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Picts in Galloway, an Irish tsunami, and other bits of archaeological news

26 July 2012

At www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/07/2012/discovery-of-early-med… … at Trusty Hill which squats over Gatehouse of Fleet in Galloway. There are Pictish symbols carved into a natural rock outcrop at the entrance to what was a fort and a royal residence of Pictish kings according to the local archaeological society who have done the exccavation. As an aside, the research has also thrown up a bit of a mystery as the stone ramparts wre laced with oak posts that were set alight and stoked so that the rubble around them began to vitrify. This appears to be another example of a deliberate destruction of a monument that has been noted in diverse other locations. Are vitrified forts in general a result of closing them down when going out of use?

Meanwhile, at www.irishcentral.com/news/Kerry-island-structure-may-be-due-to-tsunami-w… … there is a story about a possible tsunami wave striking some islands off the coast of Kerry, published in the Journal of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society and reported by the Irish Times. It seems an earthquake associated with a fault line is being blamed rather than anything exotic.

At http://news.yahoo.com/ancient-life-size-lion-statues-baffle-scientists-1… …. is the headline but not necessarily the reality. Stone lions pop up in Hittite and Assyrian archaeological contexts on a fairly regular basis. The difference here is that the lions do not follow a stylised shape or stature but are naturalistic – as if the artists had real lions to model from. This is of course quite true as Asiatic lions were common in the region in the 2nd millennium BC, and persisted into the Iron Age too, cropping up more than once in the Biblical narrative. The present climate of Turkey/Anatolia is not the kind of thing normally associated with big cats – it is not steppe or savannah. It might have been in the past – or at least tracts of what is now Syria may have been savannah rather than the modern semi desert conditions.

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120725090933.htm … there is some research into the reliability of old tales such as The Iliad, Beowulf, and the Tain Bo Cuailnge.

At http://phys.org/print262419317.html … Palaeolithic ceramic art has been found in Croatia (it is also known from the Czech republic) …. thousands of years prior to pottery first appearing in Europe.

At http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/48641/Heritage/First-Dynast… … a French archaeological mission has stumbled on a funerary boat of King Den of dynasty One, at Abu Rawash NE of the Giza Plateau.

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