Archaeology news

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.

Lewis Mumford

OJ Haugen suggested reading Lewis Mumford's 'Technics and Human Development: the myth of the machine' written way back in 1966. It is still relevant today as it succinctly puts into perspective the limitations of archaeology. He asks the question, what exactly do we know about Stone Age people and Early forms of humanity. Archaeologists retrieve pieces of knapped flint and the occasional stone axe or hammer stone and out of such odds and bits anthropologists and others create a storyline - but is it only part of the story. Mumford thought so.

Bell Beaker enclosure

At .... the discovery of a circular earthwork enclosure in southern Spain, dating to the Bell Beaker period (2600-2200BC) is interesting as we don't know yet that it has anything to do with the Beaker Folk. Excavations unearthed bones, sherds, jewelry etc. It is unclear if the sherds of pottery come from bell beakers or the C14 dates have provided the link. The site consists of concentric circular trenches cut into segments at regular distances. In the centre was a deep round hole 19m wide.

Stone Circles and Henges

Surprisingly, SIS has not published a great deal on stone circles as far as major articles are concerned. It tends to have been small pieces and letters. These were mostly in early Newsletters and Workshops. Kronos on the other hand, did rather better when it came to Alexander Thom, but one got the impression they were more interested in authors critical of his discoveries rather than favouring them.