Archaeological finds from the Roman town of Verulamium have been uncovered in St Albans. Recent gas main works in Verulamium Park revealed the location of the corner of the town wall and a previously unknown house – the area was formerly believed to have been the location for a road. Verulamium was the third largest city in Roman Britain and the area has been mapped through various excavations over the years.
Category: Celtic Warriors
Rare Iron Age remains of a chariot and horse skeletons have been unearthed at a Pocklington housing site. It is said to be the first find in 200 years of a chariot with horses and only one of 26 in the UK. Described as being of “international significance”, the finds will shed more light on Iron Age Britain reports the Hull Daily Mail.
Archaeologists at the Burnby Lane site have previously found artefacts including a sword, shield, spears, brooches and pots in a large number of square barrows, dating back to 500 BC. It has now been revealed that 180 skeletons of men, women and children have been found at the site where a housing development is to take place. Archaeologists are working hand-in-hand with the developers.
Pocklington Iron Age Chariot and many more finds
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
There is a legend preserved in Ossianic tradition of the encounter between Seanchan, the celebrated chief poet of Ireland, and the King of Cats, who dwelt in a cave near Clonmacnoise.
In ancient Ireland the men of learning were esteemed beyond all other classes; all the great ollaves and professors and poets held the very highest social position, and took precedence of the nobles, and ranked next to royalty.
The leading men amongst them lived luxuriously in the great Bardic House; and when they went abroad through the country they travelled with a train of minor bards, fifty or more, and were entertained and accommodated free of cost by the kings and chiefs, who considered themselves highly honoured by the presence of so distinguished a company at their court.
Lughnasadh or Lughnasa (pronounced LOO-nə-sə) Irish: Lúnasa; Scottish Gaelic: Lùnastal; Manx: Luanistyn) is a Celtic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season that was historically observed throughout Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Traditionally it was held on July 31 – August 1, or approximately halfway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox. Lughnasadh is one of the four Celtic seasonal festivals; along with Samhain, Imbolc, and Beltane. It corresponds to other European harvest festivals, such as the English Lammas.
The festival is named after the god Lugh, and involved great gatherings that included religious ceremonies, ritual athletic contests (most notably the Tailteann Games), feasting, matchmaking, and trading. There were also visits to holy wells.
Lughnasadh customs persisted widely until the twentieth century. The custom of climbing hills and mountains at Lughnasadh has survived in some areas, although it has been re-cast as a Christian pilgrimage. Since the latter twentieth century, Celtic neopagans have observed Lughnasadh, or something based on it, as a religious holiday. In some places, elements of the festival have been revived as a cultural event.
Drowned Settlements of Ireland: Lough Neagh
Lough Neagh (Loch nEachach: the lake of Eochaidh or Eachaidh) is the largest freshwater lake in Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
Folklore has it that Lough Neagh, a 29 km long and 18 km wide lake in county Armagh, Northern Ireland, occupies the site of a drowned city and that buildings may sometimes be seen through the water.
According to an old Irish legend, Lough Neagh was formed when Ireland’s legendary giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) scooped up a section of the land to throw at a fleeing Scottish rival that was fleeing Ulster by way of the Giants Causeway. He missed, and the chunk of earth landed in the Irish Sea, thus creating the Isle of Man and Lough Neagh.
Scáthach (Scottish Gaelic: Sgàthach an Eilean Sgitheanach), or Sgathaich, is a figure in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. She is a legendary Scottish warrior woman and martial arts teacher who trains the famous Ulster hero Cú Chulainn in the arts of combat. According to legend, Scáthach, or Sgathach, lived some time in the centuries either side of 200BC.
Ancient Irish texts describe her homeland as Scotland ; she is especially associated with the Isle of Skye, where her residence Dún Scáith, or “Dun Sgathaich” (Fortress of Shadows), stands.
In early Irish mythology and legend, the feminine is quite dominant in the otherworld as well as on earth.
The land of Ireland and features of its landscape such as mountains, rivers and lakes were frequently associated with goddesses and other supernatural females.
Early Irish deities did not have specialised areas of influence like those of the Greeks and Romans, for instance.
The same Irish goddess could be a young woman or a hag, a mother or a virgin, a warrior or a seductive temptress, depending on the occasion.
In mythology, it was Ériu who gave her name to Ireland but the names of her two sister goddesses Banba and Fodla were also used.
Another trio of sister goddesses were all called Brigid and they were patrons of fertility, healing, smiths and poetry. They presided over a perpetual fire and the spring festival of Imbolc.
Cartimandua ruled in her own right rather than through marriage. She did eventually marry, but later divorced her husband and ruled alone. Her name has been translated to mean “well-groomed” or “sleek pony” which may indicate that she was pleasing to the eye. She may have played a role in the events of the Mabinogion and be mentioned in the Welsh Triads…
Cartimandua Queen of the Brigantes
Many people know the story of Queen Boudicca’s rebellion against the Romans. Fewer people realise that West Yorkshire and much of northern Britain were also ruled by a queen. Her name was Cartimandua and she ruled over a loose association of clans and tribes called the Brigantes. Queen Cartimandua seems to have had pro-Roman views. Consequently, relationships between the Romans and the Brigantes went well at first.