A reconsideration of the "lost kings" of Nubia, Qakareiny, Gereg-tawy-fy, and Wadj-ka-Re Segersenti. Williams argues that the most likely scenario is that date to the late 11th dynasty period in Egypt but represent a local 'rebel' Kingdom, probably based at Areika.
A special issue on Neolithic arabia. not a lot of archaeobotany, but important evidence on the trajectory in the region that focused first on domesticated fauna, more specialized pastoralism and then much later crop cultivation (based on Near Eastern crops). The general trajectory with late sedentism and crops parallels that of the West African sahel and south India.
A survey by the Society of Museum Archaeologists (SMA) has exposed a lack of storage space and curatorial expertise in English museums dealing with archaeological archives.
The survey of 134 museums found that 36 could not accept archaeological archives because of lack of space.
It also revealed that museums in 47 local authorities were no longer collecting, while 70% of museums had no specialist archaeology curator.
SMA chairwoman Gail Boyle said: “Many of the museums that responded are local authority museums that have no statutory funding, so they are often targeted [for cuts]. It has become prevalent over time and is getting worse.
“Archaeological field units are having to store their work, as there is nowhere for them to deposit it.
A new study on the populations of wild cattle and boars in the Levant Valley by Nimrod Marom, Guy Bar-OzLaboratory of Archaeozoology, University of Haifa, Israel has been published in PLOSone online Journal. The research helps reshape our present understanding on the beginning of agriculture and domestication of animals.
Examination of 206 Neolithic and Chalcolithic bifaces from the southern Levant revealed that changes in form during the emergence of agropastoralism correlated with evolving land use practices, but new biface types also expressed altered social identities and perceptions of the environment. Nonfunctional groundstone pre-pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) bifaces seem to have served as social and status symbols, while flaked flint PPNA tranchet axes and chisels were used for carpentry rather than tree-felling. This pattern continued during the following early pre-pottery Neolithic B (EPPNB) period, but a new sharpening method, polishing, was used on a unique flint tranchet ax to strengthen its edge. By the MPPNB and LPPNB, heavier polished flint axes were used to clear forests for fields, grazing lands, wood fuel, and lumber. Sustainable forest management continued until the cumulative effects of tree-felling may have led to landscape degradation at the end of the PPNC. Adzes replace axes as heavy woodworking tools during the pottery Neolithic A (PNA) period, but by the PNB period, once again there are more carpentry tools than tree-felling bifaces. The trend is reversed again during the Chalcolithic, when the demand for fire wood, lumber, and cleared land seems to have increased during a time of emerging socioeconomic complexity.
A vocal group of geologists and other scientists are pushing to define a new geological epoch, marked by climatic and environmental change caused by humans. At the Society for American Archaeology meetings in Honolulu, archaeologists argued that it's high time for their field, which studies humans and their activities over geological time, to have a greater voice in the debate. The archaeologists agreed that human impacts on the Earth are dramatic enough to merit a new epoch name—but they also argued that such an epoch should start thousands of years ago, rather than focusing on a relatively sudden planetwide change.
absolutely nothing unexpected here. The big win will be if the change in US aid policy actually has some impact on the ground, stimulating local producers and markets. And will there be any effort to stimulate nutrition rather than just calories?
The start of the period of large-scale human effects on this planet (the Anthropocene) is debated. The industrial view holds that most significant impacts have occurred since the early industrial era (1850), whereas the early-anthropogenic view recognizes large impacts thousands of years earlier. This review focuses on three indices of global-scale human influence: forest clearance (and related land use), emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4), and effects on global temperature. Because reliable, systematic land-use surveys are rare prior to 1950, most reconstructions for early-industrial centuries and prior millennia are hind casts that assume humans have used roughly the same amount of land per person for 7,000 years. But this assumption is incorrect. Historical data and new archeological databases reveal much greater per-capita land use in preindustrial than in recent centuries. This early forest clearance caused much greater preindustrial greenhousegas emissions and global temperature changes than those proposed within the industrial paradigm.
An excellent updated review on the early anthropogenic greenhouse gas hypothesis by William Ruddiman. nicekly illustrated, including some nice reuse of the maps and data in our Holocene paper on Rice, cows and methane (Fuller & al 2011)
The American University in Cairo Press, 2011, 532 p.
"A historical–anthropological study of the people who lived in the antiquities precinct of Luxor’s West Bank Until their recent demolition, the colorful mud-brick hamlets of al-Qurna village, situated among the Noble Tombs of the Theban Necropolis on the Luxor West Bank, were home to a vibrant community. Inhabiting a place of intensive Egyptological research for over two centuries, it was inevitable that Qurnawis should become part of the history of Egyptology and the development of archaeological practice in the Theban Necropolis. But they have mostly been regarded as laborers for the excavation teams or dealers in the illicit antiquities trade. The modern people inhabiting the ancient burial grounds have themselves rarely been considered. By demonstrating the multiplicity of economic activities that are carried out in al-Qurna, this study counters the villagers’ stereotypical representation as tomb robbers, and restores an understanding of who they are as people living their lives in the shadow of valued cultural heritage." (présentation de l'éditeur)