History News: Stonehenge built by Welsh, Orkney tsunami graves?

Brian G Turner

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stonehenge.png


A couple of particularly interesting stories this week:

1. Stonehenge built by Welsh?

We know little about the people who built Stonehenge - but analysis from suggests that the people first cremated there were Welsh: Stonehenge: First residents from west Wales

Lead author Dr Christophe Snoeck compared the levels of different forms, or isotopes, of the element strontium against a national database to work out where the cremated individuals spent the last years of their lives.

Strontium is present in many bedrocks. And different geographical areas have distinctive strontium signatures. So by matching the strontium "fingerprints" in human remains to the strontium profiles of different geographical regions, a person's place of origin can be roughly determined.

Dr Snoeck, who is now an international expert in cremation following a PhD at the University of Oxford, said that "about 40% of the cremated individuals did not spend their later lives on the Wessex chalk where their remains were found."
So it's possible that high-status people were being taken from Pembrokeshire - where the stones were originally mined - and buried at Stonehenge.

Which obviously raises the big question of what made a site in Wiltshire so attractive to the Welsh in the first place?


2. Ammonites play role in serpent legends?

An historical link between fossil ammonites and serpent legends gets discussion here: A Legend of Snakes and Stones | Hakai Magazine

On a wind-battered Yorkshire, England, coastline writhing with snakes, St. Hilda of Whitby, a spirited royal from Northumbria, closed her eyes and channeled divine power. The prayer she uttered turned every snake—icons of evil in Christian mythology—into stone and decapitated them in the process. Their headless corpses littered the bluffs below the monastery that St. Hilda established in 657 CE in what is now the town of Whitby.

The myth is one of many worldwide based on ammonites—ancient cephalopods closely related to cuttlefish and nautilus that died out around 66 million years ago.
However, what I find especially interesting are other famous snake legends: Medusa and the gorgons, and the Python of Apollo, both involve serpents and decapitation.

Is it possible that ammonites are also connected in some way to these major Greek stories?


3. Orkney mass burials followed Tsunami?

Geological evidence already tells us that at least one major Tsunami hit Scotland around 8,000 years ago - Storegga Slide - Wikipedia

Now a new theory suggests that some burials in Orkney and Shetland at least might be of Tsunami victims: Mass Burials Found On Two Scottish Islands Could Be Explained By A Controversial New Theory

They also point out certain commonalities between tsunami-related mass burials that seem to defy time and place – for example, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 1896 Sanriku tsunami. These comparisons show that these mass burials can usually be found by the coast, in shallow trenches or pits, and are carried out with little to no thought to religious and cultural sensitivities. Also, because the most common cause of death in a tsunami-type scenario is asphyxiation, there may be little to no physical sign of trauma on the skeletons.
I was recently looking at a display in Inverness Museum that mentioned the Storegga tsunami event, and the impact here - in which case, it may be possible that other mass graves may also be connected with it.


4. Germany's oldest library found

Archaeologists in Cologne believe they have found Germany's oldest library, dating to around 2AD: 'Oldest library in Germany' unearthed

"At first we thought they were the remains of a space for public gatherings," Marcus Trier, director of the city's Romano-Germanic Museum said, but the walls had "unusual, cavernous structures".

After intensive research and comparison with ancient buildings such as the Ephesus in Turkey, the archaeologists were confident they had found the remains of what used to be a library.
...
The building likely housed up to 20,000 scrolls, according to Dr Dirk Schmitz, a researcher on the expedition.
 

ctg

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Which obviously raises the big question of what made a site in Wiltshire so attractive to the Welsh in the first place?
They knew it already. It's the logical answer. In my mind, the henges and there are many also point to the lost civilisation nobody talks about. It's not thought in schools, not talked in the mainstream, but even the Bible talks about a civilisation that was before the Great Flood.

The humanity has been here for far longer than it's thought in classical terms. We have produced awesome things all around the world for at least past 20 to 40 thousand years. Some of them you can seen in the monuments like Giza's Great Pyramids, Petra's carved city, Babylonia (which is mostly in ruins after multiple wars), the stuff in Syria that seemingly goes way past the official count, Gobekli Tebe in Turkey (10 000 BC) and so on.

Thing is, when you start looking into it, it goes so deep beyond the officially told stuff. Some of it so crazy that your mind boggles, when you try to think about it. So, when you think about that the people from Welsh built the stuff, you have to take into account that they were guided by the druids and the druids by God knows what stuff as it wasn't mostly written down.

With the stuff I mean the experience and knowledge that were handed down as sacred knowledge by the druids. The mythology often says that they produced their spells by singing. Some legends says that Merlin song and the stones floated to places. Other legends say that he was aided by giants. And that is the crazy thing.

I personally cannot believe it as the giants allegedly are fantastical creatures. If you however look into the evidence and research into the legends, the crazy comes out and the fabric of reality to starts to break because ... there are skeletons of giants.

Man, if they were real, were the Harpies real?


An artist’s mark on the story of Finland - thisisFINLAND

I believe that the henge's and there are many, many of them were gathering places of druidic ceremonies as they are depicted today. I can also believe that they were built by the Welsh. As well as I can believe that they chose the sites by long term association that can go well into the last great ice age and beyond.

We just have lost the knowledge and our current norms doesn't want us to accept certain realities, because we think them as fantasies.
 

Ursa major

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I'm afraid that, as with so much reporting of science in the general media, the headline is not justified by the content... and, in this case, the content does not provide sufficient evidence (either because there is insufficient evidence or because most of what there is has been omitted from the report) for its own conclusions. Indeed, the report undermines itself.

FIrst of all, "West Wales" is mentioned just the once, in the title. Okay, the stones come from Pembroke, but that says nothing about the human "inhabitants" of Stonehenge (give or take those times when the people arriving with the stones from Pembroke were at Stonehenge).

Second, determining that "about 40% of the cremated individuals did not spend their later lives on the Wessex chalk where their remains were found" tells us zilch about that 40%'s origins. All it tells us is that, in their later lives, they did not live on the Wessex chalk.

Third, the paragraph,
"The evidence suggests that some of the people buried at Stonehenge must have spent much of their last 10 or so years in Wales. Although we tend to think that immigration is a new thing, these people were obviously able to travel substantial distances across difficult terrain."
tells us that the people who spent their last 10 or so in Wales were able to travel substantial distances across difficult terrain." Some of them may very well have travelled to Wales earlier in their lives, and so perhaps were not from there.

Fourth, the above is reinforced by the statement: "The scientists' work shows that both people and materials were moving between the regions and that, for some of these people, the move was permanent." But more than that, I'm not sure how people who have been living in Wales during the 10 years before they were cremated at Stonehenge can be considered to be "permanent" residents of Stonehenge... unless we count their last resting place as a residence.
 

Judderman

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Good points Ursa. It is not really far from Wales to Stonehenge. No doubt there could be some migration to this famous location. Some builders or worshippers could be Welsh. Clearly looking at different articles on this there were people from different locations there. But unless the Welsh ruler controlled this area I don’t think you could call it Welsh.
 

Nemesis Looms

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Evidence from archaeology, DNA and linguistics tends to show that the northern European Atlantic seaboard including western Britain and Ireland was pretty much culturally ( if not administratively ) homogeneous.

I am not sure that it is helpful to apply relatively 'modern' concepts such as 'Welsh' to the ancient population of the region. Five millenia ago the concept of Wales would have been as meaningless as that of Wiltshire. It would be around another 2,500 years before western Britain became significantly culturally divided from what is now England - indeed before there was any concept of 'Britain' - and that's another thing the Romans did for us.

When the Romans arrived, the common language of southern Britain was Brythonic Celtic - the ancestor of modern Welsh.
 

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