Ancient Origins, “More than a Dozen Mysterious Prehistoric Tunnels in Cornwall, England, Mystify Researchers”
More than a dozen tunnels have been found in Cornwall, England, that are unique in the British Isles. No one knows why Iron Age people created them. The fact that the ancients supported their tops and sides with stone, suggests that they wanted them to endure, and that they have, for about 2,400 years.
Many of the fogous, as they’re called in Cornish after their word for cave, ogo, were excavated by antiquarians who didn’t keep records, so their purpose is hard to fathom, says a BBC Travel story on the mysterious structures.
The landscape of Cornwall is covered with hundreds of ancient, stone, man-made features, including enclosures, cliff castles, roundhouses, ramparts and forts. In terms of stone monuments, the Cornwall countryside has barrows, menhirs, dolmens, cairns and of course stone circles. In addition, there are 13 inscribed stones.
The Cornish landscape is dotted with ancient megalithic structures like this Lanyon Quoit Megalith ( public domain )
“Obviously, all of this monument building did not take place at the same time. Man has been leaving his mark on the surface of the planet for thousands of years and each civilisation has had its own method of honouring their dead and/or their deities,” says the site Cornwall in Focus.
The site says Cornwall has 74 Bronze Age structures, 80 from the Iron Age, 55 from the Neolithic and one from the Mesolithic. In addition, there are nine Roman sites and 24 post-Roman. The Mesolithic dates from 8000 to 4500 BC, so people have been occupying this southwestern peninsula of Britain for a long, long time.
About 150 generations of people worked the land there. But it’s believed the fogous date to the Iron Age, which lasted from about 700 BC to 43 AD. Though they’re unique, the fogou tunnels of Cornwall are similar to souterrains in Scotland, Ireland, Normandy and Brittany, says the BBC.
Carn Euny fogou in Cornwall ( public domain )
The fogous required considerable investment of time and resources “and no one knows why they would have done so,” says the BBC. It’s interesting to note that all 14 of the fogous have been found within the confines of prehistoric settlements.
Because the society was preliterate, there are no written records that explain the enigmatic structures.
Posted by DanielS on Monday, 28 November 2016 00:01.
These ancient “guardians of the gates” of Nimrud, called “lamassu”, were rescued by William Henry Layard and preserved at The British National Museum. Similar ancient treasures remaining at Nimrud were destroyed by Isil.
NPR, “In Northern Iraq, ISIS Leaves Behind An Archaeological Treasure In Ruins”, 26 Nov 2016:
In northern Iraq, outside Mosulin 2014, The Islamic State captured the ancient site of Nimrud and destroyed many of its archaeological treasures that date back 3,000 years. Isil were recently driven out of Nimrud, allowing archaeologists and others to come back and survey the extensive damage.
....including what remained of the remnants of temples and roads to the ancient palace of Ashurnasirpal II.
The king of the Assyrian empire, he built his palace at Nimrud almost three millennia ago. Enough of the cuneiform inscriptions, carved stone friezes and sculptures were left that it had been reconstructed throughout the 20th century by Iraqi and international archaeologists, and later by the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, as a kind of on-site museum, where visitors could really imagine the stately building on a hill.
[There was] great pair of sculptures guarding the gate – the mythical beast called a lamassu with the face of a man, body of a bull and the wings of an eagle.
“It was very important to put them at the gates,” she explained recently, “to drive away evil spirits from the city.”
Then, in 2014, the Islamic State surged through Iraq, taking nearly a third of the country’s territory, along with several ancient sites, including Nimrud, which is about 20 miles southeast of Mosul. They smashed and blew up Ashurnasirpal II’s palace.
[...] attacking the masonry and sculptures, deeming them heretical.
Last week, the Iraqi army retook Nimrud from the extremists, part of a push by an assortment of Iraqi security forces to dislodge ISIS from Mosul and surrounding areas. So Salih returned to see the site for herself.
In front of the grand entrance to what archaeologists call the northwest palace, built with thick walls around a central courtyard, was a grim pile of chunks
Ancient tablets with cuneiform writing lie around in pieces. The entrance to the palace is blocked with rubble, with tiny pieces of ancient inscription mixed up in it. A climb to the top of the walls reveals a courtyard strewn with wreckage.
The pride of the palace used to be a stone frieze of the Assyrian figures known as winged genies.
Now they are all but destroyed.
And despite numerous international initiatives and conferences on emergency heritage management, despite regular statements by Iraqi officials about the importance of the country’s ancient heritage, no soldier is guarding the site. Not so much as a local tribesman.
Although the site is historically Assyrian, it is not just Iraq’s small, Assyrian minority that sees it as part of its history. Iraqis often cite Nimrud as a source of national pride, part of the long history of the land once known as Mesopotamia.
No one knows when that might start. The British Museum is leading a project to train Iraqi archaeologists in emergency management.
“All the area which has been under ISIS control will need to be inspected and assessed,” said John MacGinnis, the archaeologist who leads the project.
But MacGinnis said for that to begin, the area has to be secure. And at Nimrud, ISIS is still within mortar range. The sounds of fighting nearby echo every day around the ruins.
A major new archaeological find of causewayed enclosures and artifacts near Britain’s famous Stonehenge site is about to “rewrite” the history of the area and of northwestern Europe’s early inhabited history.
Built 5,650 years ago—more than 1,000 years before Stonehenge—one of the enclosures appears to have been a major ceremonial gathering place.
The major enclosure’s precise original function remains a mystery, but the scant available evidence suggests that it was used for a mixture of ceremonial, religious, political, and mortuary roles.
According to a press release issued by a construction consultancy company involved with an unrelated new building project at the site, archaeologists have “discovered important new sites that rewrite the Stonehenge landscape” and which “predate the construction of Stonehenge itself.”
The remains, found at Larkhill and Bulford, were unearthed during excavations ahead of the construction of new British Army family accommodation.
About 70 enclosures of the type found are known across England and Europe, the press release continued.
The structure is one of the “earliest built structures in the British landscape,” and was used “for temporary settlement, as ceremonial gathering places, to manage and exchange animals, including the first domesticated cattle and sheep and for ritual activity.”
The Larkhill enclosure has produced freshly broken pottery, dumps of worked flint and even a large stone saddle quern used to turn grain into flour. The Neolithic period saw the first use of domesticated crops and this find provides evidence of this.
The Greater Cursus, an earthwork nearly 1.8 miles in length, is the longest structure. It connects and divides parts of the landscape, and separates the Larkhill causewayed enclosure from the place that became Stonehenge.
“The people who built the causewayed enclosure are the ancestors of the builders of Stonehenge and were shaping the landscape into which the stone circle was placed,” the press release continued.
“Their work shows that this was a special landscape even before Stonehenge was constructed. People were already living and working within what we now call the Stonehenge landscape and they were building the structures that would culminate in the Stonehenge complex of stones and earthworks.
“The Larkhill site shows that they had the social organization necessary to come together to build significant earthworks and the resources to support the work, as well as the people to carry it out. The offerings in the ditches also show the rich religious life they had created.”
So far, archaeologists from Wiltshire-based Wessex Archaeology have excavated around 100 m. of ditch, probably representing around 17 percent of the monument’s outer circuit. That investigation has already enabled them to get a sense of some of the rituals that were carried out there.
Antlers and a quern recovered at the site.
Pottery shards and arrowheads recovered at the site.
From the John Podesta emails, here is a fascinating exchange between Podesta and (((Sandy Newman))).
On 2/10/12, Sandy Newman wrote: > Hi, John,
> > This whole controversy with the bishops opposing contraceptive coverage even > though 98% of Catholic women (and their conjugal partners) have used > contraception has me thinking . . . There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in > which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and > the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the > Catholic church. Is contraceptive coverage an issue around which that could > happen. The Bishops will undoubtedly continue the fight. Does the Catholic > Hospital Association support of the Administration’s new policy, together > with “the 98%” create an opportunity? > > Of course, this idea may just reveal my total lack of understanding of the > Catholic church, the economic power it can bring to bear against nuns and > priests who count on it for their maintenance, etc. Even if the idea isn’t > crazy, I don’t qualify to be involved and I have not thought at all about > how one would “plant the seeds of the revolution,” or who would plant them. > Just wondering . . .
> > Hoping you’re well, and getting to focus your time in the ways you want. > > Sandy > > Sandy Newman, President > Voices for Progress > 202.669.8754 > voicesforprogress.org
Like a fury, he entered four churches in the historic center of Rome and destroyed ancient statues, crucifixes, candelabras. The damage is incalculable from an artistic point of view. In the end, when he was getting ready to make the fifth incursion, he was arrested by the police. The vandal is a 39-year-old citizen of Ghana with a criminal record, legally residing in Italy.
Posted by DanielS on Saturday, 17 September 2016 02:57.
TNO, “World’s Oldest Snowshoe Found”, 16 September 2016:
The world’s oldest snowshoe, made in the late Neolithic age, over 5,800 years old— made of birch wood and twine, has been discovered at an altitude of 3,134 meters (10,280ft) on the Gurgler Eisjoch glacier, close to Italy’s border with Austria.
“It is the oldest snowshoe in the world so far discovered, dating to around 5,800 years ago,” scientists said in a statement.
The shoe, which consists of an oval-shaped frame with strands of twine tied across it, was found by Simone Bartolini, a cartographer from Italy’s Military Geographical Institute, who was mapping the border with Austria.
He came across it in 2003 but for the next 12 years kept it in his office in Florence as a curiosity.
“At first I thought it was maybe 100 years old and was a snowshoe that belonged to a farmer who lost it while driving cattle. I kept it in my office as a keepsake,” Dr. Bartolini said at a press conference this week in Bolzano, the capital of the autonomous, Germany-speaking province of South Tyrol.
It was only last year that it dawned on him that it could be much older and more significant. He gave it to archaeologists to study.
The discovery was made close to where the frozen, mummified remains of a Neolithic hunter, nicknamed “Otzi,” were found by two German hikers 25 years ago.
That mummified corpse has revealed a wealth of information on what people of the period wore and ate, how they hunted and armed themselves and how they traveled.
Scientists at the press conference said the discovery of the snowshoe was “exceptional.”
“The shoe is evidence that people in the Neolithic period were living in the Alps area and had equipped themselves accordingly,” said Dr. Catrin Marzoli, the director of the province’s cultural heritage department.
It was unclear why people were traveling through such an inhospitable region, she said. They may have been hunting animals, fleeing enemies from a rival tribe, or visiting ancient pre-Christian sites of worship.