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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4 Sep 2011
More on early humans

At http://in.news.yahoo.com/study-suggests-earliest-humans-were-not-very-di... there is a report on a study from an American university by archaeologist John Shea which claims early humans were variants of Homo sapiens rather than different species. The evidence in the ground shows a wide variability in human tool making strategies from the earliest times onwards. He argues there is no such things as modern humans, as such, just different kinds of behaviour.

4 Sep 2011
Spherules

At http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/APR05/Event/29058 there is a short abstract by CJ Ransom and Wal Thornhill that claimed z-pinch simulations in the laboratory actually produced spherules (in an experiment). The idea was to reproduce a plasma discharge in order to create spherules, which duly happened, that were nearly identical in appearance to those found on Mars, the so called blueberries (Bulletin of the American Physical Society, the 2005 APS Spring Meeting).

3 Sep 2011
Pleistocene mammals

At www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id//333948/description/Woolly_rhinos_ca... ... is a report on a paper published in Science (Sept 2nd) and is all about the discovery of a new cache of mammal fossils - this time found in the foothills of the Himalayas, on the high Tibetan plateau. The bones date back nearly 4 million years ago - preceding the so called Ice Ages. Concentrating on the rhinoceros it was found they had some features in common with the woolly rhinoceros of the Ice Ages.

2 Sep 2011
Ham Hill

The Guardian (see www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/sep/01/iron-age-hill-fort-excavation/ ) has a report on excavations at the large Iron Age hill fort of Ham Hill in Somerset - some 80 hectares in size. It was conquered by the Romans in AD45, by the 2nd Legion under the command of Vespasin (later to become emperor). However, it was already a town, it would seem, with streets lined with houses (round houses of the Iron Age variety). A town implies roads - so how many Roman roads were actually built on the line of pre-existing routes?

2 Sep 2011
Simon Haslett and Ted Bryant

Simon Haslett of the University of Wales, Newport, in coalition with Ted Bryant (see story a few days ago on 1014AD tsunami) had there research published a few years ago. They were also the subject of a BBC2 Timewatch programme in 2008 - mainly focusing on the Bristol Channel event in 1607. The story can still be accessed at http://news.scotsman.com/opinion?articleid=4558454, and it seems there were a lot of tsunamis or storm surges to strike Britain and Ireland over the last 1000 years.

2 Sep 2011
Super sized lions roamed Britain in days of yore

This story is at www.physorg.com/print157735263.html - giant cats roamed Europe and North America as recently as the warm period between the end of the Ice Age and the onset of the Younger Dryas 12,900 years ago. These cats were similar to modern lions - but much bigger. They are depicted on cave art in Europe living in prides. The distribution can be explained by Ice Age geography, it is claimed, specifically the existence of Beringia, the drowned landscape between Siberia and Alaska. Modern lions live on the African savannah and prey on herbivores.

30 Aug 2011
Up for Grabs ... flint. What is it and how did it get here

In response to Gary Gilligan's ideas about flint (see his web site, www.gks.uk.com) and the significance of the study at http://swansea.academia.edu/CarolynGravesBrown/Papers/847861/The_Biologi... ... a rather interesting paper on the role of flint as an attribute of the Gods, I thought I might look up the orthodox view of how it was made. This perforce has to be from a UK perspective - not from Egypt.

30 Aug 2011
Homo erectus in Europe where he is not supposed to be

This story can be found at an interesting site with a nice name, http://averyremoteperiodindeed.blogspot.com/2011/08/170000-year-old-huma...  is all about a human skull, described by one of the people involved as Homo erectus - but at an impossible time. It was found in France in the period normally assigned to the Neanderthals - considered to be a more advanced form of Homo erectus. Is the skull a throwback or may it simply be another variant of Homo erectus.

28 Aug 2011
Peshawar antiquity

At Daily News and Analysis India - see www.dnaindia.com/print710.php?cid=1579550, there is a report of the re-discovery of the remains of a Buddhist stupa and monastery near Peshawar in Pakistan - originally excavated in 1908 but left to fall into decay thereafter. The stupa, it is estimated, was as tall as a modern 13 storey building and was built in the reign of the Kushan emperor Kanishka - in the 1st century AD. The Chinese traveller Huan Tsong visited it in the 7th century AD - and the stupa was still standing.

28 Aug 2011
Ice Age people in boats in the Mediterranean

This story comes from www.pasthorizons.com/index.php/archives/08/2011/obsidian-artifacts-point... and it seems that mariners may have been sailing the Mediterranean before the end of the Pleistocene - according to new evidence. Their mission, to find volcanic rock to make sharp cutting tools, namely obsidian (a volcanic glass). Obsidian was being extracted as early as 15,000 years ago, it is being said, between the end of the Ice Age and the beginning of the Younger Dryas event.