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.
Category: Science (Page 1 of 5)
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Thanks to the wonderful Way Back machine, we have managed to recover another of the posts that we lost with our database crash. Please enjoy.
An exhibition exploring the origins of ancient skeletons in Sussex, including a woman from sub-Saharan Africa buried in Roman times, opened reported the BBC in Feb 2014. The face of the so-called Beachy Head Lady was recreated using craniofacial reconstruction.
Eastbourne Borough Council’s museum service was awarded a grant of £72,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Eastbourne Ancestors project. The aim was to identify the gender and age of each skeleton in its collection.
Detailed scientific analysis of more than 300 skeletons of people who lived in the south of England thousands of years ago has undertaken by scientists and archaeologists.
The Stonehenge Tunnel will have to be moved
Almost exactly a year ago, Chris Grayling MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, approved the construction of a tunnel under Stonehenge. The suggested route of the Stonehenge Tunnel was moved by 50 metres after protests by Archaeologists and Druids (Guardian). The BBC confirmed that the proposed new route would leave the view of the stones at the Winter Solstice unblocked (BBC).
But the Stonehenge Alliance and Campaign for Better Transport said the project needs a “complete re-think, not a minor tweak”. A spokeswoman said:
“The potential risk of loss of Stonehenge’s World Heritage Status casts shame upon our country and those responsible for caring for our heritage”
Time Team presenter Sir Tony Robinson also described the project as
“the most brutal intrusion into the Stone Age landscape ever”.
He has accused the Department for Transport of paying “no attention at all” to the importance of Stonehenge. Read on for a repost of the original article: