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The Sweet Track (Megalithic)
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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I can neither confirm nor deny that there are connections between Knoydart and Glenborrydale.

Edit:
There's a documentary about some of the connections on the Beeb right now.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00ml4yv/whisky-galore
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Mick Harper
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This is the kind of thing we have to put up with, the latest comment on our Glastonbury YouTube lecture

Guestar 2 weeks ago
To suggest there were "no roads" about in the Bronze Age is preposterous. If you didn't know the way there, you would simply ASK, the locals!

Well, it's not us that suggest there were no roads in the Bronze Age, it is archaeologists who can, with tiny corduroy exceptions, find no trace of them. We actually make no comment either way. But the idea of asking the locals "Which way are the copper mines in North Wales?" or "Am I on the right road for Cornwall?" is certainly preposterous. One does though admire the forthright confidence of the bloke (why do I suspect it's a bloke?)
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Mick Harper
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Mont St Michel Ancient Superstructures (Sky History)

Reasonably riveting though not very helpful for Megalithic purposes. Much stranger than I had thought in terms of 'natural' features. How the granite 'plug' got there; the uniqueness of the tidal arrangements etc. The French have spent squillions on preserving it, which surprised me because of their generally lax view of their past. Though of course they primarily see it as the only bastion of France that has never fallen to the English.

I will send my Glastonbuy URL to the assembled French talking heads to see if they can muster any curiosity. They are not so passé about their ye olde stuff as we are. I am not anticipating many RSVP's but you never know. They're a funny lot.
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Boreades


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Mick Harper wrote:
Well, it's not us that suggest there were no roads in the Bronze Age, it is archaeologists who can, with tiny corduroy exceptions, find no trace of them.


And yet, some slip through the net.

Excavations reveal UK route predates Roman times and was the site of an ancient 'service station'

How ancient?

the route has been in use for a staggering 10,000 years, according to newly-discovered archaeological evidence. A Mesolithic settlement, which has been compared to a modern-day service station, has been unearthed by researchers alongside the A1 near Catterick in North Yorkshire

Wimpy or Little Chef?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2656308/Ancient-service-station-unearthed-A1-10-000-year-old-route-reveals-Mesolithic-people-travelled-UK.html
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Hatty
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Wimpy or Little Chef?

It's encouraging to read these sites are thought to have been service stations rather than the usual 'for ritual purposes' or defensive 'forts' as is said of similar staging posts along prehistoric trackways.
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Mick Harper
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It's looking as if bells were nothing to do with churches originally. They were maritime navigational aids. Onshore to guide ships in at night or during fog, and on board ships to alert them that's onshore that they are coming in. Acousticians among you should report on bell sounds over water. Also we shall need a) all maritime references to bells eg the time on ships being expressed as six bells etc and b) all etymological links between bells (and whatever they are called in other languages) and long distance travel in general, especially the maritime bit.

The monkish orders, by the way, turn out to be the original bell-smiths and the leading lights in tin and bronze smelting and trading (bells are a specific blend of tin and copper). When that part of the industry went over to territorial control, they moved into monasteries. Or rather what went with monasteries. They were never terribly religious. The truly radical among you may think they invented the religion to provide the churches that needed the bells.
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Mick Harper
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PS St Clement is turning out to be second only to St Michael in Megalithic importance. Train your sights!
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Wile E. Coyote


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Mick Harper wrote:
The monkish orders, by the way, turn out to be the original bell-smiths and the leading lights in tin and bronze smelting and trading (bells are a specific blend of tin and copper).


When they were not making anchors?
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Mick Harper
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Ooh, that's a good one. Let's have a list of large ancient metallurgical thingies i.e. have to be metallurgical to function.. I can't think of any others off hand.
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Mick Harper
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No, wouldn't stone anchors work just as well? Or would they shatter on hitting bottom? Plus bells can be as small as you like. However they do have to be bronze (I believe) in order to work. That's unusual, isn't it?
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Wile E. Coyote


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My thinking was that as Pope St Clementine 1 (the patron saint of mariners) carries an anchored shape cross. It might be a way to go.

The following is from Wiki.

According to apocryphal acta dating to the 4th century at earliest, Clement was banished from Rome to the Chersonesus during the reign of the Emperor Trajan[2][3] and was set to work in a stone quarry. Finding on his arrival that the prisoners were suffering from lack of water, he knelt down in prayer. Looking up, he saw a lamb on a hill, went to where the lamb had stood and struck the ground with his pickaxe, releasing a gushing stream of clear water. This miracle resulted in the conversion of large numbers of the local pagans and his fellow prisoners to Christianity. As punishment, Clement was martyred by being tied to an anchor[18] and thrown from a boat into the Black Sea. The legend recounts that every year a miraculous ebbing of the sea revealed a divinely built shrine containing his bones. However, the oldest sources on Clement's life, Eusebius and Jerome, note nothing of his martyrdom.


His bones were retrieved and sent to Rome.

In the Christ story the anchor becomes a cross.
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Hatty
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Mick Harper wrote:
It's looking as if bells were nothing to do with churches originally. They were maritime navigational aids.

Bronze is more resistant to corrosion from salt water than other metals and is more durable than e.g. iron and copper.

bells are a specific blend of tin and copper

The bronze used, known as Bell metal, is extremely resistant to weasthering because of the high proportion of tin -- according to Wiki, "typically, 78% copper, 22% tin" as opposed to 88% to 12%. Tin of course is a rare commodity, almost exclusively from Devon and Cornwall, so presumably bell metal was expensive/sought after. That might account for the number of monastic foundations and churches so characteristic of the tin-mining south-west.
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Mick Harper
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Hatty and I are shortly off on holiday here



Not here obviously but in a large farmhouse overlooking it, suitable for a family holiday. My family that is (her people are hottentots from the Kalahari and wild horses wouldn't etc) who largely consist of geography teachers, geologists and ‘scientifically trained’ twats of various kinds. As you can imagine such gatherings involve spirited discussions about what is and what is not a natural geological formation. With me and Hatty on the side of the people.

So which is it in this case? .Now I would the first person (and Hatty the second) to argue that it is impossible to tell. Not so my relatives who say there is no question that it is a natural formation. End of. Pass the butterbeans. But I have come up with a good AE argument: “The earth sciences have been developing their skills and techniques for a coupla hundred years now, can you tell me of a single example of the earth sciences changing their verdict from natural to un-natural in that time?” After the usual blank stares you hit them with this



"That’s a completely natural formation."
"Caused by?"
"Differential erosion. The soft rock has gone, leaving those hard rocks in place."
"Over millions of years?"
"Presumably."
"So how many million years ago did that little stone propping up the top stones appear?"
"Don’t be daft. That’s human intervention."
"So these stones remained balanced for millions of years as differential erosion worked its magic but just at the very moment when further erosion meant they were going to topple over human beings appeared on the scene and Ug said to Og, “That looks nice but it’s looking a bit precarious, better wedge a stone in.”
"No, tourists. Laying on of hands."
"Differential erosion, you mean?"
"Yes, if you want to put it that way."
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Boreades


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Tate Modern in Snives would pay good money for that [strike]pile of stones[/strike] very special artwork.
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Mick Harper
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Hatty and I had the same argument. She thinks it's a normal waymarker, I think it's art. Only it was a coupla weeks ago so it may have been the other way round. We might arrange a competition though. We hire a team of archaeologists to reconstruct it and we hire a team of geologists to use natural processes to re-create it and see who wins. Heritage England to oversee it all to prevent interdisciplinary hanky-panky. AEL to watch Heritage England. But who shall watch the watchers of the watchers of the watchers? Aye, there's the rub.
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