Marthering Marden

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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 10:13 pm

According to Pastscape :

A thick deposit of gravel was recorded on top of the causeway to the south. Coring indicates that the gravel continues, probably part of a Neolithic gravel road way leading from the henge to the River Avon.

So this was engineered to cope with heavy vehicles, or a large volume of people who didn't want to get their feet muddy.

Excavations at the NE entrance of the enclosure revealed the remains of a circular timber structure, 10.5 metres in diameter just inside the entrance, in the same position as a similar structure at Durrington Walls.

Entrance gate / toll booth?
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 11:35 pm

It might just be that these were the Glastonbury Festival sites of their era.

i.e. Initially an "open-to-all" venue (bring your own roasting pig and mead). But gradually adapted to the necessities of managing large venues. Like, stop the freeloaders from getting in and wrecking the place. "Facilities management" features like twenty foot high henges and ditches filled with water would work nicely.

Entrance gate and security crew to manage the admissions. VIP glamping facilities for visiting Druids and other dignitaries. The toilet facilities were probably no worse than Glastonbury.
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 12:21 pm

Breaking news from Marden Henge. Or Wilsford henge as it's suddenly become.

Just to please MacTisi, it's from our favourite research source, The Daily Mail.

4,000-year-old teenager discovered in ancient burial site ... the body was found in a foetal position and wearing an amber necklace


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... -site.html

For us, perhaps the most significant part is the Amber necklace?
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 11:54 am

The National Geographic is catching up on the henge hopping, and the excitement mounts...

“We’ve found the remains of at least 13 pigs so far,” says Leary, “and that’s just in one small area. We are talking about a lot of meat here. This would have been a big deal.” .... A layer of ash near the center of the building indicates a very hot fire was kept burning here for long periods of time. It may have been for roasting the many pigs, or possibly for firing bluish sarsen stones that were found nearby and whose minerals show signs of having been repeatedly heated white hot.


For anyone who wants to get a flavour of what it might all have been about, I'd recommend the Paimpol Sea Shanty Festival, on the 14th, 15th & 16th August, 2015

http://www.paimpol-festival.fr/index_eng.php

It's big on the fest-noz, with plenty of roast pig and music.
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby TisILeclerc » 2:19 pm

Thirteen pigs? That's nowt.

The Welsh went in for that sort of thing in a big way.

Published this week in archaeology journal Antiquity, the research details results from the analysis of more than 70,000 fragments bone - the largest collection of prehistoric animal bones ever discovered in Wales.

This, the researchers say, is a remarkably rare survival in a country where the acid nature of soils normally means the loss of this evidence of past ways of life.

Equally significant is the discovery that the majority of the pig bones were from just one quarter of the animal - the right forequarter – suggesting a selective feasting pattern.

Biomolecular analysis of teeth and bones has also demonstrated that many of the pigs were not locally-raised and may have been brought to the site from a substantial distance away, a monumental feat in prehistoric Britain.


http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/news/view/1109 ... aeologists

Very picky people the Welsh. I wonder if it was some sort of masonic ritual? And who got the rest of the pig? Or did they just chop bits off the live animal to keep it fresh?

The stones may have been heated up to cook the animals. A prehistoric griddle or frying pan?

Meanwhile I was wondering about the similarity of Stonehenge and other circles to the cup and ring marks. Perhaps the cup and ring marks were like architectural drawings? Architect turns up with a few samples and tells the chief 'I can do you one of these for a hundred pigs, right quarters only. Or one of these comes with all the fittings. Mind you that will be a three hundred pig job.'

Image

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cup_and_ring_mark

Image

http://www.britain-magazine.com/news/st ... ry-solved/
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Mick Harper » 3:01 pm

Did you not like the explanation of cup-and-rings in TME?
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 3:18 pm

Pork Scratchings?

the analysis of more than 70,000 fragments bone ... this, the researchers say, is a remarkably rare survival in a country where the acid nature of soils normally means the loss of this evidence of past ways of life.... The research was undertaken by Dr Madgwick, a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow, and co-author Dr Jacqui Mulville, Reader in Bioarchaeology


Perhaps Dr Madgwick is not the sharpest archaeo in the box? A moment's thought tells one that it's no surprise that smaller bones will disappear faster in acid soil than big bones.

Dr Madgwick said: "Surprisingly, nearly 80% of the animal remains at Llanmaes were from pigs, at a time when sheep and cattle were the main food animals and pork was not a favoured meat.


Based on what evidence? A previous absence of pigs' bones, which are smaller than cattle bones, and therefore quicker to disappear in acid soil? Using the same logic, one could conclude that there's no evidence people used to eat chicken.
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Mick Harper » 4:52 pm

I am not sure this entirely follows, Borry. If acid soil destroys bone it is unlikely that any bones will survive, given the elapse of such a long period of time. Thus the survival of large bones (presumably in non-acid soils) could/would be diagnostic. Chickens are (I think) rather a late arrival in the west -- they're a Far East thing until relatively modern times. The British version of fowl is surely water fowl, of which evidence is found aplenty.

The TME position is that Ancient Man generally went in for horses-for-courses ie sheep for good pasture, goats for rough pasture and pigs for non-pasture (ie forest). Horses and cattle were generally for draught purposes rather than eating.

"Not locally raised" is interesting since we are always on the lookout for long distance trade goods. In the conditions then prevailing, trading meat cannot possibly have been good business (weight versus value) but animals-on-the-hoof probably were. The fact that "one quarter of the animal" only was present surely suggests that cured speciality pork might have been worth trading though I leave it to the butchers among us to make more sense of this.
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Re: Marthering Marden

Postby Boreades » 5:48 pm

Mick Harper wrote:If acid soil destroys bone it is unlikely that any bones will survive, given the elapse of such a long period of time. Thus the survival of large bones (presumably in non-acid soils) could/would be diagnostic.


Correct, and that's the anomaly. If the soil is acidic, pig bone should not survive as long as the larger cattle bones. Thus, the archaeos find cattle bones, and thereupon leap to the conclusion that the diet was mostly cattle bones.
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