In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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10 Aug 2019
Kepler's Forgotten Idea

At ... Johannes Kepler was interested in symmetry - in such things as snowflakes as well as in space. Kepler suggested it was due to a morphogenic field. Science, we are told, had subsequently discarded this idea but the question of why snowflakes and similar structures are so symmetrical is not yet properly understood. Symmetry also exists in space - in spiral galaxies for example. A new theory published in Scientific Reports (August 2019) has combined information with entropy related to geometry.

8 Aug 2019
Magnetic Pulses

Scientists have discovered previously undetected observational evidence of frequent energetic pulses transporting energy from the solar surface to the higher solar atmosphere. Magnetic plasma waves or pulses have long been suggested as one of the big mechanisms in order to explain why the temperature of the solar atmosphere rises quickly, from thousands to millions of degrees. These are short lived Alfven pulses which seem to be generated by photospheric plasma swirls. They are said to be at least as many as 150,000 of them in the solar photosphere at any given point in time.

8 Aug 2019
Maya Burning

At ... we have the concept of total warfare during the Classic Maya period. The evidence for this is said to come from lake sediments close to the abandoned city of Witzna (formerly Bahlam Jol) as well as a thick charcoal layer in the city itself which seems to indicate a scorched earth attack. The idea of total warfare has previously been broached but until now has been confined to the final stages of Maya civilisation - in the 10th century AD. Dropught and famine are usually said to have led to such a situation.

6 Aug 2019
Sahara Dust

Gary also sent in a link to ... it seems the Amazon rainforest gets most of its phosphorous from cooking fires and landscape fires in Africa, via dust whipped up from the Sahara desert and wafted across the Atlantic. How it got its phosphorous, a vital nutrient, when the Sahara was a green and wet landscape 10,000 to 5,000 years ago, is left unmentioned.

5 Aug 2019
Scottish Neolithic settlers

Interesting set of links and news items in the September issue of Current Archaeology 354 - which begins with the Mesolithic site at Blick Mead near Stonehenge (change in climate in the 5th millennium BC) - see - while we have 'rethinking Scottish crannogs' (see earlier posts on the News). Divers dsicovered they go back to the Neolithic era and were reinhabited in the Iron Age (but as artificial islands).

5 Aug 2019
Graves in Wales

Gary also sent in this link - .. which is from his mobile (see and concerns a graveyard discovered during building work at a Welsh college. Some 86 skeletons have been unearthed (and no doubt there are plenty more of them as this is a graveyard that has only had the corner unearthed). They seem to date from the late Roman era or shortly thereafter - the 5th and 6th centuries AD. We are told they have diverse origins - from across Europe.

5 Aug 2019
Church of the Apostles

This is one of those things most people would be unaware of - a church dedicated to Peter and Andrew, two of the apostles in the New Testament. They were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee and their home town became the venue of a Byzantine church (last recorded in AD725). Go to ... Israeli archaeologists think they have homed in on the church of the apostles, dedicated to Peter and Andrew, two of the earliest disciples (and later, apostles).

28 Jul 2019
Oldest church in Russia

Sent in by Robert. Researchers have used scanning technology to make sense of a mysterious subterranean structure - and it may be the oldest church in what is now Russia. See oldest-churches -on-earth ... archaeologists have been investigating the Nasyn-Kala fortress at Derbent in Russia and were flummoxed by a mysterious buried structure. They have been eyeing it up for a while but decided to try muon radiography.

28 Jul 2019
Asteroids and Meteors

At ... Hat tip to William. An asteroid buzzed the earth and was barely noticed. It was 100m across and passed just 70,000 km away, last Thursday. The lack of warning shows how quickly potentially dangerous asteroids can cross the orbit of the earth. Astronomers have become adept at seeing asteroids at night - but not always so during daylight hours. The 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor was a case in point. It came from the direction of the sun (and was obscured by sunlight) - and nobody knew about it until it entered the atmosphere.

28 Jul 2019
Dinosaur Burial Ground

At ... link sent in by William. The thigh bone of a massive dinosaur, probably a sauropod, was dug up by French paleontologists in SW France. See image below

   ... Sauropods lived during the Late Jurassic era and weighed up to 50 tonnes. Some 7500 fossils of 40 different species have been excavated at the site near Cognac (since 2010).