Archaeology news

Russian Camels

At ... and ... we have a story of a camel painted on the walls of a cave in the southern Urals that is assigned to the Upper Palaeolithic period. A two humped camel that is presumably related to the modern Asian camel. The age of the painting has been provisionally date to somewhere between 14,500 and 37,700 years ago. No camels are thought to have existed in the Urals at this time as the area was assumed to be very cold as a result of the Late Glacial Maximum.

Indus rivers

The Indus civilisation thrived during the third millennium BC and into the 2nd millennium BC (basically it was contemporary with the Bronze age in Egypt, the Levant, Iran and Mesopotamia). It was located in what is now NW India and southern Pakistan and emerged on the back of the earlier Baluchistan Neolithic culture. The people were an advanced society that farmed virtually everything from cotton to dates. They established 5 large cities with plumbing and sewerage systems etc. Harappa and Mohenjo Daro are the most famous sites, situated on Himalaya fed rivers.

Migrations and Climate Change

Researchers are catching up it seems as migrations in the historical past are now being linked to switches in global climate (and tectonic activity) at different times in the Holocene. A paper in PNAS is briefly described at ... but doesn't give much away (unfortunately). No doubt Popular Archaeology will give us a bit more info on the when and how later in the week. However, it is worth pointing out they are still ignoring the bigger factor - catastrophism.


At ... the Guardian wine drinking metropolitan set are pleased to learn that clay pottery dating back 8000 years bear the tell tale traces of wine making. This comes from Georgia, in the Transcaucasus, on the back of the discovery of winemaking in northern Iran 7000 years ago. The Georgian site was a Neolithic village characterised by mud brick housing, stone and bone tools, and the farming of cattle and pigs, and wheat and barley.

Tall el-Hammam Update

The newsletter of TeHPO (the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project) for 14th November 2017. Four senior members of TeHEP are attending the annual meeting of the American School of Oriental Research in Boston and presenting 3 papers. Another 3 papers are being presented by an Italian team that have been working at Jericho. The discovery of a fortified town at Jericho during LBIIA is the object of interest as a tax or custom house from LBIIA has been found at Hammam.

Saudi Stone Structures

Robert also forwarded this link - ... and ... the story was aired a few weeks ago on the News section. Hundreds of stone structures dating back thousands of years ago dot the deserts and plains of the Middle East and North Africa. Some are on a huge scale but only from a birds eye view - and only aerial images display the geometric nature of some of them.

Step Pyramid

A 4600 year old step pyramid has just been uncovered in Egypt - see (link provided by Jovan). It once stood 43 feet high, one of seven scattered but similar pyramids from the same period, of almost identical dimensions. The new pyramid, at Edfu, is new just 16 feet high having been robbed of its stone blocks and as a result of weathering over the centuries. The similarities between the seven pyramids are said to be amazing but for some reason by the 5th dynasty these pyramids had been abandoned.

Pyramid Void

This is the big story this week - the discovery of a big void in the Great Pyramid of Khufu. See for example .... a hidden chamber has been found in Egypt's Great Pyramid at Giza, courtesy of an article in November's issue of Nature journal. A scan of the pyramid, looking for chambers, has found a large void directly above the Grand Gallery. Is it simply a gap in the pyramid's architecture or did it have a function of some kind?

Tooth, Leprosy, troglodites

At ... a single tooth found in a former river bed of the River Rhine in Germany is causing a bit of a headache to scientists. The strata in which it was found has been dated back almost 10 million years ago - 4 million years older than its African relatives (such as Lucy) from Ethiopia and the Rift Valley.