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Category: Neolithic (Page 1 of 10)

Beachy Head Lady proves Iron Age Britain was multi-ethnic

An exhibition exploring the origins of ancient skeletons in Sussex, including a woman from sub-Saharan Africa buried in Roman times, has opened reported the BBC in Feb 2014. The face of the so-called Beachy Head Lady was recreated using craniofacial reconstruction.

Eastbourne Borough Council’s museum service was awarded a grant of £72,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Eastbourne Ancestors project. The aim was to identify the gender and age of each skeleton in its collection.

Detailed scientific analysis of more than 300 skeletons of people who lived in the south of England thousands of years ago has undertaken by scientists and archaeologists.

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The Undreamed Region – Barrows in folklore & archaeology

We’re very proud to bring you a special Guest post by David Taylor. He begins with a quote from Beowulf:

Draca sceal on hlaew, frod, fraetum wlanc. (The dragon shall be in the tumulus, old, rich in treasures.)

He goes on to say:

Hills, mounds and burial sites. Places which have a timeless allure. Such places can be seen and regarded as mythically liminal, a place that it is not a place. A place outside of time. A place where the living freely walk with the dead. Barrows are just such places. Archaeologically speaking, barrows or tumuli are large man made mounds of earth used for internment of the dead in Western Europe.

It is a practice which originated in the Neolithic period (c.4300 – 2000 BC). The word barrow comes from the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) word beorg, which is related to berg, which in turn means ‘mountain'(1).

The Types of Barrows

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Irish Heritage Survey results

The Irish people have just undertaken a survey whose results were released to coincide with National Heritage week. The results are somewhat surprising. Chief among the Irish heritage locations and landmarks respondents were most embarrassed at not having yet visited was the Hill of Tara. Listeners to our stories know how central and important the Hill of Tara is to the Heritage of the Irish Celts. The three most important sites voted for were Newgrange, the Burren and Glendalough in Co. Wicklow.

The Irish Times Heritage Survey

The Irish Times – Friday, August 26, 2011, reported:

The three most popular heritage sites are Newgrange Co Meath, the Burren in Co Clare and Glendalough in Co Wicklow.

That is according to a new survey released to coincide with National Heritage week.
However, while 450 of the 600 people interviewed claimed heritage was important for tourism, many respondents expressed some shame at not having visited popular sites.

Irish People embarrassed

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Thornborough Henges: How YOU can help preserve them with a few words

The Heritage Trust Blog reports : CAMPAIGNERS say allowing people access to a set of ancient monuments in North Yorkshire whose importance is said to rival Stonehenge is crucial to safeguarding their future. The Thornborough Heritage Trust has been set up to protect and raise awareness of the six “henges” and other Neolithic and Bronze Age sites on fields between Bedale and Ripon, with one of its first  objectives being to open them up to visitors.Dr Jan Harding, one of the trust’s founders and a senior archaeology lecturer at Newcastle University, said:

Despite being of unique cultural value and being described by English Heritage as the most important prehistoric site between Stonehenge and the Orkneys, it is closed to visitors, lacks educational information and sits in an extensively quarried landscape. At the moment, there isn’t even a display board. Getting some kind of formal access for the public is vital.”

It’s a while since we at Heritage Action went there (as part of our campaign against Tarmac PLC’s application to quarry its surroundings) but we do recall it was very visitor-unfriendly with no signage, parking or access. We also remember two more things that might be helpful:

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Celtic Research exploring Celtic Origins reaches its third year!

The ‘Ancient Britain and the Atlantic Zone’ project, based at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth, held its third annual forum at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff on Saturday 4 June. So reads the ground-breaking news from the University of Wales.

An audience of over a hundred heard experts presenting cutting-edge Celtic research in the fields of archaeology, genetics and linguistics. Project leader Professor John Koch began by setting out the implications of his ground-breaking work on the Tartessian inscriptions of the south-west Iberian Peninsula, dating back as far as the 8th century BC, which he argues to be the earliest attested Celtic language.

Tartessian Language provides key to Celtic Research

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Scottish Celtic Sweat Lodge – Sauna saved and re-built

News at the Scotsman.com reports pic that a Bronze Age structure thought to have been used as a Celtic sweat lodge has been saved from destruction by the sea after a team of archaeologists moved the entire find to a safer location. The building, which dates from between 1500BC and 1200BC, was unearthed on the Shetland island of Bressay eight years ago. It was found in the heart of the Burnt Mound at Cruester, a Bronze Age site on the coast of Bressay facing Lerwick.

But earlier this summer (2008), because of the increased threat of coastal erosion, local historians joined archaeologists to launch a campaign to save the building and to move it somewhere safer. A third of the mound had already been lost to sea erosion.

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Archaeologist Tells Of Neolithic Discoveries

New Thoughts on Ancient Northumberland was the title of Paul Frodsham’s lecture at Morpeth Antiquarian Society. Mr Frodsham was the Northumberland National Park archaeologist for 15 years until 2007. His talk concentrated on a small but incredibly rich area of the Breamish valley on and around Ingram Farm, where amazing archaeology has survived years of agricultural work. Twelve years of research from 1994 revealed evidence of occupation from the Neolithic to the present-day.

The work was done by more than 400 diggers, including staff and students from Durham University, amateurs and professionals from the Northumberland Archaeological Group, and other experts.

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Wild Rabbits lead to massive finds at Land’s End in Cornwall

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<b>Big Heritage at Land's End</b>

Big Heritage at Land’s End

Pic: Falmouth Packet

A day of digging by three expert archaeologists has unearthed more than 60 objects from a one-metre square excavation at Land’s End reports The Falmouth Packet. In February the wild rabbits at Land’s End accidentally uncovered a collection of flint scrapers and arrowheads while burrowing their warrens. This discovery prompted Land’s End to commission a thorough archaeological investigation of their land and now the finds discovered and compiled by Big Heritage UK have revealed some further startling results.

Evidence of an iron-age hill fort, a bronze-age barrow cemetery, a Neolithic passage grave and more, all compiled in the report, has been further compounded by a plethora of ancient objects unearthed in the course of a one day dig at the British landmark.

The Big Heritage team have now found Mesolithic stone hammers, arrow heads, scrapers and waste from a flint tool-making factory during their preliminary one-day excavation at the site.

Dean Paton, lead archaeologist for Big Heritage, said:

We discovered more prehistoric tools in just one square metre of Land’s End than in countless other sites combined. We’ve found about 60 flint tools and two stone hammers and they are stunningly beautiful. I’m lost for words – it almost sounds like something out of an Indiana Jones film.

In the present time, more than 400,000 visitors journey to Land’s End every year and these latest discoveries show people have actually been travelling to the westernmost point of Cornwall for 10,000 years or more.

Alice Reynolds, marketing manager for Land’s End, said:

We are delighted by these latest finds and very grateful to both Big Heritage and the Land’s End bunnies for helping us uncover our ancient history.

Read the full story on the Packet 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 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

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.

Doggerland – Britain’s lost ‘Atlantis’ has been found under the waves

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Drowned world: Scans show a mound discovered under the water near Orkney, which has been explored by divers

Drowned world: Scans show a mound discovered under the water near Orkney, which has been explored by divers

Pic: Daily Mail

Divers have found traces of an ancient land swallowed by the waves about 8,500 years ago reported the Daily Mail back in 2012. This land once stretched from Scotland to Denmark and seismic scan have revealed rivers, mountains and the scientists believe Doggerland, as it has become known after the Dogger Bank, had a population of tens of thousands of people and was a home to Mammoths as well as other giant animals. ‘Britain’s Atlantis’ – a hidden underwater world swallowed by the North Sea – has been discovered by divers working with science teams from the University of St Andrews. Doggerland, a huge area of dry land that stretched from Scotland to Denmark was slowly submerged by water between 18,000 BC and 5,500 BC. Divers from oil companies have found remains of a ‘drowned world’ with a population of tens of thousands – which might once have been the ‘real heartland’ of Europe.

A team of climatologists, archaeologists and geophysicists has now mapped the area using new data from oil companies – and revealed the full extent of a ‘lost land’ once roamed by mammoths.

The research suggests that the populations of these drowned lands could have been tens of thousands, living in an area that stretched from Northern Scotland across to Denmark and down the English Channel as far as the Channel Islands. The area was once the ‘real heartland’ of Europe and was hit by ‘a devastating tsunami’, the researchers claim. The wave was part of a larger process that submerged the low-lying area over the course of thousands of years.

Richard Bates of the University of St Andrews said:

‘The name was coined for Dogger Bank, but it applies to any of several periods when the North Sea was land. Around 20,000 years ago, there was a ‘maximum’ – although part of this area would have been covered with ice. When the ice melted, more land was revealed – but the sea level also rose.

Life in 'Doggerland' - the ancient kingdom once stretched from Scotland to Denmark and has been described as the 'real heart of Europe'

Life in ‘Doggerland’ – the ancient kingdom once stretched from Scotland to Denmark and has been described as the ‘real heart of Europe’

Pic: Daily Mail

‘Through a lot of new data from oil and gas companies, we’re able to give form to the landscape – and make sense of the mammoths found out there, and the reindeer. We’re able to understand the types of people who were there.

‘People seem to think rising sea levels are  a new thing – but it’s a cycle of Earth history that has happened many many times.’

Organised by Dr Richard Bates of the Department of Earth Sciences at St Andrews, the Drowned Landscapes exhibit reveals the human story behind Doggerland, a now submerged area of the North Sea that was once larger than many modern European countries.

‘We have now been able to model its flora and fauna, build up a picture of the ancient people that lived there and begin to understand some of the dramatic events that subsequently changed the land, including the sea rising and a devastating tsunami.’

The research project is a collaboration between St Andrews and the Universities of Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dundee and Wales Trinity St David. Rediscovering the land through pioneering scientific research, the research reveals a story of a dramatic past that featured massive climate change. The public exhibit brings back to life the Mesolithic populations of Doggerland through artefacts discovered deep within the sea bed.

A visualisation of how life in the now-submerged areas of Dogger Bank might have looked

A visualisation of how life in the now-submerged areas of Dogger Bank might have looked

Pic: Daily Mail

The research, a result of a painstaking 15 years of fieldwork around the murky waters of the UK, is one of the highlights of the London event.

The interactive display examines the lost landscape of Doggerland and includes artefacts from various times represented by the exhibit – from pieces of flint used by humans as tools to the animals that also inhabited these lands.

Using a combination of geophysical modelling of data obtained from oil and gas companies and direct evidence from material recovered from the seafloor, the research team was able to build up a reconstruction of the lost land.

The findings suggest a picture of a land with hills and valleys, large swamps and lakes with major rivers dissecting a convoluted coastline.

As the sea rose the hills would have become an isolated archipelago of low islands. By examining the fossil record – such as pollen grains, microfauna and macrofauna – the researchers can tell what kind of vegetation grew in Doggerland and what animals roamed there.

Using this information, they were able to build up a model of the ‘carrying capacity’ of the land and work out roughly how many humans could have lived there. The research team is currently investigating more evidence of human behaviour, including possible human burial sites, intriguing standing stones and a mass mammoth grave.

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2167731/Britains-Atlantis-North-sea–huge-undersea-kingdom-swamped-tsunami-5-500-years-ago.html#ixzz374DGxUiM
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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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 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

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.

Neolithic warfare: new research

arrowheads-co
Pic: Archaeology.co.uk
Archaeology.co.uk reports that the perception that much of prehistory was relatively peaceful is changing. New research has identified evidence of violent assault in the Neolithic. What does this tell us about Stone Age life as a whole? Forensic archaeologist Martin Smith explains.

Whilst many Neolithic burials have been excavated during the last 150 years, they have received only limited study. Modern analysis of these remains by osteo-archaeologists is revealing shocking evidence for violent assaults involving clubs, axes, and arrowshot about 5,500 years ago.

Recent years have seen growing interest in conflict archaeology. Warfare has gone from being a subject rarely mentioned by archaeologists to one that is widely debated. Current  world events may have something to do with this, but it is also linked to advances in our ability to recognise evidence of violence, and a drive towards new theoretical approaches for making sense of it. Most research of this kind has usually been concerned with more recent periods, but lately consideration is also being given to prehistory. In particular, we now have a growing body of evidence for aggression between groups and individuals during the Neolithic, most of which comes in the form of skeletal injuries. The fact that acts of violence sometimes occurred in this period now seems indisputable. However, assessing what this tells us about Neolithic life as a whole is harder.

Read the full article at archaeology.co.uk

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