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Category: Celtic Culture (Page 1 of 7)

“The Detectorists” inspire find of Medieval Manx Ring

Mr Graham discovers the ring in a field - Treasure Hunter
Mr Graham discovers the ring in a field

A silver medieval ring thought to be up to 600 years old has been unearthed by a man who took up metal detecting after watching The Detectorists, a TV sitcom reports the BBC.

The gold-gilded ring was found by Gordon Graham in a field in the north of the Isle of Man. Archaeologists believe the piece, which is engraved with geometric shapes, dates from between 1400 and 1500 AD.

An inquest hearing at Douglas Courthouse declared the ring can be officially classed as treasure. Allison Fox, a curator of archaeology at Manx National Heritage, said it may date back to the time when the first Manx laws were written, in the 1400s.

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Northumberlandia, the Lady of the North

Northumberlandia - Lady of the North, Earth Sculpture
Northumberlandia, Lady of the North

Northumberlandia (the “Lady of the North”) is a huge land sculpture in the shape of a reclining female figure, which was completed in 2012, near Cramlington, Northumberland, northern England.

Made of 1.5 million tonnes of earth from neighbouring Shotton Surface Mine, it is 34 metres (112 feet) high and 400 metres (1,300 feet) long, set in a 19 hectares (47 acres) public park. Its creators claim that it is the largest land sculpture in female form in the world.

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Ritual Spear Killing of Warrior on 2-horse Chariot

Two Horse Chariot - ritual spear killing
Two horse-chariot, Independent

Ritual Spear Killing at Pocklington?

Two of the most bizarre prehistoric human burials and ritual killings ever found in Britain have been discovered by archaeologists in Yorkshire, reported the Independent.

Excavations near the town of Pocklington have unearthed a pair of mysterious 3rd century BC Iron Age graves containing the skeletons of potentially high status individuals whose dispatch to the next world had featured some very unusual rituals, including possible vampire-killing ones.

The archaeological investigation has revealed that one individual – a warrior aged between 17 and 25 – may have been “killed” twice, or even three times.

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Excalibur – Enchanted Sword of Arthurian legend

The Name “Excalibur” was first used for King Arthur’s sword by the French Romancers. It was not the famous “Sword in the Stone” (which broke in battle), but a second sword acquired by the King through the intercession of his druidic advisor, Merddyn (Merlin). Worried that Arthur would fall in battle, Merlin took the King to a magical lake where a mysterious hand thrust itself up from the water, holding aloft a magnificent sword.

It was the Lady of the Lake offering Arthur a magic unbreakable blade, fashioned by an Avalonian elf smith, along with a scabbard which would protect him as long as he wore it.

Excalibur Stolen by Morgan le Fay

Towards the end of his reign, during the troubled times of Medrod’s rebellion, Excalibur was stolen by Arthur’s wicked half-sister, Morgan le Fay. Though it was recovered, the scabbard was lost forever. Thus Arthur was mortally wounded at the Battle of Camlann. The King then instructed Bedwyr (or Girflet) to return Excalibur to the lake from whence it came.

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Between Kettles and Cooking Spits at the Celtic Museum in Hochdorf

"Between Kettles and Cooking-spits" - Nutrition with the Celts - Celtic Museum

“Between Kettles and Cooking-spits” – Nutrition with the Celts

From April 28 to September 2, 2018, the Celtic Museum Hochdorf / Enz is holding a special exhibition about Nutrition among the Celts called ‘Between Kettles and Cooking Spits’.

If you believe Greek historians, then you would think that lavish feasts in the life of the Celts were the order of the day two thousand years ago. Even if only a few of these descriptions have been handed down, our image of ever-celebrating and miserable barbarians have left their mark on us to this day.

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Celtic Storytelling with Cath Little in Frome


Arthur & Guinevere - Celtic Storytellin in Frome
Frome’s storytelling club, Mr Rook’s Speak Easy continues its season of Celtic-themed evenings with a full-length performance from Welsh storyteller Cath Little on Thursday 29th March.

Ancient Celtic Storytelling Comes to Rook Lane Chapel

They have created a programme of shows based on Celtic mythology and folklore with Cardiff-based teller Cath Little telling the story of Enid and Geraint which comes from The Mabinogion, a collection of the oldest stories of Wales which go back to at least to the fourteenth century though parts may be older.

This enchanting retelling of an old British Wonder Tale is from the court of Arthur and Gwenhwyfar at Caerleon. It is a story that weaves between the known and the unknown worlds – a story that travels from the Forest of Dean to Cardiff, through the Hedge of Mists and all the way to the magical Apple Orchard of Annwn. Enid and Geraint meet and fall in love in a Cardiff long ago. But once they are married, their troubles begin. Together they travel through the dangerous world. They face monsters on their road through the dark woods and they battle with the doubts and fears in their own too human hearts.

Enid and Geraint by Cath Little at Rook Lane Chapel, Bath Street, Thursday 29 March at 7.30pm and is suitable for ages 14+. For more details find Mr Rook’s Speak Easy on Facebook.

Remains of an Iron Age Feast found on Orkney

(Kirsty Smith, via Wikimedia Commons) - Uron Age Feast

(Kirsty Smith, via Wikimedia Commons)

Archaeologists have identified the site of a huge Iron Age feast on Orkney where more than 10,000 animals were cooked and eaten in a vast cliff top celebration.

Tests have shown that horses, cattle, red deer and otters were on the menu at the gathering above Windwick Bay, South Ronaldsay, more than 1,700 years ago.

Archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands have been working at The Cairns for several years.

A large number of jewellery fragments and tools have already been discovered at the site, where the remains of an Iron Age broch and metalworking site can be found, with recent radiocarbon tests carried out at a midden – or rubbish tip – nearby.

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Major housing development halted due to massive late Iron Age archaeological find

Remains of a prehistoric and late Iron Age settlement near North Petherton in Somerset have halted a major housing development. Archaeologists have discovered a series of 18 trenches dating back to Triassic, late Iron Age and early Roman periods on land off Newton Road earmarked for 140 homes.

Sedgemoor District Council turned down the plan due to a lack of information that

“the development would not have a significant adverse impact on the surrounding archaeology.”

Gladman Developments, which is behind the proposal, has appealed the decision and a five-day planning inquiry will be heard at the council’s headquarters starting on March 20.

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The mysterious Roman fort of Cae Gaer



Cae-Gir, also known as Cae Gaer, is a 1st century Roman earthwork and timber fort in the Cambrian Mountains, where quartz mining may have taken place.
The earthwork ramparts of an enclosure covering roughly 2.25 acres stand in a forestry plantation in a secluded area of the Wye Valley. The earthworks were probably erected during Emperor Nero’s abortive campaign against the native Welsh tribes in 57 AD.

The normal Roman garrison for a site such as Cae Gaer would have been an auxiliary infantry cohort of a nominal 500 men, a cohors peditata, but this type of unit would have been too large to fit comfortably within the Cae Gaer encampment. It is very likely that the garrison unit was either under-strength, or perhaps split between two small camps; on this basis the site may be better classified as a ‘small fort’, which implies both an under-strength garrison and also the presence of administrative buildings.


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Roman fort, wolves and bears lost to time” was written by John Gilbey, for The Guardian on Friday 4th March 2016 05.30 UTC

High in the Cambrian mountains of mid Wales, perched on a slope above the chaotically youthful river Afon Tarenig, the bleak aspect of the Roman fort at Cae Gaer speaks of military expediency and urgent purpose.

In the sunshine of early spring it looks almost serene. But to a newly arrived legionary, in the depths of winter, immersed in an alien landscape still home to wolves and bears, it must have felt like the edge of the world.

Surrounded by steep hills, the location of the fort is an elaborate compromise. Close to fresh water and commanding the junction of two valleys, the site would have forced an enemy to take a long and uncomfortable diversion around it. Every detail of the foe’s military life, however, would be visible to a watcher concealed on the slope above.

A roughly square enclosure, the fort was built from turf ramparts topped by a wooden palisade. Nearly 20 centuries later the banks, densely covered now in heather and coarse tussock grasses, are still surprisingly intact, and the ditches outside them continue to be a significant obstacle to the aspiring visitor. Which, as my companion pointed out, was the whole idea.

Enclosing about a hectare of poor, waterlogged land, the fort is a small, basic structure, perhaps associated with the campaign of Quintus Veranius Nepos in the winter of AD 57. This newly appointed governor of Britain set out to subdue the intransigent Silures tribe, early masters of guerilla tactics, but didn’t survive to complete his task.

I stood close to where the northern gate had been, wondering what it would have been like to stand guard here long ago, perhaps relieved by the news that a mission had been stalled by the death of the governor and that soon we would be pulling back to the new garrison at Viroconium.

Bordered now by bland commercial forestry, the fort endures as a pale pattern in the landscape briefly visible from the fast, twisting trunk road to the coast. Passed by, in every sense, it lingers as a footnote on a footnote of history.

  • This article was amended on 7 March 2016 to correct the link to Cae Gaer

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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Welsh government wants to persuade people to speak Welsh Language

People need to be persuaded to speak Welsh, not forced, the first minister has said, after his government was urged to set a better example the BBC reported. Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg said just 12% of assembly debate since May 2016 election had been in Welsh.

Carwyn Jones told BBC Radio Cymru he thought a question should be answered in the language it was asked. He said most voters in his Bridgend seat did not speak Welsh and he needed to communicate directly with them.

  • Plan for 600 more Welsh teachers by 2021
  • Welsh heartlands ‘need vibrant economy’
  • Welsh language suffered ‘lost decade’
  • 1m Welsh speakers plan ‘lacks clarity’

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