Archaeology news

Palaeolithic Calendar

At ... a Palaeolithic camp site found in the Ukraine in the 20th century is perhaps the oldest known human settlement site known - or is not too far from that status. It dates back 18 to 20,000 years ago. Finds included 2 intricately carved mammoth bones bracelets - which led to an amazing line of research.

Neanderthal Art

At .... we have the full story of cave art found in Spain that has been dated 64,000 years ago - prior to the arrival of modern humans. A couple of weeks ago we were assured the Neanderthals did not do art. The more advanced modern humans introduced it to Europe - and now this. The date is the basis of the claim it was the work of Neanderthals.


A clay seal with the name of Isaiah has been found on a dig in Jerusalem - just 10 feet from another clay seal of Hezekiah. Eilat Mazar speculates that it is a seal of the Biblical prophet Isaiah, a contemporary of Hezekiah and the seige of Jerusalem by the Assyrian king Sennacherib. See for example ...

Beaker Folk

Late last year we had an article in PNAS that claimed the Bell Beaker folk movement was an actual migration event as far as Britain was concerned, a movement of people from Frisia into Britain which overwhelmed the Neolithic inhabitants. It gave rise to the Bronze Age which in Britain is closely associated with the adoption of field systems and farms of the kind we see in the modern landscape.

Negev Rock Art

Javan sent in the link ... rock art in the Negev - has it anything to do with the Exodus story? A chain of holy mountains with painted rock art on them has led to Yehuda Rotblum, author of 'Rock Art in Israel', to suggest this region was where the Exodus tribes wandered 40 years in the Wilderness (or something like that).

Marine Hunting

Gary sent in this link. At ... using harpoons and rafts humans hunted whales off the shore of South America. The hunt was frozen in time - painted on rocks in what is now the Atacama desert. Whales, swordfish, sea lions, and sharks wee depicted - all fearsome creatures if you are stuck on a flimsy raft in the ocean. Were they really hunting for food? What other reason for the rock art might be considered?

Dutch Mesolithic

At .... the oldest Dutch work of art goes back to the Mesolithic era - dating from around 13,500 years ago and consisting of a severed bison bone dredged up from the bottom of the North Sera. The bone was covered in a geometrical design, mostly zig zags. What is more important is the admission by archaeologists they did not record artifacts from the North Sea bed until recently. They were compartmentalised as Out of Context - and archaeologically invalid as a useful item.

Green Desert

Gary sent in this link - ... ancient rock art discovered in Saudi Arabia shows over 6000 depictions of life when the desert was green. Wildlife abounded in northern Arabia up to 6000 years ago. Some of the rock art dates back as far as 10,000 years ago when the desert was teeming with animals, rivers flowed, and there was abundant vegetation.


Archaeological excavations of Tell Edfu, ongoing for the last 16 years, have revealed some interesting information about how people lived in the Old Kingdom - see ... going back to the second half of the 3rd millennium BC. Edfu is in southern Egypt (or what was known as Upper Egypt) and finds  from the 5th century are currently being investigated. Edfu was an important post for expeditions into the Eastern desert in search of metals and stone. The Red Sea coast was just 125 miles to the east.

Greeks in Canada

Robert also sent in this link at ... did ancient Greeks sail to Canada. The idea if is based on something mentioned by the Greek author Plutarch. Did they reach Canada in around AD56? A character in a text of Plutarch is said to have claimed he had recently returned from 'a great continent' - and that is about all the evidence is. What was a great continent in the eyes of the sailor. The newly conquered Britain (by the Romans) is bigger than your average Mediterranean island.