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 as our Web Editor. Thank you again to everyone
who continues to send in news stories, and all the many good wishes for John.
We really appreciate your support and cannot thank you enough - Polly.
"Ancient monuments damaged in Preseli Hills" Tivyside Advertiser (Cymru)
"Archaeologists and conservationists have repeated a plea to visitors to leave ancient sites and monuments in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park as they find them.
Rocks from Foel Drygarn and Carn Meini (also known as Carn Menyn) in the Preseli Hills are being moved or taken away by visitors who may be unaware of their protected status and significance.
The Preseli Hills has been inhabited for thousands of years, with prehistoric monuments sitting in a landscape of natural cliffs and crags. The area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
'At Carn Meini we found a number of stones that had been hammered and a stash of broken up bits of bluestone.
Carn Meini’s greatest claim to fame is that its dolerite rock is the famous bluestone that was used to build the inner ring of Stonehenge.'"
[Read The Full Story]
[Ever since Carn Meini was identified as the source of the blustones used at Stonehenge various idiots have gone up there and chipped off bits of the dolerite bluestone to take home as souvenirs.
The Presceli mountain area is the legendary site of the gateway to the ancient celtic underworld - Annwn. If grabbing bits of stone is your intention don't go up there in the mist. You may never return. Please do read the full story - Ed.]
Two projects released results this week on the genomes of around 20 individuals, which together reveal that the history of our species on the continent is much more complex than previously thought.
Africa's neglect until now by ancient-DNA researchers was largely a result of the continent's scorching climate.
Because heat speeds the deterioration of DNA, scientists have focused on sequencing remains from cooler European sites and Siberian permafrost.
The first success in Africa came in 2015, when researchers sequenced the genome of a 4,500-year-old man from Ethiopia who was preserved in a relatively chilly mountainous cave.
But advances in removing contamination, and the discovery that a tiny inner ear bone is chock full of ancient DNA, have convinced researchers that the technology is finally ready to grapple with Africa's past."
[Read The Full Story]
[Great stuff again from Nature News! The reasons why DNA research in Africa has been sadly lacking is explained in detail, and how it has proceeded recenty is outlined. It really is well worth taking the time to read the full story - Ed.]
"Sixth century medical recipe uncovered in St Catherine's Monastery" Ahram Online (Egypt)
"In a ceremony held at his ministry's headquarters, Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany announced the discovery of a very important medical manuscript uncovered by the monks of St Catherine's Monastery in South Sinai during restoration works carried out in the monastery's library.
Mohammed Abdel-Latif, assistant minister of antiquities for archaeological sites, explained that the discovered manuscript is one of those known as "Palmesit" manuscripts, dating to the 6th century AD.
The manuscript is written on leather and bears parts of a medical recipe of the renowned Greek physician Hippocrates.
The manuscript has also three other medical recipes written by an anonymous scribe, one of which contains drawings of medicinal herbs of the Greek recipe."
[Read The Full Story]
[Another good story from Ahram Online! Though attributed to Greek physician, Hippocrates, everyone knows that the Greeks simply stole all the medical knowledge of the far more civilised Africa, and later claimed as Greek, from the Egyptians in the first place - especially Imhotep. Worth reading the full story though - Ed.]
"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]
"Howard Crowhurst in this book has presented the most brilliant analysis of a megalithic site in the entire history of archaeology.
His elucidations of the geometrical, mathematical, and astronomical principles by which ancient Carnac was constructed prove that megalithic science was astonishingly advanced.
The book gives us unprecedented insight into the minds of the intellectuals of a lost civilisation, which we may at last begin to comprehend as a result of what Crowhurst has found during more than twenty years of living on site.