Archaeology news

Amazonian Earthworks

At ... an update on the earthworks and human impact on the western Amazonian rainforest. Research s ongoing - aided and abetted by logging and felling. Human settlement in this part of the rainforest is known about and rather than being the province of a few maverick archaeologists it has now become of interest to the Brazilian government and state sponsored archaeology.

Baltic Farmers

It seems that Baltic hunter gatherers took up farming in a piecemeal fashion and there is no evidence of admixture with migrants from Anatolia. It's all in the DNA. Go to ... which upsets some of the present thinking on the matter as migration Anatolian farmers are generally thought to have brought the way of life into central and western Europe (along the Danube valley and around the Mediterranean coast into the Atlantic). The study is in Current Biology (Jan 2017) and differentiates between the Baltic and central Europe.

Auroch and dots on paper

At ... we have a new image of the auroch with dots on an engraved stone in Palaeolithic Europe, roughly 38,000 years ago.

Pops Past

At ... ancient DNA reveals continuity between stone age and modern populations in East Asia. The DNA came from human remains found in a cave some 8000 years ago.

Population decline americas

A new article at ... it has been increasingly shown that population numbers had already crashed prior to the arrival of Europeans. The latter are usually blamed for introducing new diseases of which the locals had no natural resistance (and no doubt this did occur). It is the scale of the drop in numbers that is most problematic. It has also been convenient to blame the Spanish and Portuguese for bringing smallpox to the Americans.

Greek Sanctuary

At ... excavations at an ancient sanctuary on the Greek island of Keros have revealed it goes back at least to 3000BC. Colin Renfrew describes it as the 'world's earliest maritime sanctuary' - a play on words as there are older sanctuaries out there. It seems there was a staircasedthat connected Kavos Mount with Daskalios, a small rocky islet offshore.

Gobi Desert was Wet

The Gobi desert is nowadays the second largest desert in the world and suffers from a drastic lack of rainfall. It wasn't always so. Go to,410066,archaeologist-many-tho... ... Polish archaeologists are getting like Polish plumbers as they are popping up all over the world. Are they doing archaeology at a reduced rate?

Ancient Ghana

At ... Ghana had gold and slaves. It therefore became a magnet and attracted merchants from the other side of the Sahara. Whether this included traders in the Roman period or not it unclear but it certainly did in the Islamic ascendancy between the 6th and 13th centuries AD. As such, Ghana was keyed into a massive trade network from China and Indonesia to Spain, a network of trade routes.

More Wetting Sahara

At ... the subject is cooking plant material in pots. Cooking leaves behind a residue that modern science can translate into what was being cooked - even though those pots, usually found as sherds, may be thousands of years of age. This is a remarkable achievement in itself and a scientific tool unavailable to earlier archaeologists. It all comes at a price of course and the sponsors of any dig must have the funds to pay for it, and C14 dating. In other words, not something your low funded communal type dig could afford.

Mayan Collapse

This story is crawling all over the Internet this week and see ... which is a bit of a non story as all they appear to have done is come up with two sets of dates when things went wrong for the Maya. Instead of a gradual decline, as in previous studies, the contention in this research is that it occurred primarily at two points in time (possibly by narrowing down C14 methodology to tweek the specifics).