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Social history (including human origins and later prehistory)

Clive Gamble interviewed by Matt Pope on BBC Radio Four

Clive Gamble was interviewed by Matt Pope for the BBC Radio Four "History of Ideas". Matt is a member of the AHRC Project: Crossing the Threshold: Dynamic transformation in human societies of the Late Middle Pleistocene project. The audio is available on the BBC Radio Four website. It was broadcast on Friday 30 Jan 2015. Clive's section begins at around 2 minutes 40s in, where he talks about the evolutionary trade off between larger brains and smaller intestines. 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 →

Another post card from SzĂĄzhalombatta , Hungary

For 3 weeks in July students from the University of Southampton were working alongside those from Budapest, Cambridge, and Pecs excavating the Middle Bronze Age Tell at SzĂĄzhalombatta, Hungary. This season’s work focused on understanding the next phase in the settlement history, marked by the disappearance of the major houses (that we first found some years ago) and the road through the settlement. Continue reading →

Fun and Games at Southampton Archaeology Activities Day

As part of the British Festival of Archaeology, people of all ages (from 3 to over 70) enjoyed a series of archaeological activities in the department on Saturday! While younger children excavated a coffin ‘burial’ complete with grave goods such as jewellery and Roman ceramics, older children explored the use of virtual reality and CGI within museums and the heritage industry. A quiz was held in which people worked out what different ceramics might have been used for (e.g. Continue reading →

Postcard from Hungary

Greetings from Hungary! Students from the University of Southampton have begun excavating for 3 weeks at the important Bronze Age tell settlement at SzĂĄzhalombatta, 30km south of Budapest on the River Danube. They form part of an Anglo-Hungarian project directed by Magdolna Vicze (Director of the Matrica Museum), Joanna Sofaer (University of Southampton) and Marie Louise Stig Sørensen (University of Cambridge). Continue reading →

Postcard #4 from the CAHO trip to France

Sadly we didn’t get into Font-de-Gaume, the beautiful painted cave at one end of the village of Les Eyzies. They limit the numbers in order to protect the paintings, and we couldn’t really argue with that. So it was over to Cap Blanc and the amazing sculpted frieze of horses dated to the Magdalenian. Some thirteen metres of white limestone wall have been sculpted into a magnificent procession of horses. Continue reading →

Postcard #3 from the CAHO trip to France – John McNabb

This morning we visited the famous site of La Ferrassie. Like Le Moustier, it is one of those names to conjour with, it takes you back to undergraduate essays and assignment deadlines just made by the skin of your teeth. New work is going on there at the moment under a joint French and American team. They certainly have their work cut-out for them as they try to get to grips with conflicting stratigraphies and a sequence that is meters deep – actually sounds like great fun. Continue reading →

Palaeolithic Fieldtrip to France by Dr John McNabb – Postcard #1

 This year’s CAHO Palaeolithic field trip to France, with the Captain William S. Davies (CAHO’s new director!!) at the helm. Today was our first full day in France. We caught the boat from Portsmouth yesterday for a mid-afternoon sailing and were in Caen by late evening. An early start (ish) saw us on the road heading southwards for north central France. Continue reading →