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 Dec 2010
Dogs and Maths

At,1518,732654,00.html 'Egyptian dog bones could help solve canine conundrum'. Scientists are trying to work out how the wolf evolved into 400 breeds of dog - and they have turned their attention on Egypt and the cult of Anubis, the Jackal god. Thousands of mummified dogs (as well as jackals, foxes, and hyenas) were placed in what is a huge cave. Other cemeteries exist of other cult animals - such as cats, snakes, baboons, mice, fish, crocodiles and bulls.

8 Dec 2010
City of David

At ... Robert Draper in the December 2010 issue of National Geographic has an article on the controversy around David and Solomon - was Jerusalem the centre of a glorious empire or was it just a small scale early Iron Age affair? It begins with Eilat Mazar and her claim that a low stone wall abutting an ancient terraced retaining wall some 60 feet high, was the work of Hiram of Tyre in the time of David.

8 Dec 2010
Israel in Palestine before pharaoh Merenptah?

This paper by Peter van der Veen, well known to SIS, with co-authors C Thies and Manfred Gorg, was published in the Journal of Egyptian Interconnections, and it bears heavily on the debate surrounding David and Solomon. I downloaded the article in pdf format from December 7th so it is just one click away - in full. It concerns a 19th dynasty inscription, possibly from the reign of Ramses II, but is said to have resemblances reminiscent of the Merenptah stele.

7 Dec 2010
Flickering flares

At ... astronomers have been looking at the waxing and waning light of exploding stars and have seen patterns that aren't yet accounted for within the consensus view. The paper was published in The Astrophysical Journal and the instrument used in the study was the Solar Mass Ejection Imager in California.

7 Dec 2010
Rivers cut notches in glacial valleys

Again, can be found at ... a geological conumdrum as rivers form steep inner gorges in some broad glacial valleys in the Alps. The U shaped valleys were formed by slow moving glaciers, eroding the bedrock over hundreds and thousands of years. When the glaciers receded rivers carved V shaped notches, or inner gorges, into the flow of the glacial valleys.

7 Dec 2010
Roman Sea Level ... and a paper blasting climate models

There are currently a succession of very good posts at EM Smith (December 6th) begins by bemoaning the constant bleating about the hottest year ever - before it has reached its end. As many other people have looked at the medieval warming he thought it might be interesting to look at what is called the Roman Optimum.

7 Dec 2010
Archaeology Round-Up

At ... Tel Aviv University archaeologists have explored Naukritis, a Greek trade emporium in Egypt during the 7th and 6th centuries BC. It existed under the protection of powerful political forces, namely the Lydian empire which had a formal alliance with the Egyptian Empire. The Lydians, at the time, controlled the Greek settlements in Ionia, and in western Anatolia.

6 Dec 2010
Some snippets gleaned from The Times archaeology section in late November/early December 2010

November 26th ... a 20 mile long reef of chalk has been found by divers offshore of Sheringham in Norfolk. It consist of arches and caves within a ridge of chalk that extends out to sea by at least 20 miles in length. Its width has not been measured. The question now might be - did it once form a barrier to the sea? ... or was it a former ridge or range of hills that has been overwhelmed by rising sea levels?

4 Dec 2010
Fossils of the Soom Shale deposit

At ... a site near Table Mountain in South Africa has a rock layer a few metres thick that contains the petrified remains of bizarre early life-forms complete with eyes, guts, and muscles. It is a mystery how they were preserved in such a pristine condition but a paper in the December issue of Geology claims it was all down to the wind. A bitter wind blowing off an ice sheet.

4 Dec 2010
Evidence of biomass burning in ice cores

At there is a press release on a paper from the December 2nd issue of Science and it seems that Antarctic ice cores have found some striking evidence of biomass burning in the southern hemisphere over the last 650 years - with a series of peaks and troughs. They go back to 1350AD and therefore embrace the period of the Black Death epidemic (see Mike Baillie, New Light on the Black Death).