Archaeology news

What was happening in the years leading up to 1300AD?

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/ancient-baby-boom-h... ... the lesson the co-authors have in mind is that over population is supposed to be a problem and the modern world is seriously over populated - in their opinion. They go further as they claim they have found an ancient record of over population that ended in tragedy after a bout of drought - but they are lean on the extent and magnitude of the drought or the possibility of migration by those affected by drought.

Noctilucent dog outings

Daphne Chappell reports letting the dog out for a jimmy riddle at 1.00am in the morning and looked up at the sky - and saw noctilucent clouds. These are spectacular - please visit www.spaceweathergallery.com

Kurgans in Georgia

At www.livescience.com/46513-ancient-chariot-burial-discovered.html .... in Georgia in the South Caucasus, a chariot burial has been dug up from beneath a kurgan (burial mound). It dates back to the Early Bronze Age, or the second half of the 3rd millennium BC, and there were, in fact, two chariots each with four wooden wheels. Various artefacts were found, even though the tomb was robbed in antiquity.

Skyscape Archaeology

Following on from yesterday, this story can also be seen at http://phys.org/print322808453.html --- and comes with some nice images. Stone chambered tombs in the northern part of the Cotswolds appear to be astronomically orientated while on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall the three stone circles known as the Hurlers are reputed to be based on the three stars in the Belt of Orion. Further information is available at www.ras.org.uk/nam2014 - the web site of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Dr Daniel Brown, Fabia Silvia.

Dr Daniel Brown of Nottingham Trent University is intending to bring archaeo-astronomy out from the shadows of the controversies engendered by Alexander Thom and an establishment unprepared for the fact that Neolithic people were not quite as rustic or backward as the orthodox consensus allowed in the late 20th century. A new generation of archaeologists are not quite the stuffed shirts of old and hence, archaeo-astronomy, at last, is getting a dust down and coming out of the closet, where it was swept away all those years ago, in the flower of our youth.

The lost army of Cambyses

At http://phys.org/print322466839.html ... a new slant on that story famously told by Herodotus. Egyptologist Olaf Kapar has a theory that has a ring of truth about it. According to Herodotus a column of 50,000 soldiers belonging to the king of Persia entered the desert west of Thebes - and was never seen again. They were swallowed up in a sand storm. The key is in the destination of the army, the oasis of Dakla. This is where an Egyptian leader in rebellion against Persian control of his country had set up a base to harry the foreigners - and their cohorts.

3rd century AD plague and downturn

At www.livescience.com/46335-remains-of-ancient-egypt-epidemic-found.html ... is a report on bodies covered in a thick layer of lime found in Egypt. Lime was used to disinfect disease ridden bodies - in order to stop the spread of the virus. Lime kilns were also found (to make the lime, usually from limestone) and what looks like the remains of a giant bonfire (as in a real bone fire as it is theorised bodies were burnt before being thrown in a grave and covered in lime).

Mesolithic Great North Road

There is quite a bit of published material on prehistoric roads and tracks nowadays and it is generally though they originated as animal tracks followed by humans and evolving into human path ways (during the Mesolithic era before farming was introduced to Britain and Ireland). Roads and tracks themselves came about mainly as a result of agriculture - and the need to transfer stock from winter to summer pasture, or from field to field, or from farm to market etc. However, some long distance routes may have developed for trade and discourse.

Ancient Aberdeen

We've had evidence of a long occupation at Inverness and now a similar discovery has been found at Aberdeen - see http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/bronze-age-settleme...

Early Bronze Age pottery, at least 4000 years of age, and evidence of continuous occupation down to the Iron Age, have been found during construction work at a park and ride facility. The site promises to be a bonanza - and proper excavations are now set to take place.

Mycenae flints and flakes

At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/06052014/article/archaeologists-exc... ... surprisingly, the lower city of Mycenae has never properly been investigated. This is the town outside the citadel with its Lion Gate and huge walls. The lower town was also enclosed by a wall and it appears to have been laid out in a purposeful fashion.