Archaeology news

Indus Valley Lakes

At .... we learn that the Indus Valley civilisation covered a region that included Baluchistan in the west to the Upper Ganga-Yamuna Daub in the east, a quite extensive area. The town of Dholavira in the Great Rann of Kachchh in Gujarat province was located on an island surrounded by water - a city of lakes. Nowadays it is arid. What happened?

Deep in the Jungle

This story keeps popping up from different sources and it looks like there are a number of archaeological explorations of the Brazilian rainforest going on concurrently. At on November 21st, or go to the web site and look at the news archive, some 90 settlements in the Brazilian jungle have been found by a joint Swedish-Brazilian team - and nowhere near a river. They appear to have constructed their own reservoirs.

Star maps on megaliths?

At there is a bit of speculation that might be just imagination. A standing stone in S Wales which has 75 cup marks gouged out of its surface may represent a section of the night sky, it is claimed, but how this is arrived at is not disclosed. In addition, they say the particular part of the sky can be pinpointed and includes Cassiopeia, Orion, Sirius, and the North Star - but how do they know this?

Stone and Wooden circles in N America

See for the full story 'Cahokia's woodhenges' - and this is the much advertised mound people of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys that flourished in what was the Medieval Warm Period. The roots go back to the mid first millennium AD but what is emphasised here by this newspaper is an assumed astronomical link between a ring of post holes and stone circles.

Maya agriculture

At we have the fruits of research by the Geological Research Association of America on Mayan agriculture. They lived in sprawling densely populated pockets in the Yucatan and their civilisation reached it's height between 400BC-900AD. They had to contend wtih recurring droughts and rising sea levels - which is an interesting insight considering the same thing was happening elsewhere in the world.

Entrenched Positions

We can see that climate scientists prefer to dig a hole for themselves rather than address data adjustments openly and in good faith but such a stubborn attitude appears to be common to other fields of science too - archaeology for example. It is not just celestial alignments that are out of favour, or the idea of earthquakes as a factor in Bronze Age site destructions, but sea level change is ignored.

Aborigine Technology

At November 6th ... a 35,000 year old axe fragment found in Arnhem Land in Australia is thought to be the oldest (so far) ground edge tool in the world and it is making scientists reconsider when the technique of grinding to sharpen tools first began.

Study Group Meeting - November 4th (London)

A write-up of the talk given by David Salkeld will duly appear in SIS Workshop - but a couple of other points were also discussed. Steve Mitchell, a landscape archaeologist, passed around some graphs showing the literal affects of the Shannon sea level curve ... at around 4000BC. Britain would still have been joined to the continent in the SE. This means that Neolithic farmers could have entered the British Isles by a land route, fanning out in all directions once they reached the Thames Valley.

Temple of the Winds

New Scientist August 21st ... Thomas Hardy's temple of the winds, Stonehenge, might have been constructed to take into account sound effects - from voices and not just the wind whistling between the stones. Some archaeologists have taken an interest in acoustics - caves that sing, Maya temples that seem to chirp, burial mounds that hum,  and stones that reverberate like an echo chamber - even ring like a gong when banged. This is an emphemeral kind of archaeology and not everyone's cup of tea - but how much of it is in the head?

Rising seas around the shores of Holland in the late Roman period

Member Dick Gagel has written several articles on Albert Delahaye and his claim that a large part of what is now the Netherlands was under water from the 3rd century AD onwards for several hundred years - which means some historical events could not have happened where they are supposed to have taken place. This is particularly true of Nijmegen.