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10 January 2011

At Current Archaeology 250 January 2011 there is news of the discovery of a wooden door that has been dated by its tree rings to 3063BC. Once again we are finding that people were not quite as backward in the Neolithic as academics have alleged in a constant snipe at novel ideas that are aired in an attempt to redress our understanding of our forebears. The door was found during excavations preceding the construction of an underground car park in Zurich, preserved in a wet environment. Traces of five separate settlement levels were found – between 3700 and 2500BC.

Aerial photographs taken 40 years ago have been used by archaeologists who have then gone on to find barns, houses and circular enclosures built around an oval courtyard, some 200 sites in a 100km area of the Caucasus mountains. They are being associated with the region's Kuban culture whose grave goods typically consist of ornately decorated battle axes (symbolising lightning bolts).

At http://en.wikepedia.org/wiki/Helike there is a piece on Helike, a Greek city that sank in the winter of 373BC. It was founded in the Bronze Age and became the principle city of Achaea in the Iron Age and appears to have participated in the Trojan War as it is listed by Homer. The city was destroyed on a single winter night following the appearance of 'immense columns of flame'. Some five days previously, it is reputed, animals fled the town, as if aware of changes underground. The city sank along with a large tract of surrounding land, into the sea, and in tradition all the inhabitants perished. An attempt to recover bodies was made without success.

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