Archaeology news

another update

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151103064601.htm ... scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology say that traces of cereals found at the bottom of Bouldnor Cliff in the Solent, thought to date back to the Mesolithic period some 8000 years ago or more were misdated as a result of contamination. They have turned up dates within the last couple of hundred years - using a more up to date methodology. The DNA was compromised by contamination, source unknown.

update

At www.livescience.com/52700-mysterious-geoglyphs-in-kazakhstan-revealed.html ... it seems the New York Times date of 8000 years ago may not be up to scratch. Live Science asked the three Russian archaeologists quoted and they said the only dates they were aware of were 800BC - produced by thermo luminescence dating methodology. Live Science were a bit sceptical of the 8000 years ago date but this appears to have been derived by somebody thinking there was a connection with a local culture extent between 7000 and 5000BC.

Jersey engravings

Carvings on Jersey have been provisionally dated to 14000 years ago, in the warm period between the Oldest and the Younger Dryas events. It appears that Palaeolithic art of the Magdalenian culture who thrived between 16,000 and 13,000 years ago in France and Germany, got as far as Britain (still connected to the continent at the time) - see www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34679202

See also http://phys.org/print365756628.html ... the excavation is ongoing and this is a press release.

Sa'ba

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/yemens-ancient-city... ... concerns damage caused to the ancient city of Sirwah in the prolonged war between rival factions in Yemen. The ruins are as impressive as those of another Sabaean city, Marib, 30 miles to the east. Sa'ba (biblical Sheba) existed approximately between 1000BC to AD290, contemporary with the Iron Age in the Levant.

geoglyphs Kazakhstan

Robert Farrar and Brian Sherwood Jones both forwarded links to this story at www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/science/nasa-adds-to-evidence-of-mysterious-a... ... and at www.livescience.com/47954-geoglyphs-discovered-in-kazakhstan.html ... satellite pictures from 430 feet above the surface of the earth have confirmed the existence of of earthworks in a remote region of the treeless steppe. Geometric figures of squares, crosses, lines and other shapes have been espied - and they are said to date back 8000 years ago (in one instance).

Mesolithic house

Archaeologist David Jaques was on the BBC News the other night standing in front of a tree throw - a pretty big one. It seems the University of Buckingham team at Blick Mead near Stonehenge have discovered what they are saying is a Mesolithic dwelling. It seems to represent a fallen tree with the root side used as a wall. Post hole suggest there was a roof and this is being touted as a house rather than a temporary shelter.

Pylos

The tomb of a Greek warrior who lived contemporary with dynasty 18 in Egypt has been found at Pylos on the Peloponesse. Bronze, gold and ivory objects were lain in the tomb with the warrior and his bronze sword - see www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-10/uoc-utd102615.php

Amazon ecology

After all those surveys of the western Amazon basin and the subsequent stories of lots of settlements with plazas and temples and so on we come head to face with the counter attack - it doesn't suit the Greens that people might get the idea the Amazon jungle has been cut down once before, not so long ago, so what is wrong with logging it in the 21st century - go to http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/fall-2015/article/pre-contact-amazo... ...

alphabet

The evolution of the alphabet is a tease with contrarian views that oppose the consensus view that it emerged in the early years of the Iron Age. It is discussed in the 2015 edition of the Journal of Near Eastern Studies in an article by Ben Haring of Leiden University in the Netherlands.The ABC (aleph-beth-gimel) sequence was favoured by the Phoenicians who passed it on to the Greeks (together with the alphabet itself). However, in Late Bronze Age Ugarit (in what became Phoenicia) the ABC sequence is found on cuneiform tablets - and so too is the Halalam sequence.

cracking codes

At www.nature.com/news/ancient-civilizations-cracking-the-indus-script-1.18587 ... as far as codes, or undecyphered scripts are concerned, the Indus script has kept a few brians busy over many years. One thousand settlements once covered 800,000 square km of what is now Pakistan and NW India, a well developed urban culture with a population of around a million people (an estimate). Most of these settlements were villages but there were five cities, such as Harappa and Mohenjo Dara.