Archaeology news

Mush

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100823131743.htm there is a piece on archaeology in Utah some 10,000 years ago (early Holocene) which shows a distinct change in diet that may be significant. People living in a rock shelter adopted grinding stones in order to mill the very small seeds of sage brush, making a flour that was cooked into a mush - or porridge. It therefore has analogies with the adoption of oat porridge in Europe at an indeterminate point in time.

Another henge found ... near Letchworth

BBC News August 24th ... archaeologists have discovered a henge near Letchworth in Hertfordshire. It would have been visible from another henge on what is known as the Western Hills. Henges tend to occur in clusters so there may be others not far away. This one was discovered by an aerial photograph that revealed an extensive ring of chalk fill which had been ploughed out and on the ground it was not discernible. Archaeologists dug out a couple of trenches and found the remains of the encircling chalk bank - which had massive ditches inside and out.

Nebra Speculation

At www.monstersandcritics.com/science/news/articl_1579505.php/Nebra-sky-disk-discarded-because-of-volcanic-ash-scientists-say/  August 23rd ... German scientists think a volcano was responsible for the burial of the Nebra sky disc at roughly 3600 years ago. Amazingly, they are talking about the eruption of Thera in the Mediterranean, many miles distant from Saxony-Anhalt where the astronomical device was found. Now, it might be that the scientists were having a bit of fun - but no, they were very serious.

Numbers

At http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1548-1433.2010.01245.x/full there is a longish piece about a lost language and the discovery of a numbering system from coastal Peru that was lost after colonisation by Europeans.

A Chinese Pompeii ?

http://english.peopledaily.com.ch/90001/90782/7112363.html provides information about a Chinese catastrophe from ancient history in Hunan province. As Pompeii was destroyed by a volcano and the city preserved beneath a thick stratum of ash so too was an ancient Chinese town destroyed, by locusts . and preserved intact.

Plasma Images

www.rupestre.net/field/ is all about rock art in Italy, at Valcamonica. The Footsteps of Man Archaeological Cooperative Society is based in Valcamonica, an Alpine valley where there is a lot of rock art. See images below ...

Secrets of the vanished landscape

The story is at www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100817143818.htm and concerns a five thousand year old fossilised landscape beneath the Fens of what is now Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and the NE corner of Norfolk. It has been a giant wetlands for centuries - not quite land and not quite the sea. In the Bronze Age people hunted and fished there much like they did in the similar environment of the Middle Ages.

The Hambledon Valley villa - a news update

At www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/localpress/marlow/8337839.print/ there is an update to a story posted a couple of weeks ago about a Roman villa complex found in a field at Hambledon, between Marlow and Henley, in the valley of the Thames. Over 90 skeletons of newly born infants was found and they were boxed up by the excavator and deposited in Aylesbury Museum.

Boats in History

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-08/1103-nwt081910.php is a news report on archaeological and maritime history. Tall waves and storm surges can destroy coastal archaeology so two Norwegian archaeologists have developed a method to combine meteorological phenomena into their chosen field. Temperature, precipitation, wind direction and wind force are factors - and each locality is in its way novel (there are lakes, fjiords, valleys, and mountains in Norway).

The Obsidian Trade in North America

At http://geology.com/press-release/obsidian-artifacts/ is a story with some potential for the future (and like the previous story is also available at Science Daily). Obsidian, or volcanic glass, was prized for making tools, and an archaeologist in Idaho has plotted and catalogued obsidian pieces from his patch as he has devised a clever way of using them to shine a little window on the habits of Native Americans over the last 13,000 years.