At ... which refers to an article in Biblical Aarchaeology Review, 'Egyptian Papyrus Sheds New Light on Jewish History' ... (July/August 2018 issue BAR). Papyrus Amherst 63 is written in cursive Egyptian demotic script but also combines this with Aramaic. It has only recently been translated and it seems to be a forerunner of Psalm 20 - and two other psamls not in the Bible.

Early IPCC reports

The Canadian climate scientist, now retired, Dr Timothy Ball, has a guest post at ... which discusses differences in the IPCC reports of 1990 and 1995 - which is going back a bit - but then he has been involved in the global warming debate for a long time (as a working climate scientist as well as a retired denier of global warming).

Easter Island Again

Sent in by William. At ... a new investigation into Easter Island (2300 miles off the coast of Chile). This is where society is supposed to have imploded as a result of over exploitation of natural resources. A new article in the Journal of Pacific Archaeology begs to differ. They say the Jared Diamond theory is over stated as evidence from the carving of the stone heads and their erection appears to have been a joint effort - indicating mutual appreciation of different roles in society.

Aboriginal Genetics

I've put this under archaeology as we don't have a genetics thread. It could equally come under anthropology - accept that we are dealing with the hard sciences (rather than the whimsical) - but see ... A PNAS study (August 7th 2018) starts off with the premise, or so it would seem, that Aborigines arrived in Australia 50,000 years ago. Why do they do that as archaeologists have been pushing back the date of their arrival further and further back in time?

Super Highway

In Science Reports (August 2018) we have dinosaur tracks found in Alaska - see ... and now it is proposed Alaska was the gateway to the New World for the dinosaurs (and now where have we heard something like that). This is an interesting idea because if it is true it may indicate the Earth's topography was quite different in the dinosaur era. If Alaska was joined at the hip to Siberia and the Atlantic was much narrower than it is now (as Plate Tectonics might dictate)  what might that imply? A smaller Earth.

Quiet Sunday

At ... on a quiet Sunday two astronomers in Australia came across a supermassive black hole. It is so big it can chomp up a mass equivalent to our Sun every two days. They found a bright point in the sky, later defined as a high redshift quasar. How they got from that to the hungry monster is not clear from the press release but we may visualise a certain amount of assumption. 


In Chris Catling's 'Sherds' column in Current Archaeology (Aug/Sept 2018) he makes a reference to a recent discovery at Tintagel in Cornwall. This is the name of Budic found inscribed on a slate window ledge that appears to have an affinity with the name of Boudicca, This is reminiscent of a tombstone found in Roman Cirencester back in 2015 - 'to the shades of Bodicaeia my wife who lived 27 years'.

Migration Routes

Migration routes into the Americas from Siberia are discussed in a new paper in the journal Science Advances (August, 2018) - see ... The idea of a land route between the Cordillera ice sheet (along the western mountain ranges) and the main ice sheet (further east) went out of focus a couple of decades ago. It seems it is now back on the agenda and people may have migrated along the coast - and on a route between the ice sheets thought to have covered a good deal of northern America.

Space Weather

Space weather is the term used to describe interactions of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere. Nothing to do with climate. At ... NASA have launched twin satellites to study the Van Allen belts - and the way the solar wind is deflected by earth's magnetosphere. Later, the programme will be expanded to cover all the effects - it is hoped. Meanwhile, the Japanese already have a satellite, launched in 2016, exploring the Van Allen belts.

Krakatau Big Bang

At ... a big earth quake can generate after shocks (or a succession of earthquakes in the same general location) - but it can also generate earthquakes on the opposite of the planet.