Archaeology news

Turkmenistan, and Ethiopia

www.turkmenistan.ru/ June 8th ... Turkmenistan in Russia, excavations in the capital city Ashgabat have found there was a settlement there going back to the 6th millennium BC, defined as Neolithic and contemporary with Neolithic farming communities in Iran, Baluchistan, and the Fertile Crescent.

Aborigines blasted

At www.thunderbolts.info one of the forum subjects concerns the discovery in the area of Lake Mungo and Lake Victoria in Australia of the bones of an estimated 15,000 fossil bodies that seem to have died in a major catastrophic event. It was an ancient meeting place for Aborigines, and inter tribal gatherings like this were common amongst Pacific cultures. Indeed, they were common in many parts of the world, even in Europe.

Harrapan culture

Frontline, India's national magazine, has a beautiful article with lots of pictures that can be downloaded at www.flonnet.com/stories/20100618271206200.htm on the rise and fall of a Harrapan city - the layout, views of the dig, and views of the finds. The rise and fall of the city over a period of 150 years is portrayed - urban grid, monumental architecture, a stadium with terraced stands, funerary architecture, a sandstone quarry, and an impressive water management system are included.

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?