Megalithic shipping and trade routes

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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 10:11 pm

Jools wrote:Salcombe is a good example of a medieval port (established thirteenth century) at the mouth of an estuary clogged up further inland. There are silted-up creeks and streams that used to be navigable but the estuary or ria is notoriously hazardous on account of a sandbar only exposed at low spring tides.

Yes, many Devon & Cornwall estuaries are like that, because of tin streaming, flushing huge quantities of silt downstream to clog the river mouths.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby hvered » 12:02 pm

Boreades wrote:Yes, it's a curious coincidence that Megalithic Trade Hubs (like Jersey and I think the Isle of Man) have that connection. I'm thinking along the lines of Free Ports and tax-free zones. Jersey was a pre-Roman Trade Hub, and clearly handled a lot of coins. Some might say another name for a coin hoard is a Bank. The IoM and CIs are still Banking and Trade Hubs, except the main type of trade now is Finance By Internet. This might be a very good subject for Applied Epistemology.

Small islands or island groups have to trade, offshore banking seems a re-invention of their raison d'etre. If you look at the port of Marseilles there's a group of four offshore islands, the Frioul islands, apparently viewed as a stockade by the Greeks
The Greeks had named these islands "Stoechades", undoubtedly because for a sailor who enters the roads they appear to form an alignment.
The fortress/prison of Chateau d'If was made famous by Dumas.

Further to the east, half-way between Marseilles and Nice, is another group of four islands, the Huyeres islands, the name is thought to be a corruption of Latin for salt marshes.

Image

Occupied by hermits under the Romans, who later became called monks, the islands as elsewhere seem to have attracted repeated attacks by (in this case Berber) pirates. The Hyeres were also known as les iles d'Or, the Golden Islands, not because of the gold stashed on them.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Rocky » 12:15 pm

The Hyères islands were also named "Stoechades", meaning the "rows".

The Frioul islands in front of Marseilles (Massilia) were apparently named after Julius Caesar In 49 BC, Julius Caesar, besieging Marseilles, established its fleet between the two principal islands. The name of Fretum Julii (literally "the strait of Julius"), from where drift the name of "the Frioul", ends up extending to the unit..

But there is a region called Frioul (Friuli in Italian) in north-east Italy, administered by the Venetians and others, a region on the Adriatic coast that was continually occupied and divided. It was part of the so-called Julian March and eventually was granted autonomy after WWII.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 8:45 pm

Those Huyeres islands look like they would have been excellent waypoints on a Greek trade route to & from Marseille / Massalia
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 9:20 pm

Perhaps a little off-topic, but our French cousins really do know how to celebrate their maritime history. Not with imprisoned disintegrating relics like the Cutty Sark, but with brand-new sea-going replicas, built from oak in the traditional style.

See the building of Hermione:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoOd1w0NjWI

http://www.hermione.com/en/home/

The video is quite wonderful, when you think that 2,000 years earlier the Veneti were building ships in a similar way in the same part of the world.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Penny » 12:14 am

Boreades wrote:Those Huyeres islands look like they would have been excellent waypoints on a Greek trade route to & from Marseille / Massalia

The Giens peninsula, facing the Hyères islands, is made up of not one but two tombolos; is this unusual construction protected by the islands creating a barrier?

The Giens Peninsula is formed from two tombolos. A tombolo is a ridge of beach material (typically sand), built by wave action, that connects an island to the mainland. Tombolos, like many coastal features, typically change dramatically over geologic time due to fluctuating sediment supply, coastal currents, sea levels and storm events. The tombolos of the Giens Peninsula have been modified by human activities, as well, including sand dune removal, construction of roadways, and replacement of the original sand by other materials. The long-term survival of these tombolos will be determined by the effects of these changes on the natural coastal processes, with potential sea level rise presenting an additional threat.

Much of the surface area south of Port St Pierre (St Peter's Port) is taken up by salt marshes.

Image
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 7:30 pm

Mrs Boreades has enjoyed all this island-hopping, and has been inspired to buy me a copy of a Yachtsman's Cruising Guide for SW Scotland. I will take that as a hint of where she'd like to go sailing sometime soon. I'm hoping to read that and find a few more megalithic trade links.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Stuart » 1:27 pm

Boreades wrote:Those Huyeres islands look like they would have been excellent waypoints on a Greek trade route to & from Marseille / Massalia

Yes and no. Marseille is guarded by the Rio islands. It's here (off le Grand Conglué) that the largest Roman shipwreck in the world was discovered and Jacques Cousteau launched his underwater career.

The Med is not the same beast as the Atlantic but nevertheless islands present a hazard unless you know the local conditions or know someone who does.

Presumably large ships would have anchored at a certain distance from island reefs and waited for small boats to approach.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 4:57 pm

Stuart wrote: Yes and no. Marseille is guarded by the Rio islands. It's here (off le Grand Conglué) that the largest Roman shipwreck in the world was discovered and Jacques Cousteau launched his underwater career. The Med is not the same beast as the Atlantic but nevertheless islands present a hazard unless you know the local conditions or know someone who does.


Too true about the hazards. The wind doesn't always blow in the right direction.

Le Grand Conglué; Wrecksite excavated by Capt. Cousteau´s team. It took researchers 25 years to find out that the wrecksite is actually 2 ancient shipwrecks, superimposed. One was a wreck from 2nd Century BC and another from 1st Century BC. The first one contained some 400 Greek-roman wine amphoras, 7.000 pieces of dishes from Campania and some 30 Greek amphoras. The second wreck, had a cargo of more than 1.000 Etrurian wine amphoras.

http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?31631

Grimly reassuring for the second ship to know it wasn't the first to crash there?

Stuart wrote: Presumably large ships would have anchored at a certain distance from island reefs and waited for small boats to approach.


Or waiting for permission or a pilot to take them into the port and docks of Massalia?
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Iona » 6:00 pm

British islanders used curraghs to transport goods and people to and from the mainland until modern ferries took over. Visiting yachtsmen use dinghies to go ashore where there are no safe harbours.

Back in Megalithic times curraghs were also used for longer sea journeys (I think Tim Severin's curragh expedition from Ireland to Newfoundland has already been mentioned) and look reassuringly solid if the reconstruction is accurate

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