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Category: Science (Page 1 of 6)

“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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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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Australian Archaeologists excavate Cornish Barrow

An Archaeologist at The Australian National University (ANU) has discovered a prehistoric Bronze-Age barrow, or burial mound, on a hill in Cornwall and is about to start excavating the untouched site which overlooks the English Channel reported the Archaeology News network in April this year.

The site dates back to around 2,000 BC and was discovered by chance when ANU Archaeologist Dr Catherine Frieman, who was conducting geophysical surveys of a known site outside the village of Looe in Cornwall, was approached by a farmer about a possible site in a neighbouring field.

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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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Bronze Age Round House at Must Farm

Must Farm will be in list of Top Historical Sites


Final press visit to Must Farm bronze age ssite EMN-160713-130720009

Final press visit to Must Farm bronze age ssite EMN-160713-130720009

A prehistoric site in Whittlesey has been named as one of the 100 sites which best represent history in England reports Petersboroough Today. Bronze age settlement Must Farm, which saw perfectly preserved 3,000 year-old round houses discovered in a clay pit, has been selected in the A History of England in 100 Places campaign.

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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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Is this one of the four islands of the Tuatha De Danaan?


Atlantis - Submerged undersea island

Prehistoric land under the sea

The Tuatha Dé Danann are known in Celtic mythology are the children of the goddess Danu, and are the Irish gods, progenitors of the Sidhe, the Fey folk who retreated to dwell uner the Mounds, that some call the Hollow Hills. In the Lebor Gabála Érenn they are said to have originated from four magical islands to the north of Ireland. In Lady Gregory’s translation we read:

It was from the north they came; and in the place they came from they had four cities, where they fought their battle for learning: great Falias, and shining Gorias, and Finias, and rich Murias that lay to the south. And in those cities they had four wise men to teach their young men skill and knowledge and perfect wisdom: Senias in Murias; and Arias, the fair-haired poet, in Finias; and Urias of the noble nature in Gorias; and Morias in Falias itself.

It’s remarkable how close the mythological ‘history’ is to this recent discovery in the north Atlantic Sea. The following report comes from BBC Northern Ireland back in 2009.

It’s a landscape no human has even seen. And those who live right beside it had no idea it even existed. Deep below the sea, off the north coast of Northern Ireland, a dramatic geological mystery has been discovered.

Huge cliffs, vast basins and plateaus, a lake and even rivers have been found. But so far no-one is certain what caused them to end up like this deep under the sea. The discovery was made when the seabed was being surveyed to update old Admiralty charts, drawn up in the mid-1800s.

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14,000-year-old settlement and hunting kit found in Scotland – repost

Scotland’s oldest settlement, dating back 14,000 years, was near Biggar, in South Lanarkshire, archaeologists say. The site may have been a camp used by hunters following migrating herds of reindeer or wild horses across plains that are now covered by the North Sea.

Its discovery by the Biggar Archeology Group means humans have lived in Scotland for 3,000 years longer than previously thought. Until now the earliest evidence of human habitation in the country was at Cramond, near Edinburgh, which had been radiocarbon-dated to about 8400 BCE.

A large scattering of flints was first found in the field near Biggar a few years ago but the site was initially thought to be late Neolithic and was later classified as an Iron Age settlement after radiocarbon dating of charcoal found there. However, recent analysis of more of the flints revealed that they were from the end of the Upper Palaeolithic period, 14,000 years ago.

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Aberdeen dig reveals 15,000 year-old Scottish artefacts

Artefacts dug up during excavations on the Aberdeen bypass have revealed glimpses into the last 15,000 years in the North-east – and raised questions over the area’s past.

A number of “fascinating discoveries” have been uncovered during archaeological works carried out during the construction of the project. These have included Roman bread ovens, prehistoric roundhouses and a cremation complex.

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