The events of July 16th to 22nd 1994, when the remnants of a fragmenting comet, P/Shoemaker-Levy 9, bombarded the surface of Jupiter causing fireballs many times the size of our own planet, were an abrupt wake-up call even for those who were aware of them. The historical sciences generally, and Archaeology in particular, have collectively painted a picture of the past as if our planet stands alone in empty space. Nothing could be further from reality. Our resilient planet exists in a solar system that has experienced a very dynamic history over the past 20 to 30 millennia, and it is only from this wider solar system perspective that the true history of human civilisation will ever be fully understood. The Morien Institute archive therefore contains relevant material from many disciplines.

an image of a meteor flashing through the sky

Image of a revolving globe showing current sea levels since the last ice age, before which many ancient societies like Atlantis flourished all over planet Earth on what are now sunken lands.

Archaeology News Headlines
October 01 to December 31 2017

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Hopewell Archaeoastronomy, Lunar Alignments

 

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To understand why our News Page updates are sometimes late
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Morien Institute News Headlines Archive
2017
January 01 - March 31 | April 01 - June 30 | July 01 - September 30

Marine Archaeology News 2017 | Astro-Archaeology News 2017

 

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[I will try to keep the news pages updated while John is recovering but this will not be as good and timely as the service John has provided over the past almost 20 years as our Web Editor. Thank you again to everyone who continues to send in news stories, and the many good wishes for John. We really appreciate your support and cannot thank you enough - Polly]

 

November 2017 News Headlines

 

"8,000 years old rock art in Saudi Arabia documents the earliest known use of dog leashes"
ZME Science (Romania)
"New Giant Geoglyph of Orca Discovered in Peru Desert Sheds Light on Enigmatic Monuments"
Newsweek (USA)
"‘7000-yr-old civilization flourished in Oupada’"
Orissa Post (India)
"Isis temple unearthed by builders in Banha"
Egypt Independent (Egypt)
"Ink from ancient Egyptian papyri contains copper"
EurekAlert (USA)
"Batavia shipwreck: expedition to uncover more secrets"
Perth Now (Australia)
"Archaeologists say human-evolution study used stolen bone"
Nature (UK)
"Tutankhamun's gold sheets on display for first time ever at the Egyptian Museum"
Ahram Online (Egypt)
"Diving Archaeologists Find Unique Lion Helmet From Punic Wars 2,300 Years Ago"
Ha'aretz (Israel)
"How taming cows and horses sparked inequality across the ancient world"
Science News (USA)
"1,600-year-old church mosaic puzzles out key role of women in early Christianity"
The Times of Israel (Israel)
"Restorations at Monastery of St. John the Theologian in Patmos reveal hidden crypts"
Tornos News (Greece)
"Rats in Australia 6 million years before humans"
ABC Science News (Australia)
"Mummy dating back to Graeco-Roman era unearthed southern Egypt's Cairo "
XinhuaNet (China)

"Greater post-Neolithic wealth disparities in Eurasia than in North America and Mesoamerica"
Nature (UK)
"How wealth is distributed among households provides insight into the fundamental characters of societies and the opportunities they afford for social mobility.

However, economic inequality has been hard to study in ancient societies for which we do not have written records, which adds to the challenge of placing current wealth disparities into a long-term perspective.

Although various archaeological proxies for wealth, such as burial goods, or exotic or expensive-to-manufacture goods in household assemblages, have been proposed, the first is not clearly connected with households, and the second is confounded by abandonment mode and other factors.

As a result, numerous questions remain concerning the growth of wealth disparities, including their connection to the development of domesticated plants and animals and to increases in sociopolitical scale."
[Read The Full Story]

[From a look at this Abstract the study is an excellent addition to our knowledge of the past, especially the early period when people began to settle, domesticate animals and cultivate plants. We've gone downhill ever since. A visit to read the full Abstract is highly recommended, and the full study can be bought online for non-subscribers - Ed.]

"5,000-year-old fortress discovered in central Turkey’s Cappadocia region"
Daily Sabah (Turkey)
"Dating the Presence of Archeological Cultures During the Upper Paleolithic"
Popular Archaeology (USA)
"2,000-year-old tool offers new proof of Japan’s earliest writing"
The Asahi Shimbun (Japan)
"Mummy discovered at Fayoum's Deir Al-Banat"
Ahram Online (Egypt)
"Archaeological dig in Mississauga turns up 2,400-year-old remains"
Mississauga News (Canada)
"Ancient pottery reveals humans have made wine for at least 8,000 years"
ABC Science News (Australia)
"European Hunter-Gatherers Interbred With Farmers From the Near East"
Seeker (USA)
"First infertility diagnosis made 4,000 years ago discovered in cuneiform tablet in Turkey"
Daily Sabah (Turkey)
"Cambridge academics uncover 2,000-year-old Roman sundial"
BBC News (UK)
"2,000-year-old luxury baths discovered in NE China"
China.org (China)
"Fragment of ancient ‘suiteki’ glass container found in Kyoto"
The Asahi Shimbun (Japan)
"First infertility diagnosis made 4,000 years ago discovered in cuneiform tablet in Turkey"
Daily Sabah (Turkey)
"Parallel palaeogenomic transects reveal complex genetic history of early European farmers"
Nature (UK)

"Mythical Ancient City Found In Pacific"
In Serbia Today (Serbia)
"We have seen deserted islands in the middle of oceans in many Hollywood movies.

Archaeologists recently discovered such an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The discovery of 'Nan Madol' has sparked theories that the fictional island of Atlantis could be real.

The newly-discovered island is located near the Pohnpei Island of Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean.

There are 97 separate blocks on the island, whose walls are 25ft long and 17ft wide.

But, no one knows who built this city on the island in the middle of the ocean."
[Read The Full Story]

[This is a really incredible story from In Serbia Today, and is supported by many really great photos of Nan Madol. Nan Madol is an enigma, and is forcing mainstream archaeology to try to squeeze it into already suspect timefames, but non-one really knows when it was built. It's well worth a visit to read the story and see the may images - Ed.]

"The climate has changed before. But this is different – look at the archeological record"
The Guardian (UK)
"Forget Machu Picchu: Seven newly accessible wonders of the world"
The Jakarta Post (Indonesia)
"Bronze Age farmer Tam is earliest known Stirling resident"
The Times (UK)
"‘A clear misrepresentation of facts’ – AX Holdings CEO says on Mosta development"
The Malta Independent (Malta)
"Chinese archaeologists discover cave-dwelling agrarian society"
XinhuaNet (China)
"Humans Doomed Caribbean's 'Lost World' of Ancient Mammals"
Live Science (USA)
"First Hellenistic gymnasium in Egypt discovered at Watfa village in Fayoum"
Ahram Online (Egypt)
"This fascinating pre-Incan society, high-up in the Andes, lacked social hierarchies"
IB Times (UK)
"Underwater search off Naxos island coast yields rich finds"
Tornos News (Greece)
"Egypt recovers 354 antiques seized in United Arab Emirates"
Global Times (China)
"Rare Pictish carving of 'big nosed warrior' found near Perth"
The Scotsman (Scotland)
"The Peopling of the Americas"
Popular Archaeology (USA)
"2,000-year-old luxury baths discovered in NE China"
XinhuaNet (China)
"Construction workers find ancient sarcophagus cover in Turkey's Gümüshane"
Daily Sabah (Turkey)
"Crocodile bites, ancient butchery, and human evolution"
Popular Archaeology (USA)
"Who built the ancient city on artificial Islands in the Central Pacific ocean?"
The Sherbrooke Times (Bahamas)
"Cosmic-ray particles reveal secret chamber in Egypt's Great Pyramid"
Nature (UK)
"Roman Gold Necklace Discovered in Ancient City Heraclea Sintica, SW Bulgaria"
Novinite (Bulgaria)
"'Cursed tomb' of workers who built the Great Pyramid of Giza opened for public for the first time"
IB Times India (India)
"Human-animal hybrid cave paintings from lost civilization discovered"
Newsline (USA)
"Neanderthals were doomed by constant inflow of modern humans from Africa, study says"
The Japan Times (Japan)
"In India, a ghost town and a mythological bridge"
Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
"Mystery surrounding excavation in southern Turkey continues to baffle locals"
Daily Sabah (Turkey)

 

an image of a meteor flashing through the sky

 

October 2017 News Headlines

 

 

"World's smallest paleolithic ornamental beads unearthed in China"
XinhuaNet (China)
"Colour of feathered dinosaur has palaeontologists in a flap"
ABC Science News (Australia)
"Crops evolving 10 millennia before experts thought"
Popular Archaeology (USA)
"Newly discovered Coptic tombstone in Luxor belonged to a child: Study"
Ahram Online (Egypt)
"Caribbean’s Lost Indigenous Culture Rediscovered on Tiny Island"
The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer (St. Kitts & Nevis)

"First Zero Ever Written? Scientists Argue Over Ancient Indian Math Symbols"
IB Times (UK)
"Researchers are challenging a claim that an ancient Indian mathematical document contains the oldest recorded use of a zero.

The Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University announced last month that experts recently dated the Bakhshali manuscript to as early as 200 BCE and, because it is full of symbols that signify the number zero, said it represents the earliest known use of that number.

The next recorded use occurred about 500 years after the alleged date of the manuscript.

But a group of historians specializing in Indian mathematics are challenging this discovery.

According to a statement from the University of Alberta, the calculations would have been written much later than asserted."
[Read The Full Story]

[This is an excellent story from IB Times. The debate over which ancient peoples first used the number ZERO seems to be hotting up, and it would be worth monitoring developments. There are many in mainstream archaeology who simply will not accept that many ancient peoples were numerate and in some cases very sophisticated. Little wonder the 'ancient aliens' community are growing so fast. It's well worth a visit to read the full story and see the videos - Ed.]

"Caribbean’s Lost Indigenous Culture Rediscovered on Tiny Island"
The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer (St. Kitts & Nevis)
"Unique 5,000 year old figurine with feather headdress found in old potato field in Novosibirsk"
The Siberian Times (Russia)
"Astrolabe: Shipwreck find 'earliest navigation tool'"
BBC News (UK)
"Archaeology fossil teeth discovery in Germany could re-write human history"
Deutsche Welle (Germany)
"8,600-year-old bear statuette unearthed in Turkey’s Izmir"
Daily Sabah (Turkey)
"Archaeologists Find Cache of Assyrian Cuneiform Tablets in Iraq"
Sci-News (USA)
"Coptic tombstone unearthed at Sphinxes Avenue in Luxor"
Ahram Online (Egypt)
"Mysterious Ming Dynasty tomb complex discovered in Chongqing"
ECNS (China)
"The melancholy of the Palestinians: a heritage destroyed"
Open Democracy (UK)
"Earliest traces of Turks in Anatolia found in Istanbul"
Hürriyet Daily News (Turkey)
"Archaeologists excavate 400 Iron Age houses in Denmark"
Science Nordic (Denmark)
"Beyond Genghis Khan: how looting threatens to erase Mongolia's history"
The Guardian (UK)
"Archaeological finds shed light on life in Abu Dhabi, 7,000 years ago"
Khaleej Times (Abu Dhabi)
"Ancient Skull That Baffled Experts Belonged to Victim of Deadly Tsunami 6,000 Years Ago"
Newsweek (USA)
"5.6 tons of ancient coins unearthed under house in Jiangxi"
ECNS (China)
"Prehistoric menhir found near Bern"
The Local (Switzerland)

"Easter Island – A Sustainable Society That Has Been Falsely Blamed for Its Own Demise"
The Wire (India)
"How did Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, carry out a cultural achievement on a barren island that seemingly lacked both resources and people?

For a tiny island of 64 square miles, with its nearest neighbours some 1,300 miles away, it has seen more than its fair share of controversy.

For a long while it wasn't clear whether the island's native population originated in Polynesia or South America.

Anthropologists have long wondered whether these seemingly simple inhabitants really had the capacity for such cultural complexity.

Or was a more advanced population, perhaps from the Americas, actually responsible - one that subsequently wiped out all the natural resources the island once had?

In the 'ecocide' hypothesis popularised by the geographer Jared Diamond, Rapa Nui is used as a demonstration of how society is doomed to collapse if we do not sit up and take note.

But more than 60 years of archaeological research actually paints a very different picture - and now new genetic data sheds further light on the island's fate.

It is time to demystify Rapa Nui."
[Read The Full Story]

[An excellent article by The Wire, that shows there are very credible alternative interpretations to those offered by commentators who always seem to project the destructive traits of their own modern western societies onto the peoples of the past.

Are they simply jealous of the achievements of ancient peoples? Or just trying to play them down? I highly recommend a visit to the site to read the full story - Ed.]

"Viking squirrels may have brought leprosy to Britain, study finds"
Evening Standard (UK)
"Archaeologists have discovered in the Himalayas, a huge stone army (photo)"
The Siver Times (Canada)
"Prehistoric rock paintings similar to Utah Canyon discovered in Telangana"
The Times of India (India)
"Ancient Turkish town prepares to vanish under floodwaters"
PhysOrg (USA)
"Ancient Greek theater of Thouria uncovered in 'excellent condition'"
Tornos News (Greece)
"Prehistoric teeth fossils dating back 9.7 million years 'could rewrite human history'"
The Independent (UK)
"Iron Age skeletal remains discovered on Irish coast after Storm Ophelia"
The Irish Post (Ireland)
"Saudi Arabia retrieves 52,000 historical artefacts since 2011"
Zawya (Dubai)
"Study reshapes understanding of climate change's impact on early societies"
Popular Archaeology (USA)
"Sethupathy period boundary stone with inscriptions found"
The Hindu (India)
"Hundreds of mysterious gate structures discovered in desserts of Saudi Arabia"
IBT News (Singapore)
"New challenge to centuries-old theories on Roman glass"
PhysOrg (USA)
"Head of Queen Ankhnespepy II statue discovered in Giza's Saqqara"
Ahram Online (Egypt)
"Santorini island excavation unearths Bronze Age settlement"
Tornos News (Greece)
"Was this ancient person from China the offspring of modern humans and Neandertals?"
Science Magazine (USA)

"Mountainside gallery where all civilisations added their own art from Bronze Age to medieval times"
The Siberian Times (Russia)
"On the border between Russia and Mongolia, we reveal awe-inspiring Kara-Turug petroglyphs, and they contain a BIG secret about ancient Siberia.

There are 500 or so exhibits and the artwork here spanning some 4,000 years until the end of the first millennium AD.

Every major civilisation added their own distinct imprint to the collection of rock art at Dus-Dag mountain in modern-day Tuva Republic, literally from the age of the spear until well into medieval times.

Archeologist Dr Marina Kilunovskaya said: 'This way they were marking their presence, showing that they were now the owners here.'

To their credit, successive civilisations coming here did not destroy the jottings of those who went before them.

Each new incoming group on this crossroads of ancient civilisation enriched the collection with their own artistic flourishes."
[Read The Full Story]

[It really is a refreshing change to find that in some parts of the world ancient artistic drawings were respected by incoming peoples migrating to this area. It's well worth a visit to read the full story and see the many incredible images of the ancient art - Ed.]

"The Race to Crack the Code"
Archaeology Magazine (USA)
"Ancient site in Peru turns up violent, but not deadly lifestyle"
The Asahi Shimbun (Japan)
"This tiny ornament may have belonged to Harold Bluetooth’s shaman"
Science Nordic (Denmark)
"Ancient child tombs found in China"
China Daily (China)
"Volcanic eruptions may have contributed to war in ancient Egypt"
ABC Science News (Australia)
"Researchers find name of Allah woven into ancient Viking burial fabrics"
The Independent (UK)
"Inca citadel remains found in Cusco"
Andina (Peru)
"Mysterious disk found in Ancient Greek Antikythera shipwreck"
Tornos News (Greece)
"DNA deepens mystery of Newfoundland's lost Beothuk people"
The Globe & Mail (Canada)
"Polished rock shows effects of earliest life on Earth" - audio and transcript
ABC Radio National - The Science Show (Australia)
"In the Time of the Rosetta Stone"
Archaeology Magazine (USA)
"French-Swiss archaeological mission unearth mini-pyramid in Saqqara"
Egypt Independent (Egypt)
"DNA shows no trace of contact between ancient Easter Islanders and South America"
ABC Science News (Australia)
"Gold coin sheds new light on 5th-century Swedish island massacre"
The Local (Sweden)

"Aboriginal Australians Observed Red Giant Stars’ Variability"
Sky & Telescope (USA)
"Australian Aborigines probably observed the cyclical changes in the brightness of pulsating red giant stars such as Antares, Betelgeuse, and Aldebaran.

They integrated their observations into their oral traditions - cultural narratives that served as a system of laws, social rules, and general knowledge transmission.

European astronomers realized that red giants changed in brightness in 1596, when David Fabricius registered the variability of the star Mira.

Johannes Hevelius went on to calculate the amplitude and periodicity of Mira's changes in 1662.

But the oral traditions of Australian Aborigines could go much further back in time: they have inhabited the fifth continent for more than 65,000 years.

Research examining oral tradition for geological events, such as volcanic eruptions or meteorite impacts, have shown that such oral traditions can survive for thousands of years."
[Read The Full Story]

[It is good again to see that ancient oral traditions are being taken seriously as evidence of the accurate observations of ancient peoples. It is well worth reading the full story - Ed.]

"Orpheus’ Lyre Rock Engraving Discovered in Bulgaria’s Eastern Rhodope Mountains"
Archaeology in Bulgaria (Bulgaria)
"Mysterious Stone Tools Unearthed at Bronze-Age Site in Wales"
Live Science (USA)
"Fossil of Thailand's biggest ever dinosaur found"
BELTA (Belarus)
"Bronze Age equipment found on Swiss mountain pass"
The Local (Switzerland)
"2,000-year-old olive oil mill uncovered in Turkey’s Aegean region"
Daily Sabah (Turkey)
"Chic women's jewellery made of coal, encrusted with jade and coral from 2,200 years ago"
The Siberian Times (Russia)
"Traces of 4,000-year-old house discovered in north Zealand"
The Copenhagen Post (Denmark)
"Antikythera shipwreck yields bronze arm – and hints at spectacular haul of statues"
The Guardian (UK)
"Egypt unearths 4,300-year-old Pharaonic obelisk in Giza" - amazing aerial photo of the site
New China / XinhuaNet (China)
"Archeologists discover Bronze era pottery in western Iran"
BELTA (Belarus)
"3,200-Year-Old Stone Inscription Tells of Trojan Prince, Sea People"
Live Science (USA)
"Rare artifacts uncovered pointing to role of women in Peru’s largest pre-Columbian city"
Peru Reports (Peru)

"Ancient wall markings of wild animals uncovered in South Aswan"
Ahram Online (Egypt)
"During an archaeological survey in the desert of Subeira Valley, south Aswan, an Egyptian archaeological mission from the Ministry of Antiquities stumbled upon pre-Dynastic rock markings.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explained that the markings can be dated to the late pre-Dynastic era, and were found engraved on sandstone rocks.

They depict scenes of troops of renowned animals at that time, such as hippopotamuses, wild bulls and donkeys, as well as gazelles.

Markings showing workshops for the production of tools and instruments were also found on some of the rocks."
[Read The Full Story]

[This is a really interesting unique discovery, and these pre-dynastic rock drawings urgently need to be protected from vandalism. It is well worth reading the full story and seeing the two phtotos of the site and the markings - Ed.]

"Incredible find of classical statues at Antikythera shipwreck in Greece"
Tornos News (Greece)
"Ancient grain reveals the development of the earliest cities"
Science Nordic (Denmark)
"Crossing the Alps in the Neolithic age"
SwissInfo (Switzerland)
"Diprotodon: Australia's extinct giant wombat-like marsupial may have been seasonal migrant"
ABC Science News (Australia)
"Space Archaeology: In the Realm of Resolution"
NASA Earth Observatory (Earth Orbit)
"Underwater exploration study on Ram Setu to take off in December"
Hindustan Times (India)
"Gypsum head of King Akhenaten statue unearthed in Minya: statement"
Egypt Independent (Egypt)
"Spreading the word: How the term 'horse' migrated west with the Yamnaya people"
HorseTalk (New Zealand)
"Aboriginal massacre sites uncovered in first forensic science study"
ABC News (Australia)
"3 Sentenced to Prison for Looting Mississippi Indian Mound"
U.S. News & World Report (USA)
"Happy 350,000th birthday: Study pushes back Homo sapiens origins"
Malay Mail (Malaysia)
"Underwater exploration to study if Ram Setu is man-made from December"
One India (India)

"The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project"
Cardiff/Athens Universites (Cymru/Greece)
[In October 1900, Captain Dimitrious Kondos was leading a team of sponge divers near the the island of Antikythera off the coast of Greece. They noticed a shipwreck about 180 feet below the surface and began to investigate. Amongst the artifacts that they brought up was a coral-encrusted piece of metal that later archaeologists found was some sort of gear wheel.

The rest of the artifacts, along with the shape of the boat, suggested a date around 2000 years ago, which made the find one of the most anomalous that had ever been recovered from the Greek seas. It became known as The Antikythera Mechanism.

In 2006 the journal "Nature" published a
letter, and another paper about the mechanism was published in 2008, detailing the findings of Prof. Mike G. Edmunds of Cardiff University. Using high-resolution X-ray tomography to study the fragments of the anomalous Antikythera Mechanism, they found that it was in fact a bronze mechanical analog computer that could be used to calculate the astronomical positions and various cycles of the Moon - as seen from the Earth: - Ed]


Part of the Antikythera Mechanism
an image of Part of the Antikythera Mechanism, which is also a clickable link directly to the Lichfield Blog story
Copyright © 2006
Antikythera Mechanism Research Project



2000-year-old analog computer recreated



More Antikythera Mechanism Information & Commentary:

"Mysterious disk found in Ancient Greek Antikythera shipwreck"
Tornos News(Greece)
"Antikythera shipwreck yields bronze arm – and hints at spectacular haul of statues"
The Guardian (UK)
"Incredible find of classical statues at Antikythera shipwreck in Greece"
Tornos News (Greece)
"Beyond the Antikythera mechanism"
Nature Blogs (UK)
"Archimedes’ legendary sphere brought to life"
Nature News (UK)
"Discovery about the Antikythera Mechanism reveals surprising advances in early Greek science"
University of Puget Sound (USA)
"World's oldest computer is more ancient than first thought... "
The Daily Mail Online (UK)
"New international mission ready to explore Antikythera shipwreck"
eKathimerini (Greece)
"Return to Antikythera: Divers revisit wreck where ancient computer found"
The Guardian Science Blog (UK)
"In search of lost time"
Nature (UK)
"World’s First Computer Displayed Olympic Calendar"
Wired Gadget Lab (USA)
"Antikythera Mechanism - World's earliest existing analogue computer"
HotnHit News (India)
"In search of lost time"
Nature (UK)
"Imaging the Antikythera Computer"
Wired Gadget Lab (USA)
"Decoding an Ancient Computer: Greek Technology Tracked the Heavens"
Scientific American (USA)
"2,000 Year Old Computer Yields Her Secrets"
Wired Gadget Lab (USA)
"Watch a video explaining the Antikythera mechanism"
Nature (UK)
"Antikythera mechanism"
Wikipedia (USA)
"World's First Computer Rebuilt, Rebooted After 2,000 Years"
Wired Gadget Lab (USA)
"Antikythera: A 2,000-year-old Greek computer comes back to life"
The Guardian Science Blog (UK)
Google image search results for The Antikythera mechanism
Google (USA)

 

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Morien Institute News Headlines Archive
2017
January 01 - March 31 | April 01 - June 30 | July 01 - September 30

 

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