Trade Secrets

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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 7:24 pm

Extract Two

The identity of the island of Ictis would appear to be more elusive. Scholarly opinion meanders between St Michael’s Mount and the Isle of Wight with various other less likely stop-offs along the way. But this is because the expertise of the scholars derives wholly from the humanities. If they had any kind of background in the Earth Sciences they would be able to identify Ictis with considerable confidence just from the information Diodorus has supplied:

1. The phrase “buy the tin from the natives and carry it over to Gaul” implies that Ictis is somewhere on the south coast of Britain.

2. The phrase “during the ebb of the tide the intervening space is left dry” implies that Ictis is a tidal island, a piece of land joined to the mainland at low tide but cut off from it at high tide.

3. There are just three 'tidal islands' on the south coast of Britain:
Burry Island in Portsmouth Harbour, Hampshire;
Burgh Island south of Plymouth, Devon
St Michael’s Mount near Land’s End in Cornwall.

4. The phrase “they carry over to the island the tin in abundance in their wagons” implies that there was a causeway between the mainland and the island since wheeled traffic is not generally speaking possible over the treacherous sand and unpredictable rocks of any intertidal foreshore.

5. Burgh Island and St Michael’s Mount both have causeways, Burry Island does not.

6. Burgh Island and St Michael’s Mount are at either end of the tin-producing area of Cornwall and West Devon so both would qualify as ideal tin-exporting centres.

7. The phrase “carry it over to Gaul, and after travelling overland for about thirty days, they finally bring their loads on horses to the mouth of the Rhone” implies that the tin was being taken to Normandy for onward transmission via the shortest overland route through France.

8. Burgh Island is the nearest part of the tin area to Normandy; St Michael's Mount is the furthest.

9. Burgh Island is Ictis.
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 7:28 pm

Access to Mont St Michel reminds us that Chad's new discovery, Chapel Island, is on the Morecambe Bay sands which are Britain's equivalent to the Mont St Michel sands (incoming tides at the speed of galloping horseraces and that kind of thing). This suggests, once again, that either the Megalithics sought these places out or, I am increasingly coming to the view that, they created them.

Chapel Island is only one of four tidal islands in the vicinity. The others being Foulney, Piel and Sheep.
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby macausland » 10:37 am

I thought the Isle of Wight was once joined to the mainland but separated at the end of the last ice age as the south of England started to sink?

Perhaps Wight was close enough to be dry and then flooded until its final separation?
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby hvered » 2:43 pm

Archaeologists digging in Alverstone salt marshes on the Isle of Wight uncovered part of a road or causeway next to the River Yar. They can't tell where the road began or ended or why it was built but it has clearly been re-used and repaired for many centuries since at least the Iron Age.

There's more info here http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=23794

The obvious question is whether the IoW was a causewayed tidal island, uncommonly large it's true but there's no other island quite like it.
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 2:45 pm

The size of causewayed tidal islands has been concerning me for some time. Largely because The Vale (which is the only one I know well and the only one on which a grandmother of mine was born) is -- or was -- so out of line with all the other ones that feature in our story.

It has a population nowadays of about ten thousand which compares with the next largest, say Burgh Island, population a hundred, not to mention the norm (population: nil, plus some sheep). Indeed, the huge unanswered question is why so many of these utterly insignificant and mostly miserable acres of marram grass should be blessed with a hugely expensive causeway. Which, as Hatty pointed out to me the other day, are subject to huge poundings from tide and current twice a day.

Even a monastery -- the best explanation that orthodoxy can come up with -- doesn't really justify a causeway since monks are supposed to have to rough it ever-so-slightly.

But if it turns out that the Isle of Wight is a causewayed tidal island, then the question of scale becomes transformed. Attention should thus shift to Anglesey, the Isle of Sheppey and other examples of the big and, it would seem, truly causeway-worthy.
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby macausland » 4:37 pm

The Romans called Wight Vectis. Assuming that a letter V was pronounced as a W we are approaching a similarity in pronunciation between the two names.

Wiki has a reference to Bouldnor where a wooden building was found 11 metres below sea level. They say that this was built around 6,000 BC when the sea was much lower.

They also mention that the Romans could apparently wade across to the island at low tide.

'There is an early Norman period report that much land on the south of Hayling Island was lost to sea flood. South of Hayling Island in the Solent is a deposit of stones, which scuba divers found to be the remains of a stone building, probably a church. There is an old report that this church was formerly in the middle of Hayling Island. If similar amounts of land have been lost on other parts of the Solent shore, the Solent was likely much narrower in Roman times, and it is possible to believe Diodorus Siculus's report that in his time men could wade to the Isle of Wight at low tide.'

'A new theory - that the Solent was originally a lagoon - was reported in the Southern Daily Echo by Garry Momber from the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology. [8] [9] [10]
The Isle of Wight was formerly contiguous with the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset - the Needles are the last remnant of this connection.
'

The link if you can connect or copy and paste it is here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solent
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby hvered » 8:01 pm

The Isle of Wight was formerly contiguous with the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset - the Needles are the last remnant of this connection.'


There was a TV programme about Poole Harbour presented by Ben Fogle and the very first shot showed him standing on Agglestone Rock which he claimed is the best vantage point for Poole Harbour.

Agglestone Rock, also known as the Devil's Anvil, is said to have been thrown from the Needles by a giant, often linked to megalithic remains seemingly chucked around at random. It used to be a logan stone, 'aggle' being apparently an old Dorset word that means something like waggle, similar to logan in Cornish.

Image

Agglestone Rock is on top of a cone-shaped mound or tor. Just north is Puck Stone.

Wiki has a reference to Bouldnor where a wooden building was found 11 metres below sea level. They say that this was built around 6,000 BC when the sea was much lower.

An underwater wooden structure, described as an ancient trackway "of possible Mesolithic date", has been partly explored at Bouldnor, near Yarmouth

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=23871

Divers found ancient underwater tree stumps in the Solent and evidence of a (Mesolithic?) village. Dating of worked timbers caused some disagreement

Another timber shows signs of having been fashioned as a type of conduit, which is not something that has ever been seen in Mesolithic archaeology before.[8] Some of the worked timbers indicate technological skills that had previously only been associated with the Neolithic era, 2000 years later than Bouldnor.


[Not sure if it's significant but the Cornish name for St Michael's Mount is Karrek Loos yn Koos which means "grey rock in the woods".]
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 9:39 pm

Extract Three

The shortest distance between Burgh Island and “the mouth of the Rhone” (1) is known technically as the Great Circle line and there is circumstantial confirmation that this route was indeed used prehistorically.

Image

It maximises the sea journey since the coast line between Granville and St Malo is where the ocean obtrudes the closest, and minimises the overland part which, since transporting tin ingots is vastly cheaper by boat than on horseback, makes this not merely the shortest route but the cheapest too.(2) But why are Great Circles evidence of pre-historic activity? To understand this it is necessary to know something of Great Circles, including some counter-intuitive things which are not necessarily learned in the classroom:

(1) The Rhone tends to wander so that its mouth now is not necessarily where it was in Diodorus’ day. In any case ‘the mouth of the Rhone’ is itself not the most precise of terms. It may in fact be Marseille, the main local entrepot, that Diodorus is referring to. Either way, Marseille has been adopted here as the reference point. It makes only a marginal difference to the overall argument.

(2) Ignoring for the moment the all-sea route via the Straits of Gibraltar. The overland route is also the quickest which in the case of valuable cargoes like tin ingots should not be ignored. Tying up capital in tin ingots for longer than is necessary is not traderly best practice.
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby hvered » 11:15 pm

Though we haven't in truth solved why tidal range is important in the first place.

Fast-running water is necessary for milling. The combination of unusually high tides, artificial or adapted sites and monastic activity makes me wonder if tidal mills were built on these islands. Wiki gives some examples http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tide_mill

There are (artificial?) islands known as eyots in the Thames, all of which seem to have belonged to the abbeys and priories along its banks. Medieval tidal mills have been found on causewayed tidal islands, some were dated to the sixth and seventh centuries, others appear to be earlier.

Mills require mill ponds as well as water surges. It is likely that Venus (Aphrodite) Pools or some anyway would be re-used as mill ponds. Later constructions inevitably obscure a site's earlier purpose, which perhaps the monks at least partly understood as they took advantage of commercial prospects.
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Re: Trade Secrets

Postby macausland » 4:36 pm

I believe Pytheas used the overland route to get back to Marseille. Or rather the river and land route. It was probably the easiest and quickest way to get from the north Atlantic coast to the Med. I believe Carthage had a monopoly on the sea routes anyway for a very long time.

St Michael's Mount. If it really was called the Grey Rock in the Woods that would cause problems for it being the loading point for ships involved in the tin trade.

'The chronicler John of Worcester[3] relates under the year 1099 that St. Michael's Mount was located five or six miles (10 km) from the sea, enclosed in a thick wood, but that on the third day of the nones of November the sea overflowed the land, destroying many towns and drowning many people as well as innumerable oxen and sheep; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records under the date 11 November 1099, "The sea-flood sprung up to such a height, and did so much harm, as no man remembered that it ever did before".[4]'

This is taken from Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Michael's_Mount

Which came first Mont St Michel or St Michael's Mount?

Arguments for St Michael's Mount being 'Ictis' based on presumed lenition of 'Mictis' cannot really hold if it was six miles inland. At least as an embarkation point at sea.

'The Mount may be the Mictis of Timaeus, mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia (IV:XVI.104), and the Ictis of Diodorus Siculus.[citation needed] Both men had access to the now lost texts of the ancient Greek geographer Pytheas, who visited the island in the fourth century BC. If this is true, it is one of the earliest identified locations in the whole of western Europe and particularly on the island of Britain.'

The above taken from the same wiki page.
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