Megalithic manufacturing in Britain

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Re: Megalithic manufacturing in Britain

Postby Rocky » 5:05 pm

The effects of lead poisoning are 'documented' in the Lambton Worm, a well-known legend in the north-east. The baby Worm is put in a well by the Lambton son and heir (called Jack of course!) and in due course poisons the water. Meanwhile Jack goes off for a mystical seven-year period on crusade to the Holy Land where he gained enough know-how to kill the worm, by now a full-size dragon.

The Lambton family, earls of Durham, has been cursed, perhaps they are held to be responsible for the pollution of the neighbouring River Wear. The family estate is close to the A1 Great North Road, east of Chester-le-Street, where lead mining has been carried out in the area since at least Roman times.

Nearby in Houghton-le-Spring excavations beneath St Michael's & All Angels church revealed mysterious boulders thought be the remains of a cairn or stone circle as well as Roman brickwork. Houghton takes its name from hoh meaning 'hill' apparently, uncannily similar to French hogue. It may be that the lead content permeating the water though known to be harmful to humans was useful for metalworking purposes.
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Re: Megalithic manufacturing in Britain

Postby Malmaison » 5:10 pm

The mysterious Lady of the Lake comes to mind. Dozmary Pool on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall is said to be the lake where Arthur's sword was made.
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Re: Megalithic manufacturing in Britain

Postby Boreades » 12:02 am

Excuse me for being a numpty, but I've only just discovered that Turkey (Göltepe) and Cyprus were original sources of tin and copper for the early Bronze Age. But both places were largely abandoned as sources of refined metals, because the miners had stripped the places bare of forests, to get wood to fuel the fires to smelt the metal.

The same thing had happened in the Dead Sea Rift Valley, which had large copper mines, and areas from Jordan to the Golan Heights, which lost huge forests of cedar trees. Only remembered now in the flag of the Lebanon, and in legend as "King Solomon's Mines".

See http://wwrn.org/articles/29424/?&place= ... cellaneous

Image

In both places, once the forests were stripped away, erosion removed what little top soil remained and they became barren landscapes.

Did the same thing happen with the many ancient copper mines in Afghanistan?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mining_in_ ... an#History

So (and I'm projecting now), is it safe to assume the same happened in many places tin and copper were found? Extraction continued until there was no ore, or no fuel left for smelting. Then the traders and metal workers had to move further and further to find new sources. Like, up the wild Atlantic coast to Spain, Brittany, Cornwall, Wales and Ireland.

In the case of Devon and Cornwall, after all the forests had been stripped bare, what we had left was peat bogs and bleak moorland. Maybe that's where some of the pixie legends come from. I'd still be pissed-off about that if I was them.
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Re: Megalithic manufacturing in Britain

Postby Boreades » 1:24 pm

Bronze axe heads, and other bronze metal work. Found all over the place.

One bronze axe head was recently found in the Marlborough area, near The Ridgeway, by a RSPB warden checking birds.

See http://finds.org.uk/blogs/wiltshire/
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Re: Megalithic manufacturing in Britain

Postby Boreades » 1:53 pm

Bronze axes of this style are called "Llyn Fawr metalwork", and significantly (for TME) they are found most frequently in hoards in:
- On the coast of Cornwall and South Wales
- Inland in Dorset and Wiltshire
- On the coast of Hampshire and Sussex
- East Anglia

Only rarely found in Northern Britain.

For example, the Tower Hill axe hoard, found just south of Waylands Smithy, on The Ridgeway.
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Re: Megalithic manufacturing in Britain

Postby Boreades » 1:25 pm

Some meandering thoughts.
Am I joining the dots in a meaningful way?

1) Our new "nice neighbour" (Alexander Aberfeldy) points out that hunting wild animals (like deer) is a huge but largely forgotten part of our history, including real sources for Fairy stories

2) when I drive home across the Downs, passing various copse and small woods, at dusk-time I frequently encounter wild deer emerging from the cover of the trees. I conclude that's what they've always done.

3) unless we now say that megalithic miners were mainly using coal, they must have been "asset stripping" the woodlands on an enormous scale.

Which makes me wonder:
- Did we lose all major forests or woodlands in Devon and Cornwall?
- Did the deer get killed or did they move east?
- Does this mean the miners drove-out the indigenous 'leaders of the hunt', wild men of the woods, fairies, etc?
- Where did they go? With the deer? But where?
- Is this why we now remember the miners more than the fairies?
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Re: Megalithic manufacturing in Britain

Postby spiral » 7:01 am

Boreades wrote:Some meandering thoughts.
when I drive home across the Downs, passing various copse and small woods, at dusk-time I frequently encounter wild deer emerging from the cover of the trees. I conclude that what they've always done.

You are probably wrong to do so. You are most likely seeing deer that have been reintroduced to the South. Fallow are not native. Roe are native to most of Europe, but were probably extinct in the south until reintroduction. Your deer are probably of Scottish ancestry.


Boreades wrote:Which makes me wonder:
- Did we lose all major forests or woodlands in Devon and Cornwall?

Yes, mostly.

Boreades wrote: - Did the deer get killed or did they move east?

Yes, some deer might have gone North

Boreades wrote:- Does this mean the miners drove-out the indigenous 'leaders of the hunt', wild men of the woods, fairies, etc?

That's Invasion theory.....

Boreades wrote:- Where did they go? With the deer? But where?

See above

Boreades wrote: - Is this why we now remember the miners more than the fairies?

Your new neighbour has few references to mining (from the limited of what I have seen) But there again, she is coming at it from a different angle, (survivals in the highlands). Your Mining folks have a strong folkloric memory see knockers....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knocker_%28folklore%29
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Re: Megalithic manufacturing in Britain

Postby Boreades » 1:24 pm

Breaking news of Top Gear (300BC)

An archeo team has uncovered a matching set of decorated bronze parts from a 2nd or 3rd century BC Celtic chariot at Burrough Hill Iron Age hillfort.

We might call them hub caps.

Image

Even in Iron Age Britain it appears that a prestige badge on one's vehicle carried a lot of kudos. The investigating archaeologists say that the swanky nature of the ancient conveyance is indicated by the fact that it carried "rare" bronze fittings bearing a "triskele motif showing three waving lines, similar to the flag of the Isle of Man" - or perhaps somewhat reminiscent of a Mercedes badge. Evidently the motif was the symbol of a top-drawer chariot marque.

In any event, the vehicle was plainly an Iron Age equivalent of today's supercar Lamborghinis, Maseratis and so forth and would have received much coverage on any contemporary equivalent of Top Gear had there been such a thing. As such, I doubt it was made in Luton.

Ref:
http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/pres ... ge-chariot
and
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rre3t88ibtzn ... pU3ya?dl=0
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Re: Megalithic manufacturing in Britain

Postby TisILeclerc » 5:51 pm

Hot on the heels, or wheels, of your breakiing news story our favourite organ the Daily Mail has unearthed further treasures.

Well, an ex marine has using google earth, a friendly farmer and a metal detecting thingy.

Image

As well as ancient farmsteads they believe there is evidence of metal working.

'While Dartmoor is famous for preserved historic sites, the same is not true of coastal areas. So this could be the missing link between those moorland sites and the evidence we have of trading.’

Mr Jones, who is now a commercial diver, said: ‘Night after night I looked at Google Earth asking myself the question ‘if I was alive 3,000 years ago where would I live’.

‘I would need food, water, shelter, close to Dartmoor for minerals, close to a river to access the sea and trade routes.

‘After a few weeks I put an “X marks the spot” on the map - that was where I would live.’

There you are, the Ray Mears school of archaeology is alive and well.

Hunters think like the animal they're hunting to track it down. Archaeologists should learn to think like prehistoric people just as he did.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... tools.html
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Re: Megalithic manufacturing in Britain

Postby TisILeclerc » 2:59 pm

The Daily Mail has an interesting article on the South Wales cave system.

From what I know about caves, not a lot, they are formed by water. This photo shows a section of the caves that looks suspiciously worked by tools rather than worn down by water.

Image

At one point the caves open up high up in the cliff to look out over the coast.

Image

Something similar can be seen on the north Yorkshire coast where iron workers, following the seam, knocked a huge hole in the cliff face except in their case they were looking across the sea to Denmark.

A rather learned report for cavers about the system touches on anomalies in the directions etc of the tunnels. Some of them are at right angles, some climb and then descend, some are suddenly blocked. The text and language of the article is similar in style to that favoured by trainspotters so for my little brain is rather obtuse.

http://www.ubss.org.uk/resources/procee ... 03-325.pdf

The caves are very old, 'The oldest caves of Wales date back to around 1 million years, and the earliest evidence of man are some Neanderthal remains discovered in Pontnewydd Cave, Denbighshire which are dated to around 230,000 years ago. Since then we have had numerous ice ages and our land connection with the continent has disappeared. During the last ice (ending around 10 000 years ago) much of the life in Wales was wiped out or moved to warmer climes (including our ancestors), and had to recolonise Wales as the ice retreated again.'

This quote is taken from this website. http://www.cambriancavingcouncil.org.uk ... index.html

A virtual tour of the caves can be accessed here. http://www.ogof.net/

The Daily Mail article in all its glory is here, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... Wales.html

We know that cave systems are formed by water seeping underground, especially in limestone areas. But could they have been altered and modified by early people either as shelters or a mining start up venture?
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