In The News

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

Show Titles only | Show summaries

Datesort icon
2 Aug 2015
Denisova cave, Altai

At ... this excellent web site has lots of images to go with its science stories - and we get to see inside the cave.

1 Aug 2015
lightning stones

Polished stone axes, and similar axes made of copper and bronze, are sometimes thought to represent lightning stones - which suggests a connection with lightning or meteorites. However, Gene Gangle of Oregon says that polished or flat surfaces of quartz, when rubbed together, create electrical discharges that can, theoretically, ionise the air and create ozone.

1 Aug 2015
sea levels on the other side of N America

We learnt yesterday, that sea level was surprisingly stable in northern British Columbia over the last 13,000 years - but we now have a new study that claims it is a lot different on the eastern coast of N America. It is said to be anything but stable.

1 Aug 2015

Fascinating. A sea stack off the Aberdeenshire coast has been confirmed as the site of an early Pictish fort in the 3rd and 4th century AD. It is a small fort - but then again a sea stack is not normally very expansive. It was dwarfed by a near neighbour - but later (5th and 6th centuries AD), Dunneter Castle. The big mystery is how the Pictish warriors regularly got to scale the sea stack - which is narrow, very tall, and doesn't come with a footpath to the top. Nowadays the sea stack can only be accessed by using ropes at low tide.

31 Jul 2015
stable sea level

A small piece in the news section of Current World Archaeology 72 (Aug, 2015) (see caught my eye - as these things do. Some 13,000 year old footprints of a man, woman and a child were found on the shoreline of an island off the coast of British Columbia - dating back 13,000 year ago (which is very nearly the Younger Dryas boundary), alongside a hearth and two cobble tools. They were made by people walking over grey clay which was then infilled by black sand and that preserved the footprints (we are told).

31 Jul 2015
David Reich

David Reich, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, pops up again in an article in Current World Archaeology 72 (Aug, 2015) (see He is involved in archaeo-genetics and the application of that is called 'next generation sequencing' of DNA. He is able to extract virtually complete genome sequences of nuclear DNA from bone that has small amounts of DNA preserved. The nuclear genome is the most interesting and informative part of the human genetic story as it dwarfs mitochondrial DNA in terms of size.

31 Jul 2015

The idea of great migrations and new influences on cultures went out of fashion in the 1960s to 1990s - as a result of Marxist influence on archaeology (and almost all the academic disciplines). The idea that outsiders were solely responsible for new innovations had probably been taken too literally and stetched too far in the inter-war years - and the consensus did require a dose of reality.

29 Jul 2015
YDB update

At ... new research by US geologist James Kennett (and an international team) have an article in PNAS (July 27th 2015). They have used Bayesian methodology, described as statistical analysis, of 354 C14 dates from 30 different sites around the world in order to narrow down the date of the Younger Dryas Boundary event. They coincide with a date at 12,800 years ago. This range overlaps with that of a platinum peak recorded in the Greenland ice sheet (ice cores).

27 Jul 2015

As we approach the Paris climate change summit it is worth going back to the Copenhagen summit of a few years ago. This was a laugh a minute charade as somebody upstairs down loaded lots of the white global warming stuff on Copenhagen during the summit. Then the US team were caught in a blizzard over Washington on the way back. What lies in store for them this year?

26 Jul 2015
Conversation in a huff

The Conversation, a US politic rag that is a bit self righteous and 'right on' has apparently had a hissy fit. At ... we learn that one of its correspondents is not happy and is in denial that a sun spot minimum may cause lower global temperatures. He also claims that as we have so much more co2 in the atmosphere than we had back in the 17th century it is false reasoning to think a new Maunder Minimum necessarily means a return to a Mini Ice Age scenario.