Archaeology news

Journal of Cosmology

An interesting web site is at http://journalofcosmology.com/AncientAstronomy102.html 'Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: The Role of Astronomy in Ancient culture' and as yet I have not explored anything else at the site - but will when time allows. It has an interesting image of a Venus figurine cut out of limestone and dated between 30 and 25,000 years ago - holding what appears to be a large horn.

Egypt

In a scientific article published in May 2010, The Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, an architect claims to have unlocked how the Egyptians constructed the pyramids - by locating the apex point and then working inwards (see www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100924084615.htm )

A Viking Mystery

David Keys, in the Smithsonian magazine (see www.smithsonian.com Sept 24th), the October issue, has a report on the archaeology discovered beneath an Oxford College when the foundations for new student housing were being dug out. An earthwork enclosure, or henge, some 400m in diameter was found but for some reason it is called a temple or a religious complex. Various pits with sherds of broken pottery and food debris suggest that much later the site was used as a rubbish dump.

Fishing the Mesolithic way

This story comes from the Irish Times Sept 23rd ... an archaeologist happened to be out walking and came across some weirs and dams constructed to trap smelt on Connemara's Errislannan peninsular (see www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0923/1224279504347-pf.html ). He looked at what appeared to be a series of stone ponds, channels and dams that linked the bay to several inner lagoons, as if channelling the fish into them.

Archaeological Chronology in eastern and central Europe

See www.examiner.com/world-culture-in-national/archaeological-culture-and-prehistory/ ... this post, by Lolita Nikolova, is basically about prehistoric culture - and its spread. In this context, the route of the spread, from A to B, or from B to A.

A peculiar case of double think in archaeology

The story is at http://heritage-key.com/blogs/owenjarus/did-uruk-soldiers-kill-their-own-people-5500/ so a certain element of scepticism might be advisable. Anyway, the story proceeds with excavations at a city in Syria, Tell Hamoukar, and a destruction layer that is provisionally dated to 3500BC (but within the window of 3500-3000BC or the end of the Mid Holocene Warm Period).

Vikings and Neanderthals

At http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/09/long-sought-viking-settlement-to.html Sept 23rd ... further information on the discovery of the Viking settlement of Linn Duchaill, near Annagassan, 70km north of Dublin. The excavations at this site are expected to continue for years if funds allow.

News from Russia

At  www.kyivpost.com/news/russia/detail/83349/print/ we learn that a Russian scientists has said that the first settlers on Sakhalin Island in the North Pacific have been dated between 100-200,000 years ago. From here it is just a short hop across to the Americas but in contrast he said the first human settlers of the Americas came from Siberia. It was not Columbus but unknown Siberians that first established a foothold - between 20 and 25,000 years ago.

The Raised Waters of the Exodus

At www2.ucar.edu/news/parting-waters-computer-modelling-captures-physics-red-sea-escape-route/ is a story that appeared on BBC News broadcasts and at www.physorg.com and www.sciencedaily.com and generally in lots of places that have nothing to do with religion - but hark back to a Biblical event that science has sought to downsize in the past.

Anasazi violence

At http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/genocide-native-americans-ethnic-cleansing.html ... is I think a regurgitation of an old story by Discovery News which has a habit of catching up a few days late - but in this instant a few months late. It probably amounts to ongoing research and excavation at the site - new season dig results. They describe the discovery of nearly fifteen thousand skeletal remains dating back to AD800.