Archaeology news

Humans in Britain earlier than thought

The Independent June 1st ... until last month there was no evidence of humans in Britain between 200,000 and 65,000 years ago - but that was only because no evidence had been found. Now it has - humans were here 110,000 years ago - the trusty Neanderthals. Southampton University and Oxford Archaeology have discovered stone tools in Kent and it is being floated that humans were able to cross from France to SE England because sea levels were so low.

Mesolithic Scots

Herald, Scotland May 29th - www.heraldscotland.com ... a stone age camp site has been found at a farm by amateurs (2005) to the north of Biggar. The oldest found in Scotland so far, it is said to date back as early as 14,000 years ago, before the Younger Dryas event. Some 40,000 fragments, or microliths, have been found at the site - and Mesolithic sites (after the YD event) are being found on a regular basis, dating between 10,000 and 6,000 years ago.

Fayoum discoveries

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/print/2010/1000/eg10.htm Al Ahram says archaeologists working in the Fayoum have found a group of 45 intact Egyptian tombs complete with painted sarcophagi at Lahoun. A dynasty 18 tomb contained 12 wooden sarcophagi stacked on top of one another - each having its own well preserved mummy. They were covered in caronnage decorated with writings from the Book of the Dead and scene depicting various Egyptian deities. Images will be interesting when they are available.

The Northern Jordan Valley

The Jordan Times May 30th (see www.jordantimes.c0m/index.php?news=26973 ) ... Archaeological finds in the northern Jordan Valley are causing experts to re-evaluate the pattern of civilisation. At Tabqet Fahel 90km N of Amman, the suggested site of ancient Pella, may have been occupied from the early Holocene to the Mamaluke era, and may have been integral to the cradle of civilisation.

Titbits

At www.google.com/hostednews/ there is an article on divers exploring the ruins of Cleopatra's palace, dated May 26th. An international team with a French leader who has spent some years exploring ship wrecks and treasure hunts, is investigating underwater archaeology off the coast at what was Alexandria. It slid into the sea after earthquakes in the 4th and 8th centuries AD and much of the city is still intact - including temples, palaces and military outposts and the general mundane things of life.

A cave in the desert ...

At http://af.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=AFJOE64NO9L20100524 May 24th ... archaeologists have found prehistoric rock art in a remote cave in Egypt which included dancing figurines and strange headless beasts, and they are being studied in order to find clues to early Egyptian civilisation. Some 5000 images have been found in the cave in the desert near the SW border with Libya and Sudan. The rock art has been dated to about 8000 years ago - 6000BC.

Bows and Arrows, and Spears that changed the Climate of the world ...

At www.physorg.com/print193847219.html May 23rd ... a paper by 3 researchers published in Nature this week has a novel take on the Younger Dryas event - it was caused by humans killing off herds of mammoth and causing temperatures to drop. This is perhaps the whackiest global warming alarm story of the year and it's hard to accept that it was written in all seriousness - but it must have been as it was published by Nature - and they aren't into comedy. Are they?

The Sudan, Cyprus, and Tracks that aren't tracks ... or are they?

At www.nytimes.com/2010/05/22/arts/22iht-melik22.html ... the New York Times May 22nd has a story on Meroe in present day Sudan. Its art and religion had historical parallels with Egypt but it also had a distinct indigenous element. It cursive script has now been decyphered - and it is an African language as expected, closely related to those spoken today in Dafur and Chad, as well as modern Sudan (and ancient Nubia).

Archaeology of the YD boundary event

At http://journalofcosmology.com/Extinction119.html 'Archaeological Perspectives on the Extra Terrestrial Impact Hypothesis at 12900BC: A View from Western North America' by Terry Jones - available to download in pdf format. It is surprising that so many Clovis culture objects and associated archaeology are assumed to date from the Clovis Period (the few centuries or so leading up to the YD event) and Palaeo-Indian Holocene deposits do not appear to connect with them.

Djedefre's Pyramid and Easter Island

At http://heritage-key.com/blogs/owenjarus/could-djedefres-pyramid-be-solar-temple-not-according-new-research-Baud  May 11th ... could Djedefre's pyramid be a solar temple? Not according to new research. Dr Michael Baud of the Louvre Museum in Paris gave a lecture on the pyramid at Abu Roash (see also http://heritage-key.com/site/abu-roash/ ) which was quarried in Roman times for its stone.