Celtic Myth Podshow News

Bringing the Tales and Stories of the Ancient Celts to your Fireside

Category: Education (Page 1 of 13)

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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Scotland – Gaelic language school a victim of success

PUPIL numbers at Glasgow Gaelic School are at an all-time high. But the popularity of the school has landed education bosses with a problem – they cannot find enough fluent Gaelic-speaking teachers. This year the secondary school has around 62 students on the roll but next year that number is set to rise to 100.
Over 70 children will enroll in the primary school next term.

Gaelic Language Schools

Glasgow was the first council to provide a dedicated Gaelic secondary school, recognised nationally as a ground breaking approach.

Margaret Doran, executive director of education and social work, admitted the shortage would hit lessons.

She said:

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Cardiff couple boost the Breton language

The Flag of Brittany

The Flag of Brittany

A Cardiff couple have been actively aiding the survival of the dwindling Breton language. The Brittanica tells us that Breton is “a member of the Brythonic group of Celtic languages, spoken in Brittany in northwestern France. Breton was introduced into northwestern France in the 5th and 6th centuries by Brythonic Celtic refugees displaced from southern England by the influx of Anglo-Saxons.

The language is closely related to Cornish and Welsh but has been influenced by French and perhaps by a continental Celtic language formerly spoken in the region.” [Brittanica]There are about 540,000 speakers of this Celtic language and a Welsh couple are helping to revive it.

Richard Thorpe and his Breton partner Dr Jacqueline Gibson both speak Welsh and Breton and have been active raising links between Wales and Brittany since moving to France 18 months ago. More than 700 people recently took part in a sponsored run in Brittany in aid of Breton-language schools. The course began in Nantes and ran west via Lannion, which has been twinned since 1991 with Caerphilly. It finished in Carhaix-Plougher in central Brittany.

Welsh and Breton speakers can talk to each other

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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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Iron Age Warfare in Britain – Part 1 By Sue Carter

A fabulous informative article written about Iron Age Warfare by Sue Carter appeared in Heritage Daily recently. We enjoyed it so much, we knew our readers would find it fascinating too. Here is a taster. Enjoy  :)

On whatever pretext you stir them up, you will have them ready to face danger, even if they have nothing on their side but their own strength and courage –Strabo, (64 BC – 24 AD).

Almost all of the Gauls are of tall stature, fair and ruddy, terrible for the fierceness of their eyes, fond of quarrelling and of overbearing insolence – Ammianus, (4th Century AD).

The two quotes were written by classical authors describing the Gauls of France as known at the time. Strabo would have been aware of Caesar’s excursion to Britain and possibly have read his account of the people he had been in contact with. Diodorus Siculus (V 21, 3-6) describes Britain as,

 ‘Inhabited by tribes that are aboriginal, and in their lifestyle preserve the old ways; for they make use of chariots in the wars….’

(Diodorus cited in Ireland 2003).

Due to Britain’s isolation it is possible that many of the ‘old ways’ were still being followed.

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Celtic Musical Instruments by Helen McSkimming

An important form of expression in any culture is its music, each culture having its own independent style. This cultural expression is enhanced through the instruments it is played on. In our Celtic culture, the main instruments were and are the BODHRAN (drum), the FEADAN (whistle) the CLARSACH (harp) and the PIOB (bagpipes). All of these instruments still have the power to stir ancestral memory in people of today.


The first of these, the Irish drum, the bodhran, is the oldest form of musical instrument, its equivalent being found all over the world. The Bodhran was traditionally made in the following way: A circular hoop was made out of the wood of the ash tree and an animal skin, usually of deer, calf or goat, which had been soaked in a stream for nine days, was stretched over the hoop and secured firmly around the edge of it.

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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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Update on Saving Newgrange: A New Hope?

Proposed Slane Bypass

Vincent Salafia of Save Newgrange tells us that the Irish Times has reported that new consultations are being ordered to discuss the Slane Bypass that is threatening the ancient home of Angus Og, the Brugh na Boyne – the monument that is now called Newgrange.

Click on the image above to see the detail.

The Irish Times reports:

A NEW round of public consultations on controversial plans for a dual-carriageway bypass of Slane, Co Meath, has been ordered by An Bord Pleanála, with October 15th set as the closing date. A public notice advertising the new round of consultations was published recently in national newspapers. The original consultation period closed on February 25th 2014.

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Grace O’Malley the Dark Lady of Doona

Our many to thanks the Irish Cultural Society of the Garden City Area for allowing us to post this great article to share with our readers. She is known by many names: Grainne Mhaol (Bald Grace), Grainne Ui Mhaille (Grace of the Umhalls), Grania, the Dark Lady of Doona, Grace O’Malley, and Granuaile (Gran-oo-ale). She was a contemporary of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Edmund Spencer, Walter Raleigh, and Francis Drake. She was a mother, a pirate, and one of the many great women of Ireland.

Born c. 1530 into the O’Malley family, the hereditary lords of Umhall which included Clare Island, Inishturk, Inishbofin, Inishark and Caher, Grace married into two of the powerful families of Western Ireland, the O’Flaherty of West Connacht and the Burke of Clew Bay. Tradition has it that she is buried (1603) on Clare Island at the Abbey which bears the O’Malley coat-of-arms; Terra-Marique-Potens. Indeed a fitting family motto, for Grace was powerful on land and especially on the sea.

The Life of Granuaile

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