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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22 Oct 2010
Keeping Neandertals brutish

At ... it seems that archaeologists have new decided the major site at Aray-sur-Cure in central France, the so called reindeer cave, is so jumbled up - Neanderthal remains and artefacts mixed with those of Homo sapiens, the site should be disqualified from the debate over Neanderthal mental attributes and symbolism. The problem has been caused by new radio carbon dating at the site.

22 Oct 2010
The Menhirs, Cyprus in the Neolithic, Ancient Writing, and a wooden door that was made 5000 years ago

At ... the Russian Information Centre has released news of archaeological findings in the South Urals where they have unearthed an ancient complex including settlements, burial grounds, avenues of menhirs. One site consisted of a central upright stone around 2m high surrounded by a ring of recumbent stones - with the odd outlier.

20 Oct 2010
Stone Age (Palaeolithic) flour

At there is a report on a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (this week) (see doi.10.1073/pnas.1006993107 ) that claims that Palaeolithic people were making flour in Europe as early as 30,000 years ago - from plant grains and roots. The idea that Palaeolithic hunters were almost exclusively meat eaters has always been insecure.

19 Oct 2010
Megalithic Tombs

Another locked in consensus point of view might be about to start rocking at the hinges. I am referring to some of the abstract ideas that have proliferated in archaeology textbooks in recent years regarding the use of the landscape by our ancestors in NW Europe. Very often, long barrows and prehistoric graves seem to occupy high ground - significant ridges or terraces. This has given the impression the intention was to dominate the surrounding landscape, to impress or mark out ownership of the valley or lowland below, and various other ideas, sometimes quite woolly.

17 Oct 2010
The Toba volcano and Out of Africa

New Scientist 17th April, 2010 ... had an interesting story on the so called Toba super volcano which blew its head on what is now Sumatra - 74,000 years ago. Various articles appeared that seemed to suggest it was a massive catastrophic event that almost wiped out humanity from the face of the earth - creating a genetic bottlekneck in Africa. The severity of the Toba eruption was not actually based on reality but on a series of computer simulations.

17 Oct 2010
Dating the Ice Ages

New Scientist 22nd May 2010 had a story on the Hulu cave system near Nanjing in China which contains some very useful stalagmites that have been used to date the Ice Ages - or at least the last four. James Croll, a Scottish self taught physicist, proposed that periodic change in the earth's orbit caused the amount of sunshine reaching the surface of the earth to vary over time. Low sunshine in winter led to snow accumulating. As ice sheets grew the earth reflected more heat back into space amplifying the effects of orbital changes.

16 Oct 2010
Middle East Milk Drinkers

At,1518,druck-723310,0.html a German journalist reports on mainly German research that is now claiming that agriculturalists came to Europe during a wave of migration with origins in the Fertile Crescent (the Middle East, Iran, and Anatolia) that basically swept aside the indigenous Mesolithic peoples. However, in all such blanket assertions, there are some noteable problems - completely ignored by the journalist.

16 Oct 2010
Ulster Tomb

The Belfast Telegraph (see ) ... Portal Tombs, a form of dolmen, are only found in Ireland, Wales, and Cornwall, and there has been an archaeological debate on their origins as they seem to appear at the same time as large rectangular long houses.

16 Oct 2010
Solar Flares

At there is a post on a paper concerning solar flares - which are sudden releases of energy from the Sun. They are in some way connected to the magnetic field breaking and reconnecting - it is thought. The temperatures of solar flares can soar to millions of degrees as the particles accelerate - and much of the radiation is emitted as X-rays.

15 Oct 2010
Tayinat Oath Platform in the Holy of Holies

At we have an unusual take on the excavations being currently undertaken at Tayinat, an ancient city of the Amuq Plain, on the banks of the Orontes, and conquered by the Assyrians in 738BC. The Temple in question belongs to the Assyrian era and the oath tablet was discovered on a platform in the most sacred part - the Holy of Holies.