Bones discovered in a cave on Eigg have been linked to a massacre of almost the entire island’s population during a clan feud in the 16th Century. More than 50 bones were found after tourists found some of the remains in the isle’s Massacre Cave last year. Analysis by archaeologists at Historic Environment Scotland has dated the remains to the time of the killings reported the BBC.
An ancient Pictish stone has been rescued from an eroding cliff face in Orkney. The tablet, which was buried for centuries before being unearthed during a storm, is only the third of its kind found in the islands. The stone was discovered earlier this month by archaeologist Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark and is believed to be around 1300 years old.
It has the image of a cross flanked by a dragon on one side and a beast with the remains of a staff in its mouth on the other.
3D Model of ancient Pictish Dragon Stone
A rare megalithic structure, dating back 4,000 years, has been discovered at the Shamir Dolmen Field on the western foothills of the Golan Heights reports Sci-News. The newly-discovered megalithic stone structure is a unique, monumental, multi-chambered dolmen: a central chamber roofed by a gigantic engraved capstone and surrounded by a giant tumulus (stone heap) into which at least four additional sub-chambers were built.
First reported Multi-Dolmen or multi-chamber Dolmen in Levant
Castell Henllys Iron Age Village will be opening its doors on Saturday (March 11) in a bid to form a new volunteer group that will help care for the unique heritage site reports the Milford Mercury.
An open afternoon will begin at 2pm to welcome those who are interested in volunteering some of their time and expertise to support the prehistoric site, which is owned and run by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
Taking part in events at Castell Henllys
Castell Henllys Manager, Jenn Jones said:
In 1987, a team of archaeologists unearthed a Bronze Age grave in Achavanich, an area in the county of Caithness, Scotland. Inside the grave, they found the remains of a young woman. They called her Ava, after the place where she lived some 4,000 years ago.
As Steven McKenzie reports for the BBC, archaeologist Maya Hoole has been leading a long-term research project into the site, hoping to uncover details about Ava’s life. Most recently, Hoole and her fellow researchers identified an array of pollens that clung to a clay beaker found inside Ava’s grave. These pollens suggest that Ava lived in a lush, forested region that was very different to the treeless landscape stretching across the area today.
Bronze Age Pollens found in Beaker
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A gold-decorated Late Bronze Age spearhead and other artefacts uncovered during an Angus excavation have been hailed as “the find of a lifetime” reported the BBC earlier this year.
The weapon was discovered during an archaeological evaluation on land being developed into council football pitches at Balmachie in Carnoustie.
The spearhead was found beside a bronze sword, pin and scabbard fittings. It is one of only a handful of gold-decorated bronze spearheads ever found in Britain and Ireland.
Internationally Significant Bronze Age Weapons
On Imbolc Eve Irish and Scottish women would clean and prepare their household for Brigid’s blessings during the night. Brigid was said to visit virtuous households and bring Imbolc blessings to the inhabitants. In some places in Ireland and Scotland it was a tradition to open all the doors and windows in the home and for the women of the house to stand at the threshold in order to recieve Brigid’s blessings. After being invited into the house a bed would often be made for her, and a wand or stick laid on the bed or close by.
Imbolc is dedicated to Saint Brigid; a major figure in the early Irish Church who predates the Saint to a pan-celtic pagan goddess of the same name. The festival which celebrates winter’s end, the onset of spring, and the start of the agricutural year is thought to be linked with Brigid in her role as a fertility goddess.
Imbolc (Imbolg) the festival marking the beginning of spring has been celebrated since ancient times and the Imbolc folklore that has developed over the years is fascinating. It is a Cross Quarter Day, midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It can fall between the 2nd & 7th of February when calculated as the mid point between the astronomical Winter Solstice and the astronomical Spring Equinox.
Cross quarter days were traditionally when leasehold payments and rents for land and premises were paid, and on these days people had a little more freedom to celebrate and mark the changing seasons.
In some places in Ireland and Scotland, all work ceased on the feast and devotions at holy wells took place instead.
Wales is a country steeped in tradition. Even the Methodist revival in the 18th century, whose stern Puritanism banished the ancient Celtic traditions, was unable to stamp out all remains of their traditions.
Today the old tales are kept alive by the Welsh speakers. There are an estimated 600,000 of them and the numbers are increasing. Traditional Welsh culture has been kept alive by the popularity of the Royal National Eisteddfod, a ceremonial gathering of musicians, poets and craftsmen.
In the late 19th century children were not encouraged to speak Welsh in school. If they did so, they were punished by having a piece of wood called a ‘Welsh Not’ hung around their neck.