Celtic Myth Podshow News

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

Tag: Anthropology (Page 1 of 9)

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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New Mabinogion Show, Episode 40, ‘Betrayal in the Nursery’!

The latest episode in the First Branch of the Mabinogi – Betrayal in the Nursery – is now out and available for you to download or listen to. This is part 11 of the First Branch of the Mabinogion. Doubt begins to enter the minds of the people of Dyfed as their Lord and his Lady show no signs of producing an heir. The High Council of Druids put pressure on Pwyll to divorce his Fairy Bride and take a more ‘fruitful’ woman to his bed! Sadly, in an unexpected twist they are overtaken be events of unspeakable horror!

Damh the Bard’s new album, Sabbat!

Damh the Bard and his new album, Sabbat

Damh the Bard and his new album, ‘Sabbat’

We’re proud to announce the release of Damh the Bard’s fabulous new  studio album, Sabbat. After 18 months in the making, this album is launched today and we’re lucky enough to bring you two fantastic songs from it to celebrate its launch. As you can see, Damh is just as chuffed as we are with this album (if not more!). A superb collection of mythic music that shows his talent and style are really developing. This album has to rank among his very best! Well done, Damh!

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Amazing Druid sickle found as votive offering in East Sussex

A late Bronze Age sickle was found at the Shinewater Park Sacred Water Site, Sussex, England in 1995 as we reported earlier. The following is an abbreviated extract from the superlative report about the conservation undertaken on the sickle by the specialist form the British Museum, Ann Brysbaert. A thoroughly researched conservation plan was required in order to meet the display conditions of the receiving museum and to meet the high standards required by the specialists involved in the treatment of this unique sickle.
The site was discovered during the excavation of a lake which forms part of a new community park being developed by Eastbourne Borough Council. The object was found in a peat environment and was block lifted from site in this soil.

Some of the remains found on site include post alignments and other wooden structures, a skeleton of a child, antler artefacts and several copper alloy objects, including the sickle. The latter finds and the post alignments have suggested to some a comparison with the site of Flag Fen in Cambridgeshire, according to M. Taylor, an independent wood specialist (personal communication). Together with the other copper alloy objects, the sickle was recorded to have lain horizontally in the acidic peat. The pottery from the site gives a date around 800-600 BC, which is Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age.

Object description and technology

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Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Early Celtic Women of Ireland

It is not known when or how the Irish language came to Ireland. It belongs to a group of languages called Celtic, once widely spoken in parts of the Continent and in Britain. Those areas also shared certain cultural characteristics in the centuries before and after the time of Christ.

The concept of Celticism is quite vague however and some modern archaeologists and historians argue heatedly about the means by which Ireland came to have a Celtic language and some aspects of Celtic culture. They have not yet been able to agree on how to interpret the sources available.

Greek and Roman writers describe early Celtic women as courageous and aggressive

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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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Episode 39 Prophecy of the Druid is now available for you!

The latest episode in the First Branch of the Mabinogi – Prophecy of the Druid – is now out and available for you to download or listen to. This is Episode 10 of the First Branch: Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed. Pwyll and Rhiannon are finally married and enjoying the feasting in the Halls of the Otherworld. It is not too long before Pwyll and his Companions get homesick for Dyfed, the land of their Birth. Pwyll and Rhiannon decide to head back to Dyfed where they are faced with an unexpected prophecy!

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

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iphoneYou 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.

CMP App on AmazonYou 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.
Windows 8 Phone AppYou can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.
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.

The mystery of the Fulacht Fiadh or Burnt Mound

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Reconstruction of a burnt mound being used as a sweat house

Reconstruction of a burnt mound being used as a sweat house

Pic: Irish Archaeology

Excavation started on the burnt mounds at Rathmore, Co. Wicklow back in 2012 reports the Irish Archaeology websiteBurnt mounds are a type of archaeological site whose defining characteristic is large quantities of heat shattered stone. These sites commonly date to the Bronze Age, although examples from the Neolithic through to the medieval period are known. Burnt mounds are also known as fulacht fiadh and have been primarily interpreted as cooking places. The term fulacht fian is found in the early Irish literature from at least the 9th century AD (Waddell 1998, 174) and refers to open-air cooking places in which a water filled pit was made in which to cook meat.

The early Irish literature also shows that the word fulacht is not only applied to a water filled pit for boiling meat but also to an outdoor cooking pit where meat was roasted on a spit or over an open fire (Kelly 1998, 337).

In the field extant burnt mounds are noted as low grassy mounds which can be circular or crescent shaped. Size varies from sites which are only a few metres in diameter to those which can be upwards of thirty metres. The usual location of burnt mounds is close to a water source, such as a stream or lake, or simply in low-lying boggy ground. Due to the extensive agricultural activity which much of Ireland has seen, burnt mounds are often ploughed-out and leave no trace on the ground surface. In this case if the land is topsoil stripped the remains of the burnt mound will be seen as a shallow deposit of heat shattered stones which lie within a charcoal rich black soil.

Pit for holding Water into which Hot Stones were placed

The general sequence of events observable at these sites is the digging of a pit or pits into the subsoil, which functioned as troughs for holding water, followed by the build up of heat shattered stones and the residues of fires. Sometimes hut sites were located beside the sites. Excavated troughs are generally found to be rectangular or sub-rectangular in shape. Some excavated troughs contained a timber lining to keep the sides from collapsing, or a clay lining, to keep the water in. A fire was set near to the trough upon which stone was heated and the heated stones were subsequently dropped into the water. 
A timber lined trough, Rathmore, Co. Wicklow

A timber lined trough, Rathmore, Co. Wicklow

Pic: Irish Archaeology

The resultant boiling water was then used for a variety of purposes. Once the water heating process was complete the trough was cleaned out and the stones were cast aside giving rise to the characteristic shaped mounds present in today’s landscape. The stones did not always shatter in the process and could be re-used.

As well as the occurrence of troughs and deposits of burnt stone, burnt mounds have another common characteristic – the use of certain types of stone. In general sedimentary rocks such as sandstone are very common and experiments have shown that sandstone can be heated and cooled around five times before splitting into unusable fragments (Buckley 1990, 171).

Different Theories on how Burnt Mounds were used

The most common explanation for the function of burnt mound sites is as cooking sites, although a number of other theories have been postulated to explain the nature of these sites. It has been demonstrated that they could have been covered by light structures and used as saunas or sweathouses such as that at Rathpatrick, Co. Waterford (Eogan & Shee Twohig 2012, 179). Industrial uses such as the washing or dyeing of cloths and hides have been postulated (Waddell 1998, 177), and it has also been argued that they were used to brew beer (Quinn & Moore 2009). What is clear is that large quantities of hot or boiling water were produced and the sites often had long periods of use as attested by the large mounds of stone. The absence of animal bone does not preclude cooking activities as carcasses may have been prepared elsewhere and brought to the site and, once the meat was cooked it may have been taken elsewhere to be eaten. The damp soil conditions associated with burnt mounds do not generally favour the preservation of animal bone.

Burnt mounds appear to have a long period of use in Ireland. Excavations at Clowanstown, Co. Meath, revealed the presence of five upstanding Neolithic burnt mounds (Archaeology Ireland, winter 2007, p.12), and examples are known from this period through to the medieval period, giving a span of use of some five thousand years.

Along with Colm Moriarty, the original  host of this news article, we’d like to thank Catherine McLoughlin for this excellent article on burnt mounds/fulacht fiadh. Catherine is joint owner of the well-known Wexford based archaeological company Stafford McLoughlin Ltd and she has over ten years experience as a licenced archaeologist.

References

Archaeology Ireland. Wordwell, Dublin.

Buckley, V. 1990 Burnt Offerings. Wordwell, Dublin.

Hore, P.H. 1900-1911 History of the Town and County of Wexford. London.

Eogan, J., & Shee Twohig, E. 2012 Cois tSiuire – Nine Thousand years of Human Activity in the Lower Suir Valley. NRA Scheme Monographs 8, Dublin.

Kelly, F. 1998 Early Irish Farming. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

Quinn, B., & Moore, D. 2009 ‘Fulacht fiadh’ and the beer experiment’ in Stanley et al (eds) Dining & Dwelling. NRA Monograph Series No. 6, 43-53, NRA, Dublin.

Waddell, J., 1998 The Prehistoric Archaeology of Ireland, Galway University Press.

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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.

Béal Beo: The Cylinder Project, Gobán Saor and the Fairy in the Sea

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Recording onto a Wax Cylinder

Recording onto a Wax Cylinder

Pic: Béal Beo

The audio archive of the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin, houses some 1,100 wax cylinder recordings of folk narratives, folk song and folk music. The earliest of these date from the 1890s on the occasion of the first national Feis Ceoil competitions, which were held in Dublin and Belfast. This unique collection spans almost sixty years of folklore recording up to the mid 20th century. A selection is now available online at Béal Beo.

Among the amazing records and stories that have been captured – along with tgranscipts or English translations –  are some superb tales about Gobán Saor – the  highly skilled smith or architect in Irish history and legend. 

Gobán Saor

Gobban Saer (Gobban the Builder) is a figure regarded in Irish traditional lore as an architect of the seventh century, and popularly canonized as St. Gobban. The Catholic Encyclopedia considers him historical and born at Turvey, on the Donabate peninsula in North County Dublin, about 560.

In literary references, he was employed by many Irish saints to build churches, oratories, and bell towers, and he is alluded to in an eighth-century Irish poem, preserved in a monastery in Carinthia. In the “Life of St. Abban” it is said that “the fame of Gobban as a builder in wood as well as stone would exist in Ireland to the end of time.”

In Gobán Saor can be seen elements of Goibniu, the Old Irish god of smithcraft. His name can be compared with the Old Irish gobae ~ gobann ‘smith,’ Middle Welsh gof ~ gofein ‘smith,’ Gallic gobedbi ‘with the smiths,’ Latin faber ‘smith’ and with the Lithuanian gabija ‘sacred home fire’ and Lithuanian gabus ‘gifted, clever’. [Wiki]

A portable Ediphone recording machine used by folklore collectors until the 1950s.

A portable Ediphone recording machine used by folklore collectors until the 1950s.

Pic: Béal Beo

A variety of tales are recorded about the Gobán Saor, the mythical master builder of Irish tradition. This particular account was recorded from the 77 year-old Mícheál Mac an Mháistir, from Lettera, Kilcommon, Co. Mayo by Proinnsias de Búrca, Irish Folkore Commission, on the 29 November 1937. The story goes like this:

“Sixty five years ago this Christmas, my grandfather was telling me a story about Gobán Saor. Gobán Saor was in this country in Ireland and he was the best craftsman in the seven kingdoms. No castle could be built anywhere that was of high quality but that Gobán was the master and looking after it. He went up making Dublin castle and was long years on that castle.

” He came down to Sligo and married a respectable handsome woman. He had a large holding of land and he went up to Dublin again. And when he married this woman he stayed with her six months. He had to go up to Dublin castle again looking after his craftsmen and men. Well, the King of England sent him a letter asking him and pleading with him to go across to himself to make a big palace for himself in England. And he didn’t go as far as him at that time.”

There are many more tales of legend, folklore and history recorded on these fabulous wax cyulinders and you can listen to them all on this superb website. You can hear the story of the four-leaf clover, songs like the Vagabond Song and Seoirse Chonamara as well as stories of the fairies.

A Fairy in the Sea

Three men went out fishing one day. They weren’t long out when they saw fish swimming around the boat… They were out about an hour and they were looking at the net, and one of the men said to another to throw his knife at the net, and the man took his knife out of his pocket and he threw it out into the sea, and it wasn’t long after that before the water was full of blood.

That was all very well, but the three [of them] went home that night, and about eleven o’clock, or about then, the man who threw the knife heard a noise outside the house, and he got up and went to the door, and who was there but a man on the back of a white horse. The man spoke to him, and he said:

‘You were fishing today, and you threw a knife, and you must come with me now and pull out that knife.’

‘Very well!’ said the man, and he went up onto the horse behind him, and as they were going on their way, the man on the white horse said to him: ‘When you go to this house, do not eat anything that they give you.’ They were travelling on and they came to the sea, and the horse walked under the sea until she came to a big house, and they knocked on the door, and a woman opened the door. And when the man went in, there was a woman standing by the fire and there was a knife stuck in the top of her head. The man went in and he pulled out the knife. The people inside said to him to drink tea, or eat something, and he said he wouldn’t eat it.

He went out again, and he went up on the horse with the man of the white horse. When they were going home, the man said to him never to go out fishing again. The man went to America for a few years. He came home, ten years later, and he said one evening, he was at the house and he was looking out at the sea, and he said to himself he would go out fishing. He went out in a boat, and nobody saw or heard anything about him since.

[Source]

This website is a wonderful resource of early Irish lore and Story as told on the earliest recordings we have. Well worth checking out at http://www.bealbeo.ie/index.html

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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.

Wales History Month Starts Today

The Welsh Dragon

The Welsh Dragon

Pic: Wales Online

Today, WalesOnline, in association with Cadw, launches Welsh History Month. Every day for the next four weeks, leading academics and historians from History Research Wales will ask, what is the most significant object in our past? Here, David Anderson, Director General of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, wonders if it’s the meaning we attach to objects that gives them their importance. Go to the Wales Online site to read the full article. David says:

If you had to select one object of particular significance to you, what would it be? The photograph of a loved one? The book that changed your thinking? The four-leaved clover you found and preserved when you were a child? The sampler your grandmother sewed?

If you had to choose one object of significance from Wales’s past, what would it be? A miner’s lamp? A Welsh Bible? A painting of a Welsh landscape? A suffragette banner? A Celtic cross? A photograph of a village choir? An early manuscript of the Mabinogion?

It is the meaning we attach to objects that gives them their significance. A few years ago, one museum invited members of the public to contribute images of their favourite objects to its website. Some wonderful stories emerged.

One woman submitted an image of a letter in her possession. This had been written during World War Two by her father, a newly married soldier, to his young wife back at home. The letter was not delivered.

After the War, the soldier returned home, and the couple had two daughters. The girls grew up and left home. The couple grew old. The husband died. The wife married again and moved away. The street where they had lived was demolished.

Then one day a nearby barn was knocked down. A bag of undelivered post was discovered hidden behind a wall. One night, not long after, there was a knock on the door of the wife’s new home. The Royal Mail had traced her and, sixty years after it was sent from the battlefield, she received the letter written by her first husband to her younger self. She opened it, and at once her world turned upside down.

Amgueddfa Cymru – the National Museum of Wales

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales has seven sites spread across different parts of Wales. These include the National Slate Museum in Llanberis, the National Wool Museum in Drefach, the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, the National Roman Legion Museum in Carleon, Big Pit: National Coal Museum in Blaenavon, and National Museum Cardiff. All have strong connections with their communities.

But no museum is as loved by so many people across Wales as St Fagans. Here the most precious objects are not necessarily treasures of great financial value, but the ordinary homes and objects once owned by someone’s aunt or grandparents, and taken to the museum from a place maybe only five or ten miles from where you live.

Over the next few years, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Welsh Government, St Fagans will be developed to become the National Museum of History for Wales. For the first time, the nation will have a museum which brings together archaeological and historical collections from the earliest Neanderthal remains, dating to 230,000 BC, to the present.

St Fagans reminds us that culture is a living process, and that everyday objects, as much as great works of art, have the power to evoke memories, and to move and inspire us.

The past is all around us, in fields and beside the road, in town squares and in our own homes, should we choose to look. It is the foundation for our lives.

A critical understanding of how history is made by attributing meaning to this past, and how it may be used (or mis-used) in the present, is vital if we are to make informed choices about our future as a nation.

David Anderson is director-general of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Read the full article on the Wales Online 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.

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 as well as AppBrain in the US.

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.

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

New show, Druid Special No. 2 – An interview with Greywolf, the Head of the British Druid Order, Part 2

For mobile users, please either keep scrolling down to read or switch to ‘Desktop view’ – Thank you

Philip Shallcrass

Philip Shallcrass


Pic: Elaine Wildways
In the second of our unique Druid Interviews, we bring you the second half of our interview with the Head of the British Druid Order, Philip Shallcrass, aka Greywolf. He talks about Druidry, the BDO’s Distance Learning Courses,the Ogham and the World Drum. The show also contains 6 fantastic pieces of music, including one by Philip himself which he wrote for his three sons. Truly, an interview not to be missed!

We’ve marked this show as explicit due to the subject matter of the ‘out-takes’ at the end – the body of the show remains ‘Family-Friendly’!

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 😀

Gary & Ruthie x x x

———————————

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.

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