Modern-day druids, hippies and revellers who turn up at Stonehenge to celebrate the summer solstice may not be marking an ancient festival as they believe.
The latest archaeological findings add weight to growing evidence that our ancestors visited Stonehenge to celebrate the winter solstice.
Analysis of pigs's teeth found at Durrington Walls, a ceremonial site of wooden post circles near Stonehenge on the River Avon, has shown that most pigs were less than a year old when slaughtered.
More solstice news
Study sheds fresh light on Dilmun
A SAUDI archaeologist is rounding up a group of experts to witness an annual phenomenon in Saar, which he claims sheds new light on the Dilmun civilisation.
Dammam Regional Museum archaeologist Nabiel Al Shaikh has been visiting a temple at the 4,000-year-old Saar settlement for the last nine years in an attempt to prove his theory.
The ancient temple has an oddly positioned triangular corner room, which Mr Al Shaikh claims was used as an astronomical device to measure the position of the sun.
He believes that during the summer solstice, which falls on June 21, the sun would set over the corner of the temple - letting priests know that it was the beginning of the New Year.
Dig uncovers ritzy side of Acadian life
Archeologist Marc Lavoie and a team of students from Universite Sainte-Anne have uncovered a rash of new Acadian artifacts from the Belleisle marsh, a former salt marsh that stretches from Annapolis Royal to Bridgetown.
The artifacts, described as everything from pipes to pottery, illustrate more completely than ever the daily lives of the Acadian people in the early 1700s.
Excavations took place in the spring of 2004 and again last month at the site along the Annapolis River where numerous foundations of early Acadian homes were first discovered in the 1960s.
Danger in the Ruins
Indiana Jones would have just grabbed the treasure and bullwhipped his way to safety. But today's real-life archaeologists don't have it so easy. Freidel braves poisonous snakes, flesh-boring flies, arsonists, murderous thieves, and machete-armed, hostage-taking mobs. But he must also do meticulous science, using dental picks and soft brushes to painstakingly excavate every shard and bone. And for the first time since his initial dig at age 17, Freidel must protect ruins from overcrowding, poverty, and greed by, for example, putting out forest fires and creating jobs for locals. "When I first walked in here four years ago, I was naive. I had no idea I'd have to be doing all this," to excavate jungle mounds hidden deep in the Laguna del Tigre National Park, about 50 miles west of the more famous Maya city of Tikal. "But it has become impossible to do archaeology without protecting the sites," Freidel says.
Good, long article on the realities of doing archaeology today. Although this sentence: But the recent stripping of Iraq's treasures woke up the entire profession to the need to better protect sites with both security and economic incentives for locals. If archaeologists needed Iraq to "wake them up" then it says something pretty pathetic about our discipline. In fact, looting has been high on the archaeology agenda for years. Media (and political) interest in the Iraq situation only served as a handy vehicle for the issue to come out of the SAA meetings and into the pages of newsmagazines. But still, archaeology is changing especially for those working in foreign countries where extensive local involvement is now a must.
Wish there was a picture. . . Iran may lose chance to introduce world’s most ancient animation
The Iranian president of the Association Internationale du Film d'Animation (ASIFA, International Animated Film Association) warned Iranian cultural officials that they might lose the chance to introduce the most ancient example of animation, which was discovered at Iran’s 5200-year-old Burnt City, during the ASIFA session that is to be held in Seoul in August.
“Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to begin recording the artifact. Further delay will prevent us from completing the work for the Seoul session,” Nureddin Zarrinkelk added.
. . .
The bowl was found in the grave of a person who appears to have been the painter of the animated pictures. The animation shows nine pictures of a goat which is jumping to eat the leaves of a tree.
Search on for secret of Greek sea battle
They were hopelessly outnumbered, but even then the Greeks knew it would be the battle that could change history.
The Asian invaders had entered the Aegean. The "comeliest of boys" had been castrated; the throats of the "goodliest" soldiers ripped out.
Mounted on his marble throne, Xerxes, Persia's formidable warrior king, looked over the bay of Salamis, confident that he was about to enslave Europe. But instead of victory came defeat.
Okay, not archaeology. . . Pioneer descendants help Duwamish tribe
Amy Johnson's great-great-grandfather, David Denny, faced grim odds when his family and others in the Denny Party reached Puget Sound after a half-year journey from Illinois.
The group, which later founded Seattle, likely would have perished had it not been for the generosity of Duwamish tribal members, who offered clam broth to revive the ailing babe, shelter and protection from hostile tribes.
Yet unlike the legendary assistance New England tribes offered the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock so long ago, the friendship between the Duwamish and early white settlers remains a little-known, yet vital, element of area history.
Johnson, a Bellevue resident, wants that to change. While watching her own family grow, she felt an urge last year to thank and honor the tribe that enabled her and other settler descendants to exist, generations later.
But a nice story.
Human evolution update Did humans evolve in fits and starts?
Humans may have evolved during a few rapid bursts of genetic change, according to a new study of the human genome, which challenges the popular theory that evolution is a gradual process.
Researchers studying human chromosome 2 have discovered that the bulk of its DNA changes occurred in a relatively short period of time and, since then, only minor alterations have occurred.
This backs a theory called “punctuated equilibrium” which suggests that evolution actually occurred as a series of jumps with long static periods between them.
We were watching an old X-Files episode a couple of weeks ago, when Mulder referred to it as 'punctual equilibrium'. Can't be late for those mutations!
A mammoth discovery Wolly mammoth closer to Asian elephants
Japanese scientists said Friday that DNA tests have shown that the prehistoric woolly mammoth is more closely related to Asian elephants than to their African counterparts, settling a long-running debate over the lineage of the giant animals that went extinct 10,000 years ago.
Nagoya University professor Tomoo Ozawa and his team examined muscle tissue DNA taken from a woolly mammoth excavated in Siberia and determined that the animal and Asiatic elephants branched off from the same ancestor 4.8 million years ago. African elephants diverged from the family tree earlier on, about 7.3 million years ago, the group said.
Egyptian glassworks updates
And the BBC.