Neolithic Finds

KeyserXSoze

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Jun 2, 2002
Messages
944
Likes
7
Points
49
#1
Significant Neolithic Site Found in Scotland

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=610172004
Archaeologists startled to discover Neolithic ritual site

FRANK URQUHART


THE setting for one of the most famous castles in Scotland’s North-east was first used as the site for a high-status building almost 6,000 years ago, it was revealed yesterday.

A team of archaeologists began work earlier this month at the Crathes Castle Estate, on Royal Deeside, to investigate what was thought to be the remains of a timber hall from the Dark Ages, 1,500 years ago.

But they have instead found the remains of a large Neolithic building which may have been used as a prehistoric ritual site.

The remarkable discovery was yesterday hailed as one of the most significant archeological finds made in the North east of Scotland for years.

Charlie Murray, co-director of the excavation, said: "What we discovered is highly significant and has taken everyone by surprise. This site is of huge importance and we will now have to really rethink our use of the landscape by the farmers and what they were doing in the early Neolithic period.

"Considering you are talking about 5,500 years ago, the structure we have found was massive, constructed of huge timber posts and as a big as 25 metres by up to ten metres."
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,719
Likes
17,083
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#5
Neolithic man 'had violent history'

Neolithic man, thought to be the world's first farmer, was not as peaceful as previously thought, new research has suggested. A study of remains kept in UK museums found neolithic man ran a one-in-14 chance of getting a cracked skull.

Archaeologist Dr Rick Schulting from Queen's University, Belfast said 350 skulls dated between 4000 and 3200 BC from southern England were examined.

He said the study "challenged" the myth of neolithic man being peaceful.

Dr Schutling, who co-led the study, said that about 5% of the injuries were healed and some may have been from sporting contests used as a means of resolving disputes.

"Basically standing head-to-head, bashing each other until one falls down - that's a possibility, domestic violence, or it might reflect more serious conflict," he said.


I don't think this makes this period particularly unpleasant or violent, but it makes it a bit more realistic perhaps
Dr Rick Schulting

He said that about 2% of the skulls showed no signs of healing, meaning that the person had died at the time, possibly murdered or a victim of warfare between groups.

"In a way this puts a more human face on them and it is more what we would expect," he said.

"I don't think this makes this period particularly unpleasant or violent, but it makes it a bit more realistic perhaps."

Most of the fatal blows were to the left side of the head, which would have made sense if two right-handed people were fighting.

The injuries were mainly caused by blunt objects, although some skulls appeared to have been hacked by stone axes.

There was also some evidence of ears being chopped off.

Dr Schulting presented the evidence at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/n ... 760643.stm

Published: 2006/05/11 09:05:38 GMT

© BBC MMVI
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#6
I think I saw a similar article in the daily mail, but I believe they had a picture of a 'cave man'. yeeeeeessssss....very neolithic. Full marks for the mail and its lazy hacks :lol:
 

morningstar667

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Jan 25, 2006
Messages
274
Likes
4
Points
34
#7
Paul Bahn in Archaeology Detectives discusses the discovery of mass burials at Talheim in 1983 where 34 individuals from a mass grave (just thrown in)were found to have died violently. 20 of them including some of the children had received lethal blows to the head. Others had been struck with a blunt instrument which deformed the skull, 2 adults had been struck in the head by flint spears or arrowheads.
http://www.britarch.ac.uk/BA/ba52/ba52feat.html
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,719
Likes
17,083
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#8
Neolithic finds unearthed by Ormesby St Michael dig
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/england/norfolk/10342496.stm


Pottery shards The Neolithic pottery shards are some of the earliest ever found in Britain

Some of the earliest pottery ever found in Britain has been unearthed on farmland on the Norfolk Broads.

The Neolithic flints and pottery shards dating back more than 5,000 years were found by the Oxford East Archaeology unit next to Ormesby Broad.

They include a loom weight for weaving cloth and a rare whetstone, used for sharpening tools, something normally only found in burial grounds.

The dig preceded the creation of 12 man-made silt lagoons for the broad.

They will hold sediment from the eastern arm of Ormesby Broad and are aimed at improve water quality and encouraging wildlife in a £120,000 project funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
'Rarely seen'

The excavation also uncovered an extensive Middle Bronze Age field system dating back to about 1,500 BC.

These systems were not thought to have existed further east than the Cambridgeshire Fens, indicating that such organised systems of farming were in use in the Broads earlier than previously thought.

Richard Mortimer, senior project manager at Oxford Archaeology East, said: "We have not only shown that contrary to virtually all published sources and expectations Norfolk certainly does have Middle Bronze Age field systems, but they have a complexity that has rarely been seen elsewhere in the county.

"It seems man, who dug out the Broads, was living and farming here earlier than we thought. It adds a new chapter to the Middle Bronze Age story for Norfolk".
Edit to amend title
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,452
Likes
8,842
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
#9
Or if you fancy a sea trip:

Digger finds Neolithic tomb complex

Archaeologists on Orkney are investigating what is thought to be a 5,000-year-old tomb complex.
A local man stumbled on the site while using a mechanical digger for landscaping.
It appears to contain a central passageway and multiple chambers excavated from rock.

There is a large neolithic burial complex nearby called The Tomb of the Eagles where over 300 bodies were found.

"Potentially these skeletons could tell us so much about Neolithic people," said Orkney Islands Council archaeologist Julie Gibson.
"Not only in relation to their deaths, but their lives."

One end of the tomb was accidentally removed as it was discovered and as a result, the burial site has now been flooded.
Archaeologists are in a race against time to recover its contents before they are damaged or destroyed.
"There might also be other material, pottery or organics such as woven grass, buried in there - which cannot last under the circumstances," said Ms Gibson.

The rescue excavation is being undertaken by archaeologists from Orkney College and is sponsored by by Orkney Islands Council and Historic Scotland.

The team are posting daily video updates from the excavations which are expected to take 10 days.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11656142
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,719
Likes
17,083
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#10
'Ancient farm' found at site of new Forth Crossing
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-e ... e-11846078

Artist's impression of the Forth Replacement Crossing The finds are not expected to affect construction of the Forth Replacement Crossing

Related stories

* Forth crossing dig due to start
* Forth bridge passes first hurdle

Archaeologists believe they may have unearthed the remains of a Neolithic farm on the site where the new Forth road bridge is to be built.

Trial trenches have been dug in a field on the outskirts of South Queensferry on land reserved for the planned Forth Replacement Crossing (FRC).

Archaeologists plan further excavations to confirm what they believe is an early version of a croft or small farm.

The discovery is not expected to affect construction of the new crossing.

Edinburgh-based Headland Archaeology (UK) Limited, which is conducting the dig, has also found what it believes to be the remains of a circular house and uncovered a number of items, including pieces of Neolithic pottery and a flint arrowhead.

The rare finds offer a glimpse of how the land was used 4,000 years ago.

Dr Noel Fojut, of Historic Scotland, said: "What we have got are one or two locations where there is quite interesting archaeology, but it's quite a limited area.

"If the area had been littered with incredibly important archaeology it would have been a bit of a problem for the road builders."
Crossing 'vital'

The archaeological team has been on site for about four weeks and hopes to have the work completed by Christmas.

Steven Brown, Transport Scotland's roads team manager for the FRC, said: "The Forth crossing is the biggest infrastructure project in Scotland for a generation and is vital to our economic future.

"But it is also right that we take the opportunity to find out more about this area's past and we are committed to ensuring Scotland's heritage remains as unaffected as possible by the delivery of major new infrastructure projects."

Finance Secretary John Swinney recently confirmed in his Scottish budget that plans were still on track for constructing a replacement for the Forth road bridge.

Subject to parliamentary approval of the Forth Crossing Bill, construction of the new bridge will begin in 2011.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,719
Likes
17,083
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#11
Multiple burials at Orkney Neolithic site
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11890292

part of tomb complex A stone slab forms the roof of one of the chambers
Continue reading the main story
Related stories

* Digger finds Neolithic tomb complex
* Explore Neolithic Orkney
* 3D treatment for Neolithic Orkney

Archaeologists have recovered remains from at least eight people after initial excavation at a Neolithic tomb site in Orkney discovered in October.

A narrow, stone-lined passageway leads to five chambers, two of which have been part-excavated so far.

Fragments of skull and hipbone have been unearthed, some carefully placed in gaps in the stones, suggesting the 5,000-year-old site is undisturbed.

The bones point to a range of ages at death including a child of about six.

It is a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to look at a Neolithic community, says Orkney Islands Council's county archaeologist, Julie Gibson.

Orkney contains some of the best preserved Neolithic remains in Europe. Just a few hundred metres from the dig at Banks on Ronaldsay lies the larger Tombs of the Eagles complex where remains of more than 300 people were found.

But the recent find is the first undisturbed burial of a Neolithic community to be discovered in Scotland in three decades.
Burial 'rituals'
sketch of burial complex The arrow marks the entrance to the burial site (Sketch by archaeologist Dan Lee, ORCA)

"Science has moved on a lot in the last few years," says Gibson.

"It is now possible to find out where someone grew up, for instance. And in the case of the Amesbury Archer, found near Stonehenge, it could be seen that he had travelled from the Alps.

"It is by no means certain that all the people in this tomb will have been born here."

There are signs of rituals taking place at the site, for instance the complex was filled with layers of earth suggesting repeated use over a period of time. And large stones were used in the construction and sealing of the chambers.

The site was discovered accidentally during landscaping with a mechanical digger which damaged one end of the complex. The underground site is now subject to flooding and archaeologists are keen to investigate the site while it remains undisturbed.

Initial excavations carried out by the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology have now been completed and there are plans to return to the site in the summer. The dig has been sponsored by Orkney Islands Council and Historic Scotland.

The archaeological team have posted online videos illustrating the excavations.
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,452
Likes
8,842
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
#12
This could be the most important find ever from this period:

A History of Ancient Britain - A History of Ancient Britain Special: Orkney's Stone Age

Using 3-D graphics, Neil Oliver explores a newly-discovered 5,000-year-old temple on Orkney which is opening new windows onto the beliefs of Neolithic people.

Neil Oliver explores a newly-discovered 5,000-year-old temple on Orkney. Built 500 years before the iconic monument of Stonehenge, the temple is opening new windows onto the beliefs of Neolithic people, turning the map of ancient Britain upside down.

This is a vast site of undisturbed archaeology, set within one of the most important ancient landscapes in the world. Already the site is revealing a series of incredible finds including the first ever discovery of Neolithic painted wall decorations, and even the pigments and paint pots used by Stone Age artists.

All the new archaeological evidence, and the wonders of special effects, has now been used to create a 3-D world of the entire temple, allowing Neil to walk inside in a bid to understand just how it might have been used.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... ge_Temple/

Available until 10:04PM Sun, 8 Jan 2012

First broadcast BBC HD, 9:05PM Sun, 1 Jan 2012
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,452
Likes
8,842
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
#13
More info here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ness_of_Brodgar
According to project manager Nick Card, the discoveries are unparalleled in British prehistory, the complexity of finds is changing the "whole vision of what the landscape was 5,000 years ago" and that "it’s of a scale that almost relates to the classical period in the Mediterranean with walled enclosure and walled precincts".[2] Additionally, according to archaeologists in general, the site could be more important than Stonehenge.
 

rjmrjmrjm

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
1,381
Likes
15
Points
54
#14
It seems that evidence that could be used to back up my pet theory that ancient peoples were much more advanced than we give them credit for and were much better travelled and linked than we thought seems to have been increasing over the past 10 years.
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,452
Likes
8,842
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
#15
rjmrjmrjm said:
It seems that evidence that could be used to back up my pet theory that ancient peoples were much more advanced than we give them credit for and were much better travelled and linked than we thought seems to have been increasing over the past 10 years.
I thought that as far back as the 60s. My reasons came from my own experiences at sea (especially later) and my interest in astronomy.

We know they had boats way back in time, and outside of the Med they would have had tides to cope with. (And the people of the Orkneys, then as now, would have known all about the ferocious tides in the Pentland Firth.)

It doesn't take long to realise that the tides are linked to the Moon, and this would lead to an interest in the movements of Sun, Moon, and stars - hence stone circles as early forms of observatories. This knowledge would help understand the tides better, and be of general navigational use.

Somewhere I still have the notes I made in the 70s, when reading Homer's Odyssey and Iliad: I noted details of ship construction and handling, and also references to use of the stars to navigate. In fact I'd done something similar in the 60s, studying the voyage where St Paul was shipwrecked, so these ideas have been floating around my mind since school-days!

So the evidence has long been there, but it's good that modern archaelogy can now expand our knowledge. The Antikythera Mechanism, although of a later date, is also good evidence of the links between astronomy and sailing:
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5649
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
12,047
Likes
127
Points
114
#16
I've just watched the BBC4, 'A History of Ancient Britain', prog. on the Ness of Brodgar complex, on Orkney. Wow! Boggle! etc. :shock:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01971gm/A_History_of_Ancient_Britain_Orkneys_Stone_Age_Temple/

I dug in the Orkneys, for a couple of seasons, many years ago, for another FTMB member's dad. It was one of the most exciting, interesting and educational periods of my life. The Ness of Brodgar site is about ten times larger and somewhere between five hundred and a thousand years older.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&v=74EULgHPs-s

http://www.orkneyjar.com/archaeology/nessofbrodgar/

I'd love to go digging up there again. :)

I was reading my copy of Spirit Roads, by Paul Devereux, last autumn. I suspect the next edition will need an extra chapter devoted to the Ness of Brodgar site.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,719
Likes
17,083
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#17
Another Scottish find. Mix.ed periods but the Neolithic is highlighted.

Neolithic pottery at Culduthel section of Inverness flood scheme
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-h ... s-17397694
Grooved Neolithic pottery found at the flood relief site

Related Stories

Digs reveal 'sterile' store site
Bronze Age burials at Asda site

Neolithic pottery excavated ahead of work on a £16m flood scheme has added to archaeologists' understanding of a city's past.

Pits containing fragments of ceramics were recovered from the site in the Culduthel area of Inverness.

Archaeologists were brought in ahead of construction of phase three of the city's south west flood relief channel.

Iron Age weapons and a Romano-British brooch have been found previously at other sites nearby.

Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services carried out an assessment of the flood scheme site between December 2010 and January 2011.

The archaeologists' report on what they found has been published online.

Six Neolithic pots were identified and fragments of pottery from the early to middle Neolithic and later Neolithic grooved ware were recovered.

Other finds included a piece of polished stone axe, half of a stone ball and a possible fragment of an anvil stone.

Glass beads

Culduthel is rich in archaeological sites.

Flints and prehistoric pottery were found nearby in 2009 and 2010.

Between 2005 and 2007, significant finds were made at Culduthel Mains Farm, which is now a housing development.

A high-status Iron Age metal-working site with well preserved roundhouses and iron-smelting furnaces was recorded there.

Glass beads, iron weapons and a Romano-British brooch were found along with evidence of an oval-shaped palisade enclosure nearby.

In its report, Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services said the latest discoveries were "important evidence" to add to what was already known about Culduthel's past.

The archaeologists added that the south west side of Inverness and the Great Glen was a "very important" prehistoric landscape.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,719
Likes
17,083
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#18
Neolithic horned cairns near Caithness wind farm scanned
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-h ... s-17463275

An image created by AOC Archaeology of one of the seven horned cairns

Related Stories

Ancient finds at £16m flood site
Prince tours site of a broch star
Human remains at Iron Age broch

A wind farm developer has paid for archaeologists to scan a cluster of seven Neolithic horned cairns near to where 21 turbines will be erected.

The 5,000 year old structures at Hill of Shebster, near Thurso, in Caithness, were used for burials and rituals.

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) equipment was used to map the cairns.

Edinburgh-based AOC Archaeology also recorded 300 new Bronze and Iron Age sites in the £100,000 project funded by Baillie Wind Farm.

The new sites included hut circle settlements.

'Good example'
Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

The survey makes an invaluable contribution to the archaeological record of Caithness, and is really the first large-scale survey of its kind undertaken in Scotland”

Dr Graeme Cavers
AOC Archaeology
Archaeologists have produced three-dimensional images of the horned cairns from the scans.

The stone structures are more than 60m (196ft) in length and have two projecting walls at their entrances that create small courtyard areas.

A car park and path are to be built near the cairns to allow the public to visit them.

Consultant Dr Graeme Cavers, of AOC Archaeology, said: "The Shebster area is an unusually good example of a well-preserved cluster of sites.

"They are essentially burial and ritual monuments, much like the chapels and shrines of more recent times, and each of them is likely to have been used exclusively by individual local groups or communities."

He added: "The survey makes an invaluable contribution to the archaeological record of Caithness, and is really the first large-scale survey of its kind undertaken in Scotland."

Caithness is rich in ancient sites.


Prince Charles under an umbrella at Nybster's broch settlement last year
It has more examples of massive stone wall roundhouses, known as brochs, per square mile than any other part of Scotland, according to Highland Council.

The remains of a broch at Nybster have been dated to 700 to 500 BC, but archaeologists believe the site may have been occupied long before the Iron Age and also for many years after, including up to medieval times.

The Duke of Rothesay toured an archaeological dig at the site in August 2011.

Prince Charles was staying at Castle of Mey, the late Queen Mother's summer residence in Caithness, at the time.

Finds from the more recent past have also been made in Caithness this year.

In February, a man with a metal detector found nine coins believed to date to 1279.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,719
Likes
17,083
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#19
Older than Giza – ancient burial chamber revealed
http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/short ... veale.html
17:59 27 April 2012

Picture of the Day
Colin Barras, Biomedical and environment news editor

(Image: Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation)

EVEN 5000 years ago, Britons were an understated bunch. About 250 years before work began on Egypt's ostentatious Great Pyramid of Giza, the early settlers of Orkney, off the north coast of Scotland, were building impressive stone chambers of their own - and burying them under mounds of dirt. Now, intensive laser scanning makes it possible to virtually peel away the mud, revealing one of those chambers in all its glory.

This is Maeshowe, a 3.8-metre-tall tomb chamber reached via a narrow passage 11 metres long. Maeshowe is one of several Neolithic monuments that comprise the Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was scanned by a team from the Glasgow School of Art's Digital Design Studio and the government agency Historic Scotland. The team is scanning 10 World Heritage Sites, five of which are in Scotland, for the Scottish Ten project. "We scanned Mount Rushmore [National Memorial] in the US in 2010," says Lyn Wilson of Historic Scotland.

All the sites are tourist attractions, which can make conserving them a challenge. The scans, accurate to within 6 millimetres, will form an invaluable record to monitor future wear and tear.

Not all damage made by visitors is unwelcome, though. A thousand years ago, Orkney was under Norwegian rule and Maeshowe was plundered. The robbers left behind the largest collection of runes known outside Scandinavia, carved into the stone. These, too, have been laser-scanned in sub-millimetre detail. That's pretty impressive for 1000-year-old graffiti.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,719
Likes
17,083
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#20
Occupy the Neolithic
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2 ... tml?ref=hp
by Michael Balter on 28 May 2012, 3:00 PM | 0 Comments

On top of the food chain. This 7000-year-old farmer from Austria was buried with a stone adze (at his back), a sign that he was part of the social elite.
Credit: BDA-Neugebauer

Even the most democratic societies are rife with social and economic inequalities, as the current tension between the poorer "99%" and the richest "1%" vividly illustrates. But just how early in human events such social hierarchies became entrenched has been a matter of debate. A new study of skeletons from prehistoric farming communities across Europe suggests that hereditary inequality was an early feature, going back more than 7000 years ago.

Most researchers agree that social hierarchies began with the advent of farming. The earliest known farming communities are found in the Near East, dating back almost 11,000 years. Archaeologists have looked for evidence of social stratification in these societies with mixed results. Some early farming societies show signs that people played different roles and that some were buried with greater ritual—shuffling off this mortal coil with a number of elaborate "grave goods," including pottery and stone tools. However, there is little evidence that social inequality was hereditary or rigidly defined.

That seems to have changed sometime after farmers moved into Europe from the Near East, beginning about 8500 years ago during a period known as the European Neolithic. One of the best studied farming cultures is the Linearbandkeramik (LBK), which arose in what is today Hungary about 7500 years ago and spread as far as modern-day Paris within 500 years, after which it appears to have been superseded by other cultures.

Archaeologists have long noted signs that the LBK culture might have been socially stratified. For example, some, but not all, males were buried with stone tools called adzes, which were thought to be used to build the wooden houses in which the farmers lived. But a few researchers have argued that this stratification took place only gradually over the 500 year period of the LBK.

To get a better handle on the timing and nature of these social inequalities, a team led by Alexander Bentley, an archaeologist at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, analyzed the tooth enamel from more than 300 skeletons from seven LBK burial sites across Europe. These cemeteries, located in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, and France, ranged from 7400 to 6900 years in age, and covered most of the LBK's territorial spread.

Specifically, the team looked for the element strontium in teeth and measured the ratio of two isotopes, or types of the atom with slightly different weights. Strontium atoms enter the body in the water that we drink and the food we eat, and the ratio of the heavier isotope strontium-87 to the lighter isotope strontium-86 reflects the kind of soil and geological formations a person lived on, particularly as a child, when the tooth enamel was laid down. The strontium isotopes are increasingly used by archaeologists to track movements of populations.

Previous studies have shown that the kind of soil favored by European farmers, lowland sediments known as loess, has a slightly lower strontium-87/strontium-86 ratio than less fertile areas such as upland hills made from granite or sandstone. Yet because of Europe's variable landscape, in which fertile and non-fertile areas can be as close as several kilometers apart, the team relied more heavily on the degree of variation of strontium ratios among the skeletons in a burial site than on their absolute values.

The results of the study, published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that men who were buried with adzes—thought to be an indication of higher social status—were more likely to have grown up on loess soils than men who were buried without adzes. For example, among 310 burials the team analyzed, 62 featured adzes. But only one of the 62 skeletons from the adze burials had a strontium ratio in its teeth typical of a non-loess landscape, whereas all of the others were consistent with growing up on loess. Moreover, the variation in strontium ratios between adze skeletons was significantly lower than the variation between non-adze skeletons, suggesting to Bentley and his co-workers that the adze skeletons came from one kind of landscape, most likely loess, while the others came from a variety of other landscapes.

A similarly striking pattern was seen when the team looked at the female skeletons, which made up 153 of the total 311 individuals analyzed. The variation in strontium ratios for females was significantly greater than for males, suggesting that a greater number of females than males had grown up in non-fertile areas. Moreover, the patterns in the male and female burials appeared in both earlier and later LBK settlements, suggesting that the patterns of social inequality were established from the beginning of the LBK period and did not develop gradually over time.

The team came to two main conclusions: First, some males had greater access to fertile soils than others, probably because they were the sons of farmers who had inherited access to the best land. And second, LBK societies were "patrilocal," meaning that males tended to stay put in one place while females moved in from other areas to mate with them. A number of recent genetic studies have shown similar patterns among early European farmers. "The signatures from these skeletons reinforce other indications of male-dominated descent and even land inheritance," Bentley says, adding that such social inequalities "only grew in extent and scale" over the course of history.

Joachim Burger, an anthropologist at the University of Mainz in Germany, says the authors are on firm ground: "The amount of data is huge and the interpretations are straightforward." He adds that the new data, particularly the differences seen between men and women, are "absolutely coherent" with the pattern seen in more recent farming societies, up to the present day.

Follow ScienceNOW on Facebook and Twitter
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,719
Likes
17,083
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#21
Monmouth ruin find could pre-date pyramids
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-sout ... s-18423528

Archaeologists Paul Davies (left) and Steve Clarke at the site in Monmouth

Related Stories

Academics reveal Stonehenge sound
Saxon grave find 'extremely rare'
Bronze Age boats found at quarry

Archaeologists claim to have unearthed the remnants of a large prehistoric building, which they say could be older than Egypt's pyramids.

Experts said they were mystified by the "unique" find on the site of a housing development in Monmouth.

Monmouth Archaeology, which found the wooden foundations, said they dated to at least the Bronze Age, but could be early Neolithic, about 6,500 years old.

It said the pyramids were built about 4,500 years ago.

Steve Clarke of Monmouth Archaeology, who has 55 years' experience, claimed nothing like it had been discovered in Britain before and he was checking if something similar had been unearthed on mainland Europe.

He said the structure, possibly a long house, had been built on the edge of a long-lost lake, which has silted up over time.

The building's foundations were made from entire tree trunks, measuring about a metre wide.

"We think it could be from the Bronze Age (about 4,000 years ago), but some of the experts we've brought in to see it think it could be early Neolithic. If that's the case it could easily pre-date the pyramids," he said.


Imprints of the tree trunks which laid the foundations for the building
"We think it's a long house which would have been home to a family, and perhaps used for gatherings and meetings.

"We're not really sure what it is, it's a mystery, but it's the foundation for something.

"It's unique. We haven't seen anything like it. Various experts and professors are equally mystified."

Mr Clarke said the wooden foundations were at least 50ft (15m) long.

Radio-carbon tests
He said most of the known long houses were built on posts about a 1ft (30cm) wide, but trees had been used for the base of the Monmouth structure, and they had been placed on a prehistoric "burnt mound".

Mr Clarke said a burnt mound was a mass of stones which were heated in a fire, thrown into a pot or trough to boil water, although some experts think the stones were used to create an early type of sauna.

Archaeologists have ordered radio-carbon tests of the foundations and the results are expected later this month.

The find is on the Parc Glyndwr development in Monmouth, where about 80 houses are to be built.

Monmouth Archaeology were employed by the housing developers to study the site.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,719
Likes
17,083
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#22
Stone Age skull-smashers spark a cultural mystery
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... stery.html
16 August 2012 by Jessica Hamzelou
Magazine issue 2878.

AN UNUSUAL cluster of Stone Age skulls with smashed-in faces has been found carefully separated from the rest of their skeletons. They appear to have been dug up several years after being buried with their bodies, separated, then reburied.

Collections of detached skulls have been dug up at many Stone Age sites in Europe and the Near East - but the face-smashing is a new twist that adds further mystery to how these societies related to their dead.

Juan José Ibañez at the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona says the find may suggest that Stone Age cultures believed dead young men were a threat to the world of the living.

No one knows why Neolithic societies buried clusters of skulls - often near or underneath settlements. Some think it was a sign of ancestral veneration. "When people started living together [during the Neolithic period], they needed a social cement," says Ibañez. Venerating ancestors might have been a way of doing this. But the violence demonstrated towards the skulls in the latest cluster suggests a different story.

The 10,000-year-old skulls were found in Syria. Like those found in other caches, they have been cleanly separated from their spines, suggesting they were collected from dead bodies that had already begun to decompose. Patterns on the bone indicate that some had been decomposing for longer than others, making it likely that they were all gathered together for a specific purpose.

Most of the skulls belonged to adult males between 18 and 30 years old. One - belonging to a child - was left intact; one was smashed to pieces; the remaining nine lacked facial bones. "There was a pattern," says Ibañez. "The top of the skull and the jaw were there, but they were missing all of the bones in between." His team believes the facial bones were smashed out with a stone and brute force. "There were no traces of cutting," he says (American Journal of Physical Anthropology, DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22111).

Ibañez reckons Stone Age people believed they would receive some benefit - perhaps the strength of the young men the skulls once belonged to - by burying them near or beneath their settlements. Why the faces were smashed in invites speculation.

It may have been an act of spite or revenge, says Ibañez. Or the skulls may have been brought together to create a "community of the dead", perhaps in order to spiritually interact with the living.

"The post-mortem violence suggests young men were seen as carrying a particular threat," says Stuart Campbell at the University of Manchester, UK. Destroying their facial structures may have been a way of destroying the individuals' identities, he says.

Liv Nilsson Stutz at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, says the act could have helped deal with grief. "Taking away facial identity could be a way of separating the dead from the living," she says.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,719
Likes
17,083
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#23
Long before any bible stories...

Israeli archeologists find rare stone age figures
http://phys.org/print265462736.html
August 29th, 2012 in Other Sciences / Archaeology & Fossils

This undated image made available by Israel Antiquities Authority on Wednesday Aug. 29, 2012 shows a rare stone age figurine that was found in digs last week prior to the widening of a major highway that connects Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. (AP Photo/Yael Yolovitch, Israel Antiquities Authority)

(AP)—Israel's Antiquities Authority says archeologists have unearthed two 9,500-year-old figurines near Jerusalem that help shed light on religion and society during the stone age.

This undated image made available by Israel Antiquities Authority on Wednesday Aug. 29, 2012 shows a rare stone age figurine that was found in digs last week prior to the widening of a major highway that connects Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. (AP Photo/Yael Yolovitch, Israel Antiquities Authority)

It says archaeologists unearthed the two rare figurines last week in Tel Motza between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv during a dig ahead of the expansion of a major highway in the area.

One of the objects is shaped like a ram and made of limestone. The other depicts an ox and is made of dolomite. Both are 15 centimeters (5.9 inches) long.
Wednesday's statement says the figurines could have been either good luck hunting icons or a representation of the animal's domestication.
 

Zilch5

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Messages
1,566
Likes
23
Points
54
#24
Stone Age dentists knew their beeswax

AUSTRALIAN scientists have helped date what may be the world's oldest dental filling – in a tooth crowned with beeswax in a 6500-year-old human jaw.

The portion of lower jaw, which was uncovered in a cave wall in northern Slovenia – an area rich in archaeological sites – bears two premolars, two first molars and a cracked canine filled with beeswax.

The thickness and size of the specimen suggests it belonged to a male, while the degree of wear on the teeth points to an owner aged in their late 20s.
The Lonche jaw from a karstic cave of southern Slovenia. Scale bar, 10 mm. Untitled21.jpg

The jaw bones discovered in Slovenia. Photo: Bernardini/Tuniz/Coppa/Mancini/D

An international team, including scientists from the University of Wollongong and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, used a range of sophisticated analytical technologies in laboratories around the world to date the teeth and the beeswax, as well as sample the filling and bone.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-te ... z26zIs00ow
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,452
Likes
8,842
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
#25

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,452
Likes
8,842
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
#26
Truro experts uncover '6000-year-old' causeway

Remains of a prehistoric enclosure have been discovered by archaeologists in Truro, Cornwall.
It is understood the enclosure was built during the early Neolithic period (3800 BC to 3600 BC).
Archaeologists say it was built at the same time as Carn Brea, a tor enclosure near Redruth.

The team will now take samples to verify the date of the enclosure, before re-burying the site, in line with national guidelines.
Dan Ratcliffe, from Cornwall Council's Historic Environment Service, said: "A causewayed enclosure was a large circular or oval area enclosed by a large bank and ditch.
"These sites date to the early Neolithic period - a period which also saw the introduction of agriculture to Britain, the domestication of animals, the manufacture of pottery, and the first appearance of large communally-built, ceremonial monuments."

Around 80 sites with evidence of causewayed enclosures are known across southern Britain.
The find at Truro is the first to be discovered to the south west of the border between Dorset and Devon, although Carn Brea and also Helman Tor, are thought to have been built at the same time and may have served similar functions.

The discovery was made by archaeologists working at the site of the future Truro Eastern District Centre (TEDC ), which include a supermarket, a food hall and 97 homes.

Tim Wood, Cornwall Council's assistant head of transportation, said: "The proposed development has sufficient flexibility in the design to ensure that the construction above does not interfere with the archaeological remains."

Mr Ratcliffe said: "While it is important that we take the opportunity to learn more about our findings now, best practice is for the site to be preserved for future generations of archaeologists who will have better technologies to understand it than we do today."

The excavations are a requirement of the planning conditions placed on the TEDC development, which is a partnership between the Duchy of Cornwall, Cornwall Council, The Taste of Cornwall and Waitrose.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-20164458

(Last December I posted about opposition to the development of this site:
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewt ... 91#1169791 )
 

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,452
Likes
8,842
Points
284
Location
Under the moon
#27
I guess this also belongs here (unless it's classified as Bronze age):

Europe's oldest prehistoric town unearthed in Bulgaria

Archaeologists in Bulgaria say they have uncovered the oldest prehistoric town found to date in Europe.
The walled fortified settlement, near the modern town of Provadia, is thought to have been an important centre for salt production.

Its discovery in north-east Bulgaria may explain the huge gold hoard found nearby 40 years ago.
Archaeologists believe that the town was home to some 350 people and dates back to between 4700 and 4200 BC.
That is about 1,500 years before the start of ancient Greek civilisation.

The residents boiled water from a local spring and used it to create salt bricks, which were traded and used to preserve meat.
Salt was a hugely valuable commodity at the time, which experts say could help to explain the huge defensive stone walls which ringed the town.

Excavations at the site, beginning in 2005, have also uncovered the remains of two-storey houses, a series of pits used for rituals, as well as parts of a gate and bastion structures.
A small necropolis, or burial ground, was discovered at the site earlier this year and is still being studied by archaeologists.

"We are not talking about a town like the Greek city-states, ancient Rome or medieval settlements, but about what archaeologists agree constituted a town in the fifth millennium BC," Vasil Nikolov, a researcher with Bulgaria's National Institute of Archaeology, told the AFP news agency.

Archaeologist Krum Bachvarov from the institute said the latest find was "extremely interesting".
"The huge walls around the settlement, which were built very tall and with stone blocks... are also something unseen in excavations of prehistoric sites in south-east Europe so far," he told AFP.

Similar salt mines near Tuzla in Bosnia and Turda in Romania help prove the existence of a series of civilisations which also mined copper and gold in the Carpathian and Balkan mountains during the same period.

BBC Europe correspondent Nick Thorpe says this latest discovery almost certainly explains the treasure found exactly 40 years ago at a cemetery on the outskirts of Varna, 35km (21 miles) away, the oldest hoard of gold objects found anywhere in the world.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20156681
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
46,719
Likes
17,083
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#30
I reckon Mossad did it.

Israeli archaeologists ponder possible whodunit
http://www.sciencedaily.com/
Posted 2012/11/08 at 9:46 am EST

JERUSALEM, Nov. 8, 2012 (Reuters) — Israeli archaeologists are scratching their heads over a possible 8,500-year-old murder mystery after discovering two skeletons at the bottom of an ancient well.

Flint sickle blades and arrowheads found in the eight-meter (26 foot)-deep Stone Age well in the Jezreel Valley in Israel's Galilee region, suggest it was used by the area's first farmers.

But archaeologists cannot explain why the skeletal remains of a woman, believed by archaeologists to have been aged about 19, and those of an older man were also uncovered deep inside the now-dry well.

"How did these come to be in the well? Was this an accident or perhaps murder? As of now the answer to this question remains a mystery," the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

Yotam Tepper, who directed the excavation on behalf of the Authority, said that "what is clear, is that after these unknown individuals fell into the well, it was no longer used for the simple reason that the well water was contaminated and was no longer potable".

(Writing by Jeffrey Heller, editing by Paul Casciato)
 
Top