Archaeology news

Skipsea Castle

At ... a medieval motte and bailey (topped by a Norman castle) has turned out to be an iron age hill top enclosure. How many other motte and bailey mounds were pre-existing and adapted after the Norman invasion. Why build a high mound if there was one already in a convenient position.


Back in October 2014 The Guardian ( ... the discovery of a hoard of metal in a Staffordshire field led to some forensic science behind the scenes - with a surprising result. The Anglo Saxons of Mercia, it is alleged, reinvented a Roman process that gave lower grade metal with a high silver content the appearance of pure gleaming gold. As similar technology is recorded from Roman accounts this really amounts to a survival of knowledge rather than reinvention of an elaborate technique.

Stone Age Tunnels

The first thought - is this a spoof? The second thought - why would people build tunnels?

Hunting Dogs

Dogs are an extremely useful as hunting companions of humans. They seem to be the difference between getting food on the plate and going empty (making do with berries and roots). I've seen it argued dogs are more valuable as a hunting tool than the bow and arrow - or certainly a modern equivalent.

Fish Hooks

At ... Japanese archaeologists have unearthed fish hooks on Okinawa dating from deep in the Late Glacial Maximum. It is know humans have been visiting the island of Okinawa for an estimated 50,000 years but this appears to be evidence of permanent settlement. They also seem to have eaten frogs, birds, small mammals, eels, as well as fish. People appear to have been living on Okinawa from 35,000 years ago - and the assumption made is that it was an island then as now and people arrived in boats. 

HPs Breast Plate, Shamir

This one is fascinating as it brings some obscure references in the Bible and Talmud to life. At ... It comes from Peter Mungo Jupp's web site but concerns the breast plate of the High Priest in Jerusalem, a rather strange affair when outlined in the Bible. It was adorned with 12 precious stones, all different, and was hung from the neck of the HP and suspended over his heart.

sling bullets

   ... A cache of 180 Roman lead sling bullets has been unearthed at Burnswark near Lockerbie in Dumfries. Burnswark is a flat topped hill (see image above) with evidence of an Iron Age hill fort that came under assault by the Romans - go to ... which follows on from the News post last week.

David and Goliath

At .... concerns an archaeological investigation of the Elah Valley under the wing of Yosef Garfinkel. In the Bible this was the location of the battle between David and Goliath.

At ... the ancient Egyptians used metal hooks to secure paddles to boats to prevent friction of wood on wood. The discovery was made by Japanese Egyptologist, Sakiyi Yoshimura.


At ... evidence of an assault on a Scottish hill fort by the Romans has been found - at Burnswark. The fort, or ditched enclosure on top of a hill, overlooks the Solway Firth and is visible for miles around.

Stone Age Diet

It seems like Mesolithic foragers were consuming domesticated cereals  such as wheat and barley long before the early farming package reached the Balkans or eastern Europe - see Mind you, the dates been bandied around, 6600-6450BC, may suggest trade contacts with early farming communities in Anatolia (not so very far away). It's also possible some pioneering farmers had already entered Egypt from Asia Minor - or prospectors looking for metal sources.