Archaeology news

Hoxne Hoard

See ... the story of how a lost hammer in a field led to the discovery of the Hoxne Hoard in Suffolk. The farmer went and got hold-of a metal-detector-to search for a hammer that he had lost but found a cache of Roman coins and Roman silver. Why had it been buried?

20,000 years ago plus

At ... excavations at a site in Alaska have found genetic lines of early Native Americans that may have entered N America more than 20,000 years ago. The findings are published in the journal Nature (January 2018). It is though they arrived from Siberia and continued to have contacts with Siberia for a considerable period of time - finally losing that contact at the end of the Ice Age. The Bering Land Bridge is touted as their route of entry - but equally they could have arrived by boat.

Mastodon shenanigans

At ... we have a somewhat long story about a State re-widening project in California that unearthed a lot of fossil animals - but the prize of the group was a mastodon, whose bones had been shattered. Other animals found included a lot of rodents and birds as well as lizards and other small creatures. However, the focus from the beginning was on the mastodon - and why its bones were broken and splintered.

Defending the Sedentary

At ... reports on the discovery from aerial photography and satellite images of the discovery of more than a thousand sites across eastern Syria that seem to be a military network defending Middle Bronze Age urban and sedentary kingdoms in the west - and their hinterlands (the rural farmland). The defence system was clearly aimed at controlling intrusions from the Syrian steppe zone (or semi desert region of tribal habitat).

Decorative Celtic Books

At ... excavations at a Viking site in Trondheim in Norway has uncovered a decorative fitting from a book pilfered from Ireland (or the Celtic fringe). It is gold plated on silver and seems to have come from a religious book - probably from a monastery in Ireland at some point in the 800s. Hence, such embellished books really did exist in the pre-Norman era, contrary to what is inferred in MJ Harper's book, Meetings with Remarkable Forgeries.

Tempest Stela

It seems the Tempest stela of Ahmose, first king of dynasty 18, belongs to a delicate stage in the removal of the Hyksos from the delta region in Egypt. The city of Avaris was under seige by the army of Ahmose, king of Upper Egypt. As such, the tempest was influential in the events that followed, culminating in the expulsion of the Hyksos from Lower Egypt. The big question is - did the tempest have anything to do with the eruption of the Thera volcano in the Aegean. It is thought the ash cloud primarily moved eastwards across southern Anatolia.

Natufian Hunters

The Natufian culture was hunter gatherer in nature - but they also exploited edible plants and lived in permanent, or semi permanent, houses. It has become something of a historical fact that Natufian people were halfway on the road towards agriculture - although when you look at it from a longer lens you realise they were doing not a great deal more than Magdalenian people in Europe, stone age people in New Guinea, and the early Maya people exploiting the forest margins in Mexico (prior to the adoption of agriculture).

Sekhmet statues

At ... the Chinese Liangzhu culture (Neolithic) created dams and levees as part of a vast hydraulic engineering exercise 5000 years ago at the Yangtze river delta. The Liangzhu people lived in houses on stilts along the river and its different channels. Chronologically Liangzhu was contemporary the pyramid builders in Egypt and the Stonehenge builders in Britain, dated between 3300 and 2300BC. The areas was attractive as they were growing rice in paddy fields ...

Iron in the Bronze Age

Gary sent in this link to ... (see also ) meteoric iron was in use during the Bronze age is the them of the findings in the Journal of Archaeological Science (December 2017). The Iron Age proper began after 1200BC - after the end of the Late Bronze period. However, as long ago as 3000BC iron artefacts were being made (see image below for example) - but formed out of meteoric iron. The iron arrived from the sky as already made.

Caesar and 54BC

At ... it seems Caesar may have landed at Pegwell Bay in the Isle of Thanet in 54BC and a fort was constructed to protect the 800 ships at anchor in the bay below. The fort was constructed to protect the beach head at a point on the NE coast of Kent, facing the mouth of the Thames. On the other side of the river was the territory of the Trinovantes and the Cassivelauni, important tribes at that time.