sun, planets - and celestial dragons.

Tom Dillehay

Tom Dillehay is a controversial archaeologist as he was in charge of the excavations at Monte Verde in southern Chile. The controversy involved the dates for human activity he unearthed, unpopular at the time because Clovis First ruled the roost in North America. His dates, at the time, were 14,500 years ago, and humans had to get as far south as Monte Verde after the end of the Ice Age (around 15,000 years ago as far as melting ice was concerned).

Glastonbury abbey

Well I never. The Glastonbury monks made it up. William Blake got it wrong.

Amazon rainforest in Medieval Period

Lovely programme on BBC 4 last night, on the Amazon and the discovery of towns and plazas and a wonderful fertile soil which included charcoal, human waste and other unmentionable components. See it live at


At ... which is a peculiar question to ask - why would anyone know the answer? True, the Japanese were using pottery a long time ago, around 13,000 years ago, and the Japanese like eating fish - but the question concerns the processing of fish, the extraction of fish oil. Not only that the article is focussed on N America and pottery in use amongst Native American societies (pre-farming). It is something to think about and can only have been asked as a result of residues found on pottery shards.

Denisovans and others

Robert Farrar sent in the link to ... we have a post on the Denisovans which may have been lost in a mail sack as it seems it is a bit late in coming into daylight. They also have a story on the North Sea tsunami which is old hat so may be somebody has been catching up and has got to the bottom of his pile of papers.

pyramidal whisperings

At ... we learn that thermal scanning of the pyramids have identified anomalies in them. These appear to involve heat zone - areas with a higher temperature than other innards of the pyramids. Lots of ideas floating around.

Meanwhile, the search for a tomb behind another tomb is still being hyped. Are we about to have the tomb of Nefertiti unearthed?

another update

At ... scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology say that traces of cereals found at the bottom of Bouldnor Cliff in the Solent, thought to date back to the Mesolithic period some 8000 years ago or more were misdated as a result of contamination. They have turned up dates within the last couple of hundred years - using a more up to date methodology. The DNA was compromised by contamination, source unknown.


At ... it seems the New York Times date of 8000 years ago may not be up to scratch. Live Science asked the three Russian archaeologists quoted and they said the only dates they were aware of were 800BC - produced by thermo luminescence dating methodology. Live Science were a bit sceptical of the 8000 years ago date but this appears to have been derived by somebody thinking there was a connection with a local culture extent between 7000 and 5000BC.