Archaeology news

Giant Hand Axes

At ... a high density of giant hand axes has been dated 200,000 to 300,000 years ago and was uncovered in NW Spain. The discovery appears to show alternative stone tool technologies existed alongside each other - indicating different human populations co-existed in the same general localities. The fossil record appears to support the idea as far as SW Europe was concerned. The tools in question are Acheulian which were widespread in North Africa as much as in southern Europe.

Orion at Stonehenge

At ... in the 1960s a portion of ditch excavated from the chalk bedrock was discovered west of Stonehenge during construction of the pedestrian tunnel by the old visitor centre that was in use up to a couple of years ago (now replaced by a new visitor centre and walk way as the road has been closed). Geophys has sinced revealed the ditch extended for 900m (or nearly 3000 feet) from SW of the henge to a point close to the Greater Cursus monument, NW of Stonehenge.

Rainforest Disappears

Gary sent in this one. Go to ... this is just up the street for catastrophists so brave a little read up on what is being implied. The central African rainforest vanished for a period of around 600 years - and then bounced back again. Why? A new study claims humans caused a rainforest crisis as a result of migrating southwards from northern Africa (presumably what is now the Sudan) 3000 years ago.

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.