Deep sea corals in the Mediterranean

At  an underwater coral reef just 40km off the coast from Tel Aviv and some 700m belong the surface has been found. At there is a four page piece on Neanderthals - and how close to modern humans in ability and strategies they seem to have been.

WISE update, an aurorae update, and turbulence in the solar wind

At www.jpl/ October 5th (see also Science Daily and ) ... as the WISE mission approaches the end of its life NASA announces that so far it has discovered 19 comets, 33,500 asteroids, and 120 Near Earth Objects. NEOWISE will extend the mission for a while longer but will concentrate on the brown dwarfs and other little known cosmic bodies.


At was prompted by the award of the Physics Nobel Prize this year to Geim and Novoselov for their work on graphene. Nigel Calder then lets rip into the field of 'buckyballs' and 'nanotubes' which is all about the potential of carbon as a superconductor resistant to the flow of electric currents.

The Great Attractor

Casey Kazan at October 5th has a longish post. A huge volume of space that includes the Milky Way and super clusters of galaxies is flowing towards a mysterious gigantic unseen mass that astronomers call the Great Attractor. However, they cannot pinpoint exactly what or where it is.

Troy is getting bigger ... and a new tomb found in the Orkneys

At ... excavations at Hissarlik, the consensus location for the ancient city of Troy, have confirmed Troy VI and VII were much larger than originally thought - the citadel is just one part of the complex. A rock cut ditch Ikm long has been found south of the site and a gate has been unearthed 300m south of the citadel and dated to around 1300BC.

Aborigine rock paintings of extinct animals and Neolithic wood working skills in Europe

Current World Archaeology 43 October 2010 issue ... in the World News section there is a report on rock art found in Arnhem Land which depicts two large flightless birds which are supposed to have become extinct in Australia around 40,000 years ago. Either the paintings are that old or science is wrong and the birds didn't disappear until much later - possibly at the end of the Ice Age.

The riddle of the stones transported by boats

Current World Archaeology October issue, has a news report on the subject of megalithic stones being transported by boat - coracles in fact. Franscesco Benozza of the University of Bologna, whose field of study is the continuity of old words into recent languages as a means of understanding aspects of ancient societies. In the European Archaeologist he reports on research near the Portuguese megalithic site of Almendes where megalithic stones are known as ventrecurgo = belly + boat. In Brittany they are called Bronbag, meaning breast + boat.

Plinian eruptions, and Babylonian poems

At we have a new post that outlines the nature of Plinian volcanic eruptions and their relationship to ignimbrites. Once again the comments are interesting - the idea of melting rock requires first the melting and then the flow - but how can this happen as a result of blast and heat? It won't flow if it has not first melted, a scenario with obvious parallels to volcanism, and lava - and see the response by Dennis Cox.

Buried in sand in 3500BC

Another very good archaeological story turned up today, a house that was buried by sand in around 3500BC (calibrated date) - see and assumed to have been overcome in a sandstorm (of all things). A huge wave of water and sand is more likely, the kind of thing that shifts dunes of sand around the bottom of the North Sea.

Ancient Steppe civilisation

The Daily Mail and the Sunday Times and various other papers have printed a story about the discovery of swastikas and Aryans with the implication, this is where they originated - in southern Siberia? See also  which outlines the story more fully, beginning with the discovery of Bronze Age settlements in Russian and Kazakhstan dating back 3500 to 4000 years ago.