» Home > In the News

Thule and Bog

14 June 2016

At www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/bronze-buckle-shows-ancient-link-betwe… … evidence of trade between Alaska (and the Thule culture) and East Asia (possibly China, indirectly if not directly) in the medieval period. We know that Vikings were trading with people in the NE Arctic zone but the same thing was happening in the NW (from across the Bering Straits). The prize was walrus and narwhal ivory – prized in countries such as China and Korea. The article is published in June's issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science (2016).

At www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/a-brief-history-of-bog-butter-180959384 … which is about the many caches of butter dug out of Irish bogs. Why did they put them there? Was it because of civil strife and violence, safeguarding a valuable and nutritious commodity, or was it because they had a surplus and they needed to store it somewhere so that it would not deteriorate too quickly and go rancid? On top of that we have the idea it was an offering to the gods, a sort of tithe. It is currently all a bit mysterious as it was not always butter but sometimes animal fat (tallow), but presumably this was also a valuable commodity.

Over at www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/11/lost-city-medieval-discovered-hidd… … archaeologists working in Cambodia, regarded as a third world backwater, have found multiple lost medieval towns and settlements not far from Angkor Wat and presumably al part of the Khmer Empire. This upends current views about SE Asia it is alleged (not sure if this is strictly right). Laser scanning from the air was used to make the finds, a method increasingly favoured by archaeologists with deep pockets (or substantial funding). The Khmer Empire is thought to have collapsed in the 15th century as a result of climate change and wat4er management issues. These sites, when studied on the ground may provide evidence of whether the collapse was abrupt or took place over a long period of time.

At http://phys.org/print384850801.html … satellite and drone images have unveiled a massive man made stone platform hidden under the sand at Petra. The platform was constructed by levelling a natural plateau and measure 56m by 49m and is thought to go back to the Nabatean Kingdom (contemporaries of Rome). There is also a smaller platform with flagstones. It was lined with a row of columns.

Skip to content