Revivalism

A hoary chestnut has reared its head once again - see http://phys.org/print399808185.html ... the Aborigines are blamed when scientists come across evidence of landscape fire in the Holocene and Late Pleistocene. This is thought to represent evidence of Aborigines managing their environment, burning off unwelcome vegetation and allowing plants they favour to flourish in a non-forest environment.

Roger Higgs

Roger Higgs featured at the Geological Society of America annual meeting in Denver (2016) a few weeks ago, and presented a paper that claimed there was historic evidence for a 5m rise in global sea levels in the Late Roman/early Saxon era. Higgs, who lives in Bude, famous for its surfers on the north Cornish coast, runs his own company and is a busy man, as they say. At face value this idea would seem to support the climate change position as the inference is that the Roman Warm period was responsible for the rapid and steep rise in sea levels (at least around Britain).

Red Sea harbour

At www.haaretz.com/jewish/archaeology/1.754616 ... a harbour going back to the Old Kingdom of Egypt, 4600 years ago (specifically to the reign of Khufu (Cheops), and the pyramid building period). It was used to import various materials, products of the Sinai and further afield. It was discovered by divers at Wadi al Jauf ...

Roots we Like

Potatoes - who set the growing of potatoes into motion? How did they develop them from a wild species that is toxic? Even in modern potatoes, when tubers go green it is advised not to eat them as they possess dreaded toxins (and the same goes for the small fruitlets that form after flowering). Somebody first grew and ate the ancestors of our King Edwards (good mashers) and Charlottes (good firm salad variety) and many other modern varieties (different favourites in different countries).

Ghawar

At http://phys.org/print399653135.html ... the origin of Saudi Arabia's Ghawar giant oil field is the subject of this link. It would take a massive amount of vegetation to be transformed into the massive oil field - virtually dense tropical vegetation. Plate Tectonics doesn't seem to be the answer. It is too slow. The vegetation must have been converted much more quickly - or this is the thrust of the article. Of course, quickly in geological terms is nothing like instantaneous - but reading between the lines we may wonder why not.

Stonehenge neighbourhood

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/new-discoveries-rew... .... the military base at Larkfield, part of what is called the Stonehenge landscape (within walking distance of the stones), has been hiding a Neolithic 'causewayed enclosure' provisionally dated to 3650BC. These enclosures garnered that name as the circle is really a series of ditches laid out in concentric circles with gaps between them. The gaps were supposed to be causeways but their function or purpose is unknown.

Caribbean Sea Change

At http://phys.org/print399180551.html ... scientists looking at the K/T boundary crater off the coast of Yucatan have discovered it was dry land at the height of the Late Glacial Maximum, between 23,000 and 18,000 years ago. How can this be? The obvious mainstream answer is that a lot of ocean water was locked up in the hypothetical ice sheet that covered a great deal of the northern hemisphere. An outside the box answer might involve a change in the earth's geoid - but that would require a rise in sea levels somewhere else.

La Violette

Paul La Violette proposed that an active sun and increased comet bombardment triggered by a cosmic ray volley led to the mass die-off of mammoths 13,000 years ago - coinciding with the Younger Dryas boundary. His theory of cosmic ray bombardment goes back to 1983 when he did a PhD dissertation at Portland State University in Oregon. He postulated that every 10,000 years an intense volley of cosmic ray electrons bursts out of the galactic core of the Milky Way - presumably what has otherwise been known as super waves.

Carbon Dioxide Ice

At http://phys.org/print398674581.html ... Rosetta, during the most active phase of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, caught evidence of carbon dioxide ice followed by the appearance of two large puddles of water ice nearby. The carbon dioxide ice layer covered an area the size of a football pitch and the two patches of water ice were each the size of a large swimming pool.

Rounding Up

At www.newscientist.com/article/2113247-kangaroo-bone-nose-piercing-     ... a piece of kangaroo bone dating back as early as 44,000 years ago is being presented as the oldest bone jewellery belonging to Homo sapiens. For some reason they do not say Homo sapiens sapiens (modern man) but presumably this is an error. It is just 13 cm in length and was designed to pierce the front of the nose and was found in a rock shelter in the Kimberleys.