Fishing the Mesolithic way

This story comes from the Irish Times Sept 23rd ... an archaeologist happened to be out walking and came across some weirs and dams constructed to trap smelt on Connemara's Errislannan peninsular (see ). He looked at what appeared to be a series of stone ponds, channels and dams that linked the bay to several inner lagoons, as if channelling the fish into them.

Einstein and Gravity

At Sept 24th ... there is a post on General Relativity and Einstein which is a favourite theme of Nigel Calder. In the current issue of Science magazine James Chin-Wen Chou et al detected the well known effects of relativity on the rate of time passing  and at the scale of ordinary human activities. Chou's team used laser light in a pair of aluminium-27 optical clocks to show that time can pass more slowly via the effect of motion on time.

Archaeological Chronology in eastern and central Europe

See ... this post, by Lolita Nikolova, is basically about prehistoric culture - and its spread. In this context, the route of the spread, from A to B, or from B to A.

An older universe?

At September 20th Casey Kazan stirs the pot by asking, could the universe be older than cosmologists think? More powerful telescopes are upsetting the standard textbook theories - there are seeming contradictions. On of them is the discoveryof a large elliptical galaxy that is very distant and dated, by rred shift analysis, to something like 10 billion years ago.

Neanderthals killed off by volcanoes?

At  and as reported elsewhere, a paper in the October issue of Current Anthropology suggests that volcanic eruptions in the Caucasus and Italy coincided with the demise of the Neanderthals. Pollen and ash was analysed in sediment layers dated from around 40,000 years ago. A sterile layer was found.


At September 22nd ... (see also ) scientists claim to have found firm evidence that the biggest moon of Mars, Phobus, is made from rock blasted off the surface of Mars in a catastrophic event - something like worlds in collision! The evidence comes from ESAs Mars Express spacecraft and appears to discount the old theory the moons of Mars are captured asteroids.

A peculiar case of double think in archaeology

The story is at so a certain element of scepticism might be advisable. Anyway, the story proceeds with excavations at a city in Syria, Tell Hamoukar, and a destruction layer that is provisionally dated to 3500BC (but within the window of 3500-3000BC or the end of the Mid Holocene Warm Period).

Have they found something ... or not

At ... the official position is that the Large Hadron Collider has found something - but they are a bit shy on saying what it might be. However, the intepretation of what was found was vigorously challenged  during the meeting as scientists bounced suggestions off each other - so who knows?


At ... we are told the Canadian Space Agency have launched an online observatory streaming the aurora borealis live over the internet, at No need to visit Santa Klaus in Lappland - just switch on your computer. The website will also explain the science behind the phenomenon and has an image gallery with photographs and videos from earlier sightings.

Vikings and Neanderthals

At Sept 23rd ... further information on the discovery of the Viking settlement of Linn Duchaill, near Annagassan, 70km north of Dublin. The excavations at this site are expected to continue for years if funds allow.