Archaeology news

Solar alignments at Petra

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/astronomy-and-lands... ... a monastery at Petra in Jordan is aligned to the winter Sun, which illuminates the position of a deity. At that same moment in time the silhouette of a mountain opposite, displays the shape of the head of a lion (or an outline resembling a lion). The Sun influenced the orientations of the Nabateans - who were extent in first century BC and first century AD.

Another Stonehenge theory ...

We have had the healing properties of the blue stones and now we have the rocks that ring like bells. Paul Devereux, in an article in Time and Mind, reports on research into the blue stones, at Presceli (where they are a natural rock feature) and at Stonehenge (where some of them have survived). This week the BBC had a television programme on the research - with various people tapping on rocks to get their point across. Hence, we have what is being called the 'sonic properties' of the blue stones.

Cahokia

At http://westerndigs.org/epic-fire-marked-beginning-of-the-end-for-ancient... ... there is a fascinating story that the mounds (ancient earthen pyramids) and plazas of a typical Meso-american town/city ritual layout, at what is now St Louis in N America, was destroyed by fire towards the end of the 12th century (between 1160 and 1189AD), and then continued in a reduced state until the 14th century - when it was abandoned.

The Caribbean as a pristine environment ... and the Beringia Standstill.

At  www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/02/2014/caribbean-ecosystem-re... ... a study of plant and animals life in one part of the Caribbean, in the north of the Bahamas, and possibly representing a midden left behind by human hunter gatherers, has revealed some interesting information. The remains were buried in a layer of peat beneath beach sands deposits and include a tortoise shell C14 dated to just 900 years ago.

Richard III update, and an early Anglo Saxon cemetery

A controversy has developed over the remains of Richard III - some people not keen on DNA testing. A rift has broken out between different groups involved in the discovery, see http://news.yahoo.com/richard-iii-dna-test-sparks-controversy-195556171....

The Old Cathedral of Mainz

Gunnar Heinsohn has been eager to expand on Illig's lost early AD centuries, and has expanded the theory by creating an even bigger lost age, a black hole filling most of the post Roman first millennium AD. An email thread has developed, fed by Clark Whelton - and all comers are welcome to participate (if they have anything sensible to say). Use the contact number and I will pass on your details to Clark.

The Jelling Stone

At www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/02/2014/early-christians-in-vi... ... refers to excavations at Ribe in Denmark and what this means for the spread of early Christianity amongst the Vikings. Evidence of Christians has been updated to the 9th century AD, roughly a hundred years prior to what had previously been thought. Isotopic analysis of the skeletons revealed that the majority of them were local Jutes or newcomers from Zealand or Skane. The Jelling Stone was set up by Harald Bluetooth in about 965.

Cheesey Tales

The Chinese aren't supposed to be cheese eaters as they are largely lactose intolerant and yet researchers have found lumps of yellow staff associated with mummies from 1600BC. After analysis the yellow lumps were identifed as cheese - see www.foxnews.com/science/2014/02/27/world-most-ancient-cheese-found-in-ch...

Pock marked stone in Scotland

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/prehistoric-rock-ar... ... where a boulder decroated with cup and ring marks was found, decorated on both sides. It was found at Heights of Fadderty in Ross-shire and is thought to date back four to five thousand years ago, the third millennium BC.

Blue Stone Enigma

That was the title of a book but in this instance the enigma is outlined at http://phys.org/print311926419.html ... in a paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science. It claims, as noted some weeks ago, that the bluestones came from a different quarry than previously thought. In fact, they were quarried on the other side of the Prescelli Mountains - and this creates a problem. It has been assumed they were transported by sea. If so they would have had to be hauled over the hills and down to the sea shore.