In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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12 Feb 2020
Stone Boomerang

A University of Waikato (New Zealand) researcher, Fiona Petchey, has been helping archaeologists track the movements of Lapita people through the Pacific (the forerunners of the Polynesians). These are the island groups of Samoa, Fijii and Tonga. A site in Samoa has added 400 years - taking it back to 2800 years ago. However, she also found an anomaly in the C14 calibration curve, currently in use for dating shells. She says it is out by 200 to 300 years at certain points in the past, resulting in large errors in calendar ages.

10 Feb 2020
Mexican Skulls

Ancient skulls in a Mexican cave might reveal surprises about early Americans - go to www.sciencealert.com/ancient-skulls-in-a-mexican-cave-reveal-surprises-a... ....

9 Feb 2020
Australian Rock Art

Big news this last week - mud wasp nests have been used to establish a date for certains types of Aboriginal rock art out in the Kimberleys. The Gwion Gwion art period has been  set at around 12,000 years ago - roughly at the time of the Younger Dryas event. Some of it has a date of 16,000 years ago (which is the Oldest Dryas event) and the 12,000 year date is an average - via Bayesian methodology. See for example https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2020/02/wasp-nests-used-to-d... ...

9 Feb 2020
Easter Island

Hopefully this will be the last word on whether Easter Islanders were responsible for their own demise. At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2020/02/researchers-revise-t... ... researchers revise the timing of Easter Island's societal collapse. The general theory has been that society on Easter Island had already collapsed prior to when Europeans first dropped anchor.

6 Feb 2020
Bronze Age Galway

At www.irishcentral.com/news/bronze-age-settlement-galway ... a recent Atlantic storm has uncovered a Bronze Age dwelling at Spiddal in Co Galway. It is a potential crannog - a lake dwelling. These were usually built on an artificial island in a lake or boggy zone and were once common across Ireland and Scotland. It is a coastal region of Galway but the evidence seems to suggest the probability of a former lake - or a very wet zone.

6 Feb 2020
Coronavirus link to fireball ?

An article submitted to The Lancet on February 3rd claims the coronavirus may have nothing to do with bats or snakes but may have arrived from space. Whilst the idea of a species shift from bats and snakes may have led one to think, if so, why has it not happened before, and why at this particular moment in time. Does this story really have legs. It comes on top of rumours and conspiracy theories which claim the epidemic is much worse than the Chinese authorities are letting on - which sounds a lot like western alarmism (getting out of the paper bag so to speak).

5 Feb 2020
Pottery Origins

This concerns the origin of pottery in East Asia rather than pottery in other parts of the world - which may or may not have a connection. At https://phys.org/news/2020-02-hot-pots-ancient-siberian-hunters.html ... it seems that Siberian hunters had heat resistant containers, an early kind of pottery, to cook their food - during the last Ice Age. The pottery has preserved tell tale evidence of hot pots, vegetables and meat, including animal fat and bone marrow.

5 Feb 2020
Fire Walkers

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-firewalkers-of-k... ... the Karoo Basin of southern Africa has massive deposits of ignaeous rocks, left behind by basalt flows dated Early Jurassic. It coincided with a mass extinction event and left behind dinosaur footprints preserved in a sandstone layer. Trackways have been uncovered - of beasts in flight. Some five separate animals made the tracks - of various size and species. Presumably the sand was enveloped by the magma.

2 Feb 2020
Dune Aurora

At https://spaceweather.com (January 29th 2020) we have dunes in the sky, a form of aurora rippling through the northern skies. A paper published in the AGU Advances (January 28th 2020) describes the physics behind it. Dune shaped aurorae form in a narrow altitude range, 80 to 120km above the surface of the Earth. They have a pure monochromatic wavelength. They are also a mesopheric bore - resembling an atmospheric gravity wave that springs up from the surface below and becomes caught up in a thermal waveguide 100km high.

2 Feb 2020
Cahokia Re-written

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2020/01/siberian-neanderthal... .... a new study in PNAS reveals that Neanderthals trekked as far north as the Altai Mountains in Siberia, carrying with them a tool kit used to kill and butcher bison and horses ...