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No Appeal to the Hypothetical (APPLIED EPISTEMOLOGY)
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Ishmael wrote:
We don't believe in "Roman Roads." You may have missed that memo.

I said, "Transport System." You read "roads."


I must have done, still.....to be fair.... most folks would also include roads (Roman or otherwise as part of any ancient transport system) and the Roman Military are thought (by orthodoxy) to have played a part in building or repairing them to help put down the locals...... (The English built a number of military roads in Scotland to help put down the Jacobite rebellion.......) So I wrongly assumed this was the transport system you were referring to.....

Can you tell me what your original post was about?

What is this transport system if not the highways?
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Read Mick and Hatty's book!
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Ishmael wrote:
Read Mick and Hatty's book!


Will do. Still I am actually very interested in your last post. Keep going.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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wiki wrote:
A network of military roads was constructed in the Scottish Highlands during the middle part of the 18th century as part of an attempt by the British Government to bring order to a part of the country which had risen up in the Jacobite rebellion of 1715.

The roads were constructed to link the Central Lowlands with a series of fortified barracks located strategically across the Highlands. Their purpose much like the network of roads constructed by the Romans more than 1,500 years earlier was to suppress and exert control over the local population.[1] The engineered roads of the Roman period did not extend into the Highlands, which was where these later roads were constructed.

The first four of these roads were constructed in the 1720s and 1730s under the direction of General George Wade (an Anglo-Irishman) and are commonly referred to as General Wade’s Military Roads or simply as Wade’s Roads.

The network was subsequently expanded considerably under the direction of Major William Caulfeild though his name is now largely forgotten and each of the roads that he had put in place are referred to, on Ordnance Survey mapping for example, simply as "Old Military Road". A further road was constructed by Caulfeild in southwest Scotland in the 1760s.


Wiley is excavating.


Scottish history on line wrote:


General Wade arrived in Scotland in 1724 to survey the effectiveness of measures taken so far, propose new ones, and report to the government. He observed that there remained at least 12,000 well armed Highlanders, most of whom were ready and willing to rise in rebellion against the Hanoverian monarchs. Among his most important observations was that the lack of roads and bridges in the Highlands made it particularly difficult to control the situation. The effectiveness of garrisoned strongholds was greatly decreased if there were no routes of communication between them and the building of such routes was a major recommendation of the report.

Wade was promptly appointed Commander in Chief Northern Britain and set about putting his plans into action including the building of several hundred miles of roads in the Highlands. Wade’s public status was such that he had been commended in the original of the song, later to be the new ‘British’ National Anthem.

Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
May by thy mighty aid,
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush and like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush,
God save the King.

Not since the days of the Roman empire in Britain had such a road building programme been undertaken and it was undertaken for the same reasons. These were military roads built for the suppression of a local population. The chief builders were to be soldiers.

Wade arranged for them to be paid double wages while on road building work, an extra 6p a day – a significant achievement in itself! His military working parties each consisted of 1 captain, 2 subalterns, 2 sergeants, 2 corporals, 1 drummer, and 100 men and he used about 500 men on any one road during a working season lasting from April until 31 October. He used skilled craftsmen such as masons, smiths and carpenters to build bridges and other structures. The roads were sixteen feet wide (4.88 meters), a revolutionary width in 18th century Britain, built on a foundation of large stones with layers of smaller ones above, finishing with gravel surfaces. Like Roman military roads, they were built in a straight line, going straight up slopes unless they were too steep, when they were made into traverses or zigzags. They were well drained with cross and side drains. There were soldiers camps every ten miles and inns, called Kingshouses, often developed alongside them. Some of these survive until this day.

In 1740, after building about 300 miles (483 kilometres) of military roads, Wade left Scotland, later becoming a Field Marshall, and was succeeded in his work by Major Caulfeild, who built many more miles of military road than Wade – over 800 (1,287.5 kilometres) miles in fact. Construction methods improved, such as the use of trained engineers to map out and plan the entire route of a road in great detail. He used larger working parties than Wade and expected road construction to progress at the rate of 1.5 yards (1.37 meters) of road laid per man per day.


My underlining.

NB They could have written Like Roman roads they were built on a foundation of large stones with layers of smaller ones above, finishing with gravel surfaces and were built in a straight line, going straight up slopes unless they were too steep, when they were made into traverses or zigzags.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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In fact....

Wiley has the suspicion that without access to the historical record, we are unable to tell the difference between a Roman Military and a road built by Wade....

Sabre the society for all British and Irish Road Enthusiasts (love this site) wrote:

Route Surveying and Design

It may well have been 1300 years since the Romans had left the British Isles, but it seems that in the first instance Wade followed the same basic principles. Using the rough maps that were available, straight lines were drawn between the ends of the intended route, and then the road constructed on the nearest practicable alignment. Obviously, being the Scottish Highlands, small things like Lochs and Mountains regularly got in the way, but when it came to the latter neither Wade - with the Corrieyairack Pass - nor his successor Caulfeild - with the Devil's Staircase - let them get in the way.
From observations of surviving sections of route, it seems that both men prioritised the choice of route as follows. Firstly, it had to be as short as possible, secondly as cheap as possible, and finally gradients and curvatures of bends were considered. It seems that the only restrictions on the latter two were the ability to transport, by a team of horses, a gun carriage along the route. However, stories have been passed down of the soldiers having to assist the horses to haul heavy loads up the Devil's Staircase.

Road Construction
The roads themselves were constructed from graded stone, generally quarried from the surrounding landscape. They were built to a width of 18feet, reducing to 15feet when necessary. In practice, the narrower width appears to have been used for bridges, and the occasional place where embankments or cuttings were required - in otherwords structures which were cheaper to build narrower than wider.
However, as time progressed, it seems that 15 feet carriageways became the norm, and that structures could become as narrow as 10 or 12 feet. Although a word of caution here, as it is often difficult to identify the edges of the original road surface today. The places that now seem to be as little as 10-12 feet wide could well have been damaged by erosion in the last 250 years, causing slippage of banks.
Bridges

http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/

There is very little evidence of Roman Quarrying in the British isles, it could be its the same problem as mineworks, later works destroy earlier.... however, Wiley's view is that most stone was simply taken from landscape e.g. beaches, walls, or unwanted older roads.....British soldiers would have the advantage of gunpowder so local quarrying, reducing transportation, would have been easier.

Still the roads themselves (given that there is no blueprint for building a road in the middle of nowhere) is as above. You survey your route, then dig a ditch which creates a bank, (or two banks) then deposit three layers of stone with the largest at the bottom, and top with gravel. The life of a military rd is then dependent on constant costly repair.

If your road is no longer needed you don't repair. If you dig it up to utilise the stone you leave a ditch, with a bank.......
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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Sounds a completely unnecessary scenario. The Romans surely had better uses for their resources than building roads across difficult mountainous terrain unless there were pre-existing trackways.

Take Gaul where Caesar was famous for his forced marches. According to Graham Robb's research there was a lack of usable long-distance roads (outside Paris's orbit) until Napoleon's day. Britain as he acknowledges was quite different because places were not isolated but connected. The majority of drovers' ways were later tarmaced, more or less in parallel with the earlier set-up.

Road improvement is efficient, building from scratch not. Even Hadrian's Wall is or was a drover's route (hence the abandonment of the Antonine Wall).

How to account for all the Bronze Age/Iron Age stuff in and around 'Roman' roads e.g. Ermine Street?
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Hatty wrote:
Sounds a completely unnecessary scenario. The Romans surely had better uses for their resources than building roads across difficult mountainous terrain unless there were pre-existing trackways.

Take Gaul where Caesar was famous for his forced marches. According to Graham Robb's research there was a lack of usable long-distance roads (outside Paris's orbit) until Napoleon's day. Britain as he acknowledges was quite different because places were not isolated but connected. The majority of drovers' ways were later tarmaced, more or less in parallel with the earlier set-up.

Road improvement is efficient, building from scratch not. Even Hadrian's Wall is or was a drover's route (hence the abandonment of the Antonine Wall).

How to account for all the Bronze Age/Iron Age stuff in and around 'Roman' roads e.g. Ermine Street?


Yes what makes it worse, was that I made the identical error, ie starting with the Romans, with Coin.

I think I am going backwards.
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Mick Harper
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A very fruitful area of investigation. We may have to revise our opinion the Megalithic straight roads were entirely navigational and that maybe they went in for a bit of actual road construction. They were, after all, dab hands with stone. This caught my eye

There is very little evidence of Roman Quarrying in the British isles

because I just read this morning in my History of Mining that while there is fulsome evidence that the Incas, Aztecs etc worked precious metals on a reasonable scale nobody has ever found any evidence of a) mines b) smelting or c) casting. The usual explanation for such lacunae -- oh, it's all disappeared in the dim and distant past -- won't wash because the Conquistadors arrived contemporaneously.

The book also confirms that the vast pre-Columbian copper workings in the Great Lakes area remain a) unexplained and b) will continue to be so having acquired 'Oh no, not that old chestnut again' status.
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Mick Harper wrote:
while there is fulsome evidence that the Incas, Aztecs etc worked precious metals on a reasonable scale nobody has ever found any evidence of a) mines b) smelting or c) casting.


Fantastic evidence; further supporting my contention that these South American civilization were all slave societies with European/Asian colonialists in charge.

I also have some fresh ideas on timelines to share shortly.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Mick Harper wrote:
A very fruitful area of investigation. We may have to revise our opinion the Megalithic straight roads were entirely navigational and that maybe they went in for a bit of actual road construction. They were, after all, dab hands with stone.


I suspect the ancients went in for a lot. Of course I am not going to dump the idea that the Romans built over.....far from it.

Still having established a continuity, which means breaking down this idea of ancient track (sic)/ roman road (sic) then we can look at some actual examples.

One fun bit, for me, is where the stone from ancient roads has later been reused, what the archaeologists have then made of the feature that has been left in the landscape.

Still gotta give folks something to hang it on, first..
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Hatty wrote:
Sounds a completely unnecessary scenario. The Romans surely had better uses for their resources than building roads across difficult mountainous terrain...

Most transportation systems or transportation infrastructure programs of any significance have always been the work of governments. If not directly built by the military, they were built by the state to insure the movement of its military and the supplies to support it.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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This caught my eye

Wile E. Coyote wrote:
There is very little evidence of Roman Quarrying in the British isles...

because just last night I found this

Early Roman Settlement

Swindon Hill, 500 feet above sea level, attracted settlement from earliest times for its strategic position and excellent water supply.

It is a great rock of Portland limestone that lies on top of the chalk hills and clay valleys of North Wiltshire.

The Romans discovered it, quarried the stone and shipped it down to their settlement below the hill at Durocornovium on the main road between Silchester and Cirencester.


http://www.swindonweb.com/?m=8&s=116&ss=320&c=1182&t=The+History+of+Old+Town

Not sure they could have been the first to discover limestone on Swindon Hill, but there you are. Bath being the better-known place where the Romans are also credited with quarrying.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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A new study shows that the mass extinctions of the megaherbivores of Africa were not due to early humans, but to a drop in atmospheric CO2. A Supernova may have caused the mass extinctions of large marine animals at the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary (600,000 years after Lucy…)
http://www.q-mag.org/hominids-are-not-to-blame-for-loss-of-mega-fauna.

AE Rule no 237 states: Beware of extra terrestrial explanations. Of course it was us, though us in the modern sense not the hominid sense. However, I would not have brought this to your attention were it not for AE Rule 446 which states: When the Crazies get hold of an idea, the rest are sure to follow. Unless they've already been, if you see what I mean. Anyway, this probably heralds a further push on the Climate Change Is Not Our Fault front.
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Mick Harper
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Here's a priceless example of experts operating on data they cannot possibly have

The disappearance of the Mediterranean Sea however is a real phenomenon that occurred during the Mesozoic era around 252.2 million years ago. The sea disappeared for around 630,000 years.
https://medium.com/lessons-from-history/that-time-the-mediterranean-sea-went-missing-70a210aafa9f

Being able to track the Mediterranean Sea would be hard enough for, say, the last hundred thousand years but to do it to 250 million years is completely potty. Not just measuring it but believing such an obviously transient geographical feature could possibly last that long. Blimey, it would only take a rockfall this autumn to seal its fate forever.

But to announce you've got it down to 252 million is chutzpah of the highest order. When you add a 'point two' you're just taking the piss. But, I suppose when you can do that, getting it down to the odd thirty thousand in six hundred thousand is a piece of piss.
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