Monday, 2 May 2022

Bible Blunder News - Scientists Find no Evidence for Noah's Flood in Southern England

Study Reveals Stonehenge Landscape Before The World-Famous Monument | University of Southampton

Why the site on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire in southern England was chosen for the building of the massive stone circle remains a mystery as is the identity of the first builders, although there is now strong evidence that migrants to the area from Southwest Wales, dismantled a bluestone circle and brought it with them, to construct the first phase of the monument.

Now scientists at Southampton University have shown that 4000 years before that, i.e. about 9000 years ago, the area was "covered by open woodland, with meadow-like clearings, inhabited by grazing animals and hunter-gatherers".

The problem this raises for YECs of course, is that this evidence should have been obliterated during the mythical Noahic flood and replaced by a deposit of silt containing jumbled fossils from disconnected landmasses. Not only is that predicted layer of silt not there, but there is no evidence of any inundation in the intervening years, other than that expected periodically in a river flood plain; instead, the archaeological evidence in the geological column shows continuous habitation and a population of earlier mammals, the ancestors of modern domestic animals, such as aurochs, and a continuous series of animal and plant remains progressing from earlier to later forms.

As the University of Southampton news release explains:

There has been intensive study of the Bronze Age and Neolithic history of the Stonehenge landscape, but less is known about earlier periods. The integration of evidence recovered from previous excavations at Blick Mead, coupled with our own fieldwork, allowed us to understand more about the flora and fauna of the landscape prior to construction of the later world-famous monument complex.

Past theories suggest the area was thickly wooded and cleared in later periods for farming and monument building. However, our research points to pre-Neolithic, hunting-gatherer inhabitants, living in open woodland which supported aurochs and other grazing herbivores.

Samuel M. Hudson, lead author
Department of Geography and Environmental Science
University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
Scientists exploring Blick Mead, a Mesolithic archaeological site within a chalkland spring area about a mile from the iconic standing-stones, have found evidence the land was not covered in dense, closed canopy forests during the later Mesolithic period, as had previously been thought. Rather, it was partially wooded and populated by aurochs (cattle), red deer, elk and wild boar – making it good hunting ground for humans who lived opportunistically off the land, prior to the arrival of early farmers.

Preserved Aurochs hoof prints.
Credit: David Jacques
A Timeline of the Stonehenge landscape, including radiocarbon dates from Blick Mead and other significant SWHS archaeological sites.
B A representation of the development of vegetation history at Blick Mead based on the palaeoenvironmental data.
The research team analysed pollen, fungal spores and traces of DNA preserved in ancient sediment (sedaDNA), combined with optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon dating to produce an environmental history of the site. Using this evidence, they built a picture of the habitat in the area from the later Mesolithic (5500 BC) to the Neolithic period (from 4,000 BC).

The study indicates that later Mesolithic populations at Blick Mead took advantage of more open conditions to repeatedly exploit groups of large ungulates (hoofed mammals), until a transition to farmers and monument-builders took place. In a sense, the land was pre-adapted for the later large-scale monument building, as it did not require clearance of woodland, due to the presence of these pre-existing open habitats. The researchers suggest there was continuity between the inhabitants of the two eras, who utilised the land in different ways, but understood it to be a favourable location.

The findings of the team from Southampton, working with colleagues at the universities of Buckingham, Tromsø and Salzburg, are published in the journal PLOS ONE.
More detail is given in the abstract to the team's paper:
Abstract

The Neolithic and Bronze Age construction and habitation of the Stonehenge Landscape has been extensively explored in previous research. However, little is known about the scale of pre-Neolithic activity and the extent to which the later monumental complex occupied an ‘empty’ landscape. There has been a long-running debate as to whether the monumental archaeology of Stonehenge was created in an uninhabited forested landscape or whether it was constructed in an already partly open area of pre-existing significance to late Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. This is of significance to a global discussion about the relationship between incoming farmers and indigenous hunter-gatherer societies that is highly relevant to both Old and New World archaeology. Here we present the results of plant sedaDNA, palynological and geoarchaeological analysis at the Late hunter-gatherer site complex of Blick Mead at the junction of the drylands of Salisbury Plain and the floodplain of the River Avon, on the edge of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. The findings are placed within a chronological framework built on OSL, radiocarbon and relative archaeological dating. We show that Blick Mead existed in a clearing in deciduous woodland, exploited by aurochsen, deer and hunter-gatherers for approximately 4000 years. Given its rich archaeology and longevity this strongly supports the arguments of continuity between the Late Mesolithic hunter-gatherers activity and Neolithic monument builders, and more specifically that this was a partially open environment important to both groups. This study also demonstrates that sediments from low-energy floodplains can provide suitable samples for successful environmental assaying using sedaDNA, provided they are supported by secure dating and complementary environmental proxies.

I doubt the facts will make any difference to a cult that isn't founded in truth and reality, but it must be increasingly difficult for the frauds to maintain their hold over their cult followers when science keeps casually refuting their core superstitions with almost every discovery. It must be like trying to maintain the delusion that Earth is flat in spite of the fact that you can see with your own eyes that it isn't, or that Donald Trump was a good president, despite his glaring incompetence and narcissistic personality disorder, and his ready resort to lies to try to cover it up.

No wonder then that flat-earthers, creationists and Trumpanzees tends to be the same people.

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