Archaeology news

Tsunami Mass Burials

At ... mass burial sites in the Pacific, Mediterranean, and in Scotland were possibly related to catastrophic tsunami waves, according to research published in the Journal of Archeological Method and Theory. Tsunamis are not usually considered when archaeologists are confronted by large mass graves - even on the coast. That is the nature of the beast - catastrophism is generally out of bounds.

Tall el-Hammam (TeHEP)

There is going to be a National Geographic documentary on Tall el-Hammam in October. One to look out for as astrophysicist Malcolm La Compte is also involved as well as members of a group that took part in LiDAR and multi spectral imaging, photogrammetry and magnetometry, on and around the site of Hammam. The prgramme will focus on the reality and the destruction of Sodom. None of this of course means Hammam is Sodom as there is a good argument to say the Biblical story is an allegory - a ploy to make a point.

Shroud of Turin

In the true spirit of relics it would seem the Turin Shroud is a fake - go to ... which differs from the findings of a study last year which claimed to have found evidence of trauma in the victim. Apparently, this earlier study has now been retracted by PLOS One - due to concerns about the quality of the data as used by the researchers (which refers to the conclusions they leaped to).

Gobekli in the News

Apparently, 15 monumental temples and some 200 standing stones have been discovered as part of a geophysical survey around Gobekli Tepe. See ... the T shaped obelisks are 10 to 20 feet high and weigh between 40 and 40 tones each.

Gault Revolution

At ... Clovis First dominated archaeology for years - but now we have archaeologists exploring below Clovis layers (at Gault near Austin in Texas for example). Here the finds go back to 16,000 years ago, possibly as early as 20,000 years ago at the height of the Late Glacial Maximum. Gone are the days when humans are thought to have been inhibited by the ice sheet in the north. Somehow they got to the Americas - and the evidence is now being taken seriously (instead of being hushed up).


In Current World Archaeology 90 (August edition, 2018) (see we have news of ongoing research (post Iraq war) at the Sumerian ancient city of Girsu - and the temple of its tutelary god, Ningursu, the Eninnu. The temple Eninnu is recorded by Gudea of Lagash (late 3rd millennium BC). Gudea left behind many inscriptions and statuary. More resilient however is the Birdge of Girsu which seems to have suvived intact (albeit, buried) for over 5000 years.

2300BC in Spain

At ... an archaeological site near Seville in Spain was occupied between 3200 and 2300BC - two dates of significance as they coincide with two major narrow growth tree ring events. Where the people arrived from in the first place is unknown - but so too is their fate as the site was abandoned between 2400 and 2300BC (the narrow growth event is dated by Baillie at 2345BC). This was a megalithic culture site - with a funerary function.

Suffolk Neolithic Trackway

At ... brought to you by CNN - but is this fake news? Plans to build a super windfarm have come up with an archaeological site of unusual depth - deep in the heart of Suffolk (eastern England). Most prominent in this news release is the Neolithic trackway - dated at 2300BC. There was also the skull of an auroch (4000BC) as well as pottery from various periods, buildings (or their outlines), lots of bones, coins and various other interesting bits and pieces.

Medieval Leprosy in Europe

At ... a medieval leprosy hospital at Odense in Denmark has been excavated and some of the bones have been analysed. The hospital was the final resting place of people that died from the disease around 700 years ago - caused by an infection of Mycobacterium leprus bacterium. Scientists have found traces of the infection in the skeletons. Results of the study on well preserved DNA will, it is hoped, shed light on the outbreak that ravaged Denmark and large areas of Europe, and also on how diabetis developed (which still impacts the modern world).

German Stonehenge Link

At ... which concerns an article published in Antiquity journal (the archaeological journal that is a mirror on the world beyond the shores of Britain). The impetus for this new  thinking seems to be the genetic discovery of folk movements across Neolithic and Bronze Age Europe - which may have introduced new ideas into Britain from the continent (including the idea of henges, a circle composed of a ditch with bank).