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Category: Iron Age (Page 1 of 3)

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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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

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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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Beachy Head

The Beachy Head Lady in Iron Age Britain

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.

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Lego Iron Age Broch teaches young and old alike

The Caithness Broch Project is building a Lego Iron Age Broch model as an “eye-catching prop” to encourage people to find out more about the construction and use of brochs, reports the BBC.  Brochs are Iron Age roundhouses, and ruins of these homes can be found in the north and west Highlands and Orkney.

Caithness in the Highlands has more broch sites than anywhere else in Scotland. Working with universities and heritage and archaeology groups, Caithness Broch Project is also planning to hold a range of events during 2017’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. These include clearing vegetation from broch sites to better aid their preservation and running art competitions for schools.

Specialist historical Lego Builders – ‘Brick to the Past’

At a height of 40cm and covering an area of about 1.2m, the roundhouse and a surrounding landscape are made of 10,000 pieces.

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More details about the new Iron Age Chariot and horse skeleton site

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

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pictish-dragon-stone-found-in-orkney

Ancient Pictish Dragon stone unearthed by storm in Orkney

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

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Helpers needed for Castell Henllys Iron Age village

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:

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