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circles, ancient texts, and fortifications

1 April 2015

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/chinas-mysterious-s… … strange ritual sites in NW China (spilling over into Mongolia) appear to go back to 2500BC – the same age as Egypt's pyramids and Stonehenge in the UK.

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/revisiting-origins-… … the Harappan or Indus Valley civilisation appears to be indigenous to the region – and this is looking more likely by the day. The aryan invasion theory was concocted solely to account for the destruction of so many settlements in the region. An international team of academics has been looking at the Indus script and it is now believed the Rig Veda was composed by indigenous people rather than invading nomads. The interesting thing is that the Harappan civilisation (or Indus if you like) thrived during the 4th and 3rd millenniums BC – precisely at the same time that civilisation thrived across Iran and the Fertile Crescent. This indicates climate was more agreeable, on the one hand, but it is also a fact that site destructions did not just devastate the Indus Valley (and tectonic changes did not just alter the course of rivers in that part of the world) but the destruction was universal – right across Mesopotamia through Anatolia and the Aegean into Europe, and in the other direction, China and all points eastwards. It was a series of global events. The fact that nomads arrived in the wake of the destructions is neither here nor there as they are a symptom of the same upheaval. Rather, it is always assumed new arrivals were nomads when it could just as easily have been a movement of refugees – some of whom were formerly sedantory.

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/ancient-settlements… …. which comes on the heel of some very good Polish archaeology in Egypt and the Near East. In Poland itself a series of fortified settlements has been found dating from the 3rd century BC – at a time people were generally on the move. Using airborne laser scanning, or LIDAR, they have been able to peek through the forest canopy in northern Poland to find the sites, and pick out the marks of human handiwork on the ground. This kind of archaeological research is increasingly popular and is finding new sites all the time across Europe. LIDAR is also used in the UK by organisations such as the Water companies and by the Woodland Trust etc. In the former circumstances this has meant river valleys and flood plains have been extensively mapped – not necessarily for archaeological reasons but for purely unitarian purposes, but at the same time the archaeology shows up as well. In the case of the Woodland Trust it is just a matter of knowing what secrets the woodland might hold – and is useful for any changes they might want to implement (without destroying any archaeology that might exist).

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