Archaeology news

Roman villa in garden

At ... electricians digging a hole to lay a cable to a snooker and games room struck a mosaic floor - and luckily the owner was interested enought to call in archaeologists to have a probe around the field behind his house. They found he had been using a stone sarcophagus for his bedding plants (not realising it was used for an ancient burial) and the land around abouts had harboured a massive villa complex (a sort of Roman manor farm).

Old Testament writing

At ... which refers to a Swiss excavation by Cornelius Pilgrim who unearthed two headless statues on the island in the Nile, Elephantine. One of the statues has an inscription and belongs to an Old Kingdom ruler - and in all likelihood the other statue dates from the same period of history.

Pythagorem Theorem

At ... we have a clay tablet from Babylonia that was originally pulled from an excavation of Old Babylonian (Middle Bronze Age) archaeology in what is now Iraq. It concerns school work - and the knowledge of mathematics in the second millennium BC.


Staying with Australia, at ... which is another effort to understand the origin of the dingo, a dog that some people see as bearing similarities with Indian village dogs, and others trace only to south east Asia. Its appearance in Australia is dated to around 5000 years ago - and assumes new migrants arrived at that time (but from where).

Star Maps

A fascinating article from The Conversation but regurgitated at ... Aborigines used the stars to compose a series of 'way points' (usually water-holes or turning places) as a memory aid to journey across the Outback. The teaching and memorising was by song - song lines. These are more readily learnt, to heart. Some of the routes were for hundreds of miles - one example is from Alice Springs to Quilpie in Queensland. These might be where different Aboriginal tribes met for joint ceremonies or to exchange trade items.


This story has been long running. At first we had a denial by the Egyptian Antiquities people and Reeves came in for some flak and certainly a fair measure of criticism. However, as things will the Egyptians realised they might be able to take advantage of the situation and reinvigorate their tourist industry, and some preliminary scans were taken of the Tutankhmun tomb just to see if they might be something behind the far wall - a cavity. The scan was inconclusive.

Upper Mustang

Upper Mustang province in Nepal, between 400 and 650AD, was part and parcel of the silk road as silk has been found dating from that period. Trade between India and China seems to have flourished and the route across Nepal was probably one of the roads the merchants took. It illustrates the longevity of Nepal as a kingdom with links both north and south and the recipient of new ideas and a trade destination in its own right. See

New Viking Site

The US NOVA TV site has been on the button once again by airing news of a probable new Viking settlement site discovered via satellite technology - see ... on a headland on the SW coast, 300 miles south of L'Anse aux Meadows, in northern Newfoundland. The confirming point appears to be the presence of bog iron and a fire cracked boulder - but excavations are yet to get in earnest.

manganese oxides

At ... and various sources. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research has provided the information on a paper in Scientific Reports (Feb 2016) by researchers from Leiden and Delft. The subject is Neanderthals and the use of fire - and the research area was a well known site in the Dordogne of France going back 50,000 years (or thereabouts). Why anyone would think Neanderthals did not light fires to warm themselves on a cold winter evening is something only they can put into words. Proof of course is something else.

Little Carlton

At ... what was an island in post-Roman period Lincolnshire, remaining so until medieval and modern drainage projects, has turned up a bounty of Anglo Saxon artefacts from the 8th century AD. Little Carlton, near Louth, was just another farming area, out in the sticks so to speak. Along came metal detectorist Graham Vickers, who initially discovered a silver stylus - a writing tool.