Thursday, July 13, 2006

Saharan Prehistory

It's a very slow news day today, so I've dropped this post into the blog for anyone interested in Egyptian/Saharan prehistory and early/mid Holocene climate.
Whilst hunting around for an article on the website of the Polish Academy of Sciences, I found a couple of Egyptian prehistory papers in their Academia magazine, both in PDF format - both very digestible and informative and very well worth a read. I've linked directly to those articles of interest below:

"The Megaliths of Nabta Playa", Romuald Schild & Fred Wendorf
"Prehistoric Herdsmen", Michał Kobusiewicz, Romuald Schild

If you are interested in changing prehistoric environmental conditions in the Sahara, and have access either to Athens or to an academic library, then a couple of papers in the current issue of Quarternary International may be of interest (Volume 151, Issue 1, Page 1-144, July 2006 - Dark nature: responses of humans and ecosystems to rapid environmental changes - edited by S.A.G. Leroy, H. Jousse and M. Cremaschi). :

There is also a recent publicly available article about global climate change during the early/mid Holocene at PNAS (Abrupt tropical climate change: Past and present - Lonnie G. Thompson, Ellen Mosley-Thompson, Henry Brecher, Mary Davis, Blanca León, Don Les, Ping-Nan Lin, Tracy Mashiotta, and Keith Mountain
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has also announced that legacy content dating back to volume 1, issue 1, in 1915 is now digitally archived, searchable, and freely available on the PNAS web site at

And since I seem to have drifted off on a tangent into climate change, if you want to find out more about the basics of climate, as well as climate modelling and prediction, have a look at the rather lovely Basics of Climate Prediction website, which is a well put together self-contained course, using Macromedia Flash 8 animated sequences to introduce visitors to the subject (use the Next button at the bottom right to navigate through the sections):

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