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Bronze Age Discoveries.
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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 26-02-2010 18:26    Post subject: Bronze Age Discoveries. Reply with quote

Quote:
Ring fort may have held Bronze Age sports arena
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0225/1224265140601.html

MICHAEL PARSONS

Thu, Feb 25, 2010

A MYSTERIOUS ring fort in Co Tipperary holds “massive potential for discoveries” according to archaeologists who have carried out the first survey of the site.

Their initial findings suggest that the site may have been used for Bronze Age sporting contests in an arena that is the ancient equivalent of Semple Stadium.

Archaeologists have long been curious about the origins of the Rathnadrinna Fort located about 3km south of the Rock of Cashel – one of Ireland’s most important heritage locations and seat of the High Kings of Munster.

The unusually large and distinctive landmark is still subject to many of the traditional taboos surrounding fairy forts. Archaeologists say that many people in rural areas still believe it is unwise to enter a fairy fort or to cut down perimeter trees or vegetation.

Ian Doyle, head of conservation services and archaeology with the Heritage Council, said it was traditionally believed that the fort was a “defended farmstead” of a type commonly built in Ireland about 1,200 years ago.

But while the “average run-of-the-mill fairy fort” is ringed by one defensive perimeter ditch, “Rathnadrinna Fort is quite rare because it has three rings”. Despite the historical significance of the landscape, the fort has never been excavated.

Mr Doyle said “when you think of Tara, the countryside surrounding the Rock of Cashel must hold massive potential for discoveries”. This led the council to fund a survey of the site which was carried out by a team of archaeologists led by Cashel-based Richard O’Brien and the Co Mayo company Earthsound Archaeological Geophysics.

Using highly sensitive equipment, the soil was subjected to “high-resolution magnetic imaging” – similar to an MRI scan. It is the first time that any of the fairy forts in the countryside surrounding the Rock of Cashel has been surveyed in this manner.

Speaking to The Irish Times about the results, Mr O’Brien said that “none of the traditional evidence associated with ring forts – such as houses, hearths or rubbish pits – was found”. Instead, the team discovered that the site may have been first used 3,000 years ago during the late Bronze Age.

He said one of the most exciting discoveries was evidence of a Stonehenge-style circle of wooden posts suggestive of “a ceremonial or ritual role for the fort”.

Mr O’Brien said the use of the site would have changed down through the centuries and the survey results indicate that it had “a royal function”. But the most intriguing possibility, he said, was that the “vast interior area which is much larger than most ring forts is like a sports arena”.

Rathnadrinna translates as the “Fort of the Contest”, he added.


Edit to amend subject title.


Last edited by ramonmercado on 13-09-2010 11:30; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: 26-02-2010 19:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's quite bizarre. At the very same time this story was posted I was looking for information about another Irish ring fort - the Grianan of Aileach in Donegal - it having been mentioned several times in Seamus Deane's Reading in the Dark, which I've just finished reading.
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PostPosted: 13-09-2010 11:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Bronze Age gold bracelets found in east Kent dig
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-11277386

Bronze Age bracelets The bracelets were found together, one pushed inside the other

Two gold Bronze Age bracelets have been uncovered during an archaeological dig in east Kent.

They were among 10,000 items unearthed between Ramsgate and Sandwich, ahead of the building of the new East Kent Access Road.

The bracelets, dating from 700 BC, were found by Kent County Council principal archaeological officer Simon Mason on top of earth dug from a trench.

"It was incredible... they looked too good to be real," he said.

"They were quite tarnished to start with.

"When we washed them and cleaned them we realised they were something special."
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

They are really helping to shed new light on the lives of prehistoric, Roman and Saxon people in Thanet”

End Quote Simon Mason Principal archaeological officer

It is thought they were children's bracelets that may have been a worship offering, placed near to water.

They were found together, one pushed inside the other.

Archaeologists have found evidence of a Bronze Age settlement on the find site, and five hoards of bronze objects of a similar age to the bracelets have been found in the same area.

"Their real value to me as an archaeologist though is how they contribute to the story we are putting together from our excavations on the road," Mr Mason said.

"With all the thousands of everyday objects we have dug up they are really helping to shed new light on the lives of prehistoric, Roman and Saxon people in Thanet."

Horse burial

The bracelets are being kept secure by Oxford Wessex Archaeology until they can be declared treasure by the North East Kent Coroner.

It is hoped they will be put on display locally in future.

The dig has yielded a vast array of objects from every period, from prehistoric times to World War II.

Other finds include a clay beaker in a Bronze Age grave on a ridge high above the site.

In another grave was a mystery bronze object with a Saxon cross, and there was also an Iron Age horse burial.

Archaeologists have been sharing the findings with local schools and residents, staging open days, roadshows and leading guided tours of their work.
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PostPosted: 04-10-2010 10:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Unearthed Aryan cities rewrite history

BRONZE Age cities archaeologists say could be the precursor of Western civilisation is being uncovered in excavations on the Russian steppe.

Twenty of the spiral-shaped settlements, believed to be the original home of the Aryan people, have been identified, and there are about 50 more suspected sites. They all lie buried in a region more than 640km long near Russia's border with Kazakhstan.

The cities are thought to have been built 3500-4000 years ago, soon after the Great Pyramid in Egypt. They are about the same size as several of the city states of ancient Greece, which started to come into being in Crete at about the same time.

If archeologists confirm the cities as Aryan, they could be the remnants of a civilisation that spread through Europe and much of Asia. Their language has been identified as the precursor of modern Indo-European tongues, including English. Words such as brother, guest and oxen have been traced back to this prototype.

"Potentially, this could rival ancient Greece in the age of the heroes," said British historian Bettany Hughes, who spent much of the northern summer exploring the region for a BBC radio program, Tracking the Aryans.

"We are all told that there is this kind of mother tongue, proto-Indo-European, from which all the languages we know emerge.

"I was very excited to hear on the archeological grapevine that in exactly the period I am an expert in, this whole new Bronze Age civilisation had been discovered on the steppe of southern Siberia."

She described driving for seven hours into the steppe grasslands with chief archeologist Gennady Zdanovich. "He took me to this expanse of grass; you couldn't tell there was anything special. Then, as he pointed to the ground, suddenly I realised I was walking across a buried city," she said.

"Every now and again you suddenly notice these ghostly shapes of fortresses and cattle sheds and homes and religious sites. I would not have known these had he not shown them to me."

The shape of each of the cities, which are mainly in the Chelyabinsk district, resembles an ammonite fossil, divided into segments with a spiral street plan. The settlements, which would each have housed about 2000 people -- the same as an ancient Greek city such as Mycenae -- are all surrounded by a ditch and have a square in the middle.

The first city, known as Arkaim, was discovered in 1989, soon after the soviet authorities allowed non-military aerial photography for the first time.

The full extent of the remains is only now becoming apparent. Items that have so far been dug up include many pieces of pottery covered in swastikas, which were widely used ancient symbols of the sun and eternal life. The Nazis appropriated the Aryans and the swastika as symbols of their so-called master race. Ms Hughes believes that some of the strongest evidence that the cities could be the home of the Aryans comes from a series of horse burials.

Several ancient Indian texts believed to have been written by Aryans recount similar rituals. "These ancient Indian texts and hymns describe sacrifices of horses and burials and the way the meat is cut off and the way the horse is buried with its master," she said. "If you match this with the way the skeletons and the graves are being dug up in Russia, they are a millimetre-perfect match."


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/unearthed-aryan-cities-rewrite-history/story-e6frg6so-1225933563131
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PostPosted: 04-10-2010 12:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that looks intersting. Very Happy
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PostPosted: 04-10-2010 13:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Tis a curious piece. The stuff about the 'Aryan' culture is a real blast from the past, with more than a whiff of the fetid odour of the grave. Some of the remarks on the page suggest the slant on Aryanism might have more than a little to do with the rise of nationalism in the region. The fact that the BBC is making a radio prog. on the subject does not entirely allay my suspicions.
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PostPosted: 05-10-2010 00:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked out the names mentioned, but none seem to be connected to anything nefarious. Maybe we've moved on towards the point where the "A" word can be used again in its correct context.
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PostPosted: 05-10-2010 01:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

A video from Bettany Hughes, covering this subject and others.

http://heritage-key.com/blogs/bettany-hughes/bettany-hughes-video-journal-socrates-sappho-aryans-and-more
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PostPosted: 06-10-2010 19:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first aryans came from the turkish/black sea region and was dark(er) skinned before they moved to Europe and got a white(r) skin after several hundreds or thousands of generations living in Europe.

When I tell that to racists they usually get pissed.
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PostPosted: 01-11-2010 13:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Bronze Age hoard found intact in Essex field
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11651691

Bronze axes Archaeologists have described the hoard as an exciting find

Archaeologists have unearthed a collection of Bronze Age axe heads, spear tips and other 3,000-year-old metal objects buried in an Essex field.

The items include an intact pottery container with heavy contents which has been removed undisturbed.

The materials are now at a local museum where archaeologists hope to uncover new insights into Bronze Age Britain.

"This is a really exciting find," said local archaeologist Laura McLean.

"To find a hoard still located in its Bronze Age context, below the level of ploughed soil, is very rare. The fact that there is pottery involved makes the find even more unusual."

The location was reported to archaeologists at Colchester and Ipswich Museums by a landowner from the Burnham-on-Crouch area and Mr J Humphreys, a metal detectorist.
Bronze Age artefacts (360 Productions) Finding a hoard in its Bronze Age context is very rare

Three other hobbyists then came forward to report more finds in the same area including the top of a pottery vessel.

"This is a really exciting find and a good example of metal detectorists and archaeologists working together to uncover and record our history, making sure it is not lost forever," says McLean who acts as local Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

The excavation at the Bronze Age site was filmed and the objects have been removed to allow archaeologists to carry out their studies.

As the intact pot was so fragile and the contents were heavy, the decision was taken to "block lift" the vessel and transport it to the museums laboratory for further study.

In block lifting, the soil around the object is excavated and the object itself is sealed - on this occasion in cling film - to preserve it intact and to prevent damage when transporting it.
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PostPosted: 03-11-2010 03:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malta:

Quote:
Ancient tombs discovered on school construction site

A group of ancient tombs dating back to the Punic period were discovered during excavation works for the construction of a new primary school at the Archbishop’s Seminary in Tal-Virtù, The Times has learned.

According to Nathaniel Cutajar from the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, the discovery is of “great scientific interest” and “confirms the archaeological importance” of the Tal-Virtù area in Rabat.

The superintendence is responsible for all scientific investigation of cultural assets, including archaeological excavations. An investigation of the discovery is under way by its team of archaeologists.

The Archbishop’s Seminary has a planning permit to build a primary school extension to its secondary school. Site plans have to be changed after this discovery.

“The superintendence is working in close collaboration with the seminary authorities and with the Malta Environment and Planning Authority to redesign the project, allowing it to proceed while ensuring these archaeological discoveries are protected,” Mr Cutajar said.

The discovery of these tombs, he added, was immediately reported to the superintendence by the seminary authorities following the start of construction works on site.

School headmaster Fr David Cilia said the discovery was made on September 21 and the heritage authorities were on site the day after.

“The discovery creates mixed feelings because on the one hand it enriches the country’s archaeological patrimony but on the other hand it complicates our school building plans,” Fr Cilia said.

He confirmed that the seminary had to change its plans and was in the process of submitting fresh designs that would safeguard the Punic tombs. “Work in the area where the tombs were found has been stopped but is continuing in other areas of the construction site unaffected by the archaeological remains,” Fr Cilia said. As is normal practice in such instances, a cultural heritage monitor has been app-ointed to oversee the works.


http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20101030/local/ancient-tombs-discovered-on-school-construction-site
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PostPosted: 11-12-2010 06:37    Post subject: 5000 year old footprints found on Formby beach Reply with quote

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5000 year old footprints found on Formby beach

More prehistoric human footprints have been found along a 4 km strip of coast between Formby and Ainsdale that date back some 5,000 years.

Archaeologists today dubbed the discovery ‘sensational', claiming it is one of the most significant historic footprint finds the country has seen.

Over the last few weeks hobbyists have been scouring the sand dunes with a fine tooth comb and have struck lucky with their latest findings.

Marine scientists explained how the beaches are receding, which forces layers of sand and sediment to disperse, leaving land which has lay undisturbed for thousands of years.

They added that while the footprints often appear and disappear depending on the weather and season, the new discovery came as a shock to many people.

Mysterious footprints have been found in the area since the 1950s but the latest finds also shows that deer, six foot cattle and birds from the Bronze Age once roamed the area.

Government scientists looking to protect the footprints could create a marine conservation zone in the area to protect their heritage.

The first person to take an active role in studying the footprints was ex-Harrington Road resident Gordon Roberts back in 1989.

Now 81-years-old, the former head of languages at Formby High, devised his own system of monitoring and tracking the prints by location.

Mr Roberts told The Champion that he is really excited about the recent discovery and said the importance of it for local residents should not be underestimated.

He said: “Formby prides itself on being a Viking village but from that aspect there are no visible remains.

”But of course that was only 1,000 years ago, some of the footprints recently found are over 6,000 years old and allow us to paint a truer picture of the past of Sefton's coast.

“They have found footprints from aurochs, a breed of cattle which is now extinct, but they would have been very ferocious and fearsome animals standing at six feet tall.”

Andrew Brockbank, countryside manager for the National Trust, explained how the footprints are unveiled.

He told The Champion: “Throughout different periods of history there were animals in Formby coming down to the water's edge and as the coastline was building, their footprints became locked in the sediments.

"But now the coastline is receding it is beginning to uncover some of the sediments and now you can clearly see some really amazing footprints."

Dr Mark Adams, senior archaeological project officer at the museum of Liverpool, is involved with the Sefton Coast Partnership who are investigating Formby's dunes.

He hailed the discovery as "up there with the best exposures this country has ever had in terms of prehistoric footprints."

Dr Adams, who recently visited the site, added: "When you see them a shiver goes down your spine and you get a real direct connection with people from thousands of years ago.

“Just weeks ago the finding was between five and ten trails of human footprints along with a really good exposure of red deer prints.

"We are trying to get local people involved to help us find more and are looking to organise some archaeology training sessions for next year."

To get involved with the project you can contact Dr Mark Adams on 0151 4784260 or for more information on marine conservation zones visit www.irishseaconservation.org.uk


http://www.champnews.com/html/newsstory.asp?id=8694
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PostPosted: 07-02-2011 19:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Secrets in Stone: Rare Archaeological Find in Norway
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131073133.htm

These unusual petroglyphs were found in a burial mound in Stjørdal, central Norway. (Credit: Anne Haug, NTNU Museum of Natural History and Archaeology)

ScienceDaily (Jan. 31, 2011) — It looked to be a routine excavation of what was thought to be a burial mound. But beneath the mound, archaeologists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's Museum of Natural History and Archaeology found something more: unusual Bronze Age petroglyphs. "We believe these are very special in a Norwegian context," says museum researcher and project manager Anne Haug.

The excavation in Stjørdal, just north of Trondheim, was necessitated by the expansion of a gravel pit. Given that project archaeologists didn't anticipate that the dig would be very complicated, the museum researchers dedicated just three weeks to the effort.

Petroglyphs under a cremation site

Then came the surprises. First, it turned out that mound builders had used an existing hill as a starting point -- which of course saved them time and effort. The hill itself made the burial mound even larger and more monumental than it might have otherwise been.

But researchers suspected there might be another reason for the choice of the hilltop when they uncovered the remains of two cremations, or rather a fire layer that also contained bits of bone. Underneath they found many petroglyphs, including eight drawings showing the soles of feet, with cross hatching. There were also five shallow depressions, Haug says.

Two boat drawings and several other drawings of feet soles with toes were also found just south of the burial mound.

LInk between burial mound and drawings unclear

"This is a very special discovery, and we are not aware of other similar findings from Trøndelag County," she says. "The tomb might have been deliberately constructed over the petroglyphs, probably as part of funeral ritual. Based on the type of characters and especially the drawings of the foot soles, we have dated the artwork to the Bronze Age, about 1800 -- 500 BC."

"Why there are foot sole drawings beneath the tomb is a puzzle. But if we interpret the find in terms of a fertility cult, it may be that the soles represent God and life-giving power. That means that you can have both life and death represented in one place," she says.

Unique in a Norwegian context

Haug says that there was a similar discovery in Østlandet County, an area called Jong in Bærum, where petroglyphs illustrating foot soles were found under a tomb that dates back to the Bronze Age. In a Nordic context, this phenomenon is more common, and there are several examples where burials were combined with rock art, particularly petroglyphs of foot soles from Bohuslän, a World Heritage site in Sweden.

It's not yet clear if the grave was put in place the same time as the petroglyphs, Haug says. The dig began in September, 2010 and extended through the end of October, but the analysis is ongoing.

The scientists have found about 900 grams of burned bone, probably from one or more individuals; they hope to be able to carry out C-14 dating of the material and conduct more analyses so they can determine more about the gender and the age of the individuals in the grave.

"Currently, we have found several human teeth, as well as what may be remains of human ribs. We also found an animal tooth that suggests that one or more animals may have been laid in the tomb along with whoever is buried there," she says. There were very few objects found in the tomb, but a flat corroded metal object was found in the burnt layer. It's hard to say what this was, but the object will be X-rayed for analysis.

Remains of a larger burial ground?

It is unclear whether the original burial site contained two grave mounds, or whether there was just one large burial area.

A burial ground in the area was first described in 1818 by Lorentz D. Klüwer, and archaeologist Karl Rygh also described the site in 1879. It is likely that the graves that have been excavated in the most recent dig are the last remains of this burial ground.

The rock art found at the site is a type called South Scandinadivan agriculture carving and is dated to the Bronze Age, from 1800 -- 500 BC. The tomb probably dates to the transition between the Bronze Age and Iron Age, from 500 BC up to the year 1.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
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PostPosted: 25-02-2011 18:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Bronze Age skeleton found in garden by man building a shed
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0225/1224290838870.html
EOGHAN MacCONNELL

Fri, Feb 25, 2011

AN ARCHAEOLOGY enthusiast in Co Westmeath has unearthed human remains dating back more than 4,000 years in his back garden.

The National Museum of Ireland has described as “significant” the find by Pat Tiernan at Rickardstown, Collinstown.

Mr Tiernan had been excavating soil for the construction of a “lean-to”, or shed, at the rear of his home when a spell of bad weather led to a small landslide.

“I looked out the window and saw bones protruding out the back and I saw the pot, and then I kind of knew what I was looking at,” Mr Tiernan said.

“They looked too big for ordinary animal bones and too small for large animal bones. I kinda clicked it because I was used to looking at a bit of the Time Team.”

After a visit to Newgrange, Mr Tiernan developed an interest in ancient Irish art and archaeology. He contacted specialists about the find.

A team from the National Museum arrived at the house this week and removed the bones and pot. “They reckon it is between 4,000-4,500 years old,” Mr Tiernan said.

Assistant keeper at the National Museum Pádraig Clancy attended the site along with the assistant keeper Dr Andy Halpin and the conservator, Carol Smith.

Mr Clancy said the gender of the remains had yet to be determined. “The very interesting thing about Rickardstown is a similar bowl was found by a Mr Thomas O’Farrell in the 1940s” at a quarry nearby, Mr Clancy added.

This find fits the Bronze Age burial tradition of often isolated burials. Three distinct areas of decoration had been identified on the bowl, he added.

According to Mr Clancy, the remains, which were buried in a slightly flexed crouch position, and the bowl could date from as far back as 2200 BC.

Thanking Mr Tiernan, he said: “We are very grateful to him. Due to his prompt recognition of it, it did save the bulk of the vessel. It did aid in the bowl being in the state that it is at the moment.”

The remains will be analysed and preserved at the National Museum and Mr Tiernan and members of his family will be able to view them on request.
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PostPosted: 07-04-2011 07:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

What caused Britain's Bronze Age 'recession'?

A large gap in pre-history could signal that Britain underwent an economic downturn over 2,500 years ago.
In history lessons, the three ages of pre-history - Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age - seem to flow together without a gap.
But there is a 300-year period in British history between around 800 BC and 500 BC where experts still struggle to explain what happened, where bronze is in decline and iron was not widely used.

"By 1000 BC the bronze axe had become almost a proto-currency," says historian and presenter Neil Oliver.
"It was wealth that was divorced from its use as a metal. And, a little like economic bubbles that we see today, it spelt danger.
"Attitudes to bronze were about to change, with dramatic consequences not only for Bronze Age elite, but for all British society.
"By 800 BC, Britain - along with the rest of Europe - was heading for an economic meltdown."

The difficult thing for historians and archaeologists alike, is that no-one knows for sure what caused this decline.
"It's one of the big problems," says Timothy Champion, professor of archaeology at the University of Southampton.
"There are all sorts of explanations that people have suggested, including climatic change, environmental destruction caused by over-exploitation or even internal revolution by the exploited peasantry.
"Alternatively, it could be external invasions - there is no generally agreed explanation for what looks like a major event."

What is known is around this time, is that bronze in Britain was beginning to be dumped.
There are a number of archaeological sites around Britain where large amounts of bronze, specifically axeheads, have been recovered, such as the one at Langton Matravers, Dorset. This is important because of the way historians believe bronze was used in ancient society.


"The significance of [copper and bronze] is as much social as it is a tool," says Sue Hamilton, professor of prehistory at University College London.
"It was made into ornaments and smaller objects. Copper was used so people had ways of adorning and distinguishing themselves but it's not until the late Bronze Age until you have a full set of tools."

So if the idea of status was beginning to turn away from bronze without anything to replace it, social upheaval, it is believed, was inevitable.
"This is a time of crisis", says archaeologist Niall Sharples, of Cardiff University.
"Bronze is used for all sorts of things, but primarily it's creating relationships of status within communities.
"When the bronze goes, you have to find social mechanisms to structure that society."

But what caused the value of bronze to lose its value? Could it be the fault of the impending Iron Age?
"There is iron in the Mediterranean by around 1200 BC," says Prof Hamilton.
"It became more evident in Italy around 1000 BC [and] it was cropping up in a variety of places. This is much earlier than we ever imagined."

But because iron rarely appeared in Britain before around 600 BC, many question whether this could have had a trickle-down effect.
"There were major changes in society but I don't think it was because of iron," says Sir Barry Cunliffe, emeritus professor of European archaeology at the University of Oxford.
"There were many, many factors that were at work in European society.
"There is a globalisation, if you like, of Europe.

"The acquisition of the efficient riding horse from the East comes slowly, but it really gets under way around 800 BC. It is an item of great prestige. Horse riding takes over as a thing of display in the social structure.
"The other thing that happens in society is that links with the Mediterranean improve.
"Colonies began trading Greek ideas and standards into barbarian Europe."

And scientists have recently discovered something else interesting about the period - evidence of severe climate change.
Results suggest that around the time of the bronze being dumped, there was a sharp decline in temperature, all revealed by the midge population.
"Different midge species are happiest at different temperatures, so when it suits them they're going to be extremely abundant," says Stephen Brooks, of the Natural History Museum.
"We find there's a big change in the midges in a very short period of time - maybe over 50 years or so.
"And this corresponds to other evidence from pollen and from peat bogs where, similarly, the evidence is temperature declined and rainfall increased."

And without the technology to quite literally weather the storm, it is thought that this had dire consequences.
"As bronze economy was collapsing, Britain's population also fell - possibly for the first time since the Ice Age," says Neil Oliver.
"This was a dual crisis that was driving Britain into a period of social turmoil… a crisis that would utterly reshape British society.
"What we're seeing in the early Iron Age is a changing belief. It's as if the people of Britain - hit by climate change in different ways - are having to reassess their lives and their place in the great scheme of things in new ways."

By around 550 BC, it is thought that the decline had ended and the climate had stabilised.
Iron, despite being used across Europe for nearly 1,000 years, began to appear across Britain in increasing quantities. And this created a revolution in farming and food production.
"The time of crisis was becoming a distant memory and the population of Britain grew rapidly," says Neil Oliver.
"Agricultural surplus lay at the heart of a newly emerging economy… and that depended heavily on iron. Unlike bronze, it wasn't the preserve of the elite.
"And that together with its strength and new widespread availability was set to transform society and push us one more step into the modern world."

A History of Celtic Britain airs on Thursday 7 April, BBC Two 2100 BST.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12989605
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