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Comments on Walking Ancient Landscapes (British History)
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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The Michael Line from Skellig Michael to Mont St Michel passes the northern tip of Portlevan.

The Cornish word Loe means logh or loch according to Wiki, as does Looe. The Loe, described as the largest and deepest natural freshwater lake in Cornwall, looks entirely man-made. It's just south of Helston which is said to be where St Michael fought and defeated the dragon.

Looe Island, further east on the Cornish coast, is a tidal island, accessible on foot at very low tides. Looe has two, apparently interchangeable, names, the second one being St George's Island. On its highest point are the remains of a chapel that was dedicated to St Michael.

Not hard to find cormorants nesting on Looe Island judging by the pictures on the net. From wiki

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Mick Harper
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Perched precariously on the cliffs to the east of Trewavas Head are the two engine houses that form the remains of Wheal Trewavas mine. The mine worked four copper lodes

According to my Tin in Antiquity, which is pretty well definitive, there was basically no 'mining' of any 'lodes' either of copper or tin in ancient Cornwall. It was streaming of alluvial tin (ie not deep mining, not ore lodes) that was all that took place in pre-historic Cornwall. There is almost no alluvial copper in Cornwall, nor surface deposits of copper ore of any scale.

When the technology came up to scratch (not before the sixteenth century AD) then deep mining for tin started which in turn led to deep mining for copper. "Wheal" means mine in Cornish. The clue here is "engine house".
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Wile E. Coyote


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Tilo Rebar wrote:

It is possible that the first bronze was produced by accident in Cornwall, as both raw materials were adjacent.

It could easily happen that copper from this, or a similar area, was contaminated with a small amount of tin and someone noticed that a harder, less brittle metal had been produced. I wonder how many other places in the world both copper and tin could/can be found in the same small area?

I don't know the history of this part of Cornwall, but perhaps The Loe is evidence of ancient tin/copper streaming.


This is exactly the type of question to ask.
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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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Mick wrote:
There is almost no alluvial copper in Cornwall, nor surface deposits of copper ore of any scale.


There probably isn't much alluvial tin or surface deposits of tin ore left in Cornwall either... or they wouldn't have bothered deep mining the stuff.

They simply ran out of easily getatable copper, long before they ran out of easily getatable tin (which lasted well into the historic period, when memory of the copper had faded).
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Mick Harper
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I'd like to know your evidence for this, Chad.
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Tilo Rebar


In: Sussex
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Mick Harper wrote:

According to my Tin in Antiquity, which is pretty well definitive...


Wouldn't have much confidence myself in a book published by someone holding orthodox views on geology.

Better to rely on the evidence that where veins of copper exist in the ground, copper will be found on the surface as erosion breaks up the rock, you see.

Mining for copper followed a simpler path than for tin as it stays permanently in its metallic form when exposed to the atmosphere, unlike tin, which crumbles into a grey dust over time. Little or no metallic tin would be found on the surface.

So I posit that the progression of copper and tin technology in Cornwall from the end of the last ice age went as follows...

Chance finds of lumps of metallic copper on the surface.

Metallic copper extracted from surface veins (open cast).

Small grains of metallic copper, copper oxides/sulphur ores obtained by streaming (possibly mixed with tin if both minerals exist in same location) - bronze discovered.

Simple bell mines used to obtain lumps of copper ore (& tin, which is now needed to alloy with copper).

Deep mining of land-based ore seams of copper and tin.

Deep mining of copper and tin ore seams under the sea.

We have proof that our ancient ancestors had the ability to work even the hardest rocks (e.g. Stone Henge) and the intelligence to develop technology quickly if the incentive to do so existed.

It would seem that most academics always underestimate the capability of early man. This is why we have so much shock and puzzlement over how large-scale monuments were created.

Cober, Sten ha Pysk - make for a tasty dish.
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Chad


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Mick Harper wrote:
I'd like to know your evidence for this, Chad.


As Tilo says, if lodes of copper and tin are found together in close proximity deeper below ground, it would be expected that the surface geology would not be too dissimilar.

If early historical records describe exploitation of surface tin deposits, but fail to do likewise for copper, it suggests to me that surface copper deposits had already been depleted before historical records began.
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Mick Harper
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Well, I'm not disposed to argue very strenuously since I don't specially mind one way or the other. I like Tin in Antiquity because, although relentlessly orthodox, it enjoys puncturing the even more determinedly orthodox. But it is taking an awfully long time to read. Geology doesn't exactly sparkle off the page.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Tilo Rebar wrote:
Mick Harper wrote:

According to my Tin in Antiquity, which is pretty well definitive...


Wouldn't have much confidence myself in a book published by someone holding orthodox views on geology.

Better to rely on the evidence that where veins of copper exist in the ground, copper will be found on the surface as erosion breaks up the rock, you see.

Mining for copper followed a simpler path than for tin, as it stays permanently in its metallic form when exposed to the atmosphere, unlike tin, which crumbles into a grey dust over time. Little or no metallic tin would be found on the surface.

So I posit that the progression of copper and tin technology in Cornwall from the end of the last ice age went as follows...

Chance finds of lumps of metallic copper on the surface.

Metallic copper extracted from surface veins (open cast).

Small grains of metallic copper, copper oxides/sulphur ores obtained by streaming (possibly mixed with tin if both minerals exist in same location) - bronze discovered.

Simple bell mines used to obtain lumps of copper ore (& tin, which is now need to alloy with copper).

Deep mining of land based ore seams of copper and tin.

Deep mining of copper and tin ore seams under the sea.

We have proof that our ancient ancestors had the ability to work even the hardest rocks (e.g. Stone Henge) and the intelligence to develop technology quickly if the incentive to do so existed.

It would seems that most academics always underestimate the capability of early man. This is why we have so much shock and puzzlement over how large-scale monuments were created.

Cober, Sten ha Pysk - make for a tasty dish.


Interesting, though presumably the discovery of bronze would more likely arise at the bottom of a furnace which had been both used for heating copper and a later date tin. "Wow. What is this?...hmmm. Bronze
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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The etymology of bronze is unknown but seems to be related to 'fire' or pyre.

1730-40; from French bronze (1511), from Italian bronzo (13th cent.), either (1) from Byzantine Greek βροντησίον (brontēsíon) (11th cent.), presumably from Βρεντήσιον (Brentḗsion) ‘Brindisi’, known for the manufacture of bronze,[1] or (2) ultimately from Persian برنج (birinj, biranj, “brass”) ~ پرنگ (piring) ‘copper’


Piran is the patron saint of miners and more specifically of tin though from the various bronze etymologies Piran ("Brân") sounds like a bronze name.

If bronze was a Cornish invention that might explain why the red-billed chough [Pyrrhocorax] is the county symbol, corvids being credited with stealing fire in myth.
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admin
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This is another test
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Are people being notified about posts via their e-mails? Neither Hatty nor I are, at least not usually.
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Keimpe


In: Leeuwarden, Frisia
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What text do you see just below the Post Reply button in the bottom lefthand corner?


Watch this topic for replies

or

Stop watching this topic?

If it's the former, click it, and you should be getting notifications. If it's the latter, there's something wrong.

Or if it's the latter, you could try clicking Stop watching and then re-click 'Watch this topic'. Maybe it needed some refreshing.
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Keimpe


In: Leeuwarden, Frisia
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(I was alerted to your post by an automatic email notification, so it works for me)
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admin
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I have refreshed and am posting this as Admin to see if works for me (Mick).
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