Megalithic shipping and trade routes

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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Rocky » 8:28 pm

Access to landing places, on islands or otherwise, is very dependent on winds and tides. At the start of this thread we were talking about various Ictises; it may have been necessary to have multiple places, perhaps for different types of ships or even winter and summer alternatives.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 11:07 pm

Rocky wrote:
Each of those maps easily to a coastal island or port.

You clearly appreciate the importance of deep water ports/quays, ideal for loading shiploads of tin. I came across a long article on Mont St.-Michel and Ictis candidates, one of which was posited as Guernsey:

John MacCormack strongly favours the Channel Islands as 'Ictis', the place where the natives sold tin to merchants who carried it across to Gaul. He believes that the much lower sea-level around the English Channel in Roman times would have given these islands the appearance described by Diodorus Siculus writing in circa 30 BC. MacCormack, a renowned expert on Channel Islands' history, agrees that 'Grand Havre' at Vale, would have provided an ideal harbour on Guernsey, though less so in a westerly gale when St Peter Port would have been better sheltered. MacCormack also believes that the Cistercians may have been responsible for the navigational light on Les Écrehous which was re-founded by Val Richer in 1203. Finally, MacCormack reports historian Richard Hocart of the Historic Buildings Section of La Société Guernesiaise as suggesting that since both the Lihou and Vale Priories were effectively cut off from most of Guernsey at high tide, the chapel of St. George might have served Mont-Saint-Michel and its officers as a place from which to oversee their possessions which were mostly in the Castel parish where the land around St. George forms a separate sub-fief.


Rocky, I'm sorry I don't know how I missed your reply - but thank you. I agree the Channel Islands don't get enough credit as trade hubs. Both the Lihou and Vale Priories deserve more attention. Yes, Grand Havre is good in calm weather, but as a sailor I would not depend on it, and I would aim for St Peter Port. I must go looking for John MacCormack. :-)
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 12:38 am

Maybe it's time we looked north, starting with Ireland, and some of its history.

For starters:

"On the life and character of Julius Agricola)" is a book by the Roman historian Tacitus, written c. 98, which recounts the life of his father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola. In which it said:
Melius (Hibernae quam Britanniae) aditue portusque per commercia et negociatores cogniti;"
i.e.
"the ports of Ireland are better known through commerce, and more frequented by merchants, than those of Britain."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricola_%28book%29

It's well-accepted that the Carthaginians were a Phoenician colony. Or at least there was a strong connection between the two, including language. According to Charles Vallancey, in the plays written by Plautus (said to be the earliest surviving intact works in Latin literature) the character of Hanno, a Carthaginian, speaks several Carthaginian (or Phoenician) sentences. Vallancey translates these directly into Irish:

"He found them to differ little more than the different provincial dialects of the French, and even of our own tongue; and infinitely less after a lapse of 3000 years than modern English differs from what was in use four centuries ago. They are also to be found in Sir L. Parsons' "Defence of the Ancient History of Ireland." (Hist. Rev. State of Ireland, p. 6, Francis Plowden, 1805.) "

Examples:

Carthaginian, as in Plautus: "Bythlym mothym noctothij nel echthanti diasmachon."
As arranged by Vallancey: "Beith liom! mo thyme nocto thii nel Ach anti dias maccoime."
Irish: "Beith liom! mo thym nocto thii nel ech anti dias machon."
English: "Be with me! my fears being disclosed, I have no other intention but recovering my daughter."

Carthaginian and Irish, without the change of a word or letter: "Handone silli hanum bene, silli in mustine." English: "Whenever she (Venus) grants a favor, she grants it linked with misfortunes."

Carthaginian: "Meipsi & en este dum & a lam na cestin um."
Irish: "Meisi & an eiste dam & alaim na cestin um."
English: "Hear me and judge, and do not too hastily question me."

(Hist. Rev. State of Ireland, pp. 6 and 7, Francis Plowden, 1805.)
http://100777.com/node/1399

According to legend: "Atlas was the son of Neptune, whose name was Father Dan, or Poseidon, we can see at once that Calypso was a daughter of this Hebrew tribe, to wit, the Tuatha de Danaans, or Tribe of Dan; who, abiding in ships, set sail for the West and received empire and the stone of empire on their shores, when subsequently Jeremiah brought the harp of David, the Ark of Israel, the title deeds of Palestine and the famous Lia Fail, which spells both ways, and looks both ways, to Innis Fail – the Isle of destiny. It is around these topics that the romance of our story lurks, and we doubt not that in the near future, the spade at the mounds of Tara will unearth treasure trove of immense value to all future ages. "
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 6:50 pm

Sadly Charles Vallancey is judged thus:

General Charles Vallancey FRS (6 April 1721 – 8 August 1812) was a British military surveyor sent to Ireland. He remained there and became an authority on Irish antiquities, though his theories were later judged to be fanciful and groundless.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Vallancey

Which seems to kick the Carthaginian language connection out of our playing field and into the realms of Creation Myths. Ah well, it was nice while it lasted.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 6:50 pm

As it's so cold as the moment, I don't feel right heading north yet. Time to get some virtual sun on our backs and head south for the winter?

I think we're all agreed a lot of trade on the western seaboard would turn up the Gironde estuary and head overland. But some trade, with bulk cargoes in favourable weather, would go the long way round via The Pillars of Hercules.

The biggest trade hub on that route was Gadir - which ticks all the boxes as an island separated from the mainland.

Image

See http://riversfromeden.wordpress.com/201 ... -of-gadir/
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Iona » 9:33 pm

Boreades wrote:Maybe it's time we looked north, starting with Ireland, and some of its history.

People from southern Spain - perhaps Celti-Iberians - are known to have been voyaging to Britain and Ireland at least five thousand years ago. I've an idea these sailors were Basques. They appear to have been traders rather than invaders.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 4:06 pm

Iona wrote:
Boreades wrote:Maybe it's time we looked north, starting with Ireland, and some of its history.

People from southern Spain - perhaps Celti-Iberians - are known to have been voyaging to Britain and Ireland at least five thousand years ago. I've an idea these sailors were Basques. They appear to have been traders rather than invaders.


No doubt the Basques were involved, as one of the largest groups. Along with the Cartharginians, and the Tartessian before them.

I'm wary of always calling all these groups by different names, as that slips into the Orthodox Archeo's habit of treating them in isolation, and their obsession with High-Caste Warrior Elites, Weapons, Battles, Sudden Death and Religious Artifacts. But it helps identify the areas they were in at least, and these areas are largely coastal.

I wish I could find some good material to substantiate the Irish creation legends and connections with Cartharginians.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 4:28 pm

Here's one I missed earlier. Roundwood Quay up the Fal estuary,

"Still in amazingly good condition, the granite quay on the west side of the upper reaches of the Fal estuary was constructed in pre-Roman times and is more than 2,350 years old.

Roundwood Quay was in use up until some time in the 19th century for the loading of locally-mined copper and tin into ships for export. It is now owned by the National Trust — it adjoins the grounds of Trelissick Gardens."


http://www.engineering-timelines.com/sc ... asp?id=849

If a quay was built in 350BC, it must have already have been a regular trading port with significant volumes of copper and tin to make it worthwhile. Or there was a brand new mine nearby?

Or perhaps it was a boatyard for building and repairing Veneti-style trade ships?
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Rocky » 12:04 pm

Boreades wrote:If a quay was built in 350BC, it must have already have been a regular trading port with significant volumes of copper and tin to make it worthwhile. Or there was a brand new mine nearby?

Or perhaps it was a boatyard for building and repairing Veneti-style trade ships?

Poole Harbour as the oldest harbour in Europe has been earmarked by English Heritage for coastal archaeology, I wonder what they'll dig up. So far an underwater causeway or wall has been identified and dated to c. 250 BC.

As recently as 250 BC, with the sea level lower than it is today, Green Island was much nearer to the mainland via Cleavel Point, now beneath the sea of Newton Bay. This crossing was important enough to the local communities for them to have built jetties at Cleavell Point and on Green Island. A structure long thought to be a submerged causeway between Cleavel Point and Green Island has now been revealed as the two arns of a massive Iron Age harbour wall.

The date seems somewhat arbitrary, the construction would have been reinforced from time to time meaning the timbers are presumably the latest rather than the earliest components. Notice, though, that once a date has been agreed, no matter how tentative, it becomes fixed.

The mainland pier is 160m long and between eight and ten metres wide and is normally 2m below the water surface and is only exposed at very low tides. As there is no evidence that the piers were ever linked, it is believed that the structures are the remains of two harbour piers rather than being a causeway. Timbers used to support the flagstone surface of the piers have been carbon dated to 250BC, making it the oldest identified constructed port structure in North West Europe.

Cleavel Point is the southern side of the (silted up) channel from St Michael's Mount on Brownsea Island. [It's quite difficult getting around the south side of the harbour but there's a track that leads to Cleavel Point and the Goathorn peninsula, the western arm of the harbour.]
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 4:08 pm

This Iron Age harbour is a great find!

Excellent point about the age of the timbers. Perhaps that give us a date when they stopped maintaining it?

Dorset Echo report
http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/archive/200 ... nnel_port/

Article in the Age of Sail
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=FFRJ ... nd&f=false

Poole and Bournemouth is so urban now, it's easy to forget it was once an industrial area. There's plenty of raw-material reasons for a big harbour there.
e.g.
http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/Brown ... eology.htm

Wessex Archeo has a 99 page report on the area here
http://www.phc.co.uk/downloads/channeld ... dix7.1.pdf
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