Archaeology news

Philistine graves

At ... a Philistine cemetery has been found at Ashkelon, a Mediterranean port city in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Some 150 burials are said to date from the 11th to the 8th centuries BC. The good news is that bone samples will be analysed - for DNA, radiocarbon dating, and other biological reasons. Ashkelon was situated just to the north of Gaza, a trading hub that was used by the Egyptians to sell and transport slaves, linen, and other manufactures such as papyrus.


Formerly known as Gla but apparently now Glas we have an article in the journal Popular Archaeology - see ... where the site of Glas has recently been reassessed by archaeologists (with more up to date instruments). Glas is the largest Mycenaean site from Bronze Age Greece. It is located in what was known as Boeotia in the marshland of the Kopais Basin. Glas was ten times the size of Tiryns and seven times the size of Mycenae.

Clovis First under pressure

Give a day or two and they will give a bit. At ... and I thought for a moment she was an archaeologist. It seems we have somebody not very keen on 'authority' or being told aboriginal history (in Canada) which is contradictory to tribal tradition. She is kicking at the wall that is Clovis First - and good luck. Can't say I have much sympathy for the Clovis First proponents but arguing from emotion doesn't appear to be too effective. So far.

This and That

At .. archaeologists chanced upon an ancient furnace after first spotting slag and clay on a roadside location. Two furnaces were subsequently unearthed, made of stone and thought to have been used to smelt iron ore. The date being aired is around 1000AD. A people known as the Kurykan were renowned for their blacksmithing skills throughout the medieval era. The site is located on a hill to take advantage of the wind when enabled the combustion process.

surprising skull

At ... the surprise being that the person was not related to Australian Aborigines. It has been the consensus view for some time that SE Asia in general was colonised by Australian Aborigine people and these have died out in what is now Indonesia but survived in the south, in Australia and New Guinea (and probably in the Melanesian Islands too). In other words, the population was replaced by newcomers, the inhabitants of Indonesia now (which include farmers).

stone age Gobi

At,410066,archaeologist-many-tho... ... life flourished not just in the Gobi but in the Mongolian Gobi (and the Altai mountain region). The Gobi is the second largest desert in the world - but that was not always so. Nowadays, where only nomadic people live on the fringes of the Gobi, the region was full of humans and abundant wildlife (anaimals and vegetation).

Thule and Bog

At ... evidence of trade between Alaska (and the Thule culture) and East Asia (possibly China, indirectly if not directly) in the medieval period. We know that Vikings were trading with people in the NE Arctic zone but the same thing was happening in the NW (from across the Bering Straits). The prize was walrus and narwhal ivory - prized in countries such as China and Korea. The article is published in June's issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science (2016).

Indus Roots

At ... begins by telling us 'climate change' was probably not the sole reason for the collapse of the Harappan civilisation in the Indus-Chaggar-Hakra river valleys of India and Pakistan. The new study says the inhabitants did not give up and roll over as they appear to have adapted to cereal crops such as the millets which are more drought resistant.

Saved by thaw

At ... in 1242 the Mongol army was set to conquer central Europe when it mysteriously turned around and went back into Russia. A new study claims it was climate that persuaded the Mongols to put the conquest on hold, although the normal interpretation is that internal Mongolian politics were involved. They never attempted to subdue central and western Europe again. Now, climate change is blamed for a lot of things and at this point in time we are talking about temperatures getting much colder (rather than warmer).

females that get around

At ... women during the Corded Ware cultural period in central Europe may have been highly mobile it is being proposed - or swapped around. The study was published at online journal PLoS ONE (May 2016).