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London Cave Men

1 June 2014

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/remains-of-burnt-an… …. a city in Chandigarh in India has a burnt layer, eight feet high, dating to the second century BC. Mike Baillie has a low growth tree ring event around 210BC. Is there a connection?

Many people might think there are still a lot of cave men lurking in some parts of London – and best not to mention the cave women otherwise all hell might break out. In this case the cave men have been pinpointed to a location in the borough of Battersea. In fact, they were found during excavations for the new London US embassy – on the river front opposite Chelsea. The Museum of London have been doing the archaeology – but the cave man tag comes from www.livescience.com/45933-stone-age-tools-campfires-london-construction-… … and the answer, in this instance, is evidenced by a Palaeolithic flint. However, its not neccessarily a useful flint as it appears it might be a flake or a chip off the old flint's back. It has been dated to the last glacial period somewhere between 100,000 and 12,000 years ago. This is an educated guess. It might be older – it might be younger, somewhat nearer the lower end of the scale, at the beginnings of the Mesolithic. Most of the stuff the archaeologists have turned up does in fact date to the Late Pleistocene – shortly preceding the Younger Dryas event – or within it. We are informed that London, at that time, was much wetter. This is interesting as during the Younger Dryas event the Near East was generally much drier. This appears to follow a consistent pattern. Very wet in NW Europe = dry in Egypt and Near East, reflecting perhaps changes in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (tropical rain belt) and the jet streams (in the northern hemisphere). This pattern appears to persist throughout the Holocene – is it telling us something?

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