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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15 Mar 2012
WISE mapping

At ... 'flying through a geomagnetic storm' is an astronaut onboard the International Space Station commenting on what he can see as he flies over the auroral light show.

12 Mar 2012
Sicily to Tunisia

In a book picked up from a charity shop, Art and History of Egypt by Alberto Carlo Carpiceci, it begins with some extraordinary geological information on the Mediterranean basin. The Italians would be more concerned with this part of the world than people over against the Atlantic seaboard. It says that in the Palaeolithic era the Mediterranean Sea was cut into two basins - divided by a tongue of land that joined Tunisia and Italy, the islands of Malta being a remnant.

8 Mar 2012
The YD boundary event ... a solar flare?

This story is a year old but Ive fished it out as it offers an alternative explanation for the Younger Dryas event - see and is the hypothesis of Paul LaViolette of the Starburst Foundation in a paper published in the journal Radiocarbon (last year). It is interesting in that he notes there were radiocarbon 'spurts' when radiocarbon levels in the atmosphere shot up suddenly in which he attempts to tie in with solar Hale cycles (and the de Vreis 200 year solar cycle period).

8 Mar 2012
Dating Thera

Various attempts to equate the low growth tree ring event of 1628-5BC with the Thera volcano are not supported by acidity peaks in ice cores. Whereas Mike Baillie sought to show a 40 year error/difference between tree ring dates and those of ice cores there are in fact a number of acidity peaks in GISP2, at 1669, 1623, 1602, 1600, 1594, and 1577BC. These are best described as originating in volcanoes - but only those eruptions with a sulphur content.

8 Mar 2012

The Mariana Trench in the Pacific has been mapped (mentioned in an earlier piece) with ultrabeam sounding technology and scientists, subsequently, have measured the depth - roughly 11000m. However, it is the discovery of four bridges spanning the trench that is most surprising and they are thought to be caused by one plate descending into the hole and becoming snagged when the sea plate subducting has sea mounts. There are lots of sea mounts on the Pacific plate and are as much as 2500m high.

7 Mar 2012
The fightback cometh ... all of a quiet

Not CAGW magic tricks this time but the YD boundary impact hypothesis has suddenly made a comeback - in PNAS (see or Further articles from new authors on the subject, including scientists from a variety of disciplines, are due to publish shortly, a surprising and unexpected bounce back after all the angst of last year.

7 Mar 2012
The Greeks in Egypt

Al-Ahram (published in Cairo - see has been running some nice pieces on the Greek period in Egypt which will interest members coming from various angles - a revised chronology for instance, or dating systems and their impact on the anno domini dates we take for granted in the modern world. Alexandria now largely squats on the sea bed offshore of the Nile delta, drowned by an earthquake and land subsidence.

7 Mar 2012
Pilgrimage ... and human behaviour

The Ohio Archaeology Blog, another excellent site - see comments on a paper in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology that claims that 'religiously motivated co-operation in the form of pilgrimage is a neglected element in discussions of co-operative behaviour among humans' and goes on to propose how to evaluate it in the future (but I won't bore you with details).

7 Mar 2012
A bright streak and a pale red dot

The police received a number of calls concerning a huge fireball that crossed the sky from Scotland to Devon around 21.40 on March 3rd, escribed as incredibly bright - see and This follows several fireballs seen over North America during February - but where do they come from? It is only a matter of weeks since the passage of an asteroid that came relatively close to the earth, in astronomical terminology that is, but might there be a connection? Was the asteroid a defunct comet?

5 Mar 2012
A little bit of local history ... and everywhere in Britain has something similar to say

The Slough Observer last week had a report on the history behind the Montem Mound at Salt Hill in Slough. In various sources this was associated with a mysterious trade in salt that in some way involved Eton College, which until the 20th century owned much of the land to the south of Salt Hill, down to the Thames in the valley below. In the early medieval period this was a watery landscape and the line of the Roman road to Bath takes the high point along a ridge above the Thames valley, including Salt Hill.