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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13 Feb 2020
Phoenician Sailors

At ... the lyme online refers to Lyme Regis and Uplyme in Dorset (for overseas readers) and is situated on the Jurassic coastline. The story also has significance for the UK as Phoenicians are thought to have plied their boats to Cornwall (and elsewhere). The magnet here was tin, which was an important component of bronze alloy (copper and tin). Cornish tin was traded far and wide and the Phoenicians played an important role.

13 Feb 2020
Zealandia Deformation

Time for a spot of geology. At ... an emerging mainstream consensus view suggests gases, and in particular carbon gases, released by the Siberian Traps, an enormous upwelling of volcanic lava, contributed to a global mass extinction event 254 million years ago. New research seems to have provided a spoiler, putting a damper on the now popuar explanation. Basically, the authors of the new paper are saying that volcanism was a major catalyst - but something extra was at work.

12 Feb 2020
Rectangular Sun

Yes, this is really a picture of the Sun, as seen over the ocean near Rio de Janiero - see (February 10th 2020) ....

12 Feb 2020
Horses in Cave Art

In New Scientist, 23rd November, 2019, we had 'Horses reigned supreme among Stone Age artists' which is something of a conumdrum (but you wouldn't think so). In the 1990s Georges Sauret compiled a database of Palaeolithic European art - from mainly Spain and France. The images date between 12,000 and 30,0000 years ago. About 30% of the images were of horses - and they seem to have had a special status. Whereas lions, mammoth and bears were drawn in profile with the heads to the left, horses are most commonly drawn with the heads orientated to the right.

12 Feb 2020
Stone Boomerang

A University of Waikato (New Zealand) researcher, Fiona Petchey, has been helping archaeologists track the movements of Lapita people through the Pacific (the forerunners of the Polynesians). These are the island groups of Samoa, Fijii and Tonga. A site in Samoa has added 400 years - taking it back to 2800 years ago. However, she also found an anomaly in the C14 calibration curve, currently in use for dating shells. She says it is out by 200 to 300 years at certain points in the past, resulting in large errors in calendar ages.

10 Feb 2020
Mexican Skulls

Ancient skulls in a Mexican cave might reveal surprises about early Americans - go to ....

9 Feb 2020
Australian Rock Art

Big news this last week - mud wasp nests have been used to establish a date for certains types of Aboriginal rock art out in the Kimberleys. The Gwion Gwion art period has been  set at around 12,000 years ago - roughly at the time of the Younger Dryas event. Some of it has a date of 16,000 years ago (which is the Oldest Dryas event) and the 12,000 year date is an average - via Bayesian methodology. See for example ...

9 Feb 2020
Easter Island

Hopefully this will be the last word on whether Easter Islanders were responsible for their own demise. At ... researchers revise the timing of Easter Island's societal collapse. The general theory has been that society on Easter Island had already collapsed prior to when Europeans first dropped anchor.

6 Feb 2020
Bronze Age Galway

At ... a recent Atlantic storm has uncovered a Bronze Age dwelling at Spiddal in Co Galway. It is a potential crannog - a lake dwelling. These were usually built on an artificial island in a lake or boggy zone and were once common across Ireland and Scotland. It is a coastal region of Galway but the evidence seems to suggest the probability of a former lake - or a very wet zone.

6 Feb 2020
Coronavirus link to fireball ?

An article submitted to The Lancet on February 3rd claims the coronavirus may have nothing to do with bats or snakes but may have arrived from space. Whilst the idea of a species shift from bats and snakes may have led one to think, if so, why has it not happened before, and why at this particular moment in time. Does this story really have legs. It comes on top of rumours and conspiracy theories which claim the epidemic is much worse than the Chinese authorities are letting on - which sounds a lot like western alarmism (getting out of the paper bag so to speak).