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Our Avebury Excavation features on BBC Digging for Britain

Tonight our summer excavation at the foot of Avebury Down features on the BBC’s Digging for Britain (Wed 22nd Nov, 9pm BBC4). The Excavation is part of the Living with Monuments  research project run by the Universities of Southampton, Leicester, Cambridge and Ghent with Allen Environmental Archaeology and the National Trust. It aims to characterize Neolithic and Early Bronze Age settlement …

Analysis of animal teeth suggests Neolithic cattle grazed at home and away

An international team of researchers has shown in unprecedented detail that prehistoric farmers took their animals away from permanent settlements to graze in more fertile areas – probably because of high demand for land locally. Analysis of strontium isotopes in teeth of Neolithic cattle suggests that early Europeans used specialised strategies to manage herding, according to a study by the …

New archaeological evidence throws light on efforts to resist ‘the living dead’

A new scientific study of medieval human bones, excavated from a deserted English village, suggests the corpses they came from were burnt and mutilated.  Researchers from the University of Southampton and Historic England believe this was carried out by villagers who believed that it would stop the corpses arising from their graves and menacing the living. The team found that …

Ancient skeleton shows leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia

An international team, including archaeologists from the University of Southampton, has found evidence suggesting leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia. The team, led by former Southampton PhD student Sarah Inskip, now at the University of Leiden, and including researchers from Historic England and the Universities of Southampton, Birmingham, Surrey, and Swansea, examined a 1500 year old male skeleton, excavated at Great Chesterford in Essex, England during the 1950s. Continue reading →

New BA (hons) Archaeology and Anthropology degree at Southampton University

Now recruiting for 2015 entry, the University of Southampton is pleased to announce our new BA (Hons) in Archaeology and Anthropology. Based in the Department of Archaeology, this exciting programme draws from Social Sciences and Humanities and gives students the opportunity to understand human social organization and behaviour both past and present, using wide ranging methods from ethnography to the study of artefacts. Continue reading →

Earliest Cave Paintings feature on Human Universe with Brian Cox

Hand stencils and other cave art, in El Castillo Cave, Spain features in the BBC Two documentary Human Universe, to be broadcast on 4th November. Some of the art in El Castillo Cave was recently dated by my team, showing it to be the earliest in Europe, dating to at least 40,800 years ago. In the show, Brian Cox suggests the art demonstrates the ability of these early painters to envision not just the past and the present, but also the future. Continue reading →

Hands Across The Globe

Are hand stencils, older than 40,000 years in Sulawesi, the visual relic of Humans’ journey out of Africa? A paper published in Nature today (Aubert et al. 2014) reveals U-Th dates on calcite deposits formed over painted hand stencils and shows the stencils are older than 39,900 years old along with figurative art that is older than 35,400 years old. Continue reading →