Archaeology news

Saudi Stone Structures

Robert also forwarded this link - www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5077063/Aerial-images-closest-ta... ... and https://www.livescience.com/60918-aerial-images-reveal-saudi-arabia-ston... ... the story was aired a few weeks ago on the News section. Hundreds of stone structures dating back thousands of years ago dot the deserts and plains of the Middle East and North Africa. Some are on a huge scale but only from a birds eye view - and only aerial images display the geometric nature of some of them.

Step Pyramid

A 4600 year old step pyramid has just been uncovered in Egypt - see www.scientificamerican.com/article/4600-year-old-step-pyramid-uncovered-... (link provided by Jovan). It once stood 43 feet high, one of seven scattered but similar pyramids from the same period, of almost identical dimensions. The new pyramid, at Edfu, is new just 16 feet high having been robbed of its stone blocks and as a result of weathering over the centuries. The similarities between the seven pyramids are said to be amazing but for some reason by the 5th dynasty these pyramids had been abandoned.

Pyramid Void

This is the big story this week - the discovery of a big void in the Great Pyramid of Khufu. See for example https://phys.org/print428839163.html .... a hidden chamber has been found in Egypt's Great Pyramid at Giza, courtesy of an article in November's issue of Nature journal. A scan of the pyramid, looking for chambers, has found a large void directly above the Grand Gallery. Is it simply a gap in the pyramid's architecture or did it have a function of some kind?

Tooth, Leprosy, troglodites

At www.dw.com/en/archaeology-fossil-teeth-discovery-in-germany-could-re-wri... ... a single tooth found in a former river bed of the River Rhine in Germany is causing a bit of a headache to scientists. The strata in which it was found has been dated back almost 10 million years ago - 4 million years older than its African relatives (such as Lucy) from Ethiopia and the Rift Valley.

Turquoise

Turquoise and Lapis Lazuli are bright blue minerals. For some reason they have been highly prized by historical communities - whether it was ancient Britons and their woad or the Hindu god Krishna depicted as a bright blue manifestation. Lapiz lazuli was mined in Afghanistan and exported into Mesopotamia and Egyptian blue faience (glass) was also exported far and wide even ending up in northern Europe. What was the fascination with the colour of blue? At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/fall-2017/article/research-sheds-ne... ....

Gates on Volcanoes

Gary also sent in this link - www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4991930/Google-Earth-reveals-400... ... 400 stone structures have been found on the edge of volcanoes in Saudi Arabia - first spotted by Google Earth. Archaeologists have no idea why they were built, we are told ...

Sea Peoples

At https://phys.org/print426749820.html ... and at the link sent in by Gary, www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4963386/3-200-year-old-slab-tell... ... and also in the current issue of Popular Archaeology, we have a story about a 29m long slab of rock with a Luwian hieroglyphic inscription that is said to describe some of the events taking place at the end of the Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean ...

Elbe Estuary

At www.q-mag.org/a-germanic-harbor-town-found-at-the-mouth-of-the-elbe-rive... ... apparently, mainstream hasn't been looking or thinking of Romans ensconced in the wetlands around the mouth of the Elbe River so it has been somewhat of a surprise to find a settlement there, from the Roman period right up to around 1000AD. At the latter date the site was abandoned - did it have anything to do with the tsunami wave that ran up the English Channel in 1014AD?

Rice cultivation

Rice was grown 11,000 years ago along the Yangtze River in China (at the very start of the Holocene) and 2000 years ago in West Africa. Presumably different strains or varieties of rice. Now, University of Exeter scientists in collaboration with Brazilian scientists, have found evidence of domesticated rice being grown in the vast wetlands of the Guapore River in the Amazon basin, 4000 years ago. This implie rice was developed in three separate geographical locations, at widely different times.