Trade Secrets

Current topics

Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 12:26 am

Not to mention the flint mines in Norfolk. Presumably the Michael Line is like Silicon Valley. Don't forget though that Avebury and therefore presumably the Michael Line predates all metallurgy in Britain.
Mick Harper
 
Posts: 893
Joined: 10:28 am

Re: Trade Secrets

Postby jon » 8:16 am

Mick Harper wrote:Not to mention the flint mines in Norfolk. Presumably the Michael Line is like Silicon Valley. Don't forget though that Avebury and therefore presumably the Michael Line predates all metallurgy in Britain.


Possibly: Avebury dates to 2600BC (Burl; 1997), whereas Stonehenge stage 2 (Pearson's latest time-line) dates to 2620-2480 BC (Pearson 2012). There is now a vast amount of data showing that metals were in use before Stonehenge (especially copper and tin, but not the alloy bronze), so it is possible that the early metal trade existed before Avebury.
jon
 
Posts: 108
Joined: 8:51 am

Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 10:16 am

Yes but this is not the decisive timeline. Avebury is designed according to models of stone (or wood) circles that go back to three-and-a half or even four thou BC. This definitely predates any British involvement in the metals trade. Hence it can be reasonably inferred that the 'Avebury System' was not a metals-induced one.

Of course it remains a possibility that the Michael Line (and therefore Avebury itself) might not have been built to reflect the new importance of metals c two-and-a-half but on basic Occamite grounds I'd be inclined to assume that The System is a) for general use b) predates metals and/or c) merely incorporated metals as it would any other new widespread demand for strategic trade.
Mick Harper
 
Posts: 893
Joined: 10:28 am

Re: Trade Secrets

Postby jon » 4:44 pm

Mick Harper wrote:Yes but this is not the decisive timeline. Avebury is designed according to models of stone (or wood) circles that go back to three-and-a half or even four thou BC. This definitely predates any British involvement in the metals trade..


Fair point, though we do not know that Avebury existed as a model of wood. I understand that we do know that the inner circles pre-date the major earthworks, though the textbooks are sometimes contradictory. We do not, however, know for certain that the metals trade does not go back further. It seems unlikely for copper, but tin is possible: Mining evidence dates tin extraction to 3015-2415 BC.
jon
 
Posts: 108
Joined: 8:51 am

Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 9:02 pm

Extract Ten

We can be reasonably certain that this line is the work of ‘Michael monks’ because his name occurs at the following points along the line between Land’s End and Avebury:

St Michael’s Mount
St Michael’s, Carn Brea
St Michael’s, Roche Rock
St Michael’s, Brentor
St Michael and All Angels, Angersleigh
St Michael’s, Creech St Michael
St Michael’s, Burrowbridge Mump
St Michael’s, Othery
St Michael’s Tor, Glastonbury
Stoke St Michael, Tower Hill


But the fact that the line actually passes through the stone circle of Avebury means that we shall have to deal with the vexed timeline of these ‘monks’. It is vexed because technically ‘monks’ belong to the Age of Saints c 400 – 1000 AD whereas the Avebury complex dates from c 4,500 – 1000 BC. Yet we have already established that the work of these ‘monks’ was being described, however indirectly, by Diodorus in 1 AD.

There is no doubt that the Michael Line (as with the causewayed islands in the Channel) is highly Christianised; there is equally no doubt that the Michael Line (as with the causewayed islands in the Channel) is being used for navigational purposes long before the Christian era. It is no use appealing to the historical record to clear up this highly anomalous situation since for the whole of the Age of Saints it was the monks themselves that were responsible for the historical record; for the Roman period the sources are either silent or ambiguous; before the Romans there is no historical record. All we can do is inspect the physical remains and whatever etymological weight these objects bear and proceed with caution.

One common theme though will become increasingly obvious: Megalithia. The use of large stones, and of large scale earth-shifting in general, to ... well, to do whatever it was this mysteriously long-lasting caste was up to.
Mick Harper
 
Posts: 893
Joined: 10:28 am

Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Boreades » 10:44 pm

Mick Harper wrote: Not to mention the flint mines in Norfolk. Presumably the Michael Line is like Silicon Valley. Don't forget though that Avebury and therefore presumably the Michael Line predates all metallurgy in Britain.

Possibly.

But it would be strange indeed if the trade network and communication hubs were established before the trade goods were first produced and therefore established a need for a trading/communication network. That would be a bit like building motorways before anyone had invented cars. Or inventing the internet before we had computers.

Or, let's put it another way, what trade route could the Michael Line have been for, before metallurgy was established?
Boreades
 
Posts: 2054
Joined: 2:35 pm

Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 11:16 pm

It is not a trade route. It is the longest landline that can be surveyed across Britain without crossing a body of water. That's the whole point. The Ancient Brits traded every which way with every which thing (salt mainly) and wanted a system that allowed you to go anywhere with anything.

Of course, since the Michael Line is the M1 of the system, it is reasonable to assume that traders took advantage of this prime route. Flint that occurs near the Michael Line is going to be cheaper than flint that doesn't. A tin mine will be economic if it is near the Michael Line compared to one that isn't.
Mick Harper
 
Posts: 893
Joined: 10:28 am

Re: Trade Secrets

Postby jon » 8:28 am

Mick Harper wrote:The use of large stones, and of large scale earth-shifting in general, to ... well, to do whatever it was this mysteriously long-lasting caste was up to.


Could well be. My feeling is that the answer will prove to be so blindingly obvious that we will laugh at the effort expended by past generations in trying to work it out.
jon
 
Posts: 108
Joined: 8:51 am

Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 5:03 pm

Extract Eleven

The terrestrial Michael Line is not a road, nor is the maritime one a sea-lane. They are sets of navigation markers, the pre-historical (that is the pre-literate) version of maps or, if it is preferred, of roadsigns. It is the traveller's task to decide how to get from one marker to the next, when to leave the marked passage, when to decide his destination is reached. No traveller is going to advance all the way to Land’s End because there is nothing there [1]; no traveller is going to climb to the top of Glastonbury Tor because, again, there is nothing there [2].

It is just the same with the maritime Michael Line: nobody is going to follow the Great Circle across the southwest corner of Guernsey, they will simply sail around and pick up the Great Circle on the other side (which is why, as we shall shortly see, there is a marker to that effect).

But there is a handy difference between these prehistoric landmarks and roadsigns. A road sign can be tiny because it is beside the road but a landmark has to be big enough to be seen from a distance, which is convenient for later researchers trying to reconstruct the system. Big in this context means literally ‘megalithic’ (mega = big, lithic = stone) and megalithic things tend to remain in situ.

But that very longevity also creates a problem. Anything that lasts a long time in the British countryside tends to become literally a part of the British countryside and both geologists and historians have a bias towards assuming things are natural when they are not. The former have a professional reason to treat things as natural because that makes them part of the geologists’ remit; the latter have a tendency to assume things are natural because they take a highly restricted view of the capabilities of pre-historic people generally.

There is no doubt that each disputed ‘megalithic structure’ can plausibly be dismissed as ‘natural’ and its apparently significant postioning to be ‘coincidental’ (or the result of overzealous selectivity) but by the same token, should a pattern be established, it becomes increasingly difficult to defend this postion. A one-off peculiar natural formation is acceptable but two ... three ... the argument rapidly becomes indefensible. If the pattern is established. A good current example of the way orthodoxy deals with the problem is the Cheesewring.

Image

The view of both geologists and historians is summed up in the Wiki entry, always an excellent guide when professional opinion is for all practical purposes unanimous:

The Cheesewring is a granite tor in Cornwall, United Kingdom, situated on the eastern flank of Bodmin Moor It is a natural geological formation, a rock outcrop of granite slabs formed by weathering. The name derives from the resemblance of the piled slabs to a "cheesewring", a press-like device that was once used to make cheese.

(1) Unless you are a modern sightseer, though there is evidence that the Ancients were sightseers too.

[2] Unless you are a modern New Ager, though there is evidence that Old Agers were New Agers too.
Mick Harper
 
Posts: 893
Joined: 10:28 am

Re: Trade Secrets

Postby Mick Harper » 4:33 pm

Extract Twelve

Looked at with different eyes, this explanation is almost weird. These stones are manifestly arranged by human hands. If that is your a priori viewpoint. But there really is no definitive way of distinguishing. Nor would the Cheesewring's relationship to the Michael Line decide the case. If the line went directly through the structure it would be argued that the line had been selected with that in mind – and the line does have a measure of wiggle room, so this is difficult to refute absolutely. If the Line went close to it then the argument would be “close is a miss”.

From a strictly mercantile point of view the important factor would be, “Can the Cheesewring be seen from the next megalithic structure on the Michael Line?” to which the circular argument then becomes, “It depends whether that feature is natural or man-made.”

It always depends on the pattern. Consider this “megalithic structure”:

Image

Again it entirely depends on the eye of the beholder. In isolation St Michael's Mount is just an ‘ordinary’ tidal island. But if it has already been established that ‘tidal islands’ are themselves rare and that this tidal island marks the start of, or at any rate is clearly visible from, the Michael Line, then one would have to say, at the very least, that nature has been 'coincidental'.

But then what of this strikingly similar body:

Image

which is Mont St Michel. Are we to shrug and commend nature once more? And were we to throw this into the mix

Image

which is Burgh (Michael) Island would this evoke, “Well that doesn’t much look like either St Michael’s Mount or Mont St Michel.” Which is true but only at the expense of, “But it does look remarkably similar to a couple of other things on the Michael Line, e.g.

Image

Burrowbridge Mump (with its St Michael’s Tower) a singularly impressive hill on a flat plain. Though not so singular as to be in sight of an equally odd hill rising out of an even flatter plain:

Image

St Michael's Tor, Glastonbury. Surely, surely, nature cannot carry on being both so bountiful and so coincidental.
Mick Harper
 
Posts: 893
Joined: 10:28 am

PreviousNext

Return to Index

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests