Bringmans, P.M.M.A. 2007. First evidence of Neanderthal presence in Northwest Europe during the Late Saalian ‘Zeifen. – PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Northwest Europe 1, 1: 1-15

Abstract The Middle Pleistocene to Late Pleistocene transition (MIS 6/5e transition), which has been observed within the loamy sediments of the VLL and VLB sites at Veldwezelt-Hezerwater, was a period of remarkable change in both climate and environment. Indeed, the incipient VLL-VLB soil horizons at Veldwezelt-Hezerwater seem to represent Late Saalian phases of pedogenesis under boreal conditions just prior to the MIS 6/5e transition. The pedostratigraphical position provides a firm basis to conclude that the VLL and VLB soil horizons at Veldwezelt-Hezerwater represent the terrestrial equivalent of the Late Saalian ‘Zeifen Interstadial’ (MIS 6.01), whereas the capping GSL unit seems to represent the terrestrial equivalent of the so-called ‘Kattegat Stadial’. Indeed, assuming that Northwest Europe was too hostile for humans during the extremes of MIS 6 and given the pattern highlighted by Gamble (1986) that Northwest Europe seems to be a bit of a wasteland during MIS 5e, then the VLL and VLB sites at Veldwezelt-Hezerwater offer unique snapshots of people appearing in Northwest Europe for a short spell (MIS 6.01) and then going away again. Indeed, during the period of climatic amelioration during the ‘Zeifen Interstadial’ (ca. 133,000 years BP), which followed the Saalian Glacial Maximum (ca. 135,000 years BP), Northwest Europe probably saw a significant demographic expansion and the development of ‘new’ Middle Palaeolithic technologies. During the Middle Pleistocene to Late Pleistocene transition phase, semi-rotating parallel/prismatic and opportunistic core reduction strategies and ‘small tools’ were in place at the VLL site at Veldwezelt-Hezerwater. So-called ‘expedient’ core reduction strategies wereused to flake locally-found low-quality lithic raw materials. At the VLB site at Veldwezelt-Hezerwater, the same trend towards ‘parallel’ core reduction was also present. However, it is very interesting to see that at the VLB site, Levallois core reduction has also been attested.


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Newsletter 4, 3 (October 2007)

News on the Activities of the PalArch Foundation
Publications in the October Issue
News on the Archaeology of Northwest Europe
Proceedings of the 9th meeting of the Dutch Vertebrate Palaeontology Group
Let’s Hear it for Neanderthal! Carlos Grau
Egypt in Photographs Zbigniew Kosc
Museums and the Art Loss Register Ingrid Blom-Böer
Musealising University Collections Marieke van der Duin
14th Symphosium of IWGP, Kraków, Poland, 17-23 June 2007 Ingrid Heijen & Wouter van der Meer
Fishing for Fossils Natasja den Ouden
Conference Report: Nature Behind Glass Marieke van der Duin
Messel on Tour Natasja den Ouden
Colophon / Call for papers


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Wild, J.P. & F. Wild. 2007. The textiles from Sikait (Egyptian Eastern Desert). – PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology 2, 2: 9-17

Abstract The 2003 season at Sikait yielded ten textile fragments from six different late Roman contexts. They were not examined on site; but the photographs on which the descriptions below are based were of sufficiently fine resolution to enable most of the basic data to be extracted.


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Naguib, S.–A. 2007. The shifting values of authenticity and fakes. – PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology 2, 1: 1-8

Abstract The present article discusses the shifting values of authenticity and fakes. Using a biographical approach and the notion of things’ social life it examines an Egyptianised relief which according to the author is probably the work of the ‘Master of Berlin’, Oxan Aslanian, and investigates the wider context in which the object was conceived. The period under consideration is from the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century. The article goes on to explicate that fakes of ancient Egyptian art were circulated through multiplex social networks involving antiquities dealers, fakers and academics from different cultural backgrounds. By following the trajectories of these objects we may reconstruct their environments and map the web of social networks tied to them.


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Noè, L.F. & M. Gómez-Pérez 2007. Postscript to Everhart, M.J. 2005. “Elasmosaurid remains from the Pierre Shale (Upper Cretaceous) of western Kansas. Possible missing elements of the type specimen of Elasmosaurus platyurus Cope 1868?”. – PalArch’s Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology 2, 1: 19-32

Abstract The holotype is the single most important specimen in zoological taxonomy, and to avoid confusion, it must be the remains of a single individual. Re–evaluation of data presented to infer that three specimens collected between 1954 and 1998 are additional material of the holotype of Elasmosaurus platyurus, indicate there is no evidence these two sets of remains belong to the same individual, or the genus Elasmosaurus. Historical documents indicate the missing skeletal elements of the Elasmosaurus holotype (including dorsal vertebrae and gastralia) can be explained by factors such as weathering and collection failure. The relative absence of gastroliths, if originally associated with the animal, can be explained by the collecting methods employed, or the absence in 1867–1868 of a theoretical framework to explain their presence in a plesiosaur.


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Newsletter 4, 2 (April 2007)

News on the Activities of the PalArch Foundation 
Publications in the April Issue
Egypt in Photographs Zbigniew Kosc
Natural History Museum Rotterdam: the History and Collections of a Museum Natasja den Ouden
What is a palaeontologist? A Field Identification Guide Carlos Grau
Colophon / Call for papers


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Veldmeijer, A.J. 2007. Preliminary report on the leatherwork from Roman Berenike, Egyptian Red Sea Coast (1994–2000). – PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology 1, 1: 1-36

Abstract The excavations at Berenike during the 1994–2000 season yielded various finds of skin and leather. Leatherwork is one of the neglected fields in the study of ancient Egypt and it is therefore that this paper presents the leatherwork from this important site, even though the material has not been studied in as much detail as would be necessary. All discussed objects were excavated from early Roman rubbish layers.


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Plas, van der, M. 2007. A new model for the evolution of Homo sapiens from the Wallacean islands. – PalArch’s Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology 1, 1: 1-121

Abstract Paul Storm (1995) investigated the pattern of evolution of modern man in Southeast Asia. He discovered that the populations of Southeast Asia could be subdivided in two types, the Sunda-type and the Sahul-type, on the basis of skull morphology. In his investigation he included two skulls from Flores. Flores is an island located in Wallacea between the Sunda and Sahul shelves. It has always been surrounded by water, even during periods of low sea level. The two skulls from Flores did not clearly resemble either the Sunda or Sahul skull type. Since Storm was most interested in the Wajak skulls from Java (Storm, 1995), he did not pursue the problem of the Flores skulls further.
In the present study, the role of these two skulls in the evolution of modern man in Southeast Asia is investigated. To this end, twelve prehistoric individuals (including the two skulls and their postcranial remains) from five caves and one open site have been described. Comparison with prehistoric and recent remains from the surrounding areas have led to a new model for the evolution of Homo sapiens from the Wallacean islands. This model assumes a separate line of evolution for the populations of Wallacea.


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Newsletter 4, 1 (January 2007)

News on the Activities of the PalArch Foundation
Publications in the January Issue
The View from Here Carlos Grau 
Proceedings of the 8th meeting of the Dutch Vertebrate Palaeontology Group Natasja den Ouden
www.PalArch.nl and electronic publishing in Egyptology André J. Veldmeijer 
Egypt in Photographs Zbigniew Kosc
Forward to the Past. An Analysis of Future-oriented Research in the Heritage Field Marieke van der Duin
Colophon / Call for papers


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Harrell, J.A. 2006. Archaeological geology of Wadi Sikait. – PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology 4, 1: 1-12

Abstract Emerald, a green transparent variety of beryl, was one of the most highly prized gemstones in antiquity. The earliest known emerald mine is located in the valley of Wadi Sikait in Egypt’s southern Eastern Desert, where mining probably began toward the end of the Ptolemaic period in the 1st century BC. Most of the mining activity, however, dates to the Early and Late Roman periods (1st to mid–2nd centuries and 4th to early 6th centuries AD, respectively) with much reduced activity during the Middle Roman period (late 2nd to 3rd centuries AD). The Romans referred to emerald as smaragdus and named the Sikait region Mons Smaragdus or Emerald Mountain. An archaeological geology survey of Wadi Sikait was undertaken for the purpose of mapping the distribution of ancient mine workings, deducing the ancient mining methods, and describing the geologic occurrence of emerald. It was found that emerald and other green beryls occur within the contact zone between phlogopite schist and intrusive quartz and pegmatite veins. The workings, which were excavated in the softer phlogopite schist with flat–edged chisels and pointed picks, are mostly shallow open–cut trenches that follow the quartz/pegmatite veins. Some workings continue as much as 100 meter underground and are still largely unexplored. Steatite and quartz mica schist also occur in Wadi Sikait and were quarried by the Romans for building stone.


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Newsletter 3, 4 (October 2006)

News on the Activities of the PalArch Foundation
Publications in the October Issue 
An Impression of the IWAA Conference 2006 
The Indonesian Wild Man. In Search of the ‘Orang-Pendek’ on Sumatra Marcel van Beurden
Dover Museum and the Dover Bronze Age Boat Peter Clark
Egypt in Photographs Zbigniew Kosc
‘Scientific Creationism’ overseas. The Export of Fundamentalist American Culture to Europe and Australia Ilja Nieuwland
Colophon / Call for papers


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Kaddumi, H.F. 2006. A new genus and species of gigantic marine turtles (Chelonioidea: Cheloniidae) from the Maastrichtian of the Harrana Fauna–Jordan. – PalArch’s Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology 3, 1: 1-14

Abstract Marine turtle fossils are extremely rare in the Muwaqqar Chalk Marl Formation of the Harrana Fauna in comparison to the relatively rich variety of other vertebrate fossils collected from this locality. This paper reports and describes the remains of an extinct marine turtle (Chelonioidea) which will be tentatively assigned to a new genus and species of marine turtles (Cheloniidae Bonaparte, 1835) Gigantatypus salahi n.gen., n.sp.. The new genus represented by a single well–preserved right humerus, reached remarkably large proportions equivalent to that of Archelon Wieland, 1896 and represents the first to be found from this deposit and from the Middle East. The specimen, which exhibits unique combinations of features is characterized by the following morphological features not found in other members of the Cheloniidae: massive species reaching over 12 feet in length; a more prominently enlarged lateral process that is situated more closely to the head; a ventrally situated capitellum; a highly laterally expanded distal margin. The presence of these features may warrant the placement of this new species in a new genus. The specimen also retains some morphological features found in members of advanced protostegids indicating close affinities with the family. Several bite marks on the ventral surface of the fossilized humerus indicate shark–scavenging activities of possibly Squalicorax spp.


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Reader, C.D. 2006. Further considerations on development at Giza before the 4th Dynasty. – PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology 3, 2: 12-25

Abstract Two previous papers produced by Vandecruys have been critical of the theories of erosion of the Sphinx by rainfall run–off, previously advanced by Reader. In a final response to Vandecruys’ theory that the extant degradation can be attributed to shallow groundwater movement, Reader explains the limitations of Vandecruys’ groundwater model and further discusses the case for development at Giza before the 4th Dynasty.


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Vandecruys, G. 2006. Response to Reader (2006): more geological and archaeological data on the Sphinx discussion. – PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology 3, 1: 1-11

Abstract In a review of the critiques raised by Vandecruys (2006), Reader (2006) clarifies his position on the geological and archaeological situation of the Sphinx, and adds extra data to support his case. The current paper will outline exactly how and why Reader’s response fails to attribute the Sphinx to the Early Dynastic era, and why a 4th Dynasty dating is still most likely when checked against the available evidence.


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Veldmeijer, A.J., H.J.M. Meijer, M. Signore 2006. Coloborhynchus from the Lower Cretaceous Santana Formation, Brazil (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea, Anhangueridae); an update. – PalArch’s Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology 3, 2: 15-29

Abstract Most of the toothed pterosaurs recovered from the Araripe Basin in Brazil (Santana Formation) have premaxillary sagittal and dentary sagittal crests. Some clear differences (and various less clear features) between the crested taxa have been used to classify the fossils, resulting in much scientific debate. On the other hand, a few potentially important features have been largely neglected so far. The present work presents an update of one of these crested taxa, Coloborhynchus, discussing the dentition and other previously unnoticed features in order to evaluate the systematic position of this taxon.


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Newsletter 3, 3 (July 2006)

News on the activities of the PalArch Foundation
Publications in the July issue
Proceedings of the seventh meeting of the Dutch Vertebrate Palaeontology Group
About Shya Chitaley André Veldmeijer
Beyond exhibits: education and research at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History Shya Chitaley
Egypt in photographs Zbigniew Kosc
Colophon / Call for papers


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Reader, C.D. 2006. Response to Vandecruys (2006). The Sphinx: dramatising data….and dating. – PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology 2, 1: 1-13

Abstract In a previous paper (Vandecruys, 2006), the evidence presented by the current author for re–dating the Sphinx of Giza and a number of other structures present within the Giza necropolis has been reassessed. Following this re–assessment, Vandecruys has raised a number of objections to the current author’s thesis. The current paper provides a response to the criticism of Vandecruys and presents further arguments in support of Early Dynastic development at Giza, of which the Sphinx is considered to have formed an important element.


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Newsletter 3, 2 (April 2006)

News on the activities of the PalArch Foundation
Publications in the April issue
Proceedings of the sixth meeting of the Dutch Vertebrate Palaeontology Group
Egyptian Archaeology. Survey of the recent excavations Jan Brakenhoff 
Egypt in photographs Zbigniew Kosc
PalArch Newsletter article: Dino Pulerà Dino Pulerà
Colophon / Call for papers


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Turrittin, T.H. 2006. An annotated bibliography of the Piltdown Man forgery, 1953-2005. – PalArch’s Journal of archaeology of Northwest Europe 1, 1: 1-50

Abstract Piltdown Man is the most notorious case of scientific forgery in the history of British archaeology and palaeoanthropology. Although the period from its introduction in 1912 until the exposure of the forgery in 1953 has been well-studied, the literature written after 1953 has received no such treatment. It is the purpose of this bibliography to place this growing body of literature in a descriptive context to aid researchers who are interested in the history of science and how we write about it. The scope of this bibliography is of predominantly English publications from 1953 to 2005, drawn from academic journals, books, newspapers, magazines, broadcast media and a selection of World Wide Web pages. A separate section has been included to give a general overview of the debates over who might have perpetrated the forgery.


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Vandecruys, G. 2006. The Sphinx: dramatising data … and dating. – PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology 1, 1: 1-13

Abstract Geology and archaeology, carefully entwined, form the basis for deciding on a date of construction for the Great Sphinx at Giza. Over a decade after Robert Schoch’s controversial Pre–Dynastic proposal, Colin Reader takes up the debate again in the new millennium, and suggests a less extreme re–dating to the Early–Dynastic era. In tracing the data that forms the backbone for the ‘older Sphinx’ theories, I have found that a model of groundwater seepage leading to increased salt weathering rates explains the currently visible erosion morphology without requiring a change in the accepted chronology. On the archaeological side, several surrounding Giza monuments place an important limit on the possibility for an older Sphinx.


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Kumar, K. 2006. Comments on ‘Early Eocene land mammals from Vastan Lignite Mine, District Surat (Gujarat), western India’ by Bajpai, S. et al. published in Journal of the Palaeontological Society of India 50, 1: 101-113, 2005. – PalArch’s Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology 1, 2: 7-13

Abstract Bajpai et al.’s recent paper (2005a) describing an important new Early Eocene mammal fauna from the Cambay Shale of Vastan Lignite Mine, Gujarat, India has a number of errors related to identification, naming, definition, characterisation and description of new taxa, and measurements of dentitions etc. that need to be recorded and addressed. This contribution discusses and clarifies some of the errors and will be useful for understanding the real impact of the Vastan fauna in relation to the India-Asia collision, the mammalian palaeobiogeography and origin of modern placental mammals.


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Beatty, B.L. 2006. Rediscovered specimens of Cornwallius (Mammalia, Desmostylia) from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. – PalArch’s Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology 1, 1: 1-6

Abstract Specimens initially collected but not reported from the original type locality of Cornwallius sookensis (Mammalia, Desmostylia) have been found at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Two femora and a partial skull were collected from the same locality as the holotype that was deposited by Ira Cornwall in the Royal British Columbia Provincial Museum in the 1920s. Though the partial skull is missing from the collection, the femora remain. They are small and lack epiphyses, possibly from breakage or immaturity. Muscle scars suggest that adductors, extensors and lateral rotators were strongly developed, indicating that their posture was of the normal mammalian upright nature. The sectioned end of USNM 11076 permits inspection of characteristics of the medullary canal and cortical.


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