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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11 Jan 2011
Oxygen in the Oceans

We have a paper just released telling us that a lack of oxygen in the oceans held back the beginnings of life, released today (see Physorg and Science Daily). Yesterday, at www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/01/toxic-cambrian-oceans/ we had a story from Science that claimed a changing ocean environment was responsible for an early extinction event - between 490 and 520 million years ago. Marine animals, it says, were suffocated when oxygen levels dramatically fell.

10 Jan 2011
News from archaeological sources

At Current Archaeology 250 January 2011 there is news of the discovery of a wooden door that has been dated by its tree rings to 3063BC. Once again we are finding that people were not quite as backward in the Neolithic as academics have alleged in a constant snipe at novel ideas that are aired in an attempt to redress our understanding of our forebears. The door was found during excavations preceding the construction of an underground car park in Zurich, preserved in a wet environment.

9 Jan 2011
Swift migration of farmers through the Mediterranean

At www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/68493 ... archaeologists in southern Croatia, the bottom of Dalmatia, have discovered farms going back nearly 6000 years - not too dissimilar to those of today. The farms in question were on a strip of land hugging the coast and the farmers may have got there from the sea, or simply by following the coastal plain. The area had been investigated before but on this occasion the archaeologists dug deeper - and found the farms.

8 Jan 2011
Pella

At www.pasthorizons.com/index.php/archives/11/2010/exploring-pella-bronze-age-temple-complex/ ... a fortified stone temple complex at Pella in the northern Jordan Valley has remained undisturbed since it was destroyed - allegedly in around 800BC. Archaeologists have found six distinct phases in the history of the temple - which have a bearing on chronology, one on top of each other and going back as far as 1900BC, it is thought.

8 Jan 2011
Flares in the Crab Nebula

At www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-fermi-large-area-telescope-flares.html - the Fermi Large Area Telescope has detected two gamma-ray pulses coming from the Crab Nebula, fueled by more energetic particles. This has led some researchers to rethink how cosmic particles might accelerate. The comments at the end of the article are interesting - suggesting plasma may hold the key. The same story is also at www.dailygalaxy.com January 7th ...

7 Jan 2011
Mesolithic era timbers found on Thames foreshore

A rather juvenile Guardian report of an archaeological discovery, invoking James Bond, is all about what has been found on the Thames foreshore - part of ongoing research that has been taking place for months, and just happened to be within spitting distance of the M16 building - which is duly given prominence by the newspaper (see www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jan/06/ancient-timber-m16-headquarters/) However, the same story is also available elsewhere, in

7 Jan 2011
Emirates archaeology

At www.pasthorizons.com/index.php/archives/01/2011/the-towers-of-ras-al-khaimeh/ ... Ras al Khaimeh is one of the seven Emirates and has a long history of occupation. The archaeology in this piece is basically a survey of fortifications - and some of them appear to go back to the 3rd millennium BC. Enormous stone and mud brick round towers have been found and a succession of fortified places from ancient to modern.

7 Jan 2011
The Hornet and Electricity

This is a story to be found at www.physorg.com/print213449447.html, concerning the discovery that the 'oriental hornet' is able to convert energy from the Sun into electric power that in some way keeps it cool during the hottest period of midday. It can thus forage at the peak of the Sun's heat - and the conversion is done in the brown and yellow body parts.

6 Jan 2011
Sun Spots - update and history

At http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/09/say-goodbye-to-sunspots.html ... it is recognised that sun spot activity has declined - at the moment, in early January. The surface of the Sun is clear - or nearly so. Sun spots are thought to be upwellings of the Sun's magnetic field which traps ionised plasma - or electrically charged superheated gas, at the surface. The Sun also has an 11 year cycle during which it peaks (lots of sun spots) and declines (known as the solar minimum).

5 Jan 2011
A Rapid spread of Polynesians

At www.hawaii.edu/news/article.php?ald=4097 ... is a news release of a reappraisal of the timescale of Polynesian migration across the eastern Pacific via a study of 1400 C14 samples from 47 different islands. Polynesians were in Samoa by 800BC but the colonisation of the islands further east, such as Hawaii, Easter Island, New Zealand, the Societies and Marquesas etc took place within a period of 200-300 years, first reaching the Societies by the 10th century AD. Why at that point in time might be one question.