Archaeology news

Further on Stonehenge Landscape

Further updates on the Stonehenge landscape are outlined in Mike Haigh's 'archaeology review' in Northern Earth magazine 153 (June 2018) - see www.northernearth.co.uk ... It seems a causewayed enclosure has been found at Larkhill barracks during an archaeological survey prior to construction of new buildings - and the excavation is ongoing. Causewayed enclosures are usually concentric circles with sausage shaped ditches (or pits) with banks. A henge is a circle with a continuous ditch and bank.

Stonehenge Landscape Research

British Archaeology magazine (May of 2018) has an interesting article by Mike Pitts. It concerns geophysics surveys around Stonehenge. The Hidden Landscape project and the First Monuments project are quite well known but there has been a lot more archaeology that does not reach the mainstream media but is done by local groups and most importantly, prior to development. In this case there are new housing schemes in the vicinity of Amesbury and a huge commercial park to the east of Stonehenge.

Ipplepen

Metal detectorists came across a quantity of Roman coins in a field between Exeter and Newton Abbot in Devon and this led to an archaoelogical investigation that uncovered a Roman period settlement (at Ipplepen). See for example www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_225948_en.html ... and www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-36596636 ...

Stone of Destiny

A complication has arisen to the Stone of Destiny identification - the piece of red sandstone that is incorporated into the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey. Rosalind Jones in Deposits magazine 27 (summer of 2011) says the Stone of Scone, used to crown the kings of Scotland in Perthshire, and apprehended by Edward I after his conquest of the Scots, may not have been the genuine article. In other words, it may have been switched to a local stone - the red sandstone of Perthshire.

Gold Prospectors

The lure of gold in the 19th century (gold fever) seems to have affected the Russians as much as any other Europeans - and they had the vast wilderness of Siberia in which to explore. In 1894 gold seekers dug out part of a peat bog near Yekaternburg and unearthed a beautifully preserved wooden idol, five metres in length (yes, 5 metres). The wood was first transformed into a flat plank and then was covered back to front with human faces and hands, zigzag lines, and various other symbols. It also had a human head at the top - with its mouth open.

Pebbles

How a bit of practical knowledge can reshape archaeological views. At www.dispatch.com/news/20180422/teaming-up-to-tackle-mystery-of-hopewell-... ... archaeologists unearth all kinds of objects during excavations and some of them feel propelled to guess as to identify them simply because some people do not like loose ends. The finds tray, particularly in days gone by, had to have an explanation - even when it comes to the discovery of black soapstone pebbles.

Amazon Peoples

At https://phys.org/print441350161.html ... parts of the Amazon rainforest previously thought virtually uninhabited were really the home of a population of a million people - according to new research. There were actually hundreds of villages dotting the rainforest, with clearings, far away from the major rivers. Huge areas of the Amazon jungle are still unexplored by archaeologists.

 

Houghton

Houghton in Cambridgeshire. The Guardian has a story about archaeological finds during construction of a 21 mile stretch of the Huntingdon by-pass on the A14  (see www.theguardian.com/science/2018/mar/27/anglo-saxon-settlement-and-roman... ...). Beware - all Guardian online articles end by asking for a donation. Do not fall for this trick as they are serial tax avoiders using an offshore account. Like some other newspapers the Guardian has a good archaeology section.

Farms in the Sahara

At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/winter-2018/article/entomologist-co... ... researchers from Huddersfield and Italy have been in the Libyan desert and they have discovered people in the Sahara were cultivating and storing wild cereals 10,000 years ago. This was the period of the Green Sahara - and early agriculture was being practised. Hunter gatherers, it would seem, were collecting wild cereal seeds rather than farming them - but they didn't only harvest them, they also stored them. They were made into a sort of soup or porridge.

Chinese touch ups

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180319220955.htm ... 115,000 years old bone tools found in China -quite sophisticated in technique. They were used to modify stone tools. These are known as soft hammers and were primarily used to retouch or re-sharpen stone tools.

At www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-43314886 ... confirmation St Albans abbey church was built by the Normans in the 11th century ADF. Remains of the original apse, going back to 1077, have been unearthed during construction work on a new visitor centre.