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A few archaeologically orientated stories from August

20 August 2013

At www.newsobserver.com/2013/08/19/3116729/corps-archaeologists-study-misso… … the Missourie River carves a slice off one of its banks every now and again and these reveal flint scrapers and knives, and hoes and squash cutting tools made of bison bone, and even 19th century toys made of pewter or iron. Lots of stuff from the era of European fur traders turns up – and so on.

Neanderthal hand axes are discussed at www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-08/uos-hdr081913.php

At www.livescience.com/38893-drought-caused-ancient-mediterranean-collapse…. … is all about the end of the Late Bronze Age and the downfall of ancient Greece is part of the subject – in this instance, Mycenaean Greece. A sharp drop in rainfall across the eastern Mediterranean and surrounding countries coincided with the collapse of the Hittite empire, as well as the Mycenaeans and other civilisations of the period (even Egypt fell into decline). Climate change, the article alleges, caused crop failures, reduced harvests, and hunger – which ushered in socio-economic collapse. One thing missing – what caused the climate change?

At http://phys.org/print296149383.html … beads made from meteoric iron were strung on knecklaces with beads of lapis lazuli, arnelian, agate, and gold. This indicates there was a high monetary value attached to meteoric iron – and it was a sought after material. Paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

At http://phys.org/print296138967.html … a pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea is being constructed by Jordan – in association with Israel. This is ostensibly to augment the water losses in the Dead Sea and the claim that by 2050 it will be dry.

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