Archive for the 'Bronze Age' Category

Apr 10 2014

New show, Druid Special No. 1 – An interview with Greywolf, the Head of the British Druid Order

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Greywolf with Drum

Greywolf with Drum

Pic: Elaine Wildways

In a ground-breaking show for us, we bring you the first part of an interview with the Head of the British Druid Order, Philip Shallcrass, aka Greywolf. He talks about Druidry, the Order, how he discovered his Path and he even tells us how he got the name ‘Greywolf’. 

The show also contains 4 fantastic pieces of music, including one by Philip himself which re-tells his encounter with the Anglo-Saxon God, Woden. An interview not to be missed! The second half of this interview will be in our next Special show, SP40 Druid Special #2 - due out in a couple of weeks!

How to Listen

The Episode is available for subscribers on the feed, or you can download it or listen to it from our Episodes page. You’ll also be able to listen on Stitcher! You can find the Shownotes for this episode in the Shownotes section.If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? 

It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.We hope you enjoy it and wish you many blessings :D

Gary & Ruthie x x x

Celtic Myth Podshow CMP038 available nowCMPSP39 available now!

Pic: Celtic Myth Podshow

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

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Mar 27 2014

Ancient Butter found 2,500 years later in a Bog at Shancloon in Ireland

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Bog Butter in Wooden Urn

Bog Butter in Wooden Urn

Pic: Cork Butter Museum

Experts from the National Museum of Ireland believe that the ‘Bog Butter’ found in the bog at Shancloon, north of Galway, could be 2,000 to 2,500-years-old. The butter was found when Ray Moylan from Headford was having his annual turf supply cut by contractor Declan McDonagh. Moylan, a bus driver, contacted the Office of Public Works, Headland Archaeology in Galway and the National Museum of Ireland when he made the discovery.

The butter which was found in timber keg, made from the trunk of a tree, weighed almost 28 pounds. The keg was built using Iron Age implements. It was buried three to four-foot away.

An assistant keeper with the National Museum of Ireland, Padraig Clancy, said that the butter could be up to 2,500 years old. Clancy along with Karena Morton conservator at the National Museum of Country Life, removed the butter from the bog. It will be brought to the National Museum’s facility in Lanesboro. Clancy said:

The type of vessel it is in usually helps us to date the period the butter is from, and this one could date back to the Iron Age.

Archaeologist Ross MacLeod commented on the quantity of butter discovered in Galway. Speaking to the Irish Times he said:

It would have been a substantial loss to the family that buried the butter in the bog that they never recovered it. Perhaps the person who buried it died or forgot where it was left… That might have been stored up by a family during the summer and put into the bog for use during the cold winter months. Its loss could have been a tremendous one for some family a long, long time ago.

Bogs were used as a primitive form of refrigeration by people in the past. The peat creates a vacuum around buried material.

Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/bog-butter-find-believed-to-be-2500-years-old-121769889-237387291.html#ixzz2x9uRgxF3

Votive Offerings

Another theory that is sometimes seen with the discovery of Bog Treasures like this, is that the object would have been a votive offering – an offering to the Gods. Butter, no doubt seen as a highly valuable and prized commodity, would have been ideally suited as an offering and 2,500 years ago the Butter would have been placed in watery marsh, and probably not buried. Bogs tend to develop as the marshland dries out. Rather than thinking that this Buttery treasure had been forgotten by its owner, it seems far more likely to me that the churn was gifted to the Gods in the hopes of gaining their favour, much as other votive offerings have been found throughout Celtic Europe. Jane McIntosh, Handbook to Life in Prehistoric Europe, p. 256 refers to…

packages or pots of “bog butter” (that) have been found, probably placed in bogs or lakes in the Bronze or Iron Age. These may have been votive offerings or simply placed in water to keep cool in summer months and never retrieved.

Rubicon Heritage continues. Theories about the origins of Bog Butter deposits are divided between two schools. The first suggests ritual `votive offerings´ – the deliberate deposition of the casks in honour of/supplication to a deity. The second school proposes `human error´ – accidental deposition either as a result of forgetfulness or the death of the owner. Bogs would have acted as a reliable form of refrigeration for a winter stock of butter surplus and the unfortunate owners of the butter failed to adequately mark the stockpile.

The IPCC (Irish Peatland Conservation Council) lists a reference to a recipe for Bog Butter from an account of Irish food written by Dinely in 1681: ‘Butter, layed up in wicker baskets, mixed with a sort of garlic and buried for some time in a bog to make a provision of an high taste for Lent’.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

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Mar 11 2014

Feline archaeologist discovers Ancient Roman tomb

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Moggy Archaeologist

Moggy Archaeologist

Pic: safdarmehdi

Rome may not exactly be short of catacombs, but one discovered this week is more deserving of the name than the city’s countless other subterranean burial chambers reported the Guardian. For Mirko Curti stumbled into a 2,000-year-old tomb piled with bones while chasing a wayward moggy yards from his apartment building. Curti and a friend were following the cat at 10pm on a Tuesday night, October 2012 when it scampered towards a low tufa rock cliff close to his home near Via di Pietralata in a residential area of the city. He said:

The cat managed to get into a grotto and we followed the sound of its miaowing.

Inside the small opening in the cliff the two men found themselves surrounded by niches dug into the rock similar to those used by the Romans to hold funeral urns, while what appeared to be human bones littered the floor.

Archaeologists called to the scene said the tomb probably dated from between the 1st century BC and the 2nd century AD. Given that niches were used to store ashes in urns, the bones had probably tumbled into the tomb from a separate burial space higher up inside the cliff. Heavy rains at the start of the week had probably caused rocks concealing the entrance to the tomb to crumble, they added.

Soft tufa rock has often been used for digging tombs over the centuries in Italy, but its softness means that ancient sites are today threatened by the elements. The cliffs near Via di Pietralata have also been extensively quarried.

Romans are often underwhelmed and sometimes irritated to find they are living on top of priceless remains. Shoppers arriving at the Ikea store on the outskirts of Rome leave their cars alongside a stretch of Roman road unearthed in the car park, while fans queueing to enter the city’s rugby stadium need to skirt around archaeologists excavating the Roman necropolis that stretches under the pitch. At the concert hall complex next door, halls had to be squeezed around an unearthed Roman villa.

But Curti said he was nonetheless amazed to wander into a tomb so close to his house, calling it “the most incredible experience” of his life.

Read the original post on the Guardian website.

This article titled “Cat discovers 2,000-year-old Roman catacomb” was written by Tom Kington in Rome, for theguardian.com on Thursday 18th October 2012 13.52 UTC poweredbyguardianBLACK

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

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Feb 26 2014

Was the Henge at Lismullin dedicated to Lugh?

The henge at Lismullin, County Meath

The henge at Lismullin, County Meath

Pic: History of the World

Anne Connon (Ohio Dominican University) writes in the Celtic Studies Association of North America Annual for 2013 that the henge at Lismullin, County Meath may be an Iron Age Temple dedicated to Lugh. A summary of her article says: This paper was the first and dealt with Celtic Iron Age archaeology. It also touched on some of the controversy surrounding the the M3 motorway built near Tara Hill that sparked outrage and protests in the autumn of 2007. Attempts to prevent the build were ultimately unsuccessful and parts of the site are now covered by road.

The Enclosure

Connon showed a picture relative to the Hill of Tara. Physically, the enclosure is located within a hollow, and there is a prehistoric hill-fort overlooking the territory. Archaeologists discovered holes in a circumference in 2007 and noticed something was there; this grew into a salvage archaeology project. The temple grounds were 80m wide, and date to the fifth century B.C.. Connon showed a digital mock up of what they believed the site actually looked in the fifth century B.C. and a book on the dig called, “Harvesting the Stars” was published two weeks ago. The enclosure was felt to be a religious site of worship to the pagan God, Lug. Lug (or Lugh) was an Irish deity represented in mythological texts as a hero and High King of the distant past. He is known for his skill with a spear or sling, associated with Lughnasadh fairs that took place on August 1st and in the popular Ulster Cycle, he fathered Cúchulainn. In the early fifth century, there was a climate change (approximately  in 460) and the circularity of the enclosure was believed to be built to try and draw in the sun. Sadly, the site was only used for a few generations and then abandoned.

The Etymology of Lismullin

The name derives from Les Mo-ling, ‘the fort or place of Mo-Ling’ and the cult of St. Mo-ling who died in the seventh century. There are actually two etymologies suggested: a.) Scholar John O’Donovan suggested that Les Muilinn meant, “The fort or place of the mill” b.) Padraig Ó Riain suggested that the greater likelihood was that a church, not a mill gave name to the parish of Lismullin. There is also evidence in the Martyrology of Turin that was likely created for the nunnery at Lismullin. There is proof that Lismullin was church land and evidence of the cult of Mo-ling in County Meath. Connon looked at entries for Mo-ling and the Cult of Lug in the A Dictionary of Irish Saints. It is believed that Mo-ling was an avatar of Lug. Lug means “The Shining One” in Middle Irish, and is associated with the harvest. She also noted a few parallels between the Middle Irish “Life of Mo-Ling” and “Cath Maige Tuired”. Acallam points to links between Finn (avatar of Lug) and Mo-Ling. If the cult of Mo-Ling has absorbed the cult of Lug, then might the Lismullin enclosure be a part of cult of Lug? this might be the case as has been suggested in the nearby hill fort named Rath Lugh. Connon then asked the question: Is there anything about the enclosure that corresponds to a cult of Lug that we can notice?

Lug as a Sun God

The idea of this came from the description in Irish texts was because he was called “The Shining One” and associated with brightness but this was later discounted. He became associated with Lug as Mercury but this was again challenged in 1995 and swung back to the notion that he was a sun God. The avenue entering the enclosure is in alignment with the Pleiades “the Seven Sisters” constellation. Could Lug have an association with the stars? The Seven Sisters are also heralds of the harvest but this is speculative and not completely conclusive. Unfortunately, there is no continuity, i.e., there are no other sites dedicated to Lug to compare this site to. I really enjoyed this paper. It was fascinating and well presented. There were fantastic slides referencing the location and showing what the original site might have looked like. The history of the area and the background of Lug was very interesting. It was an excellent paper to start this conference.

[Source]

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

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Originally posted 2013-06-07 07:02:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Feb 24 2014

Who was the mysterious sub-Saharan Beachy Head Lady?

Beachy Head Lady

Beachy Head Lady

Pic: Eastbourne Museums

Eastbourne Ancestors project has uncovered a rare archaeological discovery, a skeleton with African ancestry dating to the Roman period, providing further proof of the ethnic diversity within the province of Britannia reported Eastbourne Council. The Heritage Lottery Funded project, which has seen a detailed analysis of the origin, health, diet and social status of human skeletal remains, produced surprising results when the remains of the ‘Beachy Head lady’, discovered near Eastbourne’s most famous beauty spot in 1953, were proven in October 2013 by Oxford University to be that of an African lady from around AD245, the middle of the Roman period in Britain.

The results of this and many more finds, will be shown in a fascinating Eastbourne Ancestors exhibition which opens mid December.

The ground-breaking project, which is the first time an extensive analysis has taken place on one collection in the UK, will use 2D and 3D cranio-facial forensic reconstructions, allowing modern day people to gaze into the eyes of their ancestors.

The exhibition aims to put the flesh on the bones of individuals from Eastbourne’s distant past, and discover a little of their life story. Working with leading Universities, Radio-Isotope Analysis also examines bones and teeth for trace elements absorbed from food and water during an individual’s lifetime, giving a geological fingerprint to the region in which they grew up.

Facial Reconstruction

Facial Reconstruction

Pic: Eastbourne Council

Heritage Officer, Jo Seaman said:

This is a fantastic discovery for the south coast. We know this lady was around 30 years old, grew up in the vicinity of what is now East Sussex, ate a good diet of fish and vegetables, her bones were without disease and her teeth were in good condition.

Without the context of seeing the burial site or grave goods, we don’t yet know why she was here, or her social status. However based on what we know of the Roman era and a similar discovery in York, it’s possible she was the wife of a local official or mistress of the extensive Roman villa which is known to be close to Eastbourne Pier, or she may have been a Merchant, plying the trade routes around the Mediterranean up to this remote European outpost. Another theory is the rather more upsetting possibility that this lady may have been a slave, we just don’t know at this stage.

Our next step is to carry out more research to establish tangible facts about the nature of her burial site and her discovery in 1953. However, from what we have so far established, this is a major find for Roman archaeology in Britain and a highly significant one for the story of Eastbourne and for the Ancestors project in general.

Eastbourne Ancestors project began in 2012 with around 300 skeletons dating from the Bronze Age to Middle Saxon Period , each cleaned and analysed to give an ‘osteo-biography’ or story for each individual. Detailed testing of bones and teeth identifies their national or regional origins, age, gender, size, state of health, diet and in some cases, how they died. This information has been combined with data from excavations relating to their burials and grave goods to also explain their social status and possibly what they did in life.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure, Cllr Carolyn Heaps said:

This fascinating exhibition will be a fantastic addition to our busy Heritage programme which ranges from Saxon events to Napoleonic re-enactments, 1940’s wartime themes and daily cannon firing in summer.

The skeletons in the project are all discoveries from targeted archaeological digs or have been rescued from construction sites across Eastbourne and its downland, and have been handed to the Heritage Service for safe keeping.

The Eastbourne Ancestors exhibition opens mid December at The Pavilion on Eastbourne seafront, running until November 2014. For more information on Eastbourne Ancestors visit Eastbournemuseums.co.uk/ancestors, or contact the Eastbourne Heritage Service on 01323 415396 or localhistory@eastbourne.gov.uk.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

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Windows 8 Phone App

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Feb 22 2014

Exhibition of our Ancestors at Eastbourne for 2014!

A Story of Life from the Bones of the Past

After archaeological digs, thousands of hours of scientific analysis, investigation, planning and 3D reconstruction, the ground-breaking Eastbourne Ancestors exhibition opens from 1 February 2014 at The Pavilion.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, this project began in 2012 with bone analysis dating back to Neolithic times, and is the first time such an extensive examination has taken place on one collection in the UK. With 12 skeletons selected for further analysis, discover their story, when you visit the Eastbourne Ancestors.
Reconstruction of Saxon Man

Reconstruction of Saxon Man

Pic: Eastbourne Museums

Discover your ancestors at this ground-breaking new exhibition

It’s a Free exhibition, currently open from Thursdays to Sundays 10am to 4pm (open daily from 1 April). From our extensive collection of Roman and Saxon remains, discover…

  • What they looked like?
  • What did they do for a living?
  • What social status were they?
  • What did they eat?
  • Had they suffered illness in life & how did they die?

2D & 3D Cranio-Facial Reconstructions

Eastbourne Ancestors Face Reconstruction

Eastbourne Ancestors Face Reconstruction

Pic: Eastbourne Museums

Gaze into the eyes of our ancestors through our extensive cranio-facial reconstructions conducted by leading UK experts. There has been a rare and unexpected discovery in the UK of a sub-saharan African dating back to Roman times, found at Beachy Head. Analysis has shown that she grew up in the area. We wonder what her story was?

Read the original article on the Eastbourne Museums website.

 

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

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Feb 14 2014

‘Welsh Stonehenge’ Halted Work on Windfarm

Windfarm in Wales was expected to generate electricity for 23,800 households

Windfarm in Wales was expected to generate electricity for 23,800 households

Pic: International Business Times

A multimillion pound windfarm was potentially scrapped after a Stone Age monument was spotted on the site using Google Earth. Work to install the 15 wind turbines had already began after experts said they were unable to find anything of historical interest on the mountaintop in Carmarthenshire, Wales. But a weekend rambler stumbled upon a row of stones while trekking across the site on the mountain and realised they were of historical interest reported the International Business Times in 2012.

Archaeologists were called in and discovered the stones on Mynydd Y Betws were between 3,500 and 5,000 years old and could have been part of an ancient site of worship. Mynydd y Betws is a mountain located on the border between Swansea and Carmarthenshire, south Wales.

It is the highest mountain in Swansea, and the highest land between the River Loughor and the Upper Clydach River. A small road between Ammanford and Clydach passes very close to the summit, on which are located the historic ruins of Penlle’r Castell. Penlle’r Castell is an historic ruin on the summit of Mynydd y Betws in the far north of the City and County of Swansea. The Penlle’r Castell site was probably a late 13th-century stronghold garrisoned by one of the Marcher Lords.
Penlle'r Castell, Cwm-gors, 1988

Penlle’r Castell, Cwm-gors, 1988

Pic: Cysglu’r Tlysau

Prehistoric burial cairn and wind turbine on Bancbryn, Mynydd y Betws

Prehistoric burial cairn and wind turbine on Bancbryn, Mynydd y Betws

Pic: Sandy Gerard

Using Google Earth to plot the line of stones, experts claim the 1,600 ft-long monuments could be “almost as important as Stonehenge”, freelance archaeologist Helen Gerrard told the Daily Mail. Cambrian Renewable Energy, which was building the turbines, was working with the Welsh heritage organisation Cadw to assess whether the stones were used as part of a Stone Age monument. The British Archaeological Trust was demanding a full archaeological survey of the mountain. The image to the left shows a Bronze Age cairn and brand new wind turbine neighbour. The cairn forms part of a scheduled ancient monument within a prehistoric sacred landscape.

The wind farm consists of 15 turbines with an installed capacity of 34.5MW. Producing enough electricity annually to power on average 23,800 households and saving over 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over the lifetime of the project, the output from Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm is equivalent to almost one third of the domestic consumption in Carmarthenshire.

Although this windfarm project went through and is providing much needed energy to the Welsh community, we have to question the wisdom on its siting as well as the sad disregard for the calls from organisations like the British Archaeological Trust to obtain a full archaeological survey of Mynydd y Betws.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

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Jan 13 2014

Amazing project to produce 3D images of all the Ogham Stones


Video: Dublin IAS

A team at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies lead by Dr. Nora White are creating a publicly accessible database of 3D models of 400 Ogham Stones. This amazing project is not only cataloging each stone with details of its’ inscription, but adding a commentary, details of the stone’s location and situation, a map, a video and now – most incredibly – a 3D model of the stone that you can spin in your browser to look at all angles of the chisel-marks of the Ogham inscriptions! They have been using an Artec Eva 3D scanner to produce these models which are not only going to be viewable online at the DIAS website but they will be making high detail *.OBJ files  available for download for further study.

So What is the Ogham?

Ogham stones are among Ireland’s most remarkable national treasures. These perpendicular cut stones bear inscriptions in the uniquely Irish Ogham alphabet, using a system of notches and horizontal or diagonal lines/scores to represent the sounds of an early form of the Irish language. The stones are inscribed with the names of prominent people and sometimes tribal affiliation or geographical areas. These inscriptions constitute the earliest recorded form of Irish and, as our earliest written records dating back at least as far as the 5th century AD, are a significant resource for historians, as well as linguists and archaeologists. Seminal work has already been carried out on Ogham inscriptions, most notably by Damian McManus (Professor of Early Irish, Trinity College Dublin and author of A Guide to Ogam) on the linguistic aspects and by Fionnbarr Moore (Senior Archaeologist, National Monuments Service) on the archaeological perspective. To date, the Ogham inscriptions have been recorded using drawings and conventional photography. The Celtic Inscribed Stones Project (CISP) also includes many of the Ogham stones in its on-line database.
Ogham Stone at Boleycarrigeen

Ogham Stone at Boleycarrigeen

Pic: Nora White

The Ogham in 3D project focuses exclusively on Ogham stones, bringing all of the available information together in a single searchable archive and adding a crucial new dimension to the work already carried out in the form of 3D models of the stones.

Known Ogham Inscriptions

There are more than 400 known orthodox Ogham inscriptions. These are Ogham inscriptions on stone recording the names of individuals, sometimes accompanied by their parentage and/or tribal affiliation, as opposed to later ‘scholastic’ Oghams, which derive from the manuscript tradition and do not descend directly from orthodox Ogham. Orthodox Ogham stones appear to have primarily served as memorials and/or boundary markers as well as indicators of land ownership. Possible associations between the commemorative function of Ogham stones and actual burials, and how these may have changed over time or geographical area, is an ongoing area of study. The inscriptions themselves were usually carved along the natural edge of the stone, generally starting at the bottom left-hand side of the face and reading upwards, across the top and down the right-hand side (up-top-down). However, there is a good deal of variation in this pattern, such as upward readings on both edges (up-up, e.g. CIIC 146. Ballineanig, Co. Kerry).

There is a fascinating amount of information as well as access to all of the collected work so far on the DIAS 3D Ogham Project website.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

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Jan 08 2014

The Isle of Iona may be an ancient burial site

TyIona Bay at the Isle of Iona

TyIona Bay at the Isle of Iona

Pic: Wiki

An archaeological survey on the famous Scots isle of Iona – where St Columba landed 1450 years ago to spread Christianity in Scotland – has shown signs of ancient burials reports the Scotsman. This is the first geophysical investigation to be undertaken away from the core focus of the Columban monastic enclosure and the Benedictine Abbey. The surveys were carried out on National Trust for Scotland land on the island by Dr Sue Ovenden and Alastair Wilson of Rose Geophysical Consultants.

The pair examined two areas in the fields to the south of the village – one close to the current village hall and south of the Nunnery and the other at Martyr’s Bay. The area close to the village hall seems to show features of recent or natural origin which will be excavated later this year. However, the more interesting result came from Martyr’s Bay where there is a mound beside the road where skeletal remains were excavated in the 1960s.

Excavations

Derek Alexander, the Trust’s Head of Archaeology Derek, said:

The geophysical survey shows that on the landward side, this mound may have been revetted by stones and surrounded by a shallow ditch. This could be a sign of burials. It has always been suggested that there are numerous burial sites on Iona and there have been various finds over the years, the most famous of which is in the graveyard at Relig Odhrain to the south of the Abbey.

The burials that have been discovered so far are absolutely fascinating. For example, those unearthed by excavations at Martyr’s Bay in the 1960s were quite unusual – there were some 40 skeletons packed into an area about 4m long by 2m wide. These appeared quite jumbled and many may have been reburied, especially as the carbon dating showed that one skeleton dating from the 13 – 15th century was below one dating from the 6 – 8th century.

It’s possible that this mound has some connection to another graveyard that’s marked on an old map, known as Clad Nan Druineach. We plan to investigate the area further in September, and hope that the findings will add more to what we already know about this fascinating island’s cultural and spiritual story.

The findings are revealed as the island prepares for a special Service of Thanksgiving at Iona Abbey to mark the 1450th anniversary of Columba’s arrival on Iona.

Read more about the story and the service on The Scotsman website.

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Dec 29 2013

The term ‘Celtic’ was an invention of the 18th Century claims Dr Simon James

Ancient Celt with Carnyx Trumpet

Ancient Celt with Carnyx Trumpet

Pic: Wikimedia

Dr. Simon James, writing on the BBC website, claims that the Romans, the Iron Age peoples and modern archaeologists would all agree that they were not ‘Celts’. This was a term coming from around 1700 from a reference to a Gallic tribe. The picture on the left is a depiction of a Celtic warrior from the period 100-300 CE. It is credited as a modern reenactor portraying an Ancient Celt (Vacomagi tribe, a.k.a Caledonian/Pict/Briton) with carnyx trumpet, crested helmet, chain mail (chainmaille), and woad circa 100-300 AD. The carnyx was used for war (signaling and intimidation), and ritual occasions as depicted on the Gundestrup cauldron.

The costume, helmet and appearance were inspired by contemporary depictions and written accounts. Dr James writes that:-

At the end of the Iron Age (roughly the last 700 years BC), we get our first eye-witness accounts of Britain from Greco-Roman authors, not least Julius Caesar who invaded in 55 and 54 BC. These reveal a mosaic of named peoples (Trinovantes, Silures, Cornovii, Selgovae, etc), but there is little sign such groups had any sense of collective identity any more than the islanders of AD 1000 all considered themselves ‘Britons’.

However, there is one thing that the Romans, modern archaeologists and the Iron Age islanders themselves would all agree on: they were not Celts. This was an invention of the 18th century; the name was not used earlier. The idea came from the discovery around 1700 that the non-English island tongues relate to that of the ancient continental Gauls, who really were called Celts. This ancient continental ethnic label was applied to the wider family of languages. But ‘Celtic’ was soon extended to describe insular monuments, art, culture and peoples, ancient and modern: island ‘Celtic’ identity was born, like Britishness, in the 18th century.

The Confusion between ‘Celtic’ languages and ‘Celtic’ culture

However, language does not determine ethnicity (that would make the modern islanders ‘Germans’, since they mostly speak English, classified as a Germanic tongue). And anyway, no one knows how or when the languages that we choose to call ‘Celtic’, arrived in the archipelago – they were already long established and had diversified into several tongues, when our evidence begins. Certainly, there is no reason to link the coming of ‘Celtic’ language with any great ‘Celtic invasions’ from Europe during the Iron Age, because there is no hard evidence to suggest there were any.

Archaeologists widely agree on two things about the British Iron Age: its many regional cultures grew out of the preceding local Bronze Age, and did not derive from waves of continental ‘Celtic’ invaders. And secondly, calling the British Iron Age ‘Celtic’ is so misleading that it is best abandoned. Of course, there are important cultural similarities and connections between Britain, Ireland and continental Europe, reflecting intimate contacts and undoubtedly the movement of some people, but the same could be said for many other periods of history.

The things we have labelled ‘Celtic’ icons – such as hill-forts and art, weapons and jewellery – were more about aristocratic, political, military and religious connections than common ethnicity. (Compare the later cases of medieval Catholic Christianity or European Renaissance culture, or indeed the Hellenistic Greek Mediterranean and the Roman world – all show similar patterns of cultural sharing and emulation among the powerful, across ethnic boundaries.)

Read the full discussion on the BBC website.

The Celtic Languages

The Celtic languages are descended from Proto-Celtic, or “Common Celtic”; a branch of the greater Indo-European language family. The term “Celtic” was first used to describe this language group by Edward Lhuyd in 1707. Celtic languages are most commonly spoken on the north-western edge of Europe, notably in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man, and can be found spoken on Cape Breton Island.
Celtic Branch of the Language Tree

Celtic Branch of the Language Tree

Pic: Breizh.net

There are also a substantial number of Welsh speakers in the Patagonia area of Argentina. Some people speak Celtic languages in the other Celtic diaspora areas of the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.[ In all these areas, the Celtic languages are now only spoken by minorities though there are continuing efforts at revitalization. Welsh is the only Celtic language that isn't classified as "endangered" by UNESCO.

During the 1st millennium BC, they were spoken across Europe, in the Iberian Peninsula, from the Atlantic and North Sea coastlines, up the Rhine valley and down the Danube valley to the Black Sea, the Upper Balkan Peninsula, and in Galatia in Asia Minor. The spread to Cape Breton and Patagonia occurred in modern times. Celtic languages, particularly Irish, were spoken in Australia before federation in 1901 and are still used there to some extent. There are, however, still arguments as to the exact development of the Celtic languages.

Scholarly handling of the Celtic languages has been rather argumentative owing to scarceness of primary source data. Some scholars (such as Cowgill 1975; McCone 1991, 1992; and Schrijver 1995) distinguish Continental Celtic and Insular Celtic, arguing that the differences between the Goidelic and Brittonic languages arose after these split off from the Continental Celtic languages. Other scholars (such as Schmidt 1988) distinguish between P-Celtic and Q-Celtic, putting most of the Gaulish and Brittonic languages in the former group and the Goidelic and Celtiberian languages in the latter. The P-Celtic languages (also called Gallo-Brittonic) are sometimes seen (for example by Koch 1992) as a central innovating area as opposed to the more conservative peripheral Q-Celtic languages. [Wiki]

The Modern Celtic Identity

Traditional Galician gaiteiros

Traditional Galician gaiteiros

Pic: Wiki

A modern Celtic identity emerged in Western Europe following the identification of the native peoples of the Atlantic fringe as Celts by Edward Lhuyd in the 18th century. Lhuyd and others equated the Celts described by Greco-Roman writers with the ancestors of the pre-Roman peoples of France, Britain and Ireland. The Irish and ancient British languages were thus Celtic languages. The descendents of these languages were the Welsh, Gaelic (Irish, Manx and Scottish variants), Cornish and Breton languages. These peoples were therefore modern Celts. Attempts were made to link their distinctive cultures to those of the ancient Celtic peoples.

The concept of modern Celtic identity evolved during the course of the 19th-century into the Celtic Revival. By the late 19th century it often took the form of ethnic nationalism particularly within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, where the Irish Home Rule Movement resulted in the secession of the Irish Free State in 1922. There were also significant Welsh, Scottish and Breton nationalist movements, giving rise to the concept of Celtic nations. After World War II, the focus of the Celticity movement shifted to linguistic revival and protectionism, e.g. with the foundation of the Celtic League in 1961, dedicated to preserving the surviving Celtic languages.

The Celtic revival also led to the emergence of musical and artistic styles identified as Celtic. Music typically drew on folk traditions within the Celtic nations. Art drew on decorative styles associated with the ancient Celts and with early medieval Celtic Christianity, along with folk-styles. Cultural events to promote “inter-Celtic” cultural exchange also emerged.

In the late 20th century a number of scholars criticised the idea of modern Celtic identity, sometimes also arguing that there never was a common Celtic culture, even in ancient times. Michael Chapman’s 1992 book The Celts: The Construction of a Myth led to what the archaeologist Barry Cunliffe has called a “politically correct disdain for the use of ‘Celt’” The extent to which a modern Celtic identity remains a useful concept continues to be debated. [Wiki]

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace in the US.

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

3 responses so far

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