The Ness of Brodgar is a Neolithic site on the Scottish island of Orkney, consisting of the remains of housing, paved walkways, coloured facades, decorated stone slabs, a massive stone wall, and a large building described as a ‘cathedral’ or ‘palace’, inhabited from at least 3,500 BC. Now archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an enormous cow at the site that are so big, it could only be consistent with an aurochs – an extinct species of cow that was extremely rare, even in Neolithic times.
A reconstruction of what the site once looked like. Credit: Will MacNeil
Popular Archaeology , who reported the finding, wrote: “This is considered big news, because the aurochs, a huge, prehistoric ancestor to the modern day cow, is now extinct, the last one having died in the Jaktorów Forest, Poland in 1627. But even during Neolithic times, they had already become relatively rare.”
The aurochs (Bos primigenius) was a type of large wild cattle that inhabited Europe, Asia and North Africa, and is known to be the ancestor of domestic cattle. The oldest aurochs remains have been dated to about 2 million years ago, in India. During the Pleistocene, the species migrated west into the Middle East (western Asia) as well as to the east. They reached Europe about 270,000 years ago.
While the weight of most cattle today ranges between 270kg (595lb) to 900kg (1985lb), with the very largest breeds reaching around 1,100kg (2425lb), the ancient aurochs could weigh up to 1,500kg (3305), and measure up to 1.8 metres (5'9") in height.
Aurochs in a cave painting in Lascaux, France. Image source: Wikipedia
"Further identification will be needed and this will have to wait until next year when the contexts can be properly excavated without the need to rush," reported the Dig Diary blogger for the Ness of Brodgar Excavations project. "However, it will have important implications for our understanding of the agricultural economy of the Neolithic in Orkney, and for the range of animals present at that time."
The discovery of the aurochs remains are just one of many exciting discoveries made at the Ness of Brodgar. The archaeological excavation, which has so far only unearthed around 10 per cent of the original site, has yielded thousands of incredible artifacts including ceremonial mace heads, polished stone axes, flint knives, a human figurine, miniature thumb pots, beautifully crafted stone spatulas, highly-refined coloured pottery, and more than 650 pieces of Neolithic art, by far the largest collection ever found in Britain.
Earlier this year, archaeologists uncovered the 5,000-year-old remains of a sophisticated temple complex . As well as a large collection of ancient artifacts that reflect a complex and culturally-rich society, archaeologists also discovered that the three major monumental structures on the island – the Ring of Brodgar, the Stones of Stennes, and the Maes Howe tomb – were inextricably linked in some grand theme, although what its true purpose was is still unknown.
Featured image: An aurochs skeleton found in Denmark dated to about 7500 BC. Source: Malene Thyssen, Wikimedia Commons
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Are prehistoric cave paintings intentionally designed
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DESCRIPTION: Hardcover with dust jacket: 383 pages. Publisher: WW Norton & Company (1969). Dimensions: 9 x 6½ x 1½ inches 2 pounds. The story of man's origins, his entry into the European scene about 700,000 years ago, the long time between utter savagery and the dawn of civilization, is one of the most fascinating in the dramatic epic of mankind. The fact that men very much like us lived 20,000 or 30,000 years ago was only suggested relatively recently. As a result, many history books have ignored the millennia-long cultural development that preceded so-called civilization. Yet these early humans made tools, paintings, drawings, and sculptures, leaving us a fascinating record of their own development in the long period before writing was invented and prehistory became history.
This book is essentially chapter one in the biography of Western man. It is about the childhood years of mankind, when he learned to improve his lot, as he prepared for the role that would dominate him among all creatures battling for the right to inhabit the earth. Anyone interested in history, art, literature or science will find a key to understanding the fundamentals of our modern world here. There more than three hundred illustrations and maps are especially important because prehistoric men could not write. They were the silent people, and only objects remain as evidence of their existence. Philip Van Doren Stern writes in a simple, uncomplicated language that is aimed at the non-specialist. He has based his report on testimonials, scientific journals, technical books, and personal research, focusing on the latest available sources.
CONDITION: VERY GOOD. Easily read (but worn on the shelf and age-related) hardcover with dust jacket (in new mylar sleeve). WW Norton (1969) 383 pages. Based on our inspection, the book was once read easily by someone with a fairly "light hand". It is possible that the book was only read about page 30, leafed through once or twice, but never finished. It's pretty clear that the book was read on page 30 or so. After that, it's difficult to tell whether the rest of the book was read very easily or just flipped through. We will incline to a conservative judgment that the book was read once and perhaps started several times, as there is clear evidence that it was read on page 30. Aside from the evidence of reading through page 30, the interior of the book is practically pristine afterwards. The pages are clean, razor sharp, not marked, not mutilated, tightly bound and show only minor reading damage. We'd mention, however, that the bulk of the closed page edges that are visible when the book is closed (often referred to as the "page block") shows a slight yellowing / age browning. This can be seen on the top, bottom and front edge of the closed side edges (of course only visible when the book is closed, not on individual pages, but only on the mass of the closed side edges). There is also a tiny (1/4 inch) faded spot on the bottom of the closed side edges where the pages are not yellow in that location. There is absolutely no sign of staining on the open side edges, moisture damage, etc. Just a tiny, mysterious, faded speck in the bulk of the closed side edges. It could have been a tiny drop of candle wax or some other similar substance that was eventually removed from the side block but protected the lower side edges from age browning, or it could have been a drop of cleaning solution that contained bleach that was wiped off before it was soaked in the paper and caused a stain on the edge of the open sides. It doesn't matter much, we're just looking for full disclosure. Even when the book was first published, the editor's dust jacket was nothing out of the ordinary, just made of exposed paper of very poor quality. The dust jackets for this title are in pretty poor condition 50 years after it was released. Most are in ruins. Fortunately, this copy has a much better preserved dust jacket. However, it has moderate edge and corner wear, mainly in the form of "crackling" and abrasive rubbing on the head of the spine, heel and "toe" (the four open corners of the dust jacket, top and bottom, front and back)). The creased edge of the dust jacket is almost invisible on the top edge of the front of the dust jacket and on the bottom edge of the back of the dust jacket. You'll have to hold the book up to a light source and examine those edges pretty closely to see it. However, the chipping of the edges is more noticeable along the bottom edge of the front of the dust jacket and the top edge of the back of the dust jacket. There were a couple of very tiny "chips" (tiny bits missing, ranging from 1 / 8-1 / 4 inches) that we neatly fixed from the bottom of the dust jacket. The "points" (open corners) of the back of the dust jacket, both top and bottom, were also broken off (also small, ranging from 1/8 to 1/4 inch). These have also been properly repaired. Most recently there was also flaking on the head of the spine and on the heel of the spine of the dust jacket. Again, these were tiny chips ranging from 1/8 to 1/4 inch. We've carefully repaired all of the tiny edge chips at the bottom of the dust jacket and reworked them with an oil-based felt pen to minimize the importance of those superficial cosmetic blemishes (in fact, most of them are hard to spot, even if you know they are there are there). Otherwise the dust jacket is in relatively good condition. The colored open extremities are a little rubbed / worn and there is a small 1 cm scratch mark on the front of the dust jacket. But we also reworked that. The spine of the dust jacket is also faded from brown to brown / gray in light brown (ALL dust jackets related to this particular title, so NEVER saw a copy of this book that did not have a slightly faded / lightened dust jacket). We would also notice that there are some small, faint brownish / brown age spots visible on the back of the white dust jacket. The back of the dust jacket shows a browning on the edges and in the form of some stains. These brown age spots are often referred to as "mold spots". If you remove the dust jacket and turn it over (or turn it upside down), you will find that the back, unpaved underside of the dust jacket has lots of brownish age spots. We put the dust jacket in a new mylar sleeve to prevent further wear and tear. We should also mention that the dust jacket's inner front flap is "corner trimmed". Again, this is the inner flap in the lower corner and is not observed unless you open the book and inspect the dust jacket. "Once upon a time" publishers printed their list price on an inside corner of the dust jacket. This corner could be "cut off", removing the manufacturer's list pricing that is often made when a book is given away. Under the dust jacket, the green fabric covers are clean and unsoiled, but the lower open corners are slightly frayed, due to the fact that abrasives don't slide across the surface of a bookcase. In view of the fact that the book has a few edge and corner shelves and almost imperceptible repairs to the dust jacket as well as a faded back of the dust jacket, the overall condition is not quite so good that one could say that it has "sex appeal". a "shelf trophy". Even so, it's clean and just easy to read, definitely an above-average copy of this classic volume. For those who don't care whether or not the book will improve their social status or intellectual reputation, it's a solid, clean, lightly-read copy with "many miles under the hood". Unconditional satisfaction guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. HEAVY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Selling rare and out of print old history books online since 1997. We accept returns within 30 days for any reason! # 730aa.
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A comprehensive overview, authoritative, but more accessible thanks to its many, many illustrations.
Very clear and clear presentation of the history of Europe from 700,000 BC. Until the rise of early civilization. Written by a master, a classic, readable and authoritative text that comes highly recommended.
A wonderful book of enormous scope, ranging from the first Europeans 700,000 years ago to the Neanderthals, and an examination of the tools and techniques for survival through the prehistoric Neolithic and the beginnings of civilization in Greece and Crete. A really remarkable book, very readable and yet very informative. A little dated but history hasn't changed and this is a timeless classic.
Much of the information in Philip Van Doren Stern's Prehistoric Europe, published in 1969, has been superseded by more recent discoveries and dating techniques, as he predicted, and yet much remains relevant today. PVDS was more of a historian than a prehistoric itself, and perhaps his position, one step away from the dirt and the dig, gave him the objectivity needed to address what the average, intelligent non-specialist wanted to know. He's learned enough about archeology to be able to write with confidence, but he doesn't get stuck in technical details and always thinks about the questions - who were our distant ancestors? How were they like us and not like us? While we don't have all the answers to what we want to know, PVDS at least asks the right questions, and he does it wonderfully.
PREHISTORIC ROCK ART: Rock Art (also known as Parietal Art) is an umbrella term that refers to different types of creations. These include fingerprints on soft surfaces, relief sculptures, engraved figures and symbols, and paintings on a rock surface. Above all, forms of prehistoric art have received more attention in academic research. Rock Art has been recorded in Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe. The earliest examples of European rock art date from around 36,000 years ago. However, European rock art did not flourish until around 18,000 years ago.
This was the time after the end of the last glacier maximum (22,000 to 19,000 years ago). Climatic conditions began to improve after reaching their most critical point in the Ice Age. During the transition period between Paleolithic and Mesolithic around 12,000 years ago, the art of the Upper Paleolithic suddenly disappeared. This was a point in time when the environmental conditions of the Ice Age subsided. A correlation between demographic and social patterns and the flourishing of rock art has been suggested by scientists.
In Europe, rock art has been extensively studied in the French-Cantabrian region (from southeast France to the Cantabrian mountains in northern Spain). During the late Upper Paleolithic, this area was an ideal location for fertile populations of several herbivorous species. Consequently, a large human population could be supported. This is reflected in the abundance of archaeological material found in the region. However, in recent years the geographic region known for the rock art of the Upper Paleolithic has grown significantly.
After over a century of debating the "meaning" of rock art, there is no complete consensus on the science, and several explanations have been proposed to explain the spread of this prehistoric art. There are several explanations that have been put forward by scientists to explain the importance of European rock art of the Upper Paleolithic. Possibly the simplest of all the theories about Upper Paleolithic rock art is that that type of art has no real meaning. Paleolithic rock art is the product of idle activity with no deep motivation. In the words of a leading specialist in the field, it was "a pointless decoration".
As simple and innocent as this view may sound, it has several important implications. Some scholars of the late 19th and early 20th centuries viewed people in the Upper Paleolithic communities as brutal savages unable to be driven by deep psychological motivations. During this time, scientists even rejected the idea that rock art could have any connection to religion / spiritual concerns or any other subtle motivation. This approach is not widely accepted today. But the view was influential in the early years of archeology and continues to have proponents to this day.
Some scholars have claimed that rock art was made by various communities as boundary markers. These boundaries would have been created during the period when climatic conditions intensified competition for territory between hunters and gatherers in the Upper Paleolithic. According to this view, cave art is seen as a sign of ethnic or territorial divisions within different human groups of the Upper Paleolithic that coexist in a given area. Cave art according to this view was used as a marker by hunting and gathering communities. It was an indication to other groups of the exclusive "right" of the original group to exploit a certain area and thus avoid potential conflicts.
Several scholars have suggested that the Franco-Cantabrian region was a highly populated glacial sanctuary during the Upper Paleolithic. Cave art has been used as a sociocultural tool to promote social cohesion in the face of otherwise inevitable social conflict. This proposed position is in line with what we know about demographic and social patterns during the Upper Paleolithic. More population density meant more competition and territorial awareness. However, there are some inconsistencies and flaws in this position. Even the proponents of this phrase acknowledge that it does not accord with or explain the stylistic unity of some rock art traditions.
Other scholars have countered that this view contradicts the fact that no ethnographic study supports this claim. It can also be argued that it is reasonable to expect a hint in the archaeological records as the Upper Paleolithic groups raise their awareness of territoriality. There should be an increase in signs of injuries inflicted with sharp or blunt weapons in human remains. There should be some clues in the archaeological record of trauma that could be linked to intergroup conflict. Counter-arguments postulate that if art has actually successfully contributed to avoiding conflict, it follows that signs of conflict in the archaeological records would not be recognized.
By analyzing the distribution of the images in different caves, some scientists have suggested that the distribution of the cave paintings is not random.They claim that there is some structure or pattern in their distribution that is sometimes called a "blueprint". According to research by these scholars, most of the horse and bison figures were located in central sections of the caves. They were also the most abundant animals, about 60% of the total. They postulate that bison represent female identity and horses represent male identity. They believe that some universal concepts regarding male and female identities were the basis of rock art.
In the words of one proponent of this point of view, “Paleolithic art could be seen as an expression of a fundamental 'binary opposition' in Upper Paleolithic society. Society was (perhaps predictably) structured around the opposites between male and female components of society. “In addition to studying figurative art, scientists have also paid attention to abstract motifs. The explanations proposed fall under the structuralist thinking that prevailed in France in the twentieth century. Using linguistics, literary criticism, cultural studies, and anthropology predominant at the time, it is asserted that human cultures are systems. These systems can be analyzed in terms of the structural relationships between their elements.
Proponents of this position suggested that cultural systems contain universal patterns. These patterns are products of the invariant structure of the human mind. Proponents believe that evidence of this can be found in the patterns found in mythology, art, religion, ritual, and other cultural traditions. Initially, this explanation was very popular and widely accepted by scientists. However, when the researchers tried to incorporate the evidence into the standard layout scheme observed in cave art, no correlation could be established. As more rock art was discovered, it also became apparent that each location had a unique layout. It was not possible to apply a general scheme that was suitable for everyone.
Though unsuccessful, this point of view was influential. And it had merit. At the time, structuralist thinking was predominant in many academic disciplines. By attempting a structuralist explanation of rock art, it should be shown that the people of the Paleolithic were not ignorant savages. These Upper Paleolithic peoples possessed cognitive abilities, just like humans do today. Another suggestion is that Upper Paleolithic rock art is a manifestation of sympathetic magic. Art should support the hunt. In the words of one proponent, "Safe control of certain animal species that have been vital to human food supplies".
Some supporting evidence for this view includes the fact that the animals were sometimes portrayed apparently with inflicted wounds. This suggestion is underpinned by ethnographic analogies based on similarities between the art of the Upper Paleolithic and the rock art of the Australian Aborigines. Magical rituals may not have a direct material result. However, this type of practice certainly boosted self-confidence and had direct psychological benefits (a form of the placebo effect). By whatever means, this would have increased the overall success rate of the hunting activities. In this context, the art of the Upper Paleolithic is considered a magical tool to positively influence the success of the hunters.
The ethnographic data that suggests that magic plays an important role in tribal life does not only come from Australian Aborigines. Other examples can be found among the native Kiriwina who live in Papua New Guinea. In this culture, the degree of superstition and magical ceremonies increases with the degree of uncertainty. For example, when it comes to canoeing, magic is only used on the larger sea canoes. The small canoes that are used in the calm lagoon or near the coast, where there is no danger, are completely ignored by the shamans / magicians. This underscores the idea that magic can be a psychological response to conditions where uncertainty grows. These are exactly the same circumstances and reactions that we would expect from Paleolithic hunter-gatherer communities affected by increasing population pressures.
In this sentence, the art of the Upper Paleolithic is the result of drug-inducing trance-like states of the artists. This is based on ethnographic data associated with the San Rock Art in southern Africa. San Rock Art shares some elements in common with European art of the Upper Paleolithic. Some scientists have postulated that some of the abstract symbols in the Paleolithic cave are actually representations of hallucinations and dreams. For example, San Shamans perform their religious functions in a drug-induced state. They enter a trance that enables them to enter the “spirit realm”. In this state, shamans claim to see "threads of light" that are used to enter and leave the spirit realm.
When the human brain enters certain altered states, bright lines are part of the visual hallucinations of experienced individuals. This visual pattern is not related to the cultural background, but rather a standard response of the brain. Long thin red lines that interact with other images are present in San rock art. It is believed that they are the "threads of light" reported by their shamans. It is assumed that the spirit realm "visited" by the shamans is behind the rock walls. Some of the lines and other images appear to enter or emerge from cracks or steps in the rock walls. The images act as a "veil" between this world and the spirit world.
This is another solid line of reasoning. Yet there is no empirical basis to generalize the idea of shamanism as the cause of European rock art as a whole. At best, shamanic practices could be viewed as a specific variation on religious and magical traditions. Shamans do not create magic and religion. It is the propensity to believe in magic and religion that are present in virtually every culture that embodies shamanism. Ultimately, this point of view is based on magic and religious practices. This is a view not too far removed from the argument that art is a form of hunting magic.
Almost all cultural developments have several causes. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that the development of the Upper Paleolithic has a multi-causal explanation rather than a single cause. None of the arguments put forward by scientists can fully explain the development of Upper Paleolithic rock art in Europe. Anthropological studies around the world often emphasize the religious / spiritual origins of rock art. This is not the only origin that has been proven by thorough ethnographic studies. There are clear examples of worldly origin. Most often, however, theories that involve religious or mystical origins are suggested.
However, it could also be the case that art in the Upper Paleolithic European had a meaning for those cultures different from the contemporary communities that ethnographers could study. Archeology has been able to discover caves that have been associated with rituals and magic, at least in some Upper Paleolithic communities in Europe. Human burials have been found in the Cussac Cave, which is associated with Paleolithic art. According to some scholars, this find underscores the religious / spiritual character of the rock art found in some caves.
If the assumption can be accepted that at least some European rock art was created for religious reasons, it can be assumed that rock art is only the most archaeologically visible evidence of prehistoric rituals and beliefs. If rock art was not the sole and exclusive material expression of the religious life of prehistoric communities, we can assume that there are quite a number of religious materials that have not survived. Some of the wearable art of the Upper Paleolithic could also be related to religious aspects and be part of the “material package” of prehistoric rituals.
Our knowledge of the importance of Upper Paleolithic rocks and wearable art should be viewed as neither right nor wrong, only fragmentary. The element of uncertainty should always be present in this field of study. This should lead to flexible models that complement each other. A willingness to accept this will also be required as more evidence will be uncovered and positions will have to be adjusted. This necessarily implies the rejection of any form of dogmatic or simplistic explanations [Ancient History Encyclopedia].
The Altamira Cave: Altamira is a Paleolithic cave in Santillana del Mar in the Cantabria region of northern Spain. Altamira was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. The cave has been inhabited for millennia and therefore contains remains of the daily activities of the population. Nowadays the cave is 270 meters long and the archaeological site is in the cave near the entrance. However, there are remains outside the cave as well as the original entrance fell down.
The cave can be divided into three sections: the entrance, the great room or the polychrome room and the gallery. The entrance is the part where the Paleolithic lived. Archaeologists found remains of animal bones and ashes that belong to continuous chimneys. Flint objects such as knives, axes and flint fragments were also abundant. All of these are indications of human activity in this part of the cave. Archaeologists have found these types of remains in various layers of sediment. So one can assume that the cave was inhabited for a long time.
The so-called polychrome or large room is painted in several colors. It is located in the inner part of the cave where there is no natural light. The entrance and the polychrome room form a large hall. However, since the cave is a narrow gallery, there is little space for large rooms with the exception of the larger chamber. The end of the cave is a narrow gallery with difficult access, but it also contains paintings and engravings. The cave was discovered in 1868 by a hunter, Modesto Cubillas. He told Marcelino Sanz de Sautola, a nobleman in the region, about the discovery.
Sanz de Sautola did not visit the cave until 1875. He began the first excavation work on the site in 1879. He found objects made of flint, bones and horns, as well as dyes, fauna and shells that made it possible to date the cave paintings. These excavations only took place at the entrance to the cave. A year later, Sanz de Sautola published an article about his findings. At the time of the discovery, primary research on prehistory issues was being carried out in France by scholars who did not accept the authenticity of the paintings. Their position was that the paintings in Altamira, as they did not show the same patterns and features as the caves studied in France.
Sanz de Sautola was labeled a liar and Altamira was forgotten. In 1902 a French prehistorian published his findings on Altamira to confirm the authenticity of the cave art. From that moment on, the cave gained a key role in international prehistoric research. Excavations have resumed and two successive levels have been discovered. One level was from the upper Solutrean period and the other from the lower Magdalenian period. Both periods belonged to the Paleolithic. These dates were confirmed in later excavations of 1924/5 and 1980/1. The latter excavations revealed a greater complexity of the archaeological register. These studies and the 2006 carbon-14 dating showed the various stages of human occupation of the cave. Eight levels were distinguished. They ranged from the middle Magdalenian (15,000 to 10,000 BC) to the Gravettian (25,000 to 20,000 BC).
Based on the archaeological research, experts believe that the paintings and engravings of the cave were made by the people who inhabited the cave during the various periods. Most of Altamira's paintings and engravings are in the polychrome room. They range from animals to hands. The oldest paintings are on the roof to the right and contain horses, positive and negative images of hands, and a series of dots. They are mostly drawn with charcoal. There are also "masks" created by dragging the eyes and mouth onto the bumps on the walls. These were dated to the Lower Magdalenian period. However, most of the paintings from this period depict deer.
On the right side of the roof there are 25 colored pictures, mostly in red and black. There are very large depictions of horses and bison, as well as a female deer that measures more than two meters. The drawing technique used was to engrave the wall with a flint object and then use charcoal to draw a black line. After that, it was colored red or yellow. Details like hair were done with a charcoal pencil, while elements like eyes or horns were engraved. Although they are simple figures, bumps and cracks on the roof have been purposely used to add volume to the animals.
The narrow gallery contains a special series of masks depicting animal faces, deer and bison, for example. The technique used is simple and amazing at the same time. The artist took advantage of the unevenness of the walls and perspective to create an entire face with simple elements like yes and lines that represent the mouth or nose. Altamira is now closed to the public due to its conservation issues. In eons after, the entrance to the cave collapsed and covered the cave opening. The collapse created a stable climate inside that ensured the preservation of the paintings.
However, when the cave was discovered, the outside air began to circulate, causing changes in humidity and temperature. In addition, walls and walkways were built in the cave during the 20th century to accommodate hundreds of thousands of visitors. The changes in temperature and humidity, as well as the changes brought about by hundreds of thousands of visitors, adversely affected the paintings. Between 1997 and 2001, measures were taken to control the environment in the cave.
In 2002 the Spanish National Research Council initiated a comprehensive protection plan. Starting in 2011, an international committee of experts will investigate the feasibility of access to a limited number of visitors without compromising the preservation of the paintings. Although access to the original cave itself is restricted, archaeological studies and experts made it possible to restore the cave so that it can be visited. Recreation is accompanied by a museum that contains a permanent collection of objects from Altamira and other surrounding caves [Ancient History Encyclopedia].
Lascaux cave: The Lascaux Cave is a Paleolithic cave in southwest France near the village of Montignac in the Dordogne. Lascaux is home to some of the most famous examples of prehistoric cave paintings. Almost 600 paintings shape the interior walls of the cave in impressive compositions. Most of the pictures show animals. The most numerous are horses, but also deer, aurochs, ibex, bison and even some cats. These paintings represent most of the main pictures. But there are also around 1,400 engravings on similar subjects. The work of art is from 15,000 to 17,000 BC. Dated. This falls in the Paleolithic.
The artwork was created by the masterful hands of the people who lived in the area at the time. The region seems to have been a hotspot for artistically trapped people. Many beautifully decorated caves have been discovered in the area. The exact meaning of the paintings in Lascaux or in one of the other locations is still the subject of interpretation and scholarly debate. The prevailing view, however, has a ritual or even spiritual component. Both certainly indicate the sophistication of their creators. Lascaux was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979, along with other prehistoric sites in its vicinity.
On an autumn day in 1940, four boys were examining the foxhole their dog had fallen into on the hill of Lascaux. After Marcel Ravidat widened the entrance, he was the first to slide all the way down. His three friends followed him.After building an emergency lamp to light their path, they found a greater variety of animals than expected. It was in the Axial Gallery that they encountered the depictions on the walls for the first time. The next day they returned with better preparations and explored deeper parts of the cave. In awe of what they found, the boys said to their teacher, and the process of excavating the cave was started. The cave was open to the public until 1948.
The Lascaux Cave was built between 15,000 and 17,000 BC. Adorned. Anatomically modern humans (Homo Sapiens) were around since at least 40,000 BC. In Europe. According to archaeological records, they appear to have been abundant in the region between southeast France and the Cantabrian Mountains in northern Spain. This region includes Lascaux. The cave itself shows only temporary occupation. It was probably only occupied during the time associated with art-related activities. However, it is possible that the space that daylight could bring into the cave was inhabited more regularly. This room would have been only a few meters from the entrance hall of the cave.
Findings from the cave indicate that the deeper parts of the cave were lit by both sandstone lamps and chimneys. The lamps used animal fat for fuel. The artists worked in smoky conditions. They used minerals as pigments for their pictures. Red, yellow and black are the predominant colors. Red was provided by hematite, either raw or as found in red clay and ocher. Yellow was from iron oxyhydroxides. Black was provided by either charcoal or manganese oxides. The pigments could be made by grinding, mixing, or heating. After these preparatory steps, they were transferred to the cave walls.
The painting techniques include drawing with fingers or charcoal or applying pigments with “brushes” made from hair or moss. Other techniques have included blowing the pigment on a stencil or directly onto the wall with, for example, a hollow bone. The catch is that in Lascaux there are no known deposits of the specific manganese oxides anywhere in the vicinity of the cave. The closest known spring is about 150 miles away in the central Pyrenees. This indicates a trade or supply route. It was not uncommon for people living around this time to get their materials a little further away, maybe ten miles away. However, the distance in question here could suggest that the Lascaux artists went to enormous lengths to acquire the oxides for their colors.
In addition to the paintings, many tools were found in Lascaux. Among these are many flint tools. Some of them show evidence that they were specifically used to carve engravings into the cave walls. Bone tools were also provided. The pigments used at Lascaux contain traces of reindeer antlers. This was most likely due either to the fact that the antlers were carved right next to the pigments or that it was used to mix the pigments in water. Remains of clam shells have also been found, some of which were pierced. The finds correlate well with other indications of personal ornamentation found on people of Europe during the Upper Paleolithic.
The art in Lascaux was both painted and engraved on the uneven walls of the cave. The artists worked with the edges and curves of the walls to enhance their compositions. The resulting impressive representations mainly show animals. However, it also depicts a significant number of abstract symbols, and even a human. Of the animals, horses dominate the imagery. The second most common images come from deer and aurochs, then from ibex and bison. Some carnivores such as lions and bears are also present. The area's archaeological records indicate that the animals depicted reflect the fauna known to these Paleolithic people.
The entrance to the cave leads away from the daylight and directly into the main chamber of the cave. This room is aptly named Hall of the Bulls and contains mostly aurochs. Aurochs are a type of large cattle that are now extinct. Four large bulls tower over fleeing horses and deer in a round dance. The relief of the walls is used to highlight certain aspects of the paintings. The animals are shown in side profile, but with twisted horns. This creates a liveliness in the paintings that indicates great skill.
Most of the animals shown are easy to identify. Others, however, are less clear. For example, there is a seemingly pregnant horse with a horn on its head. Another mysterious figure is depicted with panther skin, a deer tail, a bison hump, two horns and male genitals. Some scholars have creatively suggested that it was a wizard or shaman, but what it really represents is difficult to determine. Behind the hall of the cops is the Axial Gallery, a cul-de-sac. However, it is a spectacular cul-de-sac.
The Axial Gallery has been referred to as the "Sistine Chapel of Prehistory". There are several eye-catching compositions on the ceiling. Red aurochs stand with their heads and form a circle. Then the main characters of the gallery face each other. On one side is a mighty black bull, on the other a female aurochs. The aurochs seem to jump onto a grid that has been pulled under their hooves. Horses come in many forms, including one known as the "Chinese horse". The representation of the horse is done with hooves slightly backward, which shows that perspective was used well before its time.
In the back of the passage a horse gallops with its mane blowing in the wind while its companion falls over with its legs in the air. A second exit from the hall of the cops leads to the passage. The passage houses mostly engravings, but also some paintings of a wide variety of animals. The passage is followed by the nave. In the nave, a large black bull and two bison stand out because of the wild power that the images convey. The representations suggest that the beasts are fleeing. Opposite a frost shows five deer that appear to be swimming.
After the nave, the cat chamber throws some predators into the mix. Engravings of lions dominate the room. In another branch of the cave, the room known as the shaft adds more material to the discussion. Here is a wounded bison with its intestines sticking out of its intestines. There is also a woolly rhinoceros, a bird on a stick, and a naked man with an erection. This picture needs to tell a story clearly, although it is difficult to know exactly what that story might be.
The original cave was closed to the public in 1963 after it became clear that, among other things, the large number of visitors was causing the algae growth on the cave walls. The algae caused irreparable damage to the paintings. Despite the closure, fungi have spread throughout the cave and efforts continue to be made to control these issues and protect the art. Those looking for an alternative experience can visit Lascaux II. This is a replica of the "Great Hall of the Bulls" and "Painted Gallery" sections. Lascaux II opened in 1983 CE and is located just 200 meters from the original cave [Ancient History Encyclopedia].
The Chauvet Cave: The Chauvet Cave is a Paleolithic cave near Vallon-Pont-d'Arc in the Ardèche region of southern France. Also known as the Chauvet Pont d'Arc Cave, it is home to immaculately preserved, exquisite examples of prehistoric art. It is now reliably dated to around 30,000 to 33,000 years ago. There are numerous and varied animals on the inner walls of the cave. They are both painted and engraved. They are of such high artistic quality that it was originally assumed that they were closer to the age of the similarly impressive Lascaux Cave.
However, the artwork in the Chauvet Cave is much, much older. In fact, the artwork in the Chauvet Cave is twice as old as that in the Lascaux Cave. When the work of art was created in the Lascaux Cave, the one in the Chauvet Cave was already 15,000 to 20,000 years old. His age and artistry made us rethink the history of art as well as the abilities of these people. The cave has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On Sunday December 18, 1994, Jean-Marie Chauvet and his two friends Éliette Brunel and Christian Hillaire pursued their passion for caving (the study of caves). They explored an area on the left bank of the Ardèche near the Pont-d'Arc. A gentle stream of air from a hole made them aware of the possible existence of underground caves. On their way through the passages, they discovered some small traces of red ocher. Immediately after this discovery, they were stunned by the full size of the hundreds of paintings and engravings that resulted from it.
The Chauvet Cave was occupied by humans for at least two periods. The first was about 37,500 years ago to 33,500 years ago. The second was about 32,000 to 27,000 years ago. Around 80% of the registered data falls around the 32,000 year old mark. This corresponds to the average age of the paintings and engravings and is exactly in the Aurignacian period. The remaining symbols of occupation date from around 27,000 years ago, which correlates with the following Gravett period. For at least 21,000 years until its rediscovery in 1994, the Chauvet Cave was completely closed to visitors due to the collapse of the entrance.
The artists of this cave thus belonged to the Aurignacian culture. This was the first culture of the Late or Upper Paleolithic in Europe. It started when anatomically modern humans first came to Europe about 40,000 years ago and lasted until about 28,000 years ago. The human population consisted of hunters and gatherers whose prey consisted mostly of reindeer, horses, bison and aurochs. They faced competition from predators such as cave bears and cave lions, panthers and wolves. The Aurignacian period human population used a wide range of organic tools. They made personal ornaments, figurative art, and even musical instruments. They are viewed by anthropologists as the whole package of what we call fully modern behavior.
Herd were found in the cave, so it is clear that domestic activities by these groups of people took place here as well. Interestingly, the stoves had an additional non-domestic use. They were also used to make the charcoal that was part of the artist's toolkit and palette. There is evidence that torches were available to the Chauvet Cave artists. They must only have cast dark, flickering shadows in the pitch black darkness of the cave. The natural relief of the walls would have been emphasized and contrasted again and again. Sure, that must have been pretty impressive, especially when combined with the animal shapes they were decorated with.
Black paint from charcoal or manganese dioxide and red paint from hematite were applied to the rock surfaces. The paint was either applied with brushes Finger Using pieces of charcoal as pencils or butt drawing. Butt drawing is a technique that involves taping paint on the wall and then spreading it with a hand or a piece of skin. Paint could also be sprayed onto the walls through pipes. The more adventurous may have sprayed paint right out of their mouths. The spray was directed through stencils like hands on the wall.
What makes Chauvet stand out is that the walls have often been prepped for the upcoming paint jobs by scraping them clean first. This really allowed the pictures to burst. There are hundreds of paintings and engravings in the Chauvet Cave. These range from geometric shapes of red dots on the walls to handprints and more than 420 depictions of animals. The majority are unhunted animals such as lions, rhinos and bears. This is remarkable because from the following Gravett period the preferences tended to be opposite. During the Gravett period, the focus of the depictions was on animals to which humans fell victim.
Chauvet is also distinguished by the use of sophisticated techniques such as wall scraping, butt drawing, and perspective drawing. These techniques are otherwise not as widely used in prehistoric cave art. Although this is a controversial and much debated topic, many scholars believe that these Paleolithic men had a shamanistic religion in which art played a role. Perhaps an element of hunting magic was added to the art in addition to its religious purpose. With hunting magic, it was believed that the animals depicted were directly influenced by acting on their images. The depiction of a successful hunt enabled a successful hunt "in real life".
Some of the first paintings you see after entering the cave are three cave bears painted red in a small recess. The artist cleverly used the relief on the wall to sculpt the shoulders of the largest bear. In addition, the artist used the technique of stump drawing the muzzle, the outline of the head and the fore quarter to add depth to the composition. This first part of the cave is dominated by the color red. It is home to some clusters of large red spots that are located in a side chamber. They were made by dipping the palm of your right hand in liquid red paint and then pressing it against the cave wall.
A little further in the first section of the cave there are some mysterious images. These too are colored red with geometric bits that are difficult to identify. They can be symbolic signs or even representations of animals. Experts have suggested that they could be abstract representations of a butterfly or a bird with wings spread out. A large panel of red paintings spans more than 40 feet. The paintings mainly show handprints, geometric characters and animals such as lions and rhinos.
A chamber, in the walls of which no art is decorated, paves the way to the second part of the cave, where the paintings are now predominantly black and not red. The second section of the cave is best known for its engravings. The Hillaire Chamber is dominated by engravings that adorn large rocks on the ceilings. One of them is a notable long-eared owl, with its head pointing forward while its body is seen from behind. This rendering perpetuates the species’s eye-catching 180-degree rotation party trick.
Further on, more horses jump out. This time they are drawn in charcoal on the so-called horse board. About 20 animals can be seen in a unique naturalistic scene that is rare in the Paleolithic. The tablet is one of the main pieces of the Chauvet Cave. The focus is on four horse heads. The real eye-catchers, however, are two rhinos facing each other with crossed horns. You will be faced with the way male rhinos actually fight in the wild.
A reindeer plate and a structure made from a cave bear skull underline the versatility of these Paleolithic people. The skull is decorated with charcoal stains and placed on a large limestone block. Its hollow eye sockets look into the darkness. As you go further into the cave, things get more and more spectacular. The end chamber is so richly decorated that you hardly know where to look. The first standout piece is the Panel of the Rhinos, drawn with charcoal on rocks. The panel of rhinos consists of nine lions, one reindeer and 17 rhinos. Rhinos are otherwise very rare in Paleolithic wall art.
The composition has a spatial perspective. This is achieved by leaving gaps in strategic places and reducing the horn sizes of the rhinos towards the rear. To the right of the central recess, the incredible Table of Lions forms another unique scene in Paleolithic art. The main scene shows a pride of 16 lions chasing a group of seven bison. Most lions are only shown as heads, but offer a realistic snapshot of an ongoing hunt. The lions' tense facial expressions, their poses, and the fact that male lions have joined the females are just like in nature.
The techniques make this piece stand out even more.It has a scraped surface Shading by stump drawing Areas left blank to add depth and scraping off improved contours. All these characteristics make the animals almost jump off the wall. Some shapes that are much more mysterious than these easily identifiable animals are also present in the terminal chamber. The wizard's tablet has both black drawings and engravings. The wizard's panel shows animals such as lions, a horse, two mammoths and a musk ox. However, there is also a strange shape known as a "wizard". It appears to be a composite creature made up of a woman's lower body topped with the torso and horned head of a black bison.
The final animals in this chamber are a red rhinoceros, a sketchy rhinoceros, and a mammoth drawn and engraved in charcoal. The Lascaux cave was badly damaged by the carbon dioxide from its numerous visitors. The Chauvet Cave is closed to the public. It is still being investigated by an interdisciplinary team. A close eye is kept in the cave for any signs of environmental damage. Again modeled on Lascaux, a replica known as the Pont d'Arc Cave was built near the original cave to cater to the interests of people fascinated by our artistic ancestors [Ancient History Encyclopedia].
STONE AGE SITES::
The Ness of Brodgar: The Ness of Brodgar is a Neolithic site discovered in 2002. It was discovered as a result of a geophysical survey of the land area in Stenness in Orkney, Scotland. This particular area separates the Saltwater Stenness Hole from the Freshwater Harray Hole. The site covers 6.2 hectares. Excavation of the site began in 2003 when a stone slab was plowed north of the site. Excavations are ongoing, with only 10% of the area being excavated as of 2012. This site is considered to be one of the most important finds in recent archeology. It dates from around 3500 BC. Before Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza (the pyramids date from around 2560 BC and Stonehenge from between 3000 and 2400 BC).
Perhaps more importantly, the site provides context for other famous Neolithic sites in the area. This is especially true of the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness. The Ness of Brodgar is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Less than a mile north of Ness of Brodgar is the Ring of Brodgar. These are huge monoliths erected in the patterned circle of a hen. Scholars have long claimed that they served in rituals about the dead and the afterlife. Less than a mile south is the Standing Stones of Stenness. These are also arranged as a hen. Their meaning has been interpreted by scholars to include ceremonies relating to the land of the living.
The area includes such famous attractions as Maeshowe, The Barnhouse Stone, The Unstan Tomb, Comet Stone, Watchstone and to the north the Ring of Bookan and Skara Brae. All of these sites date from the Neolithic Age. With such a tight concentration of Neolithic monuments, it would not be surprising to discover a large settlement from the same period. However, based on the excavations so far completed, archaeologists believe that the Ness of Brodgar primarily served the dead rather than the living.
According to National Geographic Magazine, archaeologists believe that thousands of years ago the Ness was a place where Orkney's Neolithic farming communities gathered in large numbers to perform seasonal rituals and remember the dead. The complexes also seem to have roughly the same layout. The impression is that the residents not only had places where the dead are gathered and where the ceremonial events take place, but also places where the living gathered. "
The Ness of Brodgar is believed to have been a border point between the land of the living, symbolized by the stones of stenness, and the land of the dead on the Ring of Brodgar. That the Ness of Brodgar site was not an inland settlement is supported by the lack of any of the usual evidence of daily activity in and around the previously excavated buildings. There are no centers and no signs of family or community life. Rather, all evidence suggests that the buildings serve a strictly ritual, ceremonial purpose.
According to the first survey, more than a hundred buildings are buried on the site. They are all surrounded by a huge wall that rose over 13 feet and had openings only on the north and south sides. These entrances / exits correspond exactly to the Ring of Brodgar in the north and the Stones of Stenness in the south. In 2008, the excavations revealed the largest Neolithic structure ever found in Britain. Known as Structure Ten, it measures 82x65 feet.
Structure 10 was neither a grave nor a residence. Four stone "chests of drawers" have been found that archaeologists speculate that they were used as altars. Further evidence uncovered in 2010 suggests the use of paint in decorating the walls of the structures and slate tiles as roofing material. Many other interesting finds such as the small statue "Brodgar Boy" were discovered. However, archaeologists involved in the excavation have made it clear that they have barely started excavating and interpreting the site.
Orkney is one of the keys to understanding the evolution of the Neolithic religion. The excavations at the Ness of Brodgar only scratch the surface. Work on the site is expected to continue for decades as archaeologists reconstruct the vast complex and interpret the original purpose of those who built it. Excavators concede that the current theory of a border crossing between the worlds of the living and the dead could certainly be reevaluated in the course of the excavations. For the time being, however, the theory appears to be grounded on the established places nearby [Ancient History Encyclopedia].
The Barnhouse Settlement: The Barnhouse Settlement is a Neolithic village in Antaness, Orkney, Scotland. The Barnhouse settlement was established between 3300 and 2600 BC. Inhabited. The current name "Barnhouse" is derived from the name of the farmland on which the village was discovered in 1984. Excavation of the site began in 1986. The excavations revealed ten stone buildings that were similar in design and construction, if not in style, to the village of Skara Brae. The village of Skara Brae was founded around 3100 BC. Occupied and located 8 km northwest of the Barnhouse settlement.
Only the foundations of the Barnhouse Settlement buildings have survived, as the village dates back to 2600 BC. Deliberately destroyed. Signs are that the buildings were destroyed by their residents. Then centuries of farming activity on the farm displaced many of the loose stones. The Grooved Ware pottery found on the site further links Barnhouse to Skara Brae and also to the nearby Standing Stones of Stenness, where similar ceramics were discovered. So far fifteen buildings have been excavated and partially reconstructed.
In Skara Brae the houses were built into the earth and surrounded by midden. Unlike Skara Brae, the structures that make up Barnhouse were freestanding. Most of them are small buildings. They seem to have been houses. Two other larger structures appear to have served different purposes. Also on the site is the famous monolith known as the Barnhouse Stone. The Barnhouse Stone is aligned directly with the passageway entrance of Maeshowe, half a mile northeast. and to the Standing Stones of Stenness, half a mile northwest. The three form a kind of triangle between the three structures.
The Barnhouse Stone is believed to have played a significant role in rituals performed in these nearby locations, as well as the village itself. Its proximity to and alignment with the vast complex currently being excavated in Ness of Brodgar by Maeshowe, Barnhouse, the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Watchstone, Ness of Brodgar, and the Ring of Brodgar seem to confirm a clear link between all of these locations. Scholars observed in 1952 that the Barnhouse Stone is aligned in a straight line with the center of the Ring of Brodgar with the Watchstone and points to the rising sun on May 1, the traditional date of Beltane's pagan Sabbath (see Orkneyjar.com). .
The buildings of the village were built on the model of Skara Brae. Many share the same design as a central, notch-shaped fireplace, stone furniture, recessed stone beds, and "dressers". All houses in Skara Brae are identical in terms of equipment and size. This was interpreted to mean that the community saw everyone in the village as equally important. There was no boss or ruling class with special accommodations. However, the two large buildings, called Structure Two and Structure Eight, differ significantly in style and size. The style and size suggest that they serve as ritual community centers rather than residential homes.
These two larger structures at Barnhouse suggest the theory that this community was focused on someone or something that it considered very important. The Barnhouse Settlement is close to so many other places that are clearly classified as ceremonial. This suggests that the larger structures may have been the apartments of a priest class. You could have officiated at rituals at Maeshowe, the Standing Stones of Stenness, The Ness of Brodgar, and the Ring of Brodgar. However, it is also possible that the two structures were ceremonial sites themselves and that no one resided in them.
Structure Two corresponds to the design of a cairn in which rituals are known to take place at similar archaeological sites. Structure eight contains a “chest of drawers” that has been interpreted as a kind of altar. It is accompanied by what appear to be offerings. One of these potential / accepted offers is a ceramic pot from Grooved Ware. It contained fourteen pieces of flint and was found near the hearth in structure eight. Flint was rare on Orkney. A pot with fourteen nodules of the stone would have been a very valuable sacrifice and would have made an impressive sacrifice.
Of course, there is no way of knowing what the stone ceramic pot meant for the old residents. So it remains unknown whether the flint was a sacrifice or simply a value that was kept by the hearth. This Structure Two could have been the home of one or more important people, as the building was used throughout the life of the village. However, certain features such as a stone box filled with human bones suggest a ritual use. This list was covered by a stone triangle. It was positioned so that anyone entering the building had to walk over it. Furthermore, the chambers of Structure Two do not correspond to other places (such as Skara Brae) where sleeping quarters have been identified.
The purpose and use of Structure Eight, which is directly across from Structure Two, is equally puzzling. Structure eight is the largest edifice in the village and was built on a platform made of clay. The building was originally roofed, as were all the structures in the village. Inside the building there was a central fireplace and a "chest of drawers" flanked by two large stones. The arrangement of the interior suggests a certain ritual use. This is especially true for the long passage between the entrance and the stove and dresser. It has been suggested that this building represents a shift in religious ceremonies. Before the service, there were outdoor ceremonies that were attended (presumably) by the entire congregation. Now religious ceremonies seem to have evolved into indoor monastery rituals intended only for the initiated.
This theoretical shift may be substantiated in part by the dating of the Standing Stones of Stenness. It was known that there were open air rituals before the originally postulated date of 3000 BC. Have taken place. In particular, given the recent excavations at Ness of Brodgar, it has been suggested that Structure Eight is another in a complex of ceremonial sites. This complex would have stretched from Barnhouse across the sites to the Ring of Brodgar. However, this alone is not evidence of a change in religious ceremonial practices. Rather, the evidence lies in the hearth offerings in Structure Eight and the bone-filled list in Structure Two. These were interpreted to support the theory that these buildings were used to either communicate with, remember, or honor the dead. This seems to be in line with findings in the Ness of Brodgar.
It is well documented that Barnhouse Settlement and the Standing Stones of Stenness were in use at the same time. This would include structure two. However, structure eight was built later than the rest of the village around 2600 BC. Built in BC. In fact, Structure Eight was built after the village was abandoned and deliberately destroyed. There is evidence that all the buildings were built at the same time around 2600 BC. Were demolished. At the same time that the rest of the buildings were destroyed, Structure Eight was erected. This has further supported the theory of a dramatic change in religious practices during this period.
The existence of a “barrier” in the entrance of Maeshowe was interpreted as evidence that closed rituals may also have been carried out at this location. However, since no clear evidence has yet been found to fully support this theory, this must remain a guess. Skara Brae was considered unique until Barnhouse's discovery. However, Structure Eight was the largest covered building from the Neolithic Age to be exposed until the recent discovery of Structure Ten in the Ness of Brodgar. Excavations at this location have already changed the understanding of the other nearby locations. Archaeologists are confident that further work there will reveal many more important finds that will further clarify what is now unknown [Ancient History Encyclopedia].
Skara Brae: Skara Brae is a Neolithic site made up of ten stone structures. It is located near Skaill Bay, Orkney, Scotland. Today the village is on the bank. However, if it was between 3100 and 2500 BC. Would have been inhabited, it would have been further inland. The steady erosion of the land over the centuries has changed the landscape significantly. The interpretations of the site based on its current location had to be reassessed in the light of landscape development.
The name "Skara Brae" is a falsification of the old name for the site "Skerrabra" or "Styerrabrae". The name referred to the hill that buried the buildings of the village and thereby preserved them. The name by which the original inhabitants knew the place is unknown. Skara Brae is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Traditionally, Skara Brae is believed to have been discovered in 1850 when a massive storm struck Orkney and dispersed the sand and soil that had buried the site. The landowner noticed the exposed stone walls and began excavating. He uncovered four stone houses. Realizing the importance of his find, he turned to George Petrie, a British antiquarian. Petrie began his work on the construction site and had documented and further excavated important finds by 1868. His results were presented at the meeting of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in April 1867. At least one local historian claimed that the story of the "discovery" of Skara Brae was "a complete fiction," and that the site had long been known to be an ancient site.
In a 1967 article, historians quoted a James Robertson who recorded the site in a diary of his tour of Orkney in 1769. He claimed to have found a skeleton "with a sword in one hand and a Danish ax in the other". It is not known whether William Watt or George Petrie made similar finds during their excavations. Petrie extensively cataloged all of the beads, stone tools, and ornaments found on the site and did not list swords or Danish axes. In fact, no weapons other than Neolithic knives have been found at this point. Scholars believe that even these were used as tools in daily life rather than for any type of warfare. Work was stopped by Petrie shortly after 1868, but other interested parties continued to investigate the site.
In 1913, another British antiquarian kept digging the place and at that time the place was visited by unknown parties.Apparently, these unknown parties angrily dug up over a weekend and presumably took away many important artifacts. What these artifacts might have been is not recorded. In 1924 the site was placed under the supervision of the Commissioners of Works. They pledged to secure the buildings against the tolls that arise from exposure to the sea.
In the same year, another storm damaged the buildings now excavated and destroyed one of the stone houses. Archaeologist and Edinburgh professor Vere Gordon Childe was called to Skaill to preserve and professionally excavate the site. A large dam was built in the summers of 1925 and 1926. It was not until 1927 that they could begin excavating the site. Excavations on the site from 1927 onwards have uncovered and stabilized Europe's best-preserved Neolithic village.
A 1929 report to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland on Skara Brae described the traditional history of the place which was exposed by a storm in 1850 and Mr Watt was mentioned as a landowner at the time. No public knowledge was mentioned that the site of the old village was recognized for ancient remains prior to 1850. Skara Brae was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. Today the village is under the administration of historic Scotland.
The builders of Skara Brae built their houses out of stone slabs and layered them in the earth for greater support. They filled the space between the walls and the earth with centers for natural insulation. Every piece of furniture in the houses, from chests of drawers to cupboards to chairs and beds, was made of stone. Stoves indicate that the houses were heated by fires and that each house originally had a roof, perhaps made of lawn. It is believed that each roof would have had some sort of opening to serve as a chimney.
Even with a chimney, it's obvious that the windowless houses would have been quite smoky and certainly dark. As wood was scarce in the area, it is not known what fueled the stove. The theory that the people of Skara Brae were waiting on the shore for driftwood from North America seems untenable. The village was not originally by the sea. Since wood was so precious, it seems unlikely that it would have been burned. A wooden handle discovered at the construction site shows that wood was most likely used to make tools rather than as fuel.
Each house is built to the same design and many have the same furniture and floor plan. The village had a sewage system and even indoor toilets. Artifacts uncovered on the site indicate that residents made grooved goods. This was a type of pottery that made vessels with a flat bottom and straight sides, decorated with grooves. The style was native to Orkney. This type of pottery resulted in the residents of Skara Brae being referred to as the Grooved Ware People. References to similar pottery have been found elsewhere in Orkney such as Maeshowe.
The Grooved Ware People raised cattle and sheep, farmed the land, and hunted and fished for food. They also made tools, dice, jewelry, and other ornaments from bone, precious stone, and stone. So many knives and scrapers were uncovered during the excavations of 1867 that it was believed that residents made such items for trade. There have also been claims by archaeoastronomers that Skara Brae was a community of astronomers and sages who mapped the heavens. The claim is based in part on stone balls found at the site with rectilinear patterns engraved on them.
The original excavations by Skara Brae mention stone and bone artifacts that have been interpreted as being used in the game. Perhaps these balls were used for similar play purposes. No one actually knows for sure what the purpose of the balls was. Such a claim can only be speculation. However, there is no on-site evidence to support the claim that Skara Brae was a community of astronomers. Indeed, the preponderance of evidence suggests a pastoral, agricultural village.
Consistent with the story of Skara Braes' dramatic discovery in the storm of 1850, it has been suggested that the weather was also responsible for the village's abandonment. A theory popular for decades is that the place was buried in the sand by a great storm that forced the population to leave their homes and flee quickly. This theory goes on to claim that Skara Brae was so perfectly preserved in this way. Like Pompeii, it was quickly and completely buried in disaster.
The 1929 report to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland mentions pearls among the artifacts discovered. The report describes that pearls were “scattered over the surface of the ground. A group of beads and ornaments were found on the inner threshold of the very narrow door. These have been strung together to form a necklace. It appears that the chain fell off the carrier upon entering the low door. "
Nothing in this report or on-site evidence appears to suggest a catastrophic storm that is driving residents away. The popular work “Circles and Standing Stones” states: “It was such a storm and a moving sand dune that wiped out the village after an unknown period of occupation. As in Pompeii, the residents seem to have been surprised and fled in a hurry after many of their valuable possessions . were left behind. One woman was in such a hurry that her chain broke as she pushed through the narrow door of her house and scattered a stream of pearls across the passage outside as she escaped from the invading sand. "
The pearls described in this fanciful report simply do not offer conclusive or even firm support for such a scenario. The absence of human remains and / or other signs of disaster suggest another reason for the abandonment of the village. Evidence at the site obtained during archaeological digs in the 1970s has disproved the cataclysm theory. This theory was largely based on the assumption that Skara Brae stood on the shore in ancient times, as it does today. The archaeological evidence points to a theory shared by most scholars and archaeologists that the village was abandoned for frankly unknown reasons. After it was abandoned, it was gradually buried by sand and earth over time [Ancient History Encyclopedia].
Gobekli Tepe: Located in modern Turkey, Gobekli Tepe is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. The discovery of this impressive 10,000 year old site in the 1990s sent shock waves across the archaeological world and beyond. Some researchers even claimed it was the location of the Biblical Garden of Eden. There are many examples of sculpture and megalithic architecture that make up what is perhaps the earliest temple in the world at Göbekli Tepe. They are older than ceramics, metallurgy, the invention of writing, the wheel and the beginning of agriculture. The fact that hunter-gatherer peoples could organize the construction of such a complex site as far back as the 10th or 11th millennium BC is amazing. The fact not only revolutionizes our understanding of the hunter-gatherer culture, but also poses a serious challenge to the conventional view of the rise of civilization.
Göbekli Tepe is Turkish for "hill of the navel". It's a hill 1,000 feet in diameter that sits at the top of a ridge. It is located about 9 miles northeast of the city of Sanliurfa (Urfa) in southeastern Turkey. Excavations have been taking place on the site since 1994. The discoveries so far have been astonishing, especially given the excavators' estimates that their work exposed only 5% of the site. Göbekli Tepe consists of four arrangements of monolithic columns connected by segments of roughly built dry stone walls. Together they form a series of circular or oval structures.
In the middle of each complex are two large pillars surrounded by slightly smaller stones that point inward. Archaeologists believe that these pillars may have once supported roofs. The structures vary in size between approximately 33 and 98 feet in diameter and have terrazzo (burnt lime) floors. 43 of the megaliths have been excavated so far. They are mostly T-shaped columns made of soft limestone, up to 16 feet tall. They were excavated and transported from a quarry on the lower southwest slope of the hill. Geophysical surveys on the hill show that up to 250 more megaliths are buried on the site. The number indicates that another 16 complexes once existed in Göbekli Tepe.
Although some of the standing stones in Göbekli Tepe are empty, others show extraordinary works of art. This artwork is in the form of intricately carved foxes, lions, bulls, scorpions, snakes, wild boars, vultures, water birds, insects and arachnids. There are also abstract shapes and a relief of a naked woman posing frontally in a sitting position. Some of the T-shaped stones appear to have arms on their sides. This suggests that the megaliths could have depicted stylized people or perhaps gods.
The pictograms at Göbekli Tepe are not in writing. However, they could have acted as sacred symbols, the meaning of which was implicitly understood by the local population at the time. The depictions of vultures in Göbekli Tepe show parallels to other Anatolian and Middle Eastern locations. The walls of many shrines of the large Neolithic settlement Çatal Höyük (between 7500 and 5700 BC) in southern Turkey were adorned with large skeletal representations of vultures.
One theory put forward to explain the importance of vultures in the early Anatolian Neolithic is related to possible auscarnation practices that suggest a burial cult. After death, the bodies would have been deliberately left outside and exposed, perhaps on some kind of wooden frame. The bodies would be freed from the flesh by vultures and other birds of prey. The skeletons would then be buried elsewhere. Perhaps the ritual of the incarnation was at the center of a cult of the dead practiced by the residents of Göbekli Tepe. The ritual was certainly used elsewhere in Anatolia and the Middle East in the Neolithic, before pottery. In fact, the practice is still followed by the Indian Parsi people. The origins of the Parsi practice lie in the Zoroastrian Indo-Iran.
Strangely enough, archaeologists have not yet found any evidence of a settlement in Göbekli Tepe. Houses, stoves and garbage pits are missing. However, archaeologists have found over 100,000 animal bone fragments, many of which had cut marks and splintered edges. These indicate that animals were slaughtered and cooked somewhere in the area. The bones came from game such as gazelle, boar, sheep and deer. The bones of various species of birds such as vultures, cranes, ducks and geese were also found. Over 60% of all bones came from gazelles. Game species made up 100% of the bones. This provides evidence that the people who inhabited Gobekli Tepe were hunters and gatherers. They weren't early farmers keeping domesticated animals.
Due to the presence of several monumental complexes at such an early stage, Göbekli Tepe is a somewhat unique place. However, there are some parallels to the location of the early Neolithic settlement Nevalı Çori. Nevalı Çori was on the central Euphrates in eastern Turkey. The site is only 12 ½ miles northwest of Göbekli Tepe. The main temple in Nevalı Çori was built around 8,000 BC. Dated. This was maybe a thousand years later than Gobekli Tepe. The cult complexes of the settlement had a number of similarities with Göbekli Tepe. This included terrazzo-style cement-lime floors, monolithic T-shaped pillars in dry stone walls, and two free-standing pillars in the center of the complex area. The T-shaped columns show reliefs of what appear to be human hands.
Unfortunately, Nevali Çori is now lost. It lies under a lake created by the Ataturk Dam in 1992. The Göbekli Tepe excavators believe that the local people died around 8,000 BC. Deliberately burying the monuments under mountains of earth and municipal waste. The garbage contained flints and animal bones. All the garbage was brought from elsewhere. This backfilling is the main reason why the site has been preserved after so many thousands of years. It is not clear why the residents of Göbekli Tepe left the site. It seems obvious that the monuments had lost their relevance. Perhaps this was related to the new way of life that came with the development of agriculture and animal husbandry. This transition took place around the time Göbekli Tepe was left.
From the typological dating of stone tools and radiocarbon dates we know that the last construction phase in Göbekli Tepe was around 8000 BC. Dated. However, the date of its earliest occupation is far from clear. Radiocarbon comes from charcoal for the later parts of the oldest layer and dates from around 9,000 BC. Archaeologists estimate that the stone monuments of Göbekli Tepe are around this time, although the structures themselves have not been directly dated. From the available evidence, archaeologists estimate the beginnings of Göbekli Tepe to be 11,000 BC. BC or earlier. This is remarkably old for such a complex series of monuments.
Enormous auroch skeleton found at Ness of Brodgar Neolithic site - History
THOUSANDS of years ago it would have stood proud on the horizon, a striking monument which could be seen for miles. The circular monument lay hidden for centuries under farmland, its existence only hinted at in crop marks, spotted in aerial surveys.
Moel Arthur (Hillfort) &mdash News
Mysterious Stone Tools Unearthed at Bronze-Age Site in Wales
Amateur archaeologists excavating a Bronze Age site in the United Kingdom have discovered a cache of unusual stone tools unlike any that have been found before.
The tools appear to have been deposited deliberately — perhaps ceremonially — in what would have been a stream around 4,500 years ago, according to the researchers.
Thanks to Stone Pages for this information.
Emblance Downs (Stone Circle) &mdash Links
Emblance Downs Twin Circles
Jersey &mdash News
Archaeologists find Stones of interest
A COLLECTION of stones has been unearthed by a team of UK archaeologists investigating fields in St Clement earmarked for a new estate of 200 affordable homes.
Five stones, which could date back to the Island’s neolithic past when the dolmens were built, were discovered by a team from the Museum of London Archaeological Services at the former Samarès Nursery site.
Stonehenge and its Environs &mdash News
New Stonehenge path open – at last 9 October 2017 |
For those who like to walk and cycle and it's free.
The new Permissive Path at Stonehenge is finally open after a three-year delay waiting for the grass to grow strong enough to bear the weight of a few cyclists and pedestrians.
A group of pedestrians and cyclists from surrounding villages joined together to mark the re-opening of the route, accompanied by former Wiltshire councillor Ian West. He campaigned strongly against English Heritage for the path to be re-opened as specified in a planning agreement.
The right of way passes within a few feet of the Heal Stone and gives free access to the public. The path allows the public to use the old A344 road and the new path from Airman’s Corner roundabout to the A303 free of charge and without any passes.
“It allows you to take some beautiful photographs without having to have a local residents’ pass and then booking your appointment time along with other tourists,” said a jubilant Mr West. “The path opens up the old connection between Shrewton and West Amesbury, if you are brave enough to cross the A303, although the authorities deem it to be a safe crossing,” he added.
Horses are not permitted on the new path, which is part of the old road now grassed over, but they can go from the roundabout to By-Way 12, which passes close to the stones, to Larkhill in one direction and Druids Lodge in the other, free of charge and without passes. This opens up the access to the by-way and allows travel in both directions on horseback.
Rudston Monolith (Standing Stone / Menhir) &mdash Links
Cursuses relating to the Rudston Monolith
Stowe's Pound (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) &mdash News
Stowe's Pound fairy stack creators 'are historic vandals'
Visitors to a 6,000-year-old site who are removing stones and piling them up to be "artistic" could be causing significant damage, experts say.
Stones from Stowe's Pound on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, are being used to build the "fairy stacks" by people "probably unaware" they are breaking the law.
The stacks have been described as "historic vandalism".
The practice at the Scheduled Ancient Monument site has also been condemned by Historic England.
Duloe (Stone Circle) &mdash Miscellaneous
Cheddar Gorge and Gough's Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter) &mdash News
Prehistoric Britons ate their dead and carved mysterious markings on their bones
Cheddar Gorge in Somerset’s Mendip Hills is one of Britain’s most beautiful natural wonders, with its sweeping limestone cliffs, and striking natural rock chambers.
But new evidence suggests the picturesque site had a deeply sinister past.
Paleontologists have discovered that around 15,000 years ago, British cave dwellers filleted and ate their dead relatives before inscribing markings on their bones in grisly prehistoric rituals.
It is the first time that such practices have been found in the Paleolithic, or Old Stone Age - which dates from 2.6 million years ago to around 12,000BC - anywhere in the world.
Hendraburnick Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) &mdash News
Is stone most decorated in Southern Britain?
NEW archaeological evidence has suggested that an ancient stone monument near Davidstow was used for moonlit rituals during the Bronze Age, and could top Stonehenge for being the ‘most decorated stone in southern Britain’.
The Cornwall Archaeological Society has found new evidence, suggesting that the Hendraburnick ‘Quoit’, situated near Davidstow, was used for moonlit rituals or ceremonies during the late Neolithic and bronze age period.
The work conducted on Hendraburnick Quoit, was funded and carried out by the Cornwall Archaeological Society and led by Dr Andy Jones, an archaeologist from the Cornwall Archaeological Unit, and Penzance-based Tom Goskar, an archaeologist with a specialism of using digital technologies to find new evidence within artefacts from the past.
Speaking about the new evidence, Dr Jones told the Post: “We’re really pleased. It’s something we’ve known about for quite a long time, but it’s really, really good — a remarkable find.
“It (the Hendraburnick Quoit markings) is a unique find. There are lots of decorated monuments in the UK, but for southern Britain, it’s very remarkable.”
Rousay &mdash News
Orkney archaeological dig is a battle between time and tide.
AN archaeological investigation of an eroding mound on the island of Rousay in Orkney dig is revealing extensive settlement.
But there is a battle against time to find the whole truth hidden under the ground at Swandro as the sea continues to eat away at the land.
The dig is being led by the University of a Bradford and Orkney College UHI, and the ancient settlement was discovered by Dr Julie Bond in 2010.
She had spotted a few odd stones only just visible among the pebbles. Since then, the excavation has been changing the understanding of this site.
The tops of stones partly buried by the boulder beach turned out to be set uprights forming part of a prehistoric building around the high tide mark.
Although the tops of the stones are worn and battered by the sea, the beach has partly protected the deposits. Animal bone and pottery were recovered, finds suggesting an Iron Age context.
Orkney &mdash News
Orkney Neolithic 'butterfly-like' motifs found by chance
"Neolithic markings carved into a stone in Orkney that were missed for years by archaeologists have been discovered by chance.
The faintly incised "butterfly-like" motifs were revealed on Tuesday as sunlight lit up the rock at the "right moment, at the right angle".
Experts believe the marks were deliberately made to be delicate and to catch light at certain times of day.
The find was made during excavations at Ness of Brogdar.
The incisions are so faint they do not show up in photographs taken so far of the stone.
The block formed part of wall of a structure at the dig site. It has since been moved to safe location."
Bryn Celli Ddu (Chambered Cairn) &mdash Links
Bryn Celli Ddu in new CGI film
Known as one of the most evocative archaeological sites in Britain, the 5,000-year old monument was once constructed to protect and pay respect to the remains of ancestors. It is the only site in Wales that has a solar alignment, where the sun casts a beam of light into the monument on the summer solstice.
Worlebury (Hillfort) &mdash News
Importance of ‘at risk’ hill fort promoted to ensure it can be preserved
Preserving an ‘at risk’ ancient monument in Weston-super-Mare is a priority for Historic England and a volunteer group, who hope teaching schoolchildren about its importance will ensure it is looked after for generations to come.
Shropshire &mdash News
Dig finds UK's oldest sacred site is in Shrewsbury
"Barker and Jenks discovered prehistoric burial mounds and cremations, slots for standing stones and two rows of Neolithic post holes and a ditch, known as a cursus, which they interpreted as a processional way. It was aligned east to west, extending towards the current church building.
“The current church appears to have incorporated and deliberately built over late Neolithic/early Bronze Age remains. The 15-inch section of post we found was sticking up into the Medieval foundations,” said Janey Green, of Baskerville Archaeological Services.
“It is an incredibly complex site and appears to have been used and re-used for religious purposes for over 4,000 years. It is well known that Christians liked to build churches over pagan sites.
“More work needs to be done but early interpretations indicate that it is the earliest known sacred site in Britain that is still in use today."
Stonehenge and its Environs &mdash News
The Stonehenge tunnel: ‘A monstrous act of desecration is brewing’
“The issue is whether Stonehenge exists to provide a tourist experience, or whether it is something more significant, both historically and spiritually,” he says. “It has stood there for 4,500 years. And up to now, no one’s thought of injecting enormous quantities of concrete into the landscape and permanently disfiguring it.”
North Ballachulish (Cup Marked Stone) &mdash Links
Through the Eyes of the Ballachulish Goddess
Iron Age chariot and horse found buried together in Yorkshire
The Ancient Brits loved their wheels. Indeed they seem to have been so attached to their sports-car-style chariots that they may even have thought they could use them to get to the next world.
Academic knowledge about these elegant high status prehistoric British vehicles is now set to increase significantly, following the discovery of an ancient Briton buried inside his chariot in East Yorkshire.
Castell Dinas Bran (Hillfort) &mdash News
Underground castle' archaeological search underway
“It will be intriguing to know whether any remains of the 2,500 year hillfort are evident or did the castle obliterate it all? We think there must have been more buildings within the castle walls but we’ll have to wait and see whether there are any hints of their remains."
The Gypsey Race &mdash Images (click to view fullsize)
Worlebury (Hillfort) &mdash News
Antisocial behaviour means ancient Iron Age Worlebury hill fort is now ‘at risk’
An ‘outstanding’ ancient monument in Weston-super-Mare has been placed ‘at risk’ by Historic England after falling victim to antisocial behaviour.
The Iron Age Worlebury hill fort, in Weston Woods, is thought to have been created some 700 years before the Romans arrived in Britain as a form of defence.
Historic England says it is an ‘outstanding example’ of its type and is also unusual, as few of these forts were created along the coast.
It has previously been listed by Historic England as being in a ‘vulnerable’ condition, but it has now been re-registered as ‘at risk’ after people camped nearby and moved parts of the structure.
A Historic England spokesman said: “Historic England made a recent visit to the hill fort in response to concerns from volunteers working on the site.
Street House &mdash Links
Spectacular' discovery of Teesside's oldest house is confirmed
Sittaford (Stone Circle) &mdash News
Dartmoor stone circle undisturbed for hundreds of years being excavated
AN undisturbed stone circle which has been buried in the peat since its abandonment in prehistory has been lovingly excavated.
Sittaford Stone Circle, discovered in 2008 by Alan Endacott, a local amateur archaeologist, appeared to have remained undisturbed. It was revealed by the actions of peat cutters in more recent centuries and then a moorland fire in 2008 enabled Alan to spot some of the stones poking out of the surface.
A stone circle which has remained undisturbed is highly unusual. Many of Dartmoor’s stone circles have been subjected to various degrees of disturbance, ranging from ‘mining’ of the sites for stone, to investigation by antiquarians and early archaeologists.
Dartmoor National Park Authority archaeologist Lee Bray said: ‘This lack of disturbance is one of the facts that makes the site special. That this hasn’t happened at Sittaford — as far as we know — makes the site of national significance as it has the potential to shed light on stone circles which is unclouded by the activities of intervening periods.’
The monument itself is located about 300m south west of Sittaford Tor at over 520m elevation, on the summit of the ridge separating the catchments of the North Teign and East Dart. It consists of 30 stones, all of which are currently recumbent, arranged in a circle with a diameter of in excess of 30m.
County Limerick &mdash News
A 9,000-year-old axe sheds light on burial practices
Analysis of an axe that is more than 9,000 years old, found at Ireland’s earliest burial site, in Co Limerick, has shed light on the ancient burial practices of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
Archaeologists believe the highly-polished stone axe, known as an adze, was made especially for the funeral of a very important person, whose remains were cremated and then buried at the site.
Microscopic analysis has revealed the shale tool, believed to be the earliest fully polished adze in Europe, was only used for a short time, and then deliberately blunted.
Situated on the banks of the river Shannon at Hermitage, Castleconnell, the burial site, dating back to between 7,530 and 7,320 BC, is twice as old as Newgrange.
The Hurlers (Stone Circle) &mdash Links
Reading the Hurlers
Lancashire &mdash News
Pristine pressed flower among 'jaw-dropping' bronze age finds
3,000-year-old complete pressed flower is among the “absolutely jaw-dropping” late bronze age finds unearthed in Lancashire.
The thistle flower appears to have been deliberately placed inside the hollow end of an axe handle and buried with other weapons, jewellery and ornaments, many in virtually pristine condition. Other axe handles in the hoard had been filled with hazelnuts, as part of a ritual offering.
Dr Ben Roberts, a lecturer at Durham University and the British Museum’s former curator of European bronze age collections, described the pressed flower as unique for a votive offering of its time.
Harland Moor (Stone Circle) &mdash Links
The Smell of Water
Gloucestershire &mdash News
BU archaeologists uncover 6,000-year-old long barrow in the Cotswolds
A 6,000-YEAR-OLD PREHISTORIC BURIAL MONUMENT HAS BEEN UNCOVERED NORTHEAST OF CIRENCESTER IN THE COTSWOLDS BY ARCHAEOLOGISTS FROM BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY.
Believed to be around 1,000 years older than Stonehenge, the massive mound 60m long by 15m wide, was carefully built of soil and stone by the first farmers living in the area around 4000 BC. It provided a resting place for the dead and a symbol of identity for the living.
The barrow was first noticed about ten years ago and has since been studied through a wide range of geophysical surveys and evaluations that confirmed its identification. In the summer of 2016 proper excavations began with a team of around 80 students, graduates and archaeologists from across the world working to explore the stonework of the mound and define possible chambers inside the structure that might contain burials. Traditionally, up to 50 men, women and children were buried in such monuments over a period of several centuries, long before the discovery of metal working.
The Old Wife's Well (Sacred Well) &mdash Images
The Old Wife's Well (Sacred Well) &mdash Miscellaneous
It is difficult to find the well though it is only a few yards from the road but buried inside the forestry trees. There is a forestry track way where you can park on the right just out of the village of Stape, walk along here if you want to see Mauley Cross. To find the well, turn left on the road towards the village and walk a few hundred metres along it, to your left you will see a faint path which will lead to the well. The well has it ‘clouties’ hanging on nearby trees, so does have visitors. Before the vast swathes of the forests were planted around the 1920s on the moors, this would have probably been farm land…… So maybe the spring of water with its unusual inscription may in fact be part of a much earlier prehistoric history…..
As the Roman Road/causeway does not appear on TMA here is the explanation for the Wheeldale Linear Monument being interpreted as a Neolithic boundary structure, and mentioned by Fitz..
“here are some objections to the interpretation of the structure as being a road at all, including the fact that several burial cists along the structure's course protrude through its surface by up to 0.4m, highly unusual for a road surface. Since 1997, authorities including English Heritage have accepted the possibility that the structure may not be a road. Archaeological consultant Blaise Vyner suggested in 1997 that the structure may be the collapsed and heavily robbed remains of a Neolithic or Bronze Age boundary wall or dyke. There are other Neolithic remains on the North York Moors, including boundary dikes, although Knight et al. report that the later Neolithic is very poorly represented archaeologically in the North York Moors area] and neolithic use of the moors was likely very limited in extent. Bronze Age presence in the moors, including earthworks, is well represented generally in the archaeology of the area, and therefore is a more plausible origin. Evidence against the identification of the causeway as an early Neolithic structure includes the statement by Elgee in 1912 that the causeway had been identified as cutting across an earlier British earthwork just north of Julian Park, suggesting that it must post-date it. One possibility that could explain several of the anomalies in trying to definitively identify the site is the suggestion by Knight et al. that it was commonly observed practice in the area for dykes to be reused as track ways.
To account for the uncertainty regarding the structure's original function, the term "Wheeldale Linear Monument" was introduced in the 2010s to refer to the structure. English Heritage in 2013 stated that the balance of opinion had swung to favour a prehistoric, rather than Roman, origin for the structure. As of 2013, the uncertainty regarding the monument's purpose and origin is reflected by the information board at the end of the Wheeldale section of structure, where it meets the modern road. The original sign, pictured in 1991 states that the structure is a Roman road, whereas new signage installed in 1998 admits that the origin and purpose of the structure are unknown.”
Belle Tout (Enclosure) &mdash News
Could archaeologists be about to uncover an early Bronze Age settlement.
A huge outer earthwork, stretching across 1.2 kilometres of the beautiful hilltop of Belle Tout on top of the Seven Sisters cliff, was probably part of an early Bronze Age settlement. Archaeologists are about to get to work on a coastal site they describe as a mystery in their field, with their plans including laser scans, environmental scanning and analysis of microscopic snails which can only exist in certain habitats.
They don’t know when the hilltop enclosure was built, and their previous discoveries in the area have ranged from prehistoric flintwork to early Bronze Age Beaker pottery. “We don’t know for sure how much we’ve lost over the last 6,000 years due to coastal erosion,” says Tom Dommett, the National Trust Archaeologist and key man on the Seven Sisters Archaeology Project, underlining the urgency of the latest work.
Durrington Walls (Henge) &mdash News
Remarkable ancient structure found just two miles from Stonehenge
Remarkable new archaeological discoveries are beginning to suggest that Stonehenge was built at a time of particularly intense religious and political rivalry.
Just two miles north-east of the World Heritage site, at an important archaeological complex known as Durrington Walls, archaeologists have just discovered what appears to have been a vast 500-metre diameter circle of giant timber posts. The find is of international significance.
Whithorn (Bullaun Stone) &mdash News
Thumbpots and roundhouses: Unravelling the mysteries of the Scottish Iron Age
Our shortlisted entry for the awards was based on excavations carried out by AOC Archaeology in 2015, and again in June 2016, which unearthed a unique discovery in Galloway that promises to revolutionise our understanding of the Scottish South Western Iron Age.
Last year, archaeologists began excavating one of numerous roundhouses sited on a boggy island at this unique Iron Age settlement near Whithorn, uncovering a massive hearth mound which had been built and rebuilt and flooring which still preserved leaf litter and woven panels of hazel wattle, all preserved thanks to the waterlogged conditions.
Cambridgeshire &mdash News
UK's best bronze age site dig ends but analysis will continue for years
One winter some 3,000 years ago, a development of highly desirable houses was built on stilts over a tributary of the river Nene in Cambridgeshire, by people whose wealth and lifestyle would still have seemed enviable to medieval peasants. Then six months later it was all over.
Disaster overwhelmed the people and they fled, leaving their clothing and jewellery, tools and furniture, their last meals abandoned in the cooking pots as they tumbled through the burning wicker floors into the water below. Nobody ever came back to retrieve the tonnes of expertly carpentered timbers and the masses of valuable possessions lying in shallow water, which over the centuries all sank together, hidden and preserved by the oozy silt.
Ness of Brodgar (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) &mdash News
Neolithic discovery: why Orkney is the centre of ancient Britain
Drive west from Orkney's capital, Kirkwall, and then head north on the narrow B9055 and you will reach a single stone monolith that guards the entrance to a spit of land known as the Ness of Brodgar. The promontory separates the island's two largest bodies of freshwater, the Loch of Stenness and the Loch of Harray. At their furthest edges, the lochs' peaty brown water laps against fields and hills that form a natural amphitheatre a landscape peppered with giant rings of stone, chambered cairns, ancient villages and other archaeological riches.
This is the heartland of the Neolithic North, a bleak, mysterious place that has made Orkney a magnet for archaeologists, historians and other researchers.
For decades they have tramped the island measuring and ex- cavating its great Stone Age sites. The land was surveyed, mapped and known until a recent chance discovery revealed that for all their attention, scientists had completely overlooked a Neolithic treasure that utterly eclipses all others on Orkney – and in the rest of Europe.
Wayland's Smithy (Long Barrow) &mdash Images
The Isle of Wight &mdash News
Archaeologists dive to save the disappearing story of how people first occupied Britain
Archaeologists are returning to a prehistoric settlement beneath the sea off the Isle of Wight this week. Gary Momber, of DigVentures, says the race is on to save evidence of the skilled craftspeople who first occupied Britain.
Leskernick North Circle (Stone Circle) &mdash Links
The Heritage Trust
Leskernick Stone Circles and Stone Row Clearance
Clearing both North and South Circles and the stone row. Clearance to be interpreted as stated here..
"the aim of the clearance would be to bring the hidden parts of the circles and stone row ‘back to life’ by sympathetically removing the vegetation and turf ‘carpet’ off the stones without damage taking place and without any soil being removed below the exposed top surfaces"
Stonehenge (Circle henge) &mdash News
Stonehenge wasn't so hard to build after all, archaeologists discover
It is an archaeological conundrum that has baffled generations of experts.
Just how did prehistoric Britons manage to transport the huge bluestones of Stonehenge some 140 miles from the Presili Mountains in Wales to their final home on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire.
The answer is surprisingly simple. The feat really isn’t as hard as everyone imagined.
Penycloddiau (Hillfort) &mdash Links
Why prehistoric Welsh people built so many forts on hills
Silbury Hill (Artificial Mound) &mdash Links
Silbury Hill - Silent Earth
London &mdash Links
London’s Iron Age Forts & Fortifications
The Burren &mdash News
Mystery surrounds Burren settlement excavated by archaeologists
When a prehistoric people built a large settlement in the Burren up to 3,000 years ago, why did they choose a mountain-top with no running water?
Was it the closest point to a sky god, or was the location selected for some type of ancient gathering or “Dáil”?
“Truly one of the most enigmatic places in Irish prehistory” is how NUI Galway (NUIG) archaeologist Dr Stefan Bergh describes the exposed summit of Turlough Hill in northeast Clare.
Stripple Stones (Circle henge) &mdash Links
Cornish Collection - Stripple Stones
Great Orme Mine (Ancient Mine / Quarry) &mdash News
The Ancient Copper mines dug by children
From the summit of the Great Orme, the landscape looks as peaceful as it is striking – all rolling green hills and farmland stretching out to the blue Irish Sea.
But the headland that rises over Llandudno, Wales has a secret, one that lay buried for thousands of years.
More than five miles (8km) of tunnels run beneath the hill's surface. Spreading across nine different levels and reaching 230 feet (70m) deep, some are so narrow that only children would be small enough to access them.
These are the tunnels of a copper mine: one that was first dug out some 3,800 years ago and that, within a couple of centuries, was the largest in Britain.
Soulbury (Standing Stone / Menhir) &mdash Images
Boscawen-Un (Stone Circle) &mdash Links
The Cornish Collection: Boscawen-un Stone Circle
West Yorkshire &mdash News
Cairn building walkers are dismantling the heritage of Yorkshire Dales
The tradition of building cairns and wind breaks in the Yorkshire Dales has begun to put the area’s history at risk according to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA).
Robert White, Senior Conservation Officer for the YDNPA, says the rocks walkers are using are sometimes being taken from ancient sites including burial mounds, which has led to problems at a number of historically-important sites within the National Park, including Beamsley Beacon near Bolton Abbey.” .
“During the Bronze Age, some 4,500 years ago, a large stone mound was built there, probably to mark the burial place of a local chieftain and to act as a territorial boundary marker,” explained Robert.
“Much of this cairn, which is now about 11m in diameter, still survives but in recent years it has suffered a lot of disturbance due to people using stones from it to make modern cairns and wind breaks. Another smaller historic cairn lies further along the ridge at Old Pike and that has also lost some of its stones.”
East Yorkshire &mdash News
'Hugely important' iron age remains found at Yorkshire site
Update on an archaeological dig at Pocklington.
Almost 2,000 years after being buried, the remarkably well-preserved remains of 150 skeletons and their personal possessions have been discovered in a small market town at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds.
The remains of the burial ground that contained skeletons of people from the middle-iron age Arras culture in Pocklington, east Yorkshire is being hailed as one of the largest and most significant iron age findings of recent times.
Some of the 75 square barrows – burial chambers – contained personal possessions such as jewellery and weapons. Archaeologists have also discovered a skeleton with a shield.
It is believed the site dates to the iron age, which in Britain lasted from 800BC until the time of the Roman conquest, which started in AD43.
"National Geographic Taboo" chronicles the bizarre beauty treatment in an upcoming episode set in Tokyo, following three people who opt into the temporary forehead injections which have become a keen part of the Japanese "body modification" art scene.
Creature Love [via Nina Reznick]
Cat On Boat Plays With Dolphins
A dolphin comes out of the water near a boat, and the cat on the boat starts playing with the dolphin by patting it and nuzzling its face against the dolphin
The History of the Celtic People
There is absolutely no evidence of war or of any conquest of an earlier, pre Celtic people at the time the Druids supposedly arrived in Western Europe, making it difficult for archaeologists to explain how they could have peacefully imposed their language, religion, and culture on this hypothetical earlier people. Even more embarrassing is the fact that geneticists claim that modern British people are related to the Spanish, and DNA from human remains of supposedly pre-Celtic times in Britain have shown that many modern British people are related to these early people as well. More and more it is beginning to appear that the Celts (and their Druid priests) may have been in the West all along, and may, indeed, have built Stonehenge after all.
In Central Europe, the archaeological evidence shows continuous linear development, with no marked external influences. Archaeological continuity can be supported for every Indo-European-speaking region of Eurasia, and India. Several historically documented migrations, such as those of the Helvetii to Switzerland, the Huns into Europe, or Gaelic-speakers into Scotland are not attested in the archaeological record.
Bryant, Edwin (2001), The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-513777-9.
Mallory, J.P. (1989), In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology, and Myth, London: Thames & Hudson, ISBN 0-500-27616-1.
The first such study dates back to 1999 and was conducted by the Estonian biologist Toomas Kivisild, a pioneer in the field, with fourteen co-authors from various nationalities (including M. J. Bamshad).9 It relied on 550 samples of mtDNA and identified a haplogroup called “U” as indicating a deep connection between Indian and Western-Eurasian populations. However, the authors opted for a very remote separation of the two branches, rather than a recent population movement towards India in fact, “the subcontinent served as a pathway for eastward migration of modern humans” from Africa, some 40,000 years ago:
“We found an extensive deep late Pleistocene genetic link between contemporary Europeans and Indians, provided by the mtDNA haplogroup U, which encompasses roughly a fifth of mtDNA lineages of both populations. Our estimate for this split [between Europeans and Indians] is close to the suggested time for the peopling of Asia and the first expansion of anatomically modern humans in Eurasia and likely pre-dates their spread to Europe.”
In other words, there is a genetic connection between India and Europe, but a far more ancient one than was thought.
So the southward gene flow that had been imprinted on our minds for two centuries was wrong, after all: the flow was out of, not into, India.
“indeed, nearly all Europeans — and by extension, many Americans — can trace their ancestors to only four mtDNA lines, which appeared between 10,000 and 50,000 years ago and originated from South Asia.”
c. 40 thousand years ago, Europe was first reached by modern humans,genetically my Celtic ancestors!! They are probably dark haired and olive skinned.
43,000BC: A flute-like instrument made of bear bone was found by archaeologist Janez Dirjec at the Divje Babe site in the valley of the Idrijca River in Slovenia. It was believed to be about 45,000 years old.
Thier beliefs are “animistic” with the Bear Cult and the Snake cults being the most prominent.
What may be the world’s oldest known cave paintings have been discovered in northern Italy. They are between 32,000 and 36,500 years old.
Archaeologists have found tablets of stone showing images of an animal and a human-like creature.
The discovery adds to evidence that people living when Europe was in the grip of the last Ice Age were more sophisticated than was once thought.
The painted slabs were discovered in Fumane Cave, near Verona. Previously this cave has provided stone tools and other evidence of occupation.
Apparently, the slabs on which the drawings were found had fallen from the cave roof and become embedded in the floor.
shaman with horned animal head
Last summer some of the Fumane calcite was removed, revealing strange images done in red ochre. One of the images was of an animal-headed human. It may be a depiction of a “sorcerer” — perhaps the tribe’s magician, dancing with an animal-head mask in the firelight, evoking the tribal gods.
Stone slabs bearing images of an animal and a half-human, half-beast figure were uncovered during excavations by an Italian team at the Fumane Cave northwest of Verona. The images are believed to be at least as ancient as some found in the Grotte Chauvet in southern France–the current record holder at 32,000 years–and possibly even older. More important, cave art experts say, the new paintings bolster other evidence that humans engaged in sophisticated symbolic expression much earlier than once thought.
Alberto Broglio of the University of Ferrara said the paintings were covered with calcite that made the original red ochre finish difficult to see. Archaeologists have now removed much of the calcite.
Like many stone drawings from the distant past, they are enigmatic and difficult to interpret. On one of the slabs is an unknown, probably symbolic, four-legged beast. A human figure with the head of an animal is depicted on another slab.
The current record-holder for the oldest images are from the Grotte Chauvet in southern France, dated at about 32,000 years old.
ALL HUMANITY STARTS IN AFRICA
Genetic anthropology is an emerging discipline that combines DNA and physical evidence to reveal the history of ancient human migration. It seeks to answer the questions, “Where did we come from, and how did we get here?”
DNA studies indicate that all modern humans share a common female ancestor who lived in Africa about 140,000 years ago, and all men share a common male ancestor who lived in Africa about 60,000 years ago
Tsodilo Python inhabited by humans for 100,000 years
Additional evidence in support of Middle Paleolithic animal worship originates from the Tsodilo Hills (c 70,000BCE) in the African Kalahari desert where a giant rock resembling a python that is accompanied by large amounts of colored broken spear points and a secret chamber has been discovered inside a cave. The Broken spear points were most likely sacrificial offerings and the python is also important to and worshipped by contemporary Bushmen Hunter-gatherers who are the descendants of the of the people who devised the ritual at the Tsodilo Hills and may have inherited their worship of the python from their distant Middle Paleolithic ancestors.
The worship of serpent deities is present in several old cultures, particularly in religion and mythology, where snakes were seen as entities of strength and renewal.
Snake worship refers to the high status of snakes or (nagas) in Hindu mythology. Nāga (Sanskrit:नाग) is the Sanskrit and Pāli word for a deity or class of entity or being, taking the form of a very large snake, found in Hinduism and Buddhism.
Ancient Mesopotamians and Semites believed that snakes were immortal because they could infinitely shed their skin and appear forever youthful, appearing in a fresh guise every time. Before the arrival of the Israelites, snake cults were well established in Canaan in the Bronze Age, for archaeologists have uncovered serpent cult objects in Bronze Age strata at several pre-Israelite cities in Canaan: two at Megiddo, one at Gezer, one in the sanctum sanctorum of the Area H temple at Hazor, and two at Shechem.
in the surrounding region, serpent cult objects figured in other cultures. A late Bronze Age Hittite shrine in northern Syria contained a bronze statue of a god holding a serpent in one hand and a staff in the other. In sixth-century Babylon a pair of bronzer serpents flanked each of the four doorways of the temple of Esagila. At the Babylonian New Year’s festival, the priest was to commission from a woodworker, a metalworker and a goldsmith two images one of which “shall hold in its left hand a snake of cedar, raising its right [hand] to the god Nabu”. At the tell of Tepe Gawra, at least seventeen Early Bronze Age Assyrian bronze serpents were recovered.
Ancient Egyptians worshiped snakes, especially the cobra. The cobra was not only associated with Ra, but also many other deities such as Wadjet, Renenutet, and Meretseger. Serpents could also be evil and harmful such as the case of Aapep.Wadjet was the patron goddess of Upper Egypt, and was represented as a cobra with spread hood, or a cobra-headed woman. She later became one of the protective emblems on the pharaoh’s crown once Upper and Lower Egypt were united. She was said to ‘spit fire’ at the pharaoh’s enemies, and the enemies of Ra.
Serpents figured prominently in archaic Greek myths. According to some sources, Ophion (“serpent”, a.k.a. Ophioneus), ruled the world with Eurynome before the two of them were cast down by Cronus and Rhea. The oracles of the Ancient Greeks were said to have been the continuation of the tradition begun with the worship of the Egyptian cobra goddess, Wadjet.
Python was the earth-dragon of Delphi, she always was represented in the vase-paintings and by sculptors as a serpent. Pytho was the chthonic enemy of Apollo, who slew her and remade her former home his own oracle, the most famous in Classical Greece.
Typhon the enemy of the Olympian gods is described as a vast grisly monster with a hundred heads and a hundred serpents issuing from his thighs, who was conquered and cast into Tartarus by Zeus
The Minoan Snake Goddess brandished a serpent in either hand, perhaps evoking her role as source of wisdom, rather than her role as Mistress of the Animals (Potnia theron), with a leopard under each arm. It is not by accident that later the infant Heracles, a liminal hero on the threshold between the old ways and the new Olympian world, also brandished the two serpents that “threatened” him in his cradle. Classical Greeks did not perceive that the threat was merely the threat of wisdom. But the gesture is the same as that of the Cretan goddess.
Serpent worship was well known in ancient Europe.On the Iberian Peninsula there is evidence that before the introduction of Christianity, and perhaps more strongly before invasions of the Romans, Serpent worship was part of local religion.
Jörmungandr, alternately the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent, of the Norse mythology, is the middle child of Loki and the giantess Angrboða. He tossed Jörmungandr into the great ocean that encircles Midgard. The serpent grew so big that he was able to surround the Earth and grasp his own tail, and as a result he earned the alternate name of the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent. Jörmungandr’s arch enemy is the god Thor.
Snake Cults Dominated Early Arabia
Pre-Islamic Middle Eastern regions were home to mysterious snake cults, according to two papers published in this month’s Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy journal.
From at least 1250 B.C. until around 550 A.D., residents of what is now the Persian Gulf worshipped snakes in elaborate temple complexes that appear to have been built for this purpose, the studies reveal.
The first paper, by archaeologist Dan Potts of the University of Sydney, describes architecture and relics dating to 500 B.C. from Qalat al-Bahrain in Bahrain.
c.40,000 BC ARYANS ARRIVE IN EUROPE ANOTHER BELIEF SYSTEM APPEARS
Archeological evidence from Middle Paleolithic caves,shows that a widespread Middle Paleolithic Neanderthal bear cult existed (Wunn, 2000, p. 434-435).
Bear worship (also known as the Bear Cult or Arctolatry) is the religious practice of the worshiping of bears found in many North American and North Eurasian ethnic circumpolar religions such as the Sami, Nivkhs, Ainu, and pre-christian Finns. There are also a number of deities from Celtic Gaul and Britain associated with the bear and the bear is featured on many totems throughout northern cultures that carve them. Bear worship may have been practiced as far back as the Middle paleolithic period amongst Neanderthal societies c.300,000 to 30,000 BC.
Ancient bear bones have been discovered in several different caves and are believed by some archaeologists to be evidence of a bear cult during the paleolithic era. It was not the mere presence of these bones that intrigued archaeologists, but their peculiar arrangement .
Emil Bächler, a main supporter of the argument for the presence of an ancient bear cult, found bear remains in Switzerland and at Mornova Cave in Slovenia. Along with Bächler’s discovery, bear skulls were found by André Leroi-Gourhan arranged in a perfect circle in Saône-et-Loire. The discovery of designs such as those found by Leroi-Gourhan suggests that these bear remains were placed in their arrangement intentionally an act which has been attributed to H. Neanderthalensis and is assumed to have been a part of some sort of ceremony
Throughout all of Celtic Gaul and Britain, Artio, the goddess of wildlife, appears as a bear along with similar deities such as Artaius, Andarta and Matunos. The Christian Saint Ursula may be a holdover from these traditions.
THE BEAR IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO ANCIENT STAR GAZERS
Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation Boötes and the northern celestial hemisphere.The name of the star derives from Ancient Greek Αρκτοῦρος (Arktouros) and means “Guardian of the Bear”, ultimately from ἄρκτος (arktos), “bear” + οὖρος (ouros), “watcher, guardian”. It has been known by this name since at least the time of Hesiod.
As one of the brightest stars in the sky, Arcturus has been significant to observers since antiquity. In Mesopotamia, it was linked to the god Enlil, and also known as Shudun, “yoke”, or SHU-PA of unknown derivation in the Three Stars Each Babylonian star catalogues and later MUL.APIN around 1100 BC
Rogers, John H. (1998). “Origins of the Ancient Constellations: II. The Mediterranean Traditions”. Journal of the British Astronomical Association 108 (2): 79–89. Bibcode 1998JBAA..108R.
Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
THE ICE AGE BEGINS c.36,000 BC
The Ice Age (starts c.36,000 ends c.13,000 years ago),ends c. 11 300 BC. Ice sheets extended to about 45 degrees north latitude. These sheets were 3 to 4 km thick
The change of environment and compition for the limited resourses in Ice Age Europe ,causes the Neanderthals to die out.
No definite specimens younger than 30,000 years ago have been found. Modern human skeletal remains with ‘Neanderthal traits’ were found in Lagar Velho (Portugal), dated to 24,500 years ago and interpreted as indications of extensively admixed populations.Neanderthal stone tools provide further evidence for their presence where skeletal remains have not been found. The last traces of Mousterian culture, a type of stone tools associated with Neanderthals, were found in Gorham’s Cave on the remote south-facing coast of Gibraltar .Other tool cultures sometimes associated with Neanderthal include Châtelperronian, Aurignacian, and Gravettian, with the latter extending to 22,000 years ago, the last indication of Neanderthal presence.
28,000 BC Date of latest fossil of Homo Neanderthalensis. Probably died off because of climate change and the arrival of Homo Sapien sapien(modern man)
“This definitely is its own species,” Dr. Tattersall affirmed, glancing first to the Neanderthal and then to a modern human skeleton next to it. “If people didn’t believe that before, by all rights they should now.”Also Gary Sawyer, a senior technician in anthropology, who directed the reconstruction and other technicians began developing their skills several years ago with the reconstruction of Peking Man, a Homo erectus from China. Their goal is to recreate skeletons of about 20 hominid species.
A DNA study has concluded that some Neanderthals also had red hair, although the mutation responsible for this differs from that which causes red hair in modern humans.But it does suggest that Red hair was a survival benefit in Ice Age Europe .
The Last Glacial Maximum, or Ice Age as it is more commonly referred began some 26 000 years ago, it was thought that there were two principal safe havens for humans. They were thought to exist in a “Franco-Cantabrian” area which roughly coincides with northern Spain/southern France, and a ‘Periglacial province’ on the plains in the Ukraine.
THESE ARE THE ABORIGINAL EUROPEAN SURVIVORS FROM C50,000 THEY CARRY THE RED HAIR AND WHITE SKIN MUTATION
THE RED HAIR AND PALE SKIN GENE APPEARS IN CELTIC ARYANS. AN EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTION TO THE ICE AGE ENVIRONMENT.
Northern Europeans could be descended from as few as 50 individuals who survived the last ice age.
New DNA evidence suggests that a few hundred Stone Age hunter-gatherers were the ancestors of many modern day northern Europeans.
The genetic marker for these people RED HAIR. This genetic adaption must of happened after 18,000 BC,as it does not cross into the native American population but before 11,000BC and the end of the Ice Age.
Red hair is the rarest natural hair colour in humans. The pale skin associated with red hair may be of advantage in far-northern climates where sunlight is scarce. Studies by Bodmer and Cavalli-Sforza (1976) hypothesized that lighter skin pigmentation prevents rickets in colder latitudes by encouraging higher levels of Vitamin D production and also allows the individual to retain heat better than someone with darker skin. Rees (2004) suggested that the vividness and rarity of red hair may lead to its becoming desirable in a partner and therefore it could become more common through sexual selection
Red hair appears in people with two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16
Red hair is caused by the MC1R gene and is non-pathological. It is associated with fair skin colour, freckles, and sensitivity to ultraviolet light, as the mutated MC1R protein is found in the skin and eyes instead of the darker melanin. It is a genetic marker of Celtic Aryan desent, from BOTH parents as it is a recessive gene.
Today, red hair is most commonly found at the western fringes of Europe it is associated particularly with the people of the British Isles
Redheads constitute approximately four percent of the European population. Scotland has the highest proportion of redheads, as 13 percent of the population has red hair and approximately 40 percent carries the recessive redhead gene. Ireland has the second highest percentage as many as 10 percent of the Irish population have red, auburn, or strawberry blond hair. Red hair reaches frequencies of up to 10 percent in Wales.
Red-hair is found commonly amongst Ashkenazi Jewish populations.
(You know those NON-SEMITIC JEWS which make up over 80% of modern Judaism,which was invented by the ARYAN CYRUS THE GREAT!!)
Red or reddish-tinged hair is also found in other European populations particularly in the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as parts of the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia and South Slavic countries and Albania.
The Berber populations of Morocco and northern Algeria have occasional redheads. Red hair frequency is especially significant among the Kabyles from Algeria where it reaches 4 percent.
In Asia, darker or mixed tinges of red hair can be found sporadically from Northern India, northern Middle East (such as Iran, Lebanon and the countries of the Levant). Red hair can be found amongst those of Iranian descent, such as the Pashtuns, Persians, Lurs & Nuristanis.
ALL THESE PEOPLE HAVE ARYAN DESCENT OR CONNECTIONS!
THE ARYAN CELTS CROSS INTO AMERICA c.22,000BC
James Wilson and Prof David Goldstein of University College London, with colleagues at Oxford University and the University of California, “The findings provide the first direct evidence of a close relationship between the people known as Celts and the Basques. The gene patterns of three races passed down through the male line are all strikingly similar, researchers concluded. Basques can trace their roots back to the Stone Age and are one of Europe’s most distinct people, fiercely proud of their ancestry and traditions.
The team looked for similarities between the Y chromosomes (which are only carried by men) they sampled DNA from 88 “Celtic fringe” individuals from Anglesey, North Wales, 146 from Ireland with Irish Gaelic surnames, and 150 Basques, revealing “remarkable’ similarities. On the other hand, he and his colleagues compared Celtic and Norwegian populations and found them to be quite different.
The Celts carried the early Y chromosome, which provides the first clear evidence of a close relationship in the paternal heritage of Basque and Celtic speaking populations. “They were statistically indistinguishable’, we also noticed that there’s something quite striking about the Celtic populations, and that is that there’s not a lot of genetic variation on the male Y-chromosome, We conclude that both the Basques and Celts are reflecting pre-farming Europe. Somehow these people have remained in isolation from the rest of Europe up until the Bronze age where their genes begin to indicate an influx of female genes from mainland Europe” said Prof Goldstein.
Geneticist Prof Steve Jones, who recently published a book called Y – The Descent of Man, said
“Genetics provided more reliable clues to the distant past than language did”. He and colleagues at University College, London, have spent years creating a genetic map of the Y chromosome, which is passed by males from generation to generation. The results show that the Welsh are related to the Basques of northern Spain and southern France and to native Americans. He said: “There has been much less interbreeding in Wales than you might expect. Wales and Ireland have the most homogenous group of males of anywhere in the world, from the research that’s been done so far”.
He said “The Y chromosome common among Welsh males was an ancient one. Most native Americans have the same one
The Solutreans of Spain are now believed to have crossed the Atlantic using the southern Equatorial current and entered the Caribbean and Central America between 18,000 and 12,000 years ago to become known as the Clovis hunters of America. Recent genetic findings suggest that the people now known as Gaelic speaking Celts (including Irish, Welsh, Scots, Basques and Berbers) are a remnant of a group of people who also left Spain between 18,000 and 12,000 years ago
During the most recent ice age (at its maximum about 20,000 years ago) the world’s sea level was about 130 m lower than today, due to the large amount of sea water that had evaporated and been deposited as snow and ice, mostly in the Laurentide ice sheet. The majority of this had melted by about 10,000 years ago.
In July 2000, deep ocean engineer Paulina Zelitzky discovered a possible megalithic site 2,310 feet below the water off the western coast of Cuba. The site encompasses an area about 20 square kilometers (about 7.7 square miles) in size, near the Guanahabibes Peninsula. Using sidescan sonar, Zelitzky, owner and operator of a company called Advanced Digital Communications (ADC), found “in the middle of this beautiful white sand … clear manmade large-size architectural designs” (Reuters, May 14, 2001, as quoted on CyberspaceOrbit.com).
In the summer of 2001, the researchers returned to film the ruins using a Robotic Ocean Vehicle known as an ROV. On close examination, they saw a large plateau with organized stone structures that appeared to be pyramids, rectangular buildings, and roads. The researchers believe this underwater “city” was built at least 6,000 years ago, when the land was above water. Zelitzky hypothesizes that an earthquake or volcanic activity caused the land to sink (Reuters, December 6, 2001, as quoted on TalkCity.com).
Manuel A. Iturralde Vincent, research director of Cuba’s National Museum of Natural History in Old Havana, viewed the site and confirmed that the shapes are similar to pyramids and streets when seen from above. He also confirmed the existence of large faults and an underwater volcano nearby, and indications of “significantly strong seismic activity” (Reuters, March 30, 2001 as quoted in ElectricWarrior.com).
In January 2002, Linda Moulton Howe, an investigative journalist, interviewed Zelitzky, and her business partner and husband, Paul Weinzweig. Weinzweig stated: “The Center for Marine Archaeology and Anthropology at the Cuban Academy of Sciences is currently analyzing video data which we have from the perimeter of the site from megalithic stones. They are working on inscriptions [editor’s emphasis] that they have detected on these stones…”
The stones were about six and a half feet wide and deep by sixteen feet high, and resemble the stones seen on Easter Island and at Stonehenge. Mr. Weinzweig added that they were “…very large and smooth and light colored that bear no relationship to the surrounding ecology. And also there is evidence of smooth cut and fit, that is one on top of another, as if the basis of a pyramid or large building” (Earth Files).
The stones are inscribed with lettering that is unknown but has the “same tendency, but … is not Greek,” according to Zelitzky. The inscriptions, according to Mr. Weinzweig, also include pictographs of “a Central American cross … two oval shapes crossing each other” which pre-date Columbus, probably by thousands of years. (See illustration at left of a similar pictograph found in a Cuban cave explored by Paulina Zelitzky.) Although similar, the pictographs are not identical to symbols found on Central American pyramids. These oval crosses also bear some similarity to “Old World” hieroglyphs — from the “Linear C Language” of an ancient culture on Crete — to hieroglyphs found in the Assyrian culture, from the area which is now Iraq (Earth Files).
The researchers stress that their understanding of this site is preliminary and requires more exploration and analysis before any definitive statements can be made. Since Zelitzky reportedly has an agreement with the National Geographic Society for exclusive magazine coverage, it is only a matter of time before the whole story comes out.
Recent studies of the tool kits of the first Americans suggest an entry from Spain and not from Siberia. Not only this, but paleolithic Caucasian genes appear to form the basal layer of the genetic makeup of many native Americans, helping to confirm a trans-Atlantic entry into Central America between 18,000 and 12,000 years ago. Recent discoveries of three 13,000 year old Cro magnon man skeletons in an underwater cave in the Bahamas suggests that the above is true and correct.
Almost all archaeology to date has been based on the discovery of sites that are above sea level. Sea levels rose to present day levels about 6,000 years ago, therefore there has to be a great deal hidden underwater prior to this event,
In 1977, University of Kentucky archaeologist Thomas Dillehay began excavating this ancient settlement, which had been remarkably preserved under a blanket of peat. Radiocarbon dating fixed the site at 14,850 years old, centuries before the Clovis had even begun their trek southward.
“There was considerable diversity among the early people(of America) they were much more diverse than Native Americans today. So somehow that diversity was reduced,”
says Richard Jantz, the University of Tennessee anthropologist who has been studying these ancient crania.
In the DNA profile of the Ichigua Native American tribe he identified a lineage that was clearly European in origin, too old to be due to genetic mixing since Columbus’ discovery of the New World. Instead it dated to Solutrean times. The genetic timelines show the Ice Age prompted a number of migrations from Europe to America. It looks highly likely that the Solutreans were one.
While most of northern Europe and Canada were under ice sheets, argues Stanford, these ancient Solutreans could simply have followed the sea-ice round the north Atlantic and down to the north-east coast of America.
These new discoveries suggests humans may have crossed the land bridge into the Americas much earlier — possibly during an ice age — and rapidly colonized the two continents.
“It poses some real problems trying to explain how you have people arriving in Central Asia almost at the same time as people in the Eastern United States.”
NEW ARYAN CULTURAL BELIEFS EMERGE ,NOW ANCIENT CULTURAL BELIEFS -DRUIDIC,HINDU ,BUDDHIST c.18,000 YEARS OLD
Proto-Indo-European religion is the hypothesized religion of the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) peoples based on the existence of similarities among the deities, religious practices and mythologies of the Indo-European peoples
Recent archeological work on the Chang Tang plateau finds evidence of an Iron Age culture which some have tentatively identified as the Zhangzhung. This culture is notable for the following characteristics:
a system of hilltop stone forts or citadels, likely used as a defense against the steppe tribes of Central Asia, such as the Scythians
burial complexes which use vertical tombstones, occasionally in large arrays, and including up to 10,000 graves in one location
stone temples located in the mountains adjacent to the plains, characterized by windowless rooms, corbelled stone roofs, and round walls
evidence of a stratified social structure, as indicated by royal or princely tombs
petroglyphs which shows the culture was a warrior horse culture
These characteristics more closely match the Iron Age cultures of Europe and the Asian steppes than those of India or East Asia, suggesting a cultural influence which arrived from the west or north rather than the east or south
In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Shambhala (also spelled Shambala or Shamballa Tibetan: bde ‘byung, pron. De-jung) is a mythical kingdom hidden somewhere in Tibet. It is mentioned in various ancient texts, including the Kalachakra Tantra[ and the ancient texts of the Zhang Zhung culture which predated Tibetan Buddhism in western Tibet. The Bön[ scriptures speak of a closely related land called Olmolungring.
Bön (Tibetan: བོན་ Wylie: bon Lhasa dialect IPA: [pʰø̃̀(n)]) is the oldest spiritual tradition of Tibet.
The Bön canon comprises more than two hundred volumes, classified in four categories: the Sutras (mdo), the Perfection of Wisdom Teachings (‘bum), the Tantras (rgyud) and Knowledge (mdzod). Besides these, the Bön canon includes material on rituals, arts and crafts, logic, medicine, poetry and narrative. It is interesting to note that the “Knowledge” section concerning cosmogony and cosmology, though in some respects unique to Bön, shares a more than passing resemblance to Nyingma (rnying ma) doctrines.
The Nyingma tradition is the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism (the other three being the Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug). “Nyingma” literally means “ancient,” and is often referred to as the “school of the ancient translations” or the “old school” because it is founded on the first translations of Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Tibetan
It is noteworthy that the Bönpo tradition was founded by a buddha like figure named Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche[, whose teachings are similar in scope to the teaching espoused by the historical Buddha. Bönpos claim that Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche lived some 18,000 years ago, and visited Tibet from the land of Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring, or Shambhala. Bönpos also suggest that during this time Lord Shenrab Miwoche’s teaching permeated the entire subcontinent and was in part responsible for the development of the Vedic religion. An example of this link is that Mount Kailash, as the center of Zhang Zhung culture, is also the most sacred mountain to Hindus. In turn, Buddhism evolved from the spiritual teachings of the Vedic religion. As a result, the Bönpos claim that the much later teaching at least indirectly owes its origin to Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche.
THE ORIGINAL CANONICAL BOOK
The Sanskrit word véda “knowledge, wisdom” is derived from the root vid- “to know”. This is reconstructed as being derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *u?eid-, meaning “see” or “know”
The Vedas (Sanskrit véda . “knowledge”) are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature.Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauru?eya (“not of human agency”).They are supposed to have been directly revealed, and thus are called sruti (“what is heard”). The Vedic texts or sruti are organized around four canonical collections of metrical material known as Sa?hitas,
The canonical division of the Vedas is fourfold (turiya)
The Rigveda (Sanskrit: ऋग्वेद ṛgveda, a compound of ṛc “praise, verse” and veda “knowledge”) is a sacred Indo-Aryan collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns still being used in India. It is counted among the four canonical sacred texts (śruti) of Hinduism known as the Vedas.
It is one of the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language. Philological and linguistic evidence indicate that the Rigveda was composed in the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent, most likely between c. 1500–1200 BCE,though a wider approximation of c. 1700–1100 BCE has also been given.
Some writers out of the mainstream claim to trace astronomical references in the Rigveda, dating it to as early as 4,000 BC, a date well within the Indian Neolithic.
The Rigvedic hymns are dedicated to various deities, chief of whom are Indra, a heroic god praised for having slain his enemy Vrtra Agni, the sacrificial fire and Soma, the sacred potion or the plant it is made from. Equally prominent gods are the Adityas or Asura gods Mitra–Varuna and Ushas (the dawn). Also invoked are Savitr, Vishnu, Rudra, Pushan, Brihaspati or Brahmanaspati, as well as deified natural phenomena such as Dyaus Pita (the shining sky, Father Heaven), Prithivi (the earth, Mother Earth), Surya (the sun god), Vayu or Vata (the wind), Apas (the waters), Parjanya (the thunder and rain), Vac (the word), many rivers (notably the Sapta Sindhu, and the Sarasvati River). The Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Sadhyas, Ashvins, Maruts, Rbhus, and the Vishvadevas (“all-gods”) as well as the “thirty-three gods” are the groups of deities mentioned.
THE SEPERATION OF THE VEDIC MALE TRADITION AND THE DRUIDIC FEMALE IS MENTIONED
The hymns mention various further minor gods, persons, phenomena and items, and contain fragmentary references to possible historical events, notably the struggle between the early Vedic people (known as Vedic Aryans, a subgroup of the Indo-Aryans) and their enemies, the Dasa or Dasyu and their mythical prototypes, the Pani (the Bactrian Parna)
THE CELTS CALL THEMSELVES “THE CHILDREN/DAUGHTERS OF DANU”
THEY WHERE ALSO THE BRITONS(BRACTRIAN) AND PICTI(PARNA)
The Vedics of India referred to Britain as Britashtan – the ?seat of religion.In fact, India was once named Bharat (hence the word Mahabharata).
Brigid (or Brithid or Brigit) was the supreme goddess of the Megalithic Druids. This is where we derive the word Bride. Her name meant “Shining One.” She was also known as Danu, Ana, or Danae, and was known throughout the world as a major Druidic divinity. In India she was known as Brit-Ana or Barat-Ana. By this name she was worshipped as the supreme goddess of the Phoenicians. Indeed India was once named after her. The word barat means ?fortunate,?joyous,or ?blessed.
ACCORDING TO THE CELTIC BOOK OF INVASIONS THE CELTIC EXODUS FROM EGYPT
WHICH IS AT THE TIME OF THE EXPULSION OF SET
IS REFERRED TO BY THE GREEKS AS THE DAUGHTERS OF DANOS(CELTS) AND THE EXPLUSION OF TYPHON(SET)C1000BC
Dhātupātha 28.19. Monier-Williams translates “a Veda of Praise or Hymn-Veda”
p. 126, History of British Folklore, Richard Mercer Dorson, 1999, ISBN 9780415204774
Flood, Gavin D. (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press
summarized by Klaus Klostermaier in a 1998 presentation
e.g. Michael Witzel, The Pleiades and the Bears viewed from inside the Vedic texts, EVJS Vol. 5 (1999), issue 2 (December)  Elst, Koenraad (1999). Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate. Aditya Prakashan. ISBN 81-86471-77-4. Bryant, Edwin and Laurie L. Patton (2005) The Indo-Aryan Controversy, Routledge/Curzon.]
The Irish Origins of Civilization
Michael Tsarion’s DVD Series: The Irish Origins of Civilization.
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DRUIDS AND BRAHMINS
Druid – The Druids were suppressed in Gaul by the Romans under Tiberius (reigned AD 14-37) and probably in Britain a little later. In Ireland they lost their priestly functions after the coming of Christianity and survived as poets, historians, and judges (filid, senchaidi, and brithemain). Many scholars believe that the Hindu Brahman in the East and the Celtic Druid in the West were lateral survivals of an ancient Indo-European priesthood.” – Britannica.com
The easiest of parallels to be drawn between the Celtic and Vedic peoples must be that of the Druids and the Brahmins. The Druids and the Brahmins were both the priests and philosophers of their respective cultures. Both orders of priests were the wise ones of their lands, the seers and teachers, to whom warriors and kings turned for counsel and advice. They were free to wander the lands, as many of India’s holy men still do, and, according to Caesar’s writings, the Druids were “held with great honour by the people”.
The name ‘Druid’ is considered by some to have originated the mediterranean and the East. The first syllable of the word ‘Druid’, according to Pliny the Elder (1 CE), is related to the Greek word for the Oak tree, ‘drus’. The root of which is ‘dr’ and it is to be found in several Aryan languages. More likely its the Celtic root dru which means “immersion”,which also appears in Sanskrit.(the Greek word drus, a later reference to the oak and Druids)The second syllable is thought to have originated from the sanskrit word ‘vid’, meaning ‘knowledge’, which is also the root of the term ‘Vedas’. If this is accurate then the Druids would have been those who possess the ‘knowledge of the Oak tree’ to a Greek. The Oak tree in Celtic myth and legend was closely associated with knowledge and wisdom, or more correctly, a Druid was one “immersed in knowledge.”
The scholars of the Greek Alexandrian school clearly described them as a parallel caste to the brahmins of Vedic society.Tacitus, a Greek historian, commented on the striking similarity of the bathing Druids to the Brahmins, suggesting they were “so emblematic of the brahmins.”
Interestingly the term for soul (I use the term soul for reasons of simplicity) in Vedic literature is ‘atman’, whereas the Celtic term for soul is ‘anam’.”Due to the cessation of the Druids a vast wealth of knowledge and wisdom has been lost. As part of an oral tradition, like the Brahmins of old, nothing was ever wrote down, all myths, laws and teachings were held to memory.The Celts had a large pantheon of which about 300 to 400 names are known to us today.This also stands true for the Vedic pantheon.It is interesting to note that the Celtic term for the Gods is ‘Deuos’ and the Vedic term is ‘Devas’, both terms meaning “Shining Ones”.
The Cailleach Crone of Beare. Great Goddess in her Destroyer aspect called “Veiled One”. Another name is Scota, from which Scotland comes. Originally Scotland was called Caledonia, (Domain of Cali or Cali’s Domain)or land given by Caillech and Ireland was refered to as Scotland.
In parts of Britain she is the Goddess of Winter. Depicted as a blue-faced hag, who is reborn October 31 (Samhain) She brings the snow until the Goddess Brigit deposes her and she eventually turns to stone April 30 (Beltaine). In later times the mythical witch like figure of “Black Annis” is believed to have derived from her.
She was an ancient Goddess of the pre-Celtiberian peoples of Ireland. She controlled the seasons and the weather and was the goddess of earth and sky, moon and sun.
She is a Tutelary Goddess to southwest Munster, and appears in tales describing a knight being importuned by an old hag for love, acceptance of which transforms her into a beautiful maiden.
Kali, also known as Kalika (Bengali: কালী, Kālī / কালিকা Kālikā Sanskrit: काली), is a Hindu goddess associated with eternal energy. The name Kali means “black”, but has by folk etymology come to mean “force of time (kala)”. Despite her negative connotations, she is today considered the goddess of time and change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence.
She is the foremost among the Dasa-Mahavidyas, ten fierce Tantric goddesses
According to David Kinsley, Kali is first mentioned in Hinduism as a distinct goddess, related to war, around 600 CE. Scriptures like Agni Purana and Garuda Purana describe her terrible appearance and associate her with corpses and war.
Kālī is the feminine of kāla “black, dark coloured” (per Panini 4.1.42). It appears as the name of a form of Durga in Mahabharata 4.195, and as the name of an evil female spirit in Harivamsa 11552.
The Karpuradi-stotra clearly indicates that Kali is more than a terrible, vicious, slayer of demons who serves Durga or Shiva. Here, she is identified as the supreme mistress of the universe, associated with the five elements. In union with Lord Shiva, who is said to be her spouse, she creates and destroys worlds.
In contrast to her terrible aspects, she takes on hints of a more benign dimension. She is described as young and beautiful, has a gentle smile, and makes gestures with her two right hands to dispel any fear and offer boons. The more positive features exposed offer the distillation of divine wrath into a goddess of salvation, who rids the sadhaka of fear. Here, Kali appears as a symbol of triumph over death
The Horned God Pashupati
Pashupati (Sanskrit: पशुपति Paśupati), “Lord of all animals”, is an epithet of the Hindu god Shiva.The Rigveda has the related pashupa “protector of animals” as a name of Pushan. The name was also applied by John Marshall to a figure, probably a deity depicted as sitting among animals, on a seal discovered in the context of the Indus Valley Civilization .The main temple of Nepal is Pashupatinath at Katmandu.
The seal discovered during excavation of the Mohenjodaro archaeological site in the Indus Valley (2900BC-1900BC) has drawn attention as a possible representation of a “yogi” or “proto-Shiva” figure
Mythological reference to the Horned God Pashupati can be found in ancient Indian and Nepalese scriptural texts. The legend of Pashupati can be found in reference to the Indian God Shiva, of whom Pashupati is referred to as being the proto-type. In the Skanda Purana it tells how the God Shiva used to love a great forest called the ‘Sleshmantaka Forest’ . It was here that Shiva spent so much time being emersed in ‘the wilderness of this forest in merry-making assuming Himself the form of a deer’ . It reads in the Skanda Purana –
As I reside here in the forest of Sleshmanta in the form of a beast,
My name will hence be known as the Pashupati the world over.
To this day the Sleshmantaka forest remains sacred and is known as ‘Mrigasthali’, ‘the abode of deers’. The name Pashupati means ‘ Lord of Animals’ (Pashu – animal, Pati -Lord) and was later taken to mean (Lorrd of Souls).
In the Indus Valley many seals have been found which show images of the Horned God with many animals surrounding him the figure is sitting in a traditional cross-legged yoga pose with its hands resting on its knees.On the seals is what has became known as the Indus script. This is a written language which looks similar to runes and other ancient scripts, however academics have been struggling for many years to correctly decipher it. Although several decipherings have been made in the last 50 years none have gained complete approval by scholars and academics.
What the Indus Valley seals of the horned God suggest is that there is an undeniable connection between the horned God Pashupati and the horned God of the Celts,
The Horned God Cernunnos.Cernunnos (also Cernenus) is a pagan Celtic god whose representations were widespread in the ancient Celtic lands of western Europe.The most detailed, clear and famous of all images of Cernunnos comes from a unique and marvellous piece of Celtic work: The Gundestrup Cauldron.
He is seated cross-legged. He has antlers with seven tines (or points per horn), and is, unusually, depicted clean-shaven. He wears a torque and carries a second one in his right hand. He wears a tunic and bracae (Celtic trousers) which cover him from the wrist to above the knee, and a patterned belt. He wears sandals on his feet. His hair appears to be brushed straight back.
In his left hand he holds the ram-horned serpent. This serpent also appears on another two of the five interior panels.
Surrounding him are many beasts.
The images of him are unusually consistent. His main attribute are his horns, those of a stag. He is usually portrayed as a mature man with long hair and a beard. He wears a torc: this was an ornate neck-ring worn by the Celts to denote nobility. He often carries other torcs in his hands or hanging from his horns.
He is usually portrayed seated and cross-legged, in the meditative or shamanic position.
Cernunnos is nearly always portrayed with animals, in particular the stag. He is also frequently associated with a unique beast that seems to belong only to him: a serpent with the horns of a ram. Less often he is associated with other beasts, including bulls, dogs and rats.
The ram-horned serpent is particularly interesting. The serpent occurs in myths all across the world, and is nearly always associated with knowledge. Usually these associations are purely pagan, but remember that it was a serpent that tempted Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge. It is also commonly associated with death and the otherworld, and is hence described as cthonic. Cernunnos carries it in his left hand, and in his right he carries a torc, the Celtic symbol of nobility, the symbol of having been initiated into that special state.
Was Cernunnos the Celtic god of initiation ?
I am a stag of seven tines,
I am a wide flood on a plain,
I am a wind on the deep waters,
I am a shining tear of the sun,
I am a god who sets the head afire with smoke.
I am a battle waging spear,
I am a salmon in the pool,
I am a threatening noise of the sea,
Who but I knows the secrets of the unhewn dolmen ?
Origin obscure but certainly Celtic
The Celts made numerous models, or icons, of their various gods, and there are over 60 depicting Cernunnos, from all over Europe. We only know his name because it is carved on a single one of these, made by sailors from the Gallic Parisii tribe (from whom Paris got its name) in the first century AD, by which time Gaul (modern France) had become a Roman province. The earliest image of him that has been found was carved on rock in Northern Italy in the 4th century BC.
Cornu in modern French means “horned, because modern French has grown from the Latin language imposed upon them by the Romans. The Latin for horn is also cornu. The Romans had a habit of changing local names to fit the Roman pattern: most Roman names end in us. So Cernunnos is a Roman name meaning Horned One. It was probably the new Romanised name given by the Gauls to all their very old horned gods, in which case its use may have been widespread through out Gaul after it became a Roman province.
Danu in Celtic & Vedic Myth
One of the most striking comparisons to be found between the Celtic and Vedic pantheon is that of a Goddess named Danu and the myths surrounding her (also known in Celtic traditions as Don, Dana and possibly also Anu or Ana). A Goddess named Danu appears both in Celtic and Vedic mythology. She features heavily in Celtic mythology as the Mother Goddess (and a river Goddess). She is one of the most ancient known of all Celtic Goddesses, from whom the hierarchy of Gods received it’s name of Tuatha De Danann, “Folk of the Goddess Danu” Among the ancient Celts, Danu was regarded as the “Mother Goddess.” The Irish Gods and Goddesses were the Tuatha De Danaan (“Children of Danu”).Whereas in Vedic mythology the Goddess Danu ,a red headed goddess ,who gives birth to the seven Danvanas, the dark ones of the ocean.
The Celtic Danu was the “divine waters” falling from heaven and nurturing Bíle, the sacred oak from whose acorns their children sprang. Moreover, the waters of Danu went on to create the great Celtic sacred river–Danuvius, today called the Danube.
Not only is the story of Danu and the Danube a parallel to that of Ganga and the Ganges but a Hindu Danu appears in the Vedic story “The Churning of the Oceans,” a story with parallels in Irish and Welsh mytholgy. Danu in Sanskrit also means “divine waters” and “moisture.”.
Surrounding the Goddess Danu in each culture’s mythology is a similar tale of battle,
Danu in the Vedic myth is bondage and restraint and her son Vrtra is the constrictor. Whereas the Goddess Aditi is the Boundless and the Infinite, and Indra by using his tapas, which is represented by his lightening bolt, becomes the “winner of the light”.It is the macrocosmic struggle between light and dark, order and chaos. While on the microcosmic level it is knowledge over ignorance.
In the Celtic myth the Goddess Domnu is regarded as being of “Chaos and Old Night”, the abyss, from whence came the Fomors the deities of the dark waters who were conquered by Lug, the Celtic Sun God, and the Tuatha De Danann. Again it is the light conquering the darkness. The two myths are fundamentally the same, both tell of the primordial waters, that undifferentiated state of being before the time of creation, and light emerging in triumph over darkness to allow life to flow. This theme seems to be repeated in a rather abstract creation hymn in the Rig Veda, “Darkness there was: at first concealed in darkness this All was indiscrimated chaos. All that existed then was void and formless: by the great power of Warmth was born that unit” (X.129).
Here we also find a possible root of the mesotopamian creation myth, creation from a chaotic deep watery abyss.
Is it also possible that the Celtic Vedic split was caused by a socio/religious disputes? In this case the role of women in society.Danu is a Good goddess in Celtic myths and female Druids and Warriors and Queens are common in Celtic society ,not so in Hinduism where Danu is the Mother of chaos and women tend to be subserviant in society.
Not only were there women Druids but from written accounts it is known that women also fought in battle. Diodorus described Celtic women as being “nearly as big and strong as their husbands and as fierce.”
CELTIC LUG AND VEDIC INDRA THE SUN GODS
Successful comparisons may also be drawn between Lug and Indra.Throughout the Rig Veda there are many hymns to Indra (more than any other God or Goddess) and many of these contain references that associate Indra with the Sun and light. Another parallel between Lug and Indra is that they were both not the original leaders of their respective groups.Indra has also been connected with the Celtic myth of Tain Bo Cuailgne. Here Indra’s symbolic animal representation, the bull, is compared with the Celtic bull of Quelgny. Again what is found is a solar association in both Celtic and Vedic myth.
Some of the most auspicious places of worship for the Celtic and Vedic peoples were rivers.Many European rivers bear the name of Danu–the Rhône (ro- Dhanu, “Great Danu”) and several rivers called Don. Rivers were sacred in the Celtic world, and places where votive offerings were deposited and burials often conducted. The Thames, which flows through London, still bears its Celtic name, from Tamesis, the dark river, which is the same name as Tamesa, a tributary of the Ganges.In both Celtic and Vedic cultures offerings were often placed in rivers and those of the Celts were especially elaborate.
Another of the sacred dwellings was that of specific areas of woods and groves. According to Tacitus the “Woods and groves are the sacred depositories and the spot being consecrated to those pious uses, they give to that sacred recess the name of the divinity that fills the place, which is never profaned by the steps of man. The gloom fills every mind with awe revered at a distance and never seen but with the eye of contemplation.” The Druids and their daily activities of bathing in rivers is a mirror image of the Vedic Brahmins, who bathe during the first hours of sun rise in rivers such as the Ganges Similarly there are many Indian tales of Brahmans and holy men who lived in forests of which some were especially sacred spaces A selection of Vedic texts written after the four main Samhitas (the Rig, Sama, Yajur and Artharva Vedas) are the Aranyakas, meaning ‘forest treatise’. Indicating that these were composed in the reclusive depths of the forests.
Celtic & Vedic Fairies
Celtic stories are well known for their fairy folk, the little people who inhabit trees and hills. Sometimes they were the source of mischief or misfortune, other times the were advantageous and benevolent. The stories tell us that they delight in music and loved to dance. The Celtic fairies (also called Sidhes) often blended in myth with the Gods and like the Gods the fairies knew magick, fought wars and married amongst themselves.
Vedic nature spirits are yaksas, the favourite of the yaksas’ locations is in a rural village’s sacred tree. Here they would be safe from harms way and it was believed that having the yaksas there was prosperous for the village. Offerings and tiny gifts would be laid at the trunk of the tree, while flower garlands would be hung from the branches. There was also a fertility association with the yaksas in the sacred tree. As were there also associations of treasure buried at the tree roots, again like some of the Celtic fairies.