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TOPIC: Ancient Britains


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Northmoor landscape
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An archaeologist surveying Northmoor has accidentally discovered a sacred landscape' created in the Bronze Age.
Robin Brunner-Ellis was amazed when he stumbled upon a pattern of features in the landscape made by ancient people to communicate with their gods.
He is now hoping to launch a sacred landscape heritage trail to enable people and walkers to discover how and why the landscape was formed.

"From near the Rose Revived pub across the meadows and across the river up to Cumnor Hill there are a series of ditches people in the Bronze Age dug as a form of ritual to communicate with the gods. These ditches were laid out to capture burial mounds in which their own ancestors had buried their dead 1,000 years before the ditch builders. The ditches connect those ancestral remains with natural elements in the landscape in such a way that they could draw down the sacred power of the rising full moon that occurred only once every 18 years. The rivers were equally important for prehistoric people as living forces running through their landscape. So the ditches are aligned with the River Windrush where it meets the Thames at Newbridge, cuts across a long loop of the Thames before crossing it and heading over Hurst and Cumnor Hills. It ends up at the point where the River Cherwell meets the Thames on Christchurch Meadows."

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-- Edited by Blobrana at 13:15, 2006-11-09

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Kintbury
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One of the country's richest archaeology sites has been uncovered at a Berkshire sewage works. Finds at the dig at Kintbury include 10,000-year-old flints left behind by ancient hunter-gatherers who lived at a time when Britain was still connected by land to Europe.
The archaeologists, led by Dr Roy Entwistle of Berkshire Archaeology Services, have also found Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman artefacts at the site, suggesting it had been in frequent use by humans for thousands of years.
The team has spent the past two weeks excavating at Kintbury on behalf of Thames Water. The water company is installing a new pit at its sewage works there.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
RE: Ancient Britains
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Evidence of a Stone Age settlement has been uncovered by a water company planning to extend a sewage works.
Stone Age flint and Roman items were found at the site in Kintbury, near Hungerford, Berkshire.
The finds date back to 8,000 BC and confirms that a nearby Roman bath site probably had a British owner, a local archaeologist said.
Thames Water is now reviewing its plans to improve the sewage treatment works after realising the site's importance.
The oldest finds date from the Mesolithic period which spanned 10,000 - 4,000 BC.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
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Much of Scotland's past remains a mystery. While historians offer glimpses of insight gleaned from written documents, more than 80% of archaeological sites in Scotland are not even on record.

"There are literally thousands of acres of hidden archaeology throughout Scotland in addition to the more recent sites you can stumble over" - Robin Turner, head of archaeology for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) .

When the NTS surveyed the West Affric Estate - 9000 acres of mountainous moorland which appeared hostile to human habitation - 30 new sites were identified.
A new scheme called Scotland's Rural Past Project has just been launched by Scottish Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson. It's an attempt by Scottish cultural heritage agencies to give expert help to amateurs willing to augment the efforts of professionals.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Forfar souterrains
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Fields near Forfar (Angus, Scotland) are slowly giving up some of the secrets of the pastóbut with this harvest comes new mysteries. Amateur archaeologists will be back there as part of a major excavation of the site. Experts believe they might have stumbled across an Iron Age roundhouse after combing the field inch-by-inch as they try to piece together the area's history. This latest discovery is in a field where searchers organised by Kinnettles and District Heritage Group found ring-marked stones and a Neolithic mace head.
Last month, John Sherriff, archaeologist from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland, supervised the digging of a large trench in the area where the mace head was picked up during field walking in February.

"We discovered a stone surface a very short depth below the field" - Dave Walsh, heritage group spokesman .

Although there were some large slabs lying on the surface, similar to those ploughed up frequently, they found what they believe to be a cobble paved area. He said an earlier aerial survey suggesting there are 'earth houses' or souterrains, usually Iron Age, elsewhere in the field. After discussions with colleagues at the Royal Commission in Edinburgh, Mr Sherriff believes there is an Iron Age roundhouse there.
A geophysical survey of parts of the field was carried out last month by Peter Morris, a geophysicist who lives in Fife and was originally with the British Antarctic Survey. Although it did not give many clues about the most fruitful places to excavate, it gave members of the heritage group and other enthusiasts an interesting insight.

Source The Courier

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
RE: Ancient Britains
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The remains of a 2000-year-old city have been discovered under Inverness and it is being hailed as one of the most important recent discoveries in Scotland.
The find near Inverness Royal Academy was uncovered by a team who spent almost a year excavating the remains of seven large roundhouses and almost a dozen iron kilns.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Story of Scotland in 22,000 ruins
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They are memorials to a bygone era, yet people pass them every day without taking any notice.
Now agencies have come together to launch a £740,000 campaign to pinpoint 22,000 ruined settlements, including hamlets and clachans not recorded until now.
It has taken years of research by archaeologists and researchers from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) to locate what are potentially important relics of life in Scotland.
They have scrutinised some 2000 Ordinance Survey maps from the 18th and 19th century, recording farmsteads, townships, crofts, weaver's cottages, mills, quarries, and fields.
The next stage is to investigate what remains of the settlements, establish how old they are, and check what state they are in.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project
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The second phase of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project (AHOB) has started thanks to a grant of a £999,000 from the Leverhulme Trust.

AHOB, which started in October 2001, brought together archaeologists, palaeontologists and geologists to build a calendar of human colonisation in Britain during the Pleistocene (1.8 million to 12,000 years ago).

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
RE: Ancient Britains
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Scientists are to begin work on the second phase of a project aimed at piecing together the history of human colonisation in Britain.

Phase one of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project (AHOB) discovered people were here 200,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Phase two has now secured funds to the tune of £1m and will run until 2010.
Team members hope to find out more about Britain's earliest settlers and perhaps unearth their fossil remains.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Pictland
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They were supposed to have disappeared after being vanquished by the Scots in battle.

But the Picts may actually have been the "winners" of their encounter with the Scots, suggesting that the name of this country is a misnomer.
According to the traditional history, Kenneth MacAlpin, king of Scots, took over the kingdom of the Picts in 843 to form the country that grew into modern day Scotland.
But a new interpretation of ancient texts suggests that in fact the Scots kingdom of Dalriada was absorbed by a more powerful Pictish state.
This completes an about-turn in understanding of how Scotland - perhaps more accurately "Pictland" - first emerged.
Historians now believe Kenneth was a Pict and that a claim he led the Scots to victory over the Picts in a battle at Stirling in 843 is a much later fabrication.
In addition to historical evidence, recent work by geneticists suggests that about half the present day Scottish population is descended from the Picts, double the number whose ancestry can be traced back to the early Scots.

"According to the standard narrative, Kenneth I, king of the 'Scots', succeeded in taking over Pictland because the Picts had been weakened at the hands of the Vikings - suffering a notable defeat in 839 - and/or because the 'Scots' had been pushed out of Argyll. The significance of Kenneth's achievement in creating Scotland was, and is, institutionalised in the custom of numbering kings as if he was the first" - Dr Dauvit Broun, a Glasgow University historian.

However, Dr Broun said that "key elements" of this story were now being challenged. "There has been a deepening unease about the very idea that Kenneth founded Scotland. It has been suggested that Kenneth was a Pict and, more confidently, that Alba was not created in the mid-ninth century as a 'union of Scots and Picts', but was simply a Gaelic word for 'Pictland' ".

The traditional version of history is undermined by contemporary sources which make no mention of the dramatic news that Kenneth, King of Scots, has taken over Pictland in 843.

"The key point is everything that has a claim to offer a contemporary perspective presents Alba as Pictland" - Dr Dauvit Broun.

Dr James Fraser, an expert in early Scottish history at Edinburgh University, said that early Scots historians relied on "literature-driven" sources and did not have the scientific resources available today.

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