Megalithic service stations?

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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby macausland » 9:41 pm

I've just been watching another Kenneth More film. 'Appointment with Venus'.

Set in the Channel Islands and I believe mainly shot on Sark although the story is about Alderney and a wartime raid to rescue cattle.

Venus is not a pool but a cow. Quite a few interesting coastal views. It was on youtube but seems to have disappeared.

I think one of the Orkney islands was known as Horse island.

And Hengist and Horsa were both horses who settled on the isle of Thanet I believe.

The word knight apparently means 'horse rascal'. Nothing changes really.
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Boreades » 11:01 pm

Silbaby.
http://www.avebury-web.co.uk/silbaby.html

Who'd a'thought it? A new mound has turned up on the A4 near Silbury.
As it's shrouded by trees, 99.99% of folks would zoom past without an inkling it's even there (myself included)

It's a small mound, much smaller than Silbury just down the road.
It's smaller even than Merlin's mount in Marlborough.
Except nobody can seem to decide if it's megalithic man-made or more recent.

So, what is it, and what's it for?
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Boreades » 9:14 pm

More late-breaking megalithic trade sites. As in, most things recently rediscovered are quickly labelled "Roman" for a quick press release. It's only when the Archeos start digging they (by chance and in passing) mention the pre-Roman Iron/Bronze Age stuff that just happens to be there underneath the Roman top layer.

Such is my prediction for the latest "X marks the spot". This spot is somewhere near Newton Abbot.

The major archaeological dig is planned for rural Teignbridge, on the outskirts of Newton Abbot, after a chance find of ancient coins (pictured) by metal detector enthusiasts led to the discovery of the largest Roman settlement ever found in Devon. It has been described as one of the most significant finds in generations, and could rewrite the history books on Roman occupation in Britain.

See http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/R ... story.html

It was always thought Roman influence never made it further than Exeter and there was little evidence of Romans in the South West Peninsula of Britain.

Yo, dude! Big it up! No mention of the Roman sites already known in West Devon and Cornwall then? Don't want to spoil a good story I suppose?
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby hvered » 4:07 pm

Silchester is our local Roman site and after a painstaking eighteen-year dig it's being wound up. The actual digging took place in just one section, or 'insula' as they call it (without irony), and the archaeologists have no clear idea why Silchester was abandoned.

Some interesting finds are from the pre-Roman layer including a raven burial. This isn't particularly uncommon it seems, another 'Iron Age' site at Wittenham Clumps also produced one, and the parallels are not hard to see -- a bluff or plateau overlooking a through-route (the Devil's Highway, the River Thames). It appears that some care was taken over the burials, in pits and a layer of stones in some cases.

Plenty of conjecture in this article e.g. whether corvids were valued for eating (unlikely especially as the birds apparently died naturally, of old age) or for their feathers https://www.academia.edu/226224/Ravens_ ... an_Britain but the most persuasive argument to my mind was put forward in the nineteenth century:
Ravens and crows have been tamed and kept as pets or companion animals, having less fear of humans than other birds do because of their long history of commensalism. Pliny and Macrobius among the Classical authors refer to the keeping of ravens as pets in ancient Rome (Toynbee 1973) and the practice continues today with the tame ravens at the Tower of London.The Roman tradition of keeping ravens as pets led some authors to suggest that the ravens found during the late nineteenth century excavations at Silchester were pets or even ‘semi-domesticated’ (Fox, 1891)


Another feather in our cap: the BBC was allowed to film for a few minutes on Bird Island, a protected cormorant nesting site. The island is on the east side of Strangford Lough in north-east Ireland and the 'Tarifa Meridian' crosses it. It didn't seem especially significant at the time but when the Beeb explained that the birds chose this site because of the available food and the protection from predators it suddenly looks rather odd. There are, after all, 365 islands allegedly (and inaccurately, but even so).
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Mick Harper » 5:10 pm

The other weird thing was that the cormorants didn't feed in Strangford Lough but flew off to the freshwater Lough Neagh forty miles away "because there's more food in a freshwater lake". Yeah, right. Live forty miles away from your food ... who says cormorants are smart birds?
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Boreades » 9:53 pm

hvered wrote: the archaeologists have no clear idea why Silchester was abandoned.


Isn't there some history that it was burnt down around the time of Boudica?
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby hvered » 7:53 am

The usual 'explanation' is the wells were poisoned, I think, though by whom or why isn't agreed. There are no signs of destruction or fire.

It could just be that the town had been taken over by a Roman garrison which was relocated to a different area much as the REME Arborfield lot have been sent to some damp corner of Wales.
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Boreades » 11:50 am

Grauniad says:

In the 19th century the site, Roman Calleva Atrebatum, produced magnificent finds now on display at Reading museum, including superb mosaics and one of the most famous Roman finds in Britain, a gilt bronze eagle which inspired the novel The Eagle of the Ninth, and the film The Eagle.

The Reading team went back in to reopen the Victorian trenches and see what they'd missed: most of the story, it turned out.

Fulford set out to solve two puzzles: when the town was built and by whom, and when it was abandoned and why. He's pretty sure he cracked the first one. The town was at its height in the Iron Age, in the century before the Romans arrived in AD 43 – bringing with them, as every school child used to be taught, town planning and the first towns.

He believes it was founded around 50BC by Commius, a leader of the Atrobates tribe, who fell out with his Roman allies and had to leave Gaul sharpish. On his defensible hilltop, near the navigable rivers Kennet and Thames, with neat building plots along well-made roads and alleys, his people were trading in grain, metalwork, hunting dogs, and almost certainly slaves, to pay for luxury imports including jewellery, glassware, delicate pottery from France, olive oil and wine.

In the last week the university team finished excavating the outline of what may be the largest Iron Age hall ever found in Britain, 8m by 50m, a massive building which could even have been the home of Commius. They also found a beautiful Iron Age brooch deliberately deposited in the foundations.

The first Roman buildings were light military structures, and
within 20 years the town was burnt down, possibly in the Boudiccan rebellion. (my emphasis) It was rebuilt, with splendid civic buildings, but was never as large or as prosperous again.

A new trench opened this year on another section of the site showed the same pattern. What had been a large and imposing Roman building, with a colonnade, and a tile roof stamped with the emblem of the emperor Nero who may have paid for it, was abandoned in less than a generation, the site levelled and never re-used.

In the sixth century the town was very deliberately abandoned: the many wells were tumbled in, and the land gradually reverted to green fields, the buried town marked only by the jagged outline of massive walls which once formed a 1.5-mile circuit.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014 ... ation-ends
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby Boreades » 11:59 am

This
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14555449
says the pre-Roman town was also built on a grid pattern.

Somewhere else I've seen a mention that the grid was in a different direction, maybe a solstice alighnment, which sounded like Graham Robb material.
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Re: Megalithic service stations?

Postby hvered » 12:06 pm

It sounds like the Roman town was already fairly decrepit by the time it ceased to function. Perhaps it just wasn't worth the trouble of rebuilding.

I mentioned the streets of the pre-Roman town were in a different alignment, on the AEL site. Wind direction would be more pertinent than solstices on a rather exposed plateau though the surrounding walls presumably shielded the townspeople to some extent.
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