Grazing Animal Dispersal of Grains and Seeds

This is an interesting story at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/07/grazing-animals-drov... ... many of the grains, including quinoa, amaranth, the millets, hemp, and buckwheat, have traits that indicate they co-evolved to be dispersed by large grazing animals. During the Pleistocene there were great herds of ruminants and these directed the ecology over most of the surface of the earth (or that is the assumption made). As such, they brought into being evolutionary changes in plants.

Lily

A completely preserved lily was found in calcareous sediments of a former lake in NE Brazil dating back, it is said, to 115,000 years ago (in the early Cretaceous). Go to https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/07/oldest-completely-pr... ... It is in fact a member of the lily family (which is fairly broad, including for example the diminutive lily of the valley). It is nothing like your modern garden lily. Its roots, flower, and stem are perfectly preserved, and 40cm in length.

Ziklag

The big archaeology story for some people has been the discovery of what is claimed to be the Biblical settlement of Ziklag - go to https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/07/archaeologists-uncov... ... archaeologists from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority, together with the MacQuarrie University in Sydney, Australia, think they have discovered the Philistine town of Ziklag, near Kiryat Gath, associated with King David in the books of I Samuel and II Samuel.

Amino Acids and Enzymes

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/07/origin-of-life-insig... ... peptides, which are a chain of amino acids, are an essential element of all life on Earth. They form the fabric of proteins which serve as a catalyst for biological processes. However, it is thought they require enzymes to control their formation from amino acids. This is described as a chicken and egg problem - how did the original enzymes come into being.

What is a modern human?

What is a modern human? Does it depend on the cranium - and the old idea skull shape is the primary arbitrator. At https://archaeologunewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/07/earliest-known-homo-... ... lately we have had early modern humans turn up in Ethiopia, the Levant, and Morocco. Now we have one in Greece - dating back 200,000 years ago. This is said to be the first example of a modern human outside of Africa. The strange thing is that the modern human skull is dated prior to another skull, at 170,000 years ago, and that one belongs to a Neanderthal.

Hayabasa2 Probe

At https://phys.org/news/2019-07-japan-hayabasa2-probe-touchdown-asteroid.html .... and https://phys.org/news/2019-07-japan-asteroid-probe-hayabasa2-touchdown.html ... the Japanese Hayabasa 2 space probe made a 'perfect' touchdown on asteroid Ryugu and has collected samples from beneath the surface for laboratory analysis. An incredible technological feat but we shall have to wait for the results of the analyses.

Maltese Temples

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/07/island-cores-unravel... ... the temple culture on Malta began nearly 6000 years ago (roughly 4000BC). This includes the famous Ggantija temple complex - which endured down to 2350BC. Professor Caroline Malone of Queens University in Belfast wanted to understand how the island ecology was able to sustain so many people over a long period of time - and why in the end it failed. Scientists drilled earth cores from 8 to 30m in depth, dating the sediments extracted by C14 methodology.

The day the sea invaded the Sahara

At https://phys.org/news/2019-07-ancient-saharan-seaway-earth-climate.html ... in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (summer of 2019) we have a paper based on an accumulation of 20 years of research in what is now the Sahara desert. It is set between 100 and 50 million years ago = the Late Cretaceous and the early Paleogene (on the geological ladder). It concerns what is described as a sea way and the blame is placed squarely on rising sea levels.

Mitanni

German and Kurdish archaeologists have uncovered a Bronze Age palace complex within the ruins of a mud brick city that once thrived on the banks of the river Tigris in what is now Kurdistan (on the Iraq side). It dates back to the time of the empire of Mitanni, a little known kingdom that thrived for several hundred years in the LB age. It is normally dated to the 15th and 14th centuries BC and controlled a large part of northern Mesopotamia. The ruling class were Indic aryan speakers it is thought, with an origin on the steppes. It was the contemporary of dynasty 18 Egypt.

A cave in the Crimea

A cave in Crimea has yielded the bones of an ostrich like bird - but three times the size of the modern version. At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/06/bird-three-times-lar... ... Humans are said to have lived alongside them but a bison bone in the cave has been dated at one and half million years old (so we are talking about way before the Neanderthals). These giant birds could have been a source of meat, feathers for decoration, bones used for tools, and eggshell (because it is big and oval and can be decorative).