Archaeology news

footprints in mud

At http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/ancient-human-footprints-afri... ... we learn of the discovery of footprints near the volcanic mountain the Maasai call the Mountain of God. They are preserved in mud dating between 19,000 and 5,000 years ago (which is a large margin of error). There are some 400 footprints in an area the size of a tennis court, situated on the shore of a lake in Tanzania. The current view is that the mud dried out as quickly as a couple of hours.

Black Sea Flood

We would not expect mainstream to endorse the idea of a catastrophic flood in the Black Sea as envisaged by the two Americans, Ryan and Pitman (1996) but they have gone to the bother of setting up the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (carried out by the Centre for Maritime Archaeology at Southampton University and the Bulgarian Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Sofia (see http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2016/10/no-biblical-deluge-but-gradual-... ).

Skipsea Castle

At http://phys.org/print394791318.html ... a medieval motte and bailey (topped by a Norman castle) has turned out to be an iron age hill top enclosure. How many other motte and bailey mounds were pre-existing and adapted after the Norman invasion. Why build a high mound if there was one already in a convenient position.

Reinventing

Back in October 2014 The Guardian (www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/oct/17/staffordshire-hoard-anglo-saxon-... ... the discovery of a hoard of metal in a Staffordshire field led to some forensic science behind the scenes - with a surprising result. The Anglo Saxons of Mercia, it is alleged, reinvented a Roman process that gave lower grade metal with a high silver content the appearance of pure gleaming gold. As similar technology is recorded from Roman accounts this really amounts to a survival of knowledge rather than reinvention of an elaborate technique.

Stone Age Tunnels

The first thought - is this a spoof? The second thought - why would people build tunnels?

Hunting Dogs

Dogs are an extremely useful as hunting companions of humans. They seem to be the difference between getting food on the plate and going empty (making do with berries and roots). I've seen it argued dogs are more valuable as a hunting tool than the bow and arrow - or certainly a modern equivalent.

Fish Hooks

At http://phys.org/print393494658.html ... Japanese archaeologists have unearthed fish hooks on Okinawa dating from deep in the Late Glacial Maximum. It is know humans have been visiting the island of Okinawa for an estimated 50,000 years but this appears to be evidence of permanent settlement. They also seem to have eaten frogs, birds, small mammals, eels, as well as fish. People appear to have been living on Okinawa from 35,000 years ago - and the assumption made is that it was an island then as now and people arrived in boats. 

HPs Breast Plate, Shamir

This one is fascinating as it brings some obscure references in the Bible and Talmud to life. At www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/has-legendary-gem-sacre... ... It comes from Peter Mungo Jupp's web site but concerns the breast plate of the High Priest in Jerusalem, a rather strange affair when outlined in the Bible. It was adorned with 12 precious stones, all different, and was hung from the neck of the HP and suspended over his heart.

sling bullets

   ... A cache of 180 Roman lead sling bullets has been unearthed at Burnswark near Lockerbie in Dumfries. Burnswark is a flat topped hill (see image above) with evidence of an Iron Age hill fort that came under assault by the Romans - go to www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-37260157 ... which follows on from the News post last week.

David and Goliath

At www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/archaeological-evidence-of-the-ki... .... concerns an archaeological investigation of the Elah Valley under the wing of Yosef Garfinkel. In the Bible this was the location of the battle between David and Goliath.

At http://phys.org/print391874678.html ... the ancient Egyptians used metal hooks to secure paddles to boats to prevent friction of wood on wood. The discovery was made by Japanese Egyptologist, Sakiyi Yoshimura.