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Balkans Farming

6 September 2021

At https://phys.org/news/2021-09-farmers-europe-balkans-date-5th.html … Switzerland is famous for its Neolithic lake dwellings – on wooden piles. Now, they have looked at a site in a lake in the Balkans, Lake Ohrid. The findings are in the Journal of Archaeological Science [Sept 2021]. To be more precise, the lake is in the modern state of Macedonia, and was occupied from the 5th millennium onwards. No surprise there as it was the 6200BC event that set the farmers [endemic in Anatolia] to move into Europe. It is well documented there was a link with the period following 6200BC – and this study corroborates that. However, we are told a cultural layer actually lies under the current lake bed. The layer consists of mainly organic material – a sign of the  times no doubt. It is 1.7m thick and contains grains, wild plants, and animals. Newly arrived farmers were confronted by an onset of cool and humid weather – but adapted.

At https://phys.org/news/2021-09-prehistoric-climate-repeatedly-channelled-… … which is about the discovery of humans living in Arabia every time it greened. The assumption is that humans disappeared when it returned to desert – for the next 90,000 years. Here is the nub. They are using Milankovich cycles – of 100,000 years in duration, to date the various greening episodes. At one site alone there was evidence of six phases of greening – and each one had evidence of humans. The proposed dates are 400,000, 300,000, 200,000, 100,000 – and 55 thousand years ago. One problem is that the Ice Ages were not uniform in length. The Anglian is dated from around 450,000 years ago, and the last interglacial was something more than 120,000 years ago. In other words, they are made up numbers and the assumption is that orbital changes cause the greenings [which was contradicted in another paper only a month ago]. C14 does not go much beyond 42,000 years ago, hence the willingness to seek out cycles. A big was of assumption is inherent with the numbers – but see also www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03863-y


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