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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8 Aug 2019
Maya Burning

At https://phys.org/news/2019-08-maya-warlike-previously-thought.html ... 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 www.newscientist.com/article/2211699-the-amazon-rainforest-depends-on-fi... ... 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 www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X18301871 - 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 - https://mol.im/a/7317361 .. which is from his mobile (see www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7317361/) 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 www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7303247/ ... 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 https://curiosmos.com/mysterious-underground-structure-found-in-russia-i... 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 https://phys.org/news/2019-07-asteroid-earth.html ... 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 www.yahoo.com/entertainment/giant-dinosaur-bone-found-southwestern-19262... ... 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).

27 Jul 2019
Einstein Question

At https://phys.org/news/2019-07-einstein-relativity-theory.html ... we seem to have two camps on Einstein and Relativity. The bigger group of scientists actively do research in order to sustain the theory (as that was what they were taught in their youth). The second, and smaller group seem to be constantly telling us Einstein's theory is about to tumble. In this latest study we are told Einstein's theory of Relativity is fraying at the edges. It is an interesting idea as the basis of their argument revolves around black holes - and the assumption mainstream is right about them.

26 Jul 2019
Science Comic

In World Current Archaeology 96 (August 2019) (www.world-archaeology.com) we have a two page piece on the latest Neanderthal finds and mention is made of a study in PLoSONE online journal that used demographhic modelling and simulation to test what changes over a period of 10,000 years could lead to the mysterious Neanderthal extinction around 40,000 years ago. It found a slight continous slopee in the fertility rates of women under the age of 20 could have led to a signficant impact that could have led to the demise.