Archaeology news

Tree rings and solar radiation

Clark Whelton forwarded the link at ... Oxford University researchers say that trees that grew during intense radiation events in the past have left behind an imprint in their rings that can be teased out and used to define the chronologies of the Bronze Ages and earlier. It seems that ice cores preserve changes in Beryillium and tree rings can now be more closely integrated by the now recognised signature of what is assumed to be solar radiation caused by big CME events.

Durrington Walls

Last year the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project was surveying at Durrington Walls henge and they thought the Geophys had turned up a circle of buried stones. The circle was much larger than Stonehenge itself and appeared to fit into the giant proportions of the bank and ditch system at Durrington Walls. It was just a matter of time before archaeologists got out their  spades and investigated what their radar images had shown up. It seems there are no buried stones.


Nerik is mentioned in Hittite texts found at ancient Hattusas in Late Bronze levels. Nerik has now been found and identified by archaeologists -= go to ... and what will prove to be the best part, a cache of cuneiform tablets. Various mining tools have been unearthed, used to exploit nearby copper deposits.


Archaeo-astronomy in Britain has been a place where most archaeologists have been fearful to tread since the campaign to marginalise Alexander Thom took place many years ago.

Zeus sacrifice

At ... amongst the ash of numerous animal sacrifices on a mountain dedicated to Zeus in Greece has been found the skeleton of a human sacrifice, a teenager, and dates back to the end of the Late Bronze Age. This was a time when the Mycenaean Greek kingdoms were overwhelmed in a catastrophe of some kind, most of their towns and villages were completely destroyed (and abandoned). A human sacrifice on a mountain top, directly facing the sky, and as near to the sky one can get, is a clue that something was going on upstairs.

Tintagel Palace

Two takes on the same discovery. The newspaper likes the Arthurian angle and dallies a bit - ... and ... the excavations in July came across buildings, it is thought, dating to the 5th century AD (or roughly contemporary when Gildas when writing his missive, The Ruin of Britain).

Early Farmers

At ... domesticated plants and animals are part of everyday life but they represent a unique change in the way of life of humans, allowing large numbers of people to live in one place. How did farming take off in the Americas - 5000 years ago? In this study it was preceded by a population boom, they claim, which led, relentlessly, to a shortage of food as there were more mouths to feed.

Sun Stones

At .... another study on the Viking sun stones - this time a proper experiment ...

wildfire chronology

Wildfires are known to have been frequent features of the Australian past - and Aborigines usually get the blame as they have a habit of setting the bush alight in controlled fires to manage the vegetation and flush out wildlife. At ... scientists are hoping to map landscape fires by using dripping water in caves. The idea is to plot a sequence of wild fires on the land above the caves which hopefully will reveal some interesting information about timescales involved.

Rope making

At ... a German team (see Archaologische Ausgrabungen Baden Wurttemberg) have found a rope or twine making tool dating to the Aurignacian period (roughly 40,000 years ago). Rope and twine are essential components in the toolbox of mobile hunting groups. Impressions of string have been found in fossil clay and are depicted on Ice Age art but on the whole rope, twine and string are biodegradable and absent from archaeological sites. The find is made from mammoth bone ...