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5 October 2012

At www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2012/10/05/mexico–mayan-ball-court-w… …Mexican archaeologists say the Maya built watchtowers on top of a ceremonial ball court at Chichen Itza in order to align with celestial markers. Presumably the ritual ball game had to start at a particular moment and there is some indication the watchtowers may have been occupied by umpires, or arbiters. The ball court in question was built in the 9th century BC.

At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/september-2012/article/scientists-e… (see also www.geneticarchaeology.com) … a paper in PLOS Genetics suggests Neanderthals and modern humans interbred somewhere between 37,000 and 86,000 years ago (see also www.plosgenetics.org/doi/pgen.10029347)

The Crossrail Project has opened up opportunities for archaeologists. One discovery dates back to the Bronze Age – see www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19834203 … and they think they have found an old timber trackway in Plumstead, one of several in the wetland zone in the Thames flood plain east of London.

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