Celtic News Update
Bringing you the
latest occasionally updated news in archaeology, history, and other odd items.
Now with comments!
In truth, calling it "Celtic" is a bit of a misnomer, since I'm not about to limit myself only to the classical Celts, but intend to include the Anglo-Saxons, medieval period, whatever seems vaugely relevant and of interest.
Updated News on Tara.
Saturday, October 19, 2008. 11:30 am EDT.£4m centre to show off Hadrian’s Wall finds: one of the sections will be on the Vindolandia tablets, which will be really cook.
Rare Roman tombstone goes on show: found near Manchester, it dates to around 100 AD and features a Roman soldier on horseback, holding the head of his enemy by the hair.
Archaeologists dig deep to shed new light on city's Viking heritage: of the city of York
Uncovering north's Christian past: Did the Vikings introduce Christianity before St. Columbcille? (I doubt it, but I'm not an archaeologist).
Witches of Cornwall: Nice article in Archaeology
Prehistoric child is discovered buried with 'toy hedgehog' at Stonehenge: I think it just looks like a rock, but it'd be cool if it was a toy.
Stonehenge 'was a cremation cemetry, not healing centre': The debate continues
Archaeologists find bones from prehistoric war in Germany : dating to around 1300 BC
Celtic Tiger threatens 'very soul of historic Ireland': Well, maybe the "economic slowdown" will change that, but I don't know...
The cave paintings which could show how humans survived dramatic climate change during the Ice Age: uh... humans survived the Ice Age by becoming cavemen? Sounds sketchy, but what do I know?
On the trail of the Holy Grail in Brittany: Actually it has more to do with the Forest of Broceliande.
Rome workers uncover city of dead: Not quite George Romero; well, where are you supposed to put the dead?
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Saturday, October 4, 2008. 1:30 pm EDT.October '08 Smithsonian Mag features Stonehenge: this month's Smithsonian is all about the latest Stonehenge digs. Very, very cool.
More Smithsonian Stonehenge: even the druids show up.
Ancient Skeleton May Be Britain's First Tuberculosis Victim: What've the Romans ever done for us? Apparently bring tuberculosis.
Landfill hearing reopens on concern that site is prehistoric 'sacred place': the site is called Nevitt, which they argue (I assume) would come from nemed, meaning "holy place". Personally, I'm all for caution and excavation. But then, I don't live there, so what's it matter what I think?
Viking mice conquered much of British Isles: well, I feel icky now.
Big Cat in Kent: ooo, let's unleash him on the mice.
Ancient Saxons could hold up supermarket: That's a misleading headline; I was picturing hairy Germans with axes, not artifacts.
Rare knife uncovered from ancient Swedish tomb: a Bronze Age knife was found, which is apparently unusual.
British Museum Quiz: I didn't do very well--less than %50. And I've been there twice! I'm so ashamed...
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Sunday, September 29 2008. 12:00 am EDT.My Very Own Stonehenge: a farmer builds his own stone circle; me, I'm envious.
Stonehenge was 'Lourdes of prehistoric Europe', claim archaelogists: Did the people who build Stonehenge think that the bluestones had healing properties? Archaeologists are saying this may have been the case. BTW--the first mention of Stonehenge in print was Geoffrey of Monmouth's story about Merlin moving the stones, not from Wales, but from Ireland.
What happened when Britain's naked giant got a BIG makeover: Cleaning up the Cern Abbas Giant. Caution--giant chalk wang may by NSFW.
Welsh eco-village allowed to stay: The so-called "Hobbit-house" (also called the "lost tribe" of Wales) can stay after all. Man, again I'm envious. A hobbit house and a stone circle in the back yard... just through in some appletrees, raspberry and blackberry bushes, and I'll never move again.
Rare white deer off-limits in hunt: I think this story is from North Carolina; the white stag has long had symbolic significance.
Viking Age Triggered by Shortage of Wives?: Geeze, just 'cause you can't find a date...
Romans 'brought leeks to Wales': So apart from the roads, the wine, law and order, medicine, education, irrigation and public health, and the leek ...what've the Romans ever done for us?
Thousand-Year-Old Viking Shield Found in Denmark: seems like the kind of thing they'd be tripping over in Denmark
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Friday, August 14, 2008. 12:00 am EDT.Iron Age Warrior with Roman Links Found in U.K.: ca. 40-60 AD. The artifacts have La Tène-style artwork. What exactly are the links to Rome aren't explained well, however.
The truth about the Picts: other than leaving out the fact that they were, in fact, Britains and arguably gave their name to the Island (they called themselves Pretani and their language was Celtic--yes, it was, get over it!), it's not terrible for a pop-history one-page article.
Roman coffins discovered at dig: at Newcastle.
How to make a druid costum: Hey, Halloween will be here before you know it.
Knights Templar heirs in legal battle with the Pope The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, who claim descent from the Templars (but then, doesn't everybod?) is locked in a battle to force the pope to acknowledge the "100 billion euros" that the Vatican stole from the Templars. Hey, I need to pay off my mortgage too, but you don't see me claiming to be Mary Magdalen...
Leprechaun-alien?: or just a blurry hoax? (You can guess what I think)
Last Ice Age happened in less than year say scientists: The article doesn't say much more than that, but if true, it's rather shocking.
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Friday, July 4, 2008. 3:00 pm EDT.Hellboy II and Irish Mythology: I didn't realize the villian in Hellboy II was named Prince Nuada; but I sure did notice the Horned King...
Neolithic house found during dig: If I'm to be perfectly honest, it doesn't look that different from houses 150 years ago. All that changes are the fashions...
Man breaks silence on UFOs over North Wales: I just can't seem to get enough of these Welsh UFOs.
Caesar statue for Deal Beach: it's a bit odd to put up a statue in honor of an invader who lost; what next, a statue of Hitler? (That was a joke--please don't write me an angry email)
Doubt over date for Brit invasion: Astronomers have decided that Julius Caesar couldn't have invaded on August 26/7th, 55 BCE, but on August 22nd.
Team excavates Roman 'warehouse': note that this "warehouse" dates to the first century Caerleon, and not 5th/6th century, when King Arthur was supposedly there.
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Sunday, June 29, 2008. 4:00 pm EDT.More Welsh UFOs: Damn Cardiff rift; where's Torchwood when you need 'em?
UFOs in Liverpool: when did this become a UFO blog?
Wet Weather Overgrowing Cern Abbas Giant: Looks like the old man needs a shave (look, I'm trying really hard not to make a dirty joke right now.)
Boat-Grave sheds light on Viking beliefs: Viking artifacts are going on display at the County Museum in Linköping (Sweden?).
'Green Men' in Binghamton: another article on green men--but recent ones from the Victorian/Edwardian period. But calling them "alien figures"? "Little Green Men"? Dear god, I'm gonna run out of Doctor Who jokes at this rate!
King Arthur a tyrant in new book: you think that's bad, try reading the Vitae sanctorum Britanniae
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Friday, May 9, 2008. 12:30 am EDT.Viking Trade Center Unearthed in Ireland: 6000 artifacts and a Viking chieftan's grave have been found.
Two stone circles discovered near Manchester: possibly dated to the Bronze Age.
Thousands attend Edinburgh Beltane festival: note to virgin policemen--stay away.
May Day on the Isle of Man: especially regarding the Queen of May
Westminster mosaic--endtime prophecy?: Actually, this is very exciting for me, because it's related to a paper I've been working on about the myth of the Oldest Animals and Irish cosmology. The endtimes bit is somewhat irrelevant as far as I'm concerned.
Vikings: from raiders to fishmongers: Cod--it's not just for dinner. OK, I suppose it is.
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Friday, May 2, 2008. 12:30 am EDT.A croc in Swansea?: Or is it the afanc?
1974 UFO crash in Wales?: And was it shaped like a blue police box?
Mystery of Essex 'Druid': more on that druid grave; btw, I'm pretty sure Bouddica's uprising was after the druids were crushed on Anglesey.
Creating a May Day Basket: a Canadian article on May Day/Beltaine, and reviving it. If you live in SE PA, Pottsgrove Manor is having a traditional May Day festival this Saturday, which sounds like fun.
Midwives Go Medieval to Show Profession's Plight: a bid in Britain to save independent midwifery involves dunking them in water. I doubt this is what Jules meant by "getting medieval"
Le Guin's Lavinia: her take on the Aeneid, told through the eyes of Princess Lavinia, who barely gets mention by Vergil, despite being the Mother of Rome
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Saturday, April 12, 2008. 12:30 pm EDT.Texas has at least two Stonehenges: this outside of San Antonio, and this, in Odessa. Odessa is also home to a replica of the Globe Theater.
Breakthrough at Stonehenge Dig: the first excavation in forty years; was Stonehenge "a 'Neolithic Lordes'"? Is that why the bluestones were brought all the way from Wales? And what about the later "goalposts"? With video, from the BBC.
Roman altar found in Manchester: "This is the first Roman stone inscription we have found for 150 years." Cool.
Bay could reveal Viking secrets: specifically Dunnet Bay in Caithness, where there was a large Norwegian settlement.
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Friday, March 21, 2008. 11:30 pm EDT.New quest starts for the Holy Grail: What a dumb headline. Actually, Jimmy Page bought Edward Burne Jones' tapestry The Attainment of the Holy Grail--one of my favorites by EBJ.
Why Are the Knights Templar Advertising?: It's a mildly weird story.
This article is riddled with inaccuracies: Such as saying St. Patrick got rid of the pagans; the pagans didn't die out until the seventh century at the earliest. Such as saying there really was a Crom Cruich idol; Patrick never mentions it, and it only comes up in very late texts. Anyway, it's been making rounds on the net, and I should probably post a long debunking, but it's been a long week and I have a final to write.
Bronze Age burial 'with beer mug': How they knew it (one of the famous Beakers) was a beer mug, I'd like to know.
Neolithic art found on Orkney beach: 6000 years old, and apparently similar in style to objects found at Newgrange in Ireland.
Ancient Roman gate discovered: Part of the old Roman wall in Colchester has been found.
Iron Age remains found on school site
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Sunday, March 2, 2008. 11:30 am EST.Skeleton could hold secret to Stonehenge: Oh, it's a sports arena now? Good lord... Actually, the idea of bodies being used as warding talismans is something that was apparently done in Celtic society, and maybe was older and more widespread than I knew. However, the whole "combat-trial-sacrifce" idea here is rather too Romantic for me.
The final insult: Stonehenge is always in danger of creeping modernism, and it's getting worse. It's the Rodney Dangerfield of ancient wonders.
WFU professor says Celtic Christianity is unique religion: Maybe, maybe not, but again there's just too much romanticizing of the subject.
Reburial for Anglo Saxon remains: Actually, this was pretty cool--I heard a story about this on the BBC, and they recorded the priest(?) doing the service in Old English.
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Sunday, March 2, 2008. 11:30 am EST.Possible Druid Grave Enchants Archaeologists: more specifically a doctor, if they're interpreting the instruments in the grave right. What's most fascinating is the time period of the burial--when Britain was transitioning from a Celtic to Romano-Celtic hybrid culture.
Ghost-like white stag spotted: a white stag has been spotted in the Highlands of Scotland. If you don't see why this is so cool, read this. Article includes a picture of the stag.
Irish stone of eloquence may be just Blarney: Have they all been kissing the wrong stone? And really, do you want to kiss a rock everyone else has kissed? Maybe I'm just a germophobe.
Britain's Atlantis: the search for our lost capital: About the disappearing village of Dunwich.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007. 1:30 pm EST.[Welsh] Residents reject rude road: I suppose Cae Onan does have a dirty ring to it; but what really pisses me off is calling Welsh Gaelic!
Archaeology student finds Roman remains in garden: In Yorkshire, which was the heart of the Brigantes, a client kingdom of Rome.
Sanctuary of Rome's 'Founder' Revealed: The grotto where Romans believed Romulus and Remus were suckled has been found. No sign of wolves, though.
Transatlantic Partnership Puts Major British Library Online, Spotlighting Books Rescued From The Medieval World: Cool--medieval books digitized and online, housed here.
Long Man sex change show to be broadcast: apparently last night. To be honest, I don't really get what this is about; however, there was a similar incident earlier this year, when the Cern Abbas Giant was joined by Homer Simpson.
Ancient mystery in the Yorkshire Dales: Horse remains were found in a national park; why?
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Saturday, May 29, 2007. 11:30 pm EDT.Cauldron discovered in bog: Iron Age cauldron found in bog in Co. Mayo, Ireland. What's cool is that it's wood and well-preserved.
The last Roman Londoner: Looks a little skinny.
MSPs called to support Roman wall: Attempt to put the Antonine Wall up for World Heritage status.
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Saturday, May 12, 2007. 11:30 am EDT.Isle of Skye is now Eilean a' Cheò: It certainly makes sense that it's given a Gaelic name, but I thought "Skye" was Gaelic, refering to Scatha, the warrior woman. Oh well, what do I know?
Welsh revolt at call centre: This has to be a joke--a call center is forbidding its workers to answer in Welsh because it'll damage their vocal chords? Ah, stupidity...
Archaeological site may be doomed: A massive pagan temple has been found at Tara, and now it's also under threat from the highway project.
Romans’ second fort a thrilling idea: A second fort has been found at Monmouth.
Review of The Dig by John Preston: The Dig is centered on the Sutton Hoo discovery.
Decoders hear music in Rosslyn Chapel: You've probably see this story already, but if you haven't, music may be encoded in the stone carvings at Rosslyn Chapel.
Speaking of Ireland...: Anyone see this yet? It's Dubai's "islands of the world" resort. Crazy.
Does Scottish Necropolis hold the key to Freemasonry’s secret history?: Well, they were into architecture...
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Saturday, April 21, 2007. 10:43 am EDT.Get your hands off our pagan statue: The Fermanagh Janus is in danger of being moved. As the article points out, similar prominent items in the Republic of Ireland are protected at their original site; this might be better than carting the statue off to a museum. There's something to be said for keeping objects in their original sites.
Tourist boat hopes to find Nessie: I guess this will never die.
Asterix inventor turns 80 and isn't thinking of retiring: American readers might not be familiar with Asterix, but it's a long-running series of comedic graphic novels about a Gaulish tribe fending off the Romans. Glad to hear he's going to keep going. :)
Remains of a Roman Teenager Buried: she was dug up in Switzerland, buried again in London, and now returned to Switzerland to be buried for the third time. Wait, wasn't there a western like this?
Roman camp's occupiers may have built the Antonine Wall: A camp for construction workers on the Antonine Wall has been found.
Elgin Marbles could be returned to Greece: Well, they were from the Parthenon, after all!
Hobbit Hole: This is awesome--someone built a dollhouse of Bag End, based on the Jackson films. It looks fantastic!
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Friday, April 13, 2007. 10:43 pm EDT.Returning holidays to pagan roots: It's widely recognized that the date for Christmas comes from Saturnalia (this being why the Puritans banned it), and so on. So here's some more old Roman holidays that work well in American culture; my favorite, as a Phillies fan:
News has been slow and dreadfully un-early Celtic in nature. Oh well. I guess people don't do archaeology in the winter.
"For example, April 1 — traditionally, April Fools’ Day — would instead be recognized in baseball cities across the nation as “Opening Day,” when every fan believes this is the year. As it has for centuries, the holiday would continue to celebrate gullibility."
It's gonna be a long season...
Stonehenge Amulets Worn by Elite: Archaeologists in Suffolk find an amulet similar to the Normanton Down Barrow golden lozenge found near Stonehenge. Coincidence or shared culture?
And that's renaissance magic... A friend of Leonardo da Vinci--a Franciscan monk--apparently wrote an early guide to card tricks and similar acts of prestigiditation. (Yes, I had to google the spelling of that word. I was an English major, not a spelling major.)
Pioneering Welsh town begins the transition to a life without oil: Curiously enough, it's Lampeter, home of the University of Wales online education program which I'm trying to get up the courage to enter. I've been to Lampeter, which is a neat little town in the middle of nowhere (keep in mind I'm an American from a large city on the East Coast--pretty much everywhere feels like this to me).
Overheard at the Office: If you don't get it, read this.
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Sunday, March 11, 2007. 2:00 pm EST.Find of Roman coin shows ancient Britons in a new light: the coin, dated to 146 BC, shows that there was a trade link between Britain and Rome long before the Romans invaded.
Everybody likes Pan's Labyrinth: Even Catholic bishops. I found it a gorgeous but incredibly sad film. Anyway, I put it here because I'd like to see more discussion on the Celtiberian artwork you see in the beginning with the statue with the missing eye. I just found that interesting.
Winter wren: 'King of birds' once symbol of divinity, wisdom in Europe: Kinda late (or early) to be publishing this, but interesting enough. Doesn't mention the Wren Boys by name, however.
'Robin of Sherwood' Aims for Realism: I never saw the show, but now I can. I'm a sucker for Robin Hood movies. Well, except, you know.... There's a long story about that I'll tell some other time.
England: Awe of the rings: New Zealander's reaction to Stonehenge
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Saturday, February 17, 2007. 4:00 pm EST.A new Medieval view of Stonehenge: A medieval drawing of Stonehenge. It's the same as this one.
In Defense of Cleopatra's Nose
What If Boudicca Was Ugly Too?: Noooooooo! I like the idea of her as a red-haired Morrigan!
Native American populations share gene signature: No shock, they're related to folks in Siberia. This has pretty much been established, but now there's genetic proof.
On the origin of the Etruscan civilisation: Sorry Herodotus, they weren't Anatolian.
The Gerum Cloak--an Ancient Skymap?: The Ancient World Blog examines the Gerum Cloak and says "It's full of stars!"
Not much Celtic this week, I'm afraid:
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Friday, February 2, 2007. 8:40 pm EST.Wooden counterpart of Stonehenge found: The Stonehenge "village"
Stonehenge builders' houses found: More on the village
Normandy grave hints at 300-year defiance of the Roman Empire: Who says all the Gauls went willingly into that Roman night?
Irish river find may be first discovery of Viking ship: found in the Boyne
Druids call for burial: this is silly. A small group of Druids want some archaeological artefacts--i.e. bodies--buried. Hey, I disagree with burying that guy who looks like Captain Picard, and I disagree with burying this.
Deirdre, Warrior Princess: a favorite for creative types.
The anatomy of an Iron-Age murder: Lindow Man again. You know, Mr. Peat Bog.
Ancient footprints found on Welsh beach: 8,000 year old footprints in a Welsh bog, now covered by a beach on the Bristol Channel.
The Cattle Raid of Cooley: Patrick Brown (bring back your website, man!) is working on a Tain comic book. Looks good so far!
Sacred Cave of Rome's Founders Discovered, Archaeologists Say: Not at all Celtic, but still interesting.
Happy Groundhog's/Imbolc/Candlemas/St. Brigit's Day, everyone!
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Friday, January 12, 2007. 7:00 pm EST.Stonehenge Didn't Stand Alone, Excavations Show: There may have been other stone monuments nearby. BTW, if you want to see some Stonehenge pictures from my honemoon, click here.
Macabre secret of ancient cave revealed in TV series: Of course, what's "macabre" to us probably wasn't so strange 3000 years ago.
Priory of Sion reduced to sending out spam: how appropriate.
Magic on moors or fertile imagination: Reports of groups of white-robed people out on the Moors. White robes? Probably druids. Leave 'em be.
Wassailing will be back: I've heard more stories about people going wassailing; I'm jealous.
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Friday, December 1, 2006. 7:00 pm EST.Limestone sarcophagus found in London: Ooo--it reportedly dates to 410 CE, just before the Romans withdrew their troops.
Is 1,400-year-old treasure evidence of Christianity's first foothold in Britain?: Meanwhile, also found at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, a hoard of artifacts dating to (a? the?) Saxon conversion to Christianity.
University of Leicester archaeologists unearth ancient curse: A man whose cloak was stolen wrote a lead tablet asking the god Maglus to destroy one of 18 or 19 suspects. "Maglus" means "prince" (in Brittonic, I guess, before it split into Old Welsh and Old Breton) and was probably a title for a god, though which god I'm not sure. lead curse tablets were common, but it's always cool to find a new one.
The Battle of the Rings: Did Tolkien steal from Wagner? Did they both steal from the Nibelungenlied? Hasn't this already been argued to death?
Killer fairies caused four deaths: Next time, don't insult the dress. Actually, a burial register in Lamplugh, Cumbria (England) blames four deaths on fairies. Yeah, see, fairies weren't always the cute little dragonfly-winged babies in your picturebooks.
Will sue to avoid goblins: DO NOT mess with Nordic "little people".
Early sketch of Stonehenge found: And supposedly in a more complete form. Either it was in better shape (quite possible, even likely), or the doodler simply drew a reconstructed form.
Museum of Sorcery & Witchcraft opens in west Iceland: All I can say is, the article contains the word "necropants".
Out of this world solution to a Scottish standing stone: Mostly silly twaddle--when an article mentions both a Phonecian origin for the Celts and Chariot of the Gods?, I tend to need a drink. However, the idea that those crazy Pictish patterns might relate to astronomy isn't terribly far-fetched, I just don't know how they can prove it.
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Friday, November 24, 2006. 12:30 pm EST.Recent floods highlight theory on Maeshowe's ditch: Are the ditches supposed to be flooded? Good question, and franky, I think it looks better aesthetically.
Ancient Welsh city found:
Ancient Welsh city found: Caer Caradoc at Mynydd y Gaer, Glamorgan, has reportedly been found. Actually, I wasn't aware of a Caer Caradoc, or at least not a real one. And furthermore, Brut Tysillo wasn't written in the seventh century, it was written in the fifteenth. OK, the article is full of mistakes. But I'm linking to it anyway.
Cynocephaly: a couple of medieval drawings of dog-headed men. It's one of those things that never goes away. Me, I just see gnolls.
The Scottish Lord with the elixir of life: Did Simon Loccard have the Philospher's Stone? Um, I doubt it, since he's dead. Otherwise, it's the story of a "magic" locket.
Sky disc of Nebra shines in Basel: OOoooo--the Nebra Sky Disc is on display in Basel. I'm so jealous.
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Friday, September 8, 2006. 12:30 pm EDT.St Mungo and his mysterious deeds: aka St. Kentigern, nephew of Sir Gawain, founder of Glasgow. Well, at least one of 'em is real.
Britain's 700,000 years of immigrants: the debate continues--when was Britain first colonized? (Was it even an island yet?)
Same subject as above, this one from the BBC
Seeking the secrets of Stonehenge: as always, there's more work being done around Stonehenge
Local woman discovers ‘mystical’ fairy ring near her home: eh, that or she got a lot of rain.
'Pagan' well sparks blessing row: minister won't do the annual blessing of a local well because it has a green man on it. Of course, there are lots of pre-Reformation churches with green men on them, so I'm sure he never sets foot in them, either.
Rare Saxon belt goes on display: quite a nice piece, too.
A meeting of civilisations: The mystery of China's celtic mummies: Actually, the article is bullshit. They were Tocharians, not Celts. Huge difference.
Pope's Top Exorcist Says Harry Potter is Satanic: *sigh* You know, there are so many problems in the world, and problems in the Catholic Church. To focus on children's books is incredibly stupid.
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Friday, August 11, 2006. 2:00 pm EDT.The alchemist who thought he could fly: The story of John Damian, alchemist to King James IV of Scotland.
Goat crowned King of Ireland at ancient fair: Actually, Maire MacNeill, in The Festival of Lughnasa, proved that the goat-crowning only goes back to maybe the 19th century.
'Godfather of speed camera' becomes druid: At the Eisteddfod.
Hot weather shows Wales' history: Droughts are helping show scientists long-buried buildings.
Two-Mile-Borris Iron Age village unearthed: It's at least 2500 years old.
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Friday, August 4, 2006. 12:00 pm EDT.Priestesses to open temple doors: The Priestesses of Glastonbury are forced to let people in on their beliefs after being mentioned in The DaVinci Code. Or, they just need to raise money and want people to come to their conference.
Beccles historic walkway revealed: A 4000 year old walkway has been discovered in England.
Lughnassadh Revelers Sacrifice Ronald McDonald: No, really (though obviously not seriously).
Irish mythology at roots of musical: Specifically focusing on the Ulster Cycle. It's called Women In Arms.
Ancient Boat to be Raised: 3000 years old, and in a Scottish estuary.
Secrets of a neolithic time machine: If by "time machine" you mean calendar.
Irish bog bodies help unlock secrets of Iron Age: Like the fact that they wore mohawks. Mohawks, plaid pants... I'm sensing a pattern. Where the hell's my Ramones T-shirt?
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Monday, June 30, 2006. 12:00 pm EDT.'Apartheid' slashed Celtic genes in early England: Aside from the loaded term "apartheid", it's an interesting theory--a relatively small group of Saxons et al. came to Britain and outbred the locals.
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Monday, June 19, 2006. 12:00 pm EDT.The Battle to Save the Cave: TIME article on the need to save the Lascaux cave and its famous art.
Ancient monument aligned to sun: Cool--the 5000 year old Bryn Celli Ddu neolithic site on the Isle of Anglesey is apparently aligned with the summer solstice.
University allows pagans to hold rituals: what makes it interesting is that the university in question is St. Andrews in Scotland, a nation notorious for witch trials three hundred years ago.
Druids and moon worship in the sacred landscape of Callanish: It's that time of year again...
Philosopher or faker?: Oh man, I should really keep up on local events. The Masonic Temple in Philadelphia (which is awesome--really, just go to look at the architecture) had a discussion on Madame Blavatsky, who actually did live in Philly, where the White Dog Cafe is now.
Medieval homes under golf course: Scotland, of course.
Alien Gods and Magic in Ireland: and now for something completely stupid--the Tuatha De Danann = Druids = aliens = demons.
New glacier theory on Stonehenge: that the bluestones were not quarried in Preseli, Wales, but moved there by glaciers. Me, I don't buy it, at least not yet.
On the right lines: ley lines. In Shropshire. Terence, this is stupid stuff...
Sorry. Friday was busy.
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Friday, June 9, 2006. 12:30 pm EDT.Summer Solstice celebrations imminent at Stonehenge: Please, hippies, no riots this year.
Ancient rock art may depict exploding star: Did a Western American tribe record the 1006 CE supernova?
Expedition seeks clues to lost Bronze Age culture: specifically, the Minoans. At least someone is claiming they're actually Egyptian, but I haven't seen any scholarship on that.
Were Greeks 1,400 years ahead of their time?: The completely weird (well, right now it is) Antikythera Mechanism. This is a great quote from the article "I think it is a great testament to the sophistication of the Greeks and how far they advanced before the jackboot of the Romans came through." Indeed--what have the Romans ever done for us?
Tombs of Roman foes discovered: Italian, they range from 800 to 200 BCE.
Not a lot of Celtic stuff, but some interesting history links:
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Monday, June 5, 2006. 12:30 pm EDT.Peer's fears over 'pyramid' hill: local Avebury government has ruled Silbury Hill as "unimproved chalk grassland"--making it much easier for people to wander around the hill and possibly (probably) damage the 5000 year old man-made structure even further. Speaking of local governments pissing on the past:
Another story on the Tara highway: As usual, cars are trying to trump culture.
Rosslyn priest quits over Da Vinci Code hype: I'm surprised he lasted this long. Speaking of the Jesus and Mary chain-of-events:
Japan is proud home of Christ's tomb: Thank you, Japan, for making even Dan Brown seem sensible.
Metal detector man finds Iron Age treasure: sounds like a wide range of materials.
10th-Century Skeleton of Woman Unearthed in Rome: That's 10th c. BC--in other words, a 3000 year old skeleton, which predates the traditional foundation of Rome by 200+ years. So, not that odd, but still cool.
History of Culloden is rewritten: History is about who writes it. That's all I'm going to say on this subject.
Statue of Ethelbert and Bertha unveiled: for those who don't know, he was king of Kent when Augustine of Canterbury arrived to convert the Saxons.
King Arthur's Scottish Camelot: The old argument--is Arthur from the North or South? (Hey, was there even an Arthur? Or maybe more than one?) Eh.
Because I was lazy on Friday:
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Friday, May 19, 2006. 12:30 pm EDT.Brazilian Stonehenge discovered: Not exactly--more like the ruins of a temple aligned with the winter solstice. Still cool nonetheless. Speaking of which:
Proposals to recreate Stonehenge: Preseli Bluestone, which owns the quarry where the famous stones come from, wants to build a reconstruction of Stonehenge, probably around the Cotswolds.
Experts Find Rare Romani DNA In Norwich Anglo Saxon Skeleton: The skeleton is from the 11th century; this may push back the date for Romani arrival in Britain by 500 years.
Decline and Fall of the Roman Myth: Terry Jones (yes, that one) on the Roman propaganda war against "barbarians" like us. "What have the Romans ever done for us?" indeed.
Phallic Statue Divides Opinion: in Cornwall; the artist says she was inspired by local rock carvings. If you look at the picture, it's no more phallic than the Lia Fail. Or a skyscraper... I suppose some body parts are less "offensive" than others.
Brutal lives of Stone Age Britons: Oh, and we live in an age of peace and enlightenment?
Megalithic rock art discovered in Anglesey: newly noticed at Barclodiad y Gawres, a passage grave.
Roman about at the old shrine: a lost shrine at Ewell found again during construction.
Stoned on archaeology: shows what I know; Julian Cope is big into two things: LSD and prehistoric British history.
Spirited Goings-On In Scottish Pub: There's no better bar than a haunted bar.
Ruins reveal new clues to Roman legacy in Paris: All sorts of new ruins have been found; what's surprising is that they survived at all.
Rosslyn Chapel video podcast: OK, you know what? I really hate The DaVinci Code. Some day, I'll write up everything I find wrong with it, but not today.
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Friday, April 28, 2006. 4:30 pm EDT.Italy owes wine legacy to Celts, history buffs say: I think it's a stretch; on the other hand, I always liked what Henry says in The Lion in Winter on the French "innovation" of brandy: "They were boiling [wine] before the snakes left Ireland."
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Friday, April 21, 2006. 4:30 pm EDT.Maypole Festivals: Dancing to Celebrate Spring: A surprisingly good article on May Day from the NYTimes. One correction, though: Celts didn't dance around Maypoles; it was probably a Saxon innovation, which then spread to Celtic lands; it was never very popular in Ireland.
James Morrow's top 10 books on witch persecutions: He has a new book out called The Last Witchfinder. I would add Triumph of the Moon to his list.
Shetland's past comes to life amid the ruins: They're always finding something in Scotland.
Experts Find Evidence of Bosnia Pyramid: But will they find a Bosnian Pharaoh?
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Friday, April 14, 2006. 2:30 pm EDT.First Knights Templar are discovered: the article doesn't say much, except that the bodies of some Knights Templar were found during an excavation along the Jordan River. If true, it's really cool.
There really isn't anything this week, I'm afraid.
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Friday, April 7, 2006. 2:30 pm EDT.Virgil's demi-god city 'found': Italian archaeologists claim to have found Amyclae.
9,000-Year-Old Drilled Teeth Are Work of Stone Age Dentists: Ow. Nothing quite like a flint drill.
Secrets of 'swamp girl' revealed in Germany: a 650 year old skeleton is being studied.
Mysteries of Iceland's elves: a documentary about, well, elves, at the Sarasota Film Festival.
Judge backs Freemasons' role: role in determining a guy's character.
Witch Curses Fatboy Slim: I thought his record sales were bad enough... Anyway, this is the pull quote: "The High Priest of Loch Ness fears the DJ's tunes will spoil the mood as the couples make love by the waterside." Or they could just stop wearing tighty-whiteys.
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Friday, March 31, 2006. 12:00 pm EST.Iolo Manuscripts on the web: one of the odd manuscript collections of Iolo Morgannwg--and which is full of his own forgeries--has been put on the web, in full, thanks to GoogleBooks.
The Headless Horse and Other Bizzare Finds: a dig in Cambridgeshire may shed light on life 2000 years ago.
Ancient gold found at Amberley: a rare necklace found last year turns out to be from the Bronze Age (3000 years old).
Jesus Papers author prays for a Da Vinci-sized payday: Man, not this crap again. It's just warmed-over HBHG nonsense.
Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama: News report (no, a real one) hoasted on YouTube; apparently, a leprechaun is living in a tree in Alabama.
Interview with Richard Freeman, Cryptozoologist: I love cryptozoology, and I'd love for dragons to be real, but I really don't think they are. Alien Big Cats, however...
Michael Scott, The Wizard Who Tutored a Pope: So no, not Steve Carrell on The Office, but a 12th/13th century Scottish wizard.
Is a Pre-Columbian Chinese Map Real? or Fake?: Either way, I don't find it implausible that the Chinese new about the continent, just as the Vikings had settled Canada, despite the illegitimacy of the Vinland Map.
The Myth of Perillos and the Grail Chapel: more Rennes-le-Chateau stuff.
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Friday, March 17, 2006. 12:00 pm EST.St. Patrick's Day Fast Facts: Beyond the Blarney: Happy St. Patrick's Day, folks. Now here's the facts, courtesy of Nat'l Geo.
The Leprechaun Webcam: Ti's the season. Or, uh, something.
Carving of 'northern god' found: Carving on Hadrien's Wall may be of Cocidius, a British god identified with Mars.
Burning desire for Wicker Man musical: Funny, I thought already was. (If you've seen the movie, you'll understand.)
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Friday, March 10, 2006. 10:20 am EST.The Loch Ness Elephant?: It may explain the photograph, but it sure has hell doesn't explain a myth that goes back to the sixth century.
God, this conspiracy is getting bigger: Oy. Not this again. Yet another Jesus-Mary Magdalen-Merovingian conspiracy book.
St. Patrick is lost in holiday hoopla: some whining about how secular St. Patrick's Day is. Shame on you, War-On-Christmas, for now ruining the greatest drinking day of the year.
Eaten alive: a film is coming out of Beowulf. Two things: 1.) they better get it right this time; 2.) Beowulf is not Icelandic. The language is Old English, and is a story about Swedes.
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Friday, March 3, 2006. 4:00 pm EST.Welsh Monsters on TV: on Sunday Night.
Bronze Age Sky Disc Deciphered: Yet another attempt at decoding the Nebra sky disk.
Polish archaeologist unearths Europe's most ancient graves: They date back some 10,000 years, which is pretty cool.
Revealing details of an unknown ancient goddess: update on the Senuna find.
A not-so-brief history of time: a Medievalist is pushing for history classes to begin teaching human history not with the Sumerians, but going back 100,000 years. His point is that we arbitrarily select 6000 years ago as the start of civilization, an idea influenced by Bishop Ussher's flawed Biblical chronology. Hey, I say go for it--humans have been around a lot longer than 6000 years, and there's a lot that's left out of the classroom that needs to be brought back in.
The missing library of Iona: A silly article, as there were no Druid books (Caesar could've told you that). But Iona itself is a fascinating place, as is St. Columba/Columbcille.
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Friday, February 24, 2006. 11:30 am EST.Carmarthenshire Cairn Reveals Links With Bronze Age Scotland: the Bronze Age burial mound on the Black Mountain in Carmarthenshire has revealed a connection with burial sites on the Orkneys, as they both contain the same type of burial--cremated bone, medowsweet flowers, and pottery in a stone cist.
Early Welsh in digital on display: This is really cool. Lichfield and Llandeilo will be offering a digital display of the St. Chad Gospels (aka Llyfr Telio), an eighth-century manuscript with notes in very early Welsh. It will be a permanent display, so if you want to see one of the oldest manuscripts in Britain, go over to Llandelio to the church of St. Telio and check it out. I will be green with envy.
Archangel sculpture rises from Lichfield nave: Speaking of Lichfield, they've restored a 1200 year old Saxon sculpture of St. Gabriel, and it is now on display.
'Welsh aren't 'true' Celts' claim: Which is a pretty difficult claim to make, since "Celt" has never been well-defined. If a Celt is someone who speaks a Celtic language, than only a minority living in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Britanny, etc., are true Celts. If, like this tv program, you base it on genetics, then no one in the British Isles has ever been Celtic, despite having all the hallmarks of Celtic culture (language, art, religion, etc.). Myself, I wonder how much of this argument outside of archaeological circles is actually about the fear of Devolution--tell the Welsh, Irish, Scottish, etc. that they aren't Celts, and you supposedly take away their desire to be seperate states. What do you think? Because while the debate about invasion, cultural diffusion, etc, is valid and important, I wonder how much this actually has to do with that debate.
Radiocarbon review rewrites European pre-history: Speaking of controversial archaeology, there may be evidence that it only took 5000 years for homo sapien cro magnon to oust homo neanderthalis, instead of the previously-thought 7000.
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Friday, February 17, 2006. 12:00 pm EST.Bronze Age mourners used flowers: can't imagine how they paid the florist.
New view of Mr Boudica: Evidence for the reign of Prasutagus just got stronger with the find of a coin hoard.
Church to cut down "sacred" yew trees: You know, when I read this, I was confused as hell, because there's a Bucks county and town named Chalfont here in the Delaware Valley. Turns out the story's in England.
Trove of Teutonic weapons uncovered in Krusne Hory region: A hoard of early Germanic weapons, dating to 200 CE, has been found in Bohemia.
Can genes unravel a Viking mystery?: On the identity of a "Viking Princess".
Mummer's the word as Ulster dancers perform in Bulgaria: Irish Mummers in a European masquerade festival.
University of Cambridge: Spoken Word: This is REALLY cool. Hear Old English, Middle Irish, and Old Norse actually spoken. Middle Welsh soon to follow.
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Friday, February 3, 2006. 1 pm EST.Bronze Age man's burial site unearthed: Found on Rathlin Island off the coast of Co. Antrim, Ire.
Why we'll never stop looking for the Holy Grail: Because who wants to die? Or in my case, I saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when I was 10.
Druids become gay civil partners: And if you know the writings of Diodorus Siculus, you already know the Celts are teh ghey.
Shetlands come alight with Viking 'Up Helly Aa' festival of fire: And you thought they just burned wicker men...
Giant Waste Processing Plant Threatens Flag Fen, Bronze Age Site: sadly unsurprising.
Fears For Ancient Remains Below Waves: Artifacts off the Isle of Wight may be washed away. They date from when the sea levels where much lower, during the Ice Age.
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Friday, January 6, 2006. 1 pm EST.The majestic standing stones of Callanish: an article on Scotland's most famous stone circle.
Seven Miles of Destruction: some ass has been slaughtering sheep and destroying the Downs on the Isle of Man.
Stonehenge on final shortlist for New Seven Wonders of the World: Well, given that all that remains of the original seven is the Pyramids of Egypt, yeah, maybe it's time for a new list.
Fairy Tale Physics: Myths and Legends Explained: I'd like to see 'em explain why Lindsay Lohan has a career.
Henges, pyramids and the Celtic cross helped ancient mariners sail the world: But god forbid they invent the compass. That would've been too easy.
Reconstructed Stone-Age circle in Germany catches sun's rays: Sounds like a pretty cool party, actually.
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Friday, December 2, 2005. 1 pm EST.Last valley of Wales to get electricity: Nope, not kidding. There were parts of Wales still not on a grid.
Radar pinpoints tomb of King Edward the Confessor: Former patron saint and second-to-last Saxon king of England's tomb is found in Westminster Abbey. Same guys found other tombs, too.
The Damned's Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail: And you thought Jimmy Page was weird.
The Manuscripts of St. Catherine: ie. the Egyptian monestary that has been collecting manuscripts for at least seventeen centuries.
Modern tools to unlock Ancient Texts: the CHLT project
Prehistoric Greek plantation found: dating to about 6000 BCE
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Wednesday, November 23, 2005. 1 pm EST.Fairies stop developers' bulldozers in their tracks: Do NOT upset the fairies! (It's really, really hard to keep this one clean.)
Viking Twilight: press release for a new movie to be filmed about the transition of the Nordic world from paganism to Christianity. Might be interesting.
Anthropologists find destroyed beer operations from 600 B.C. in Peru: Headlines like that just make me want to cry. Destroy a brewery? The fiends!
Welsh is the new word in Scrabble: Pa? Sadly, no circumflexes included.
Binge-drinking an age-old problem: Wow, 12th century Londoners sure knew how to party.
Bulgarian Unravels UK's Crop Circles Puzzle: Unfortunately, her solution involves prophecies. And confusing herself with Fox Mulder.
Speakin of which, Crop Circle Photos on Ebay: Hell, I've got some crop circle photos from my trip to Avebury if ya want 'em.
Is Huddersfield really a UFO hot spot?: 'Cause god knows that aliens have nothing better to do than hang around obscure English villages.
Pa. May Let Hunters Use Ancient Weapon: Weirdness hits close to home--my dear, dear home state of Pennsylvania is thinking of letting hunters use atlatl--prehistoric-style dart propellers--to hunt.
'Exceptional find' of Iron Age warrior: only third of its kind unearthed in Scotland.
Site of pagan well to be restored: Ffynnon Rhedyw in Llanllyfni, near Caernarvon. Whether it's pagan or not, who knows?
Yep, not only am I back, but I'm a few days early, because of Thanksgiving. So! on with the news:
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Friday, September 23, 2005. 1 pm EDT.Stone axes highlight 10,000 years of commuting in stockbroker belt: in around Surrey, a lot of Stone Age artifacts have been found
Bones examined in settler mystery: Bones of the Beaker People found in Scotland are being studied; it's believed they came over from Scandinavia some 4000 years ago.
Mummified bodies pickled in bog water: More bog bodies in Scotland, specifically the Outer Hebrides.
Ancient drowned forest discovery: in Perthshire, probably dates to the Neolithic period around 5000 years ago.
Nessie hunters on verge of major breakthrough: Researchers want to test "flesh-like material" found at the bottom of the loch. Personally, I'm thinking it's catfish.
Amazing fossil puts Scotland's dinosaurs on the map: Now for some real reptiles: baby dinosaur footprints found in Scotland; and they're really small.
Wicker Man director is flaming furious over Hollywood remake: Speaking of Scotland... Can't say as I blame him--the new one sounds terrible.
Rosslyn, ley lines and the baron knights: More silliness in Scotland, regarding Rosslyn, the Grail, and other popular weirdness.
Autumn Equinox marked at Loughcrew, Co Meath: video from RTE. Requires Real Player. Passage grave (like Newgrange) which marks the sunrise of the Autumnal Equinox.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2005. 1 pm EDT.Archaeologist Believes He's Found St. Patrick's Birthplace: at an old Roman fort called Banna Venta Berniae, in the Lake District.
Boys' booty turns out to be Viking hoard: Kids' toys in Tromsø turn out to be Viking artifacts. All I ever got was a He-Man action figure.
Russia Demands German Return Celtic Idols: Now, how the Celts ended up in Russia is a story I'd like to hear...
Weird Animals In Weird Ley Line Weirdness: Matching up sightings of the cryptozoological type with the so-called Ley Lines in Britain.
Whittington’s tenuous link to legend of the Holy Grail: Lord Mayor Dick Whittington, BTW, of the famous folktale. The article isn't well written, so I'm not entirely sure what they're talking about.
Sorry this is late; holiday weekends do that to ya.
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Friday, August 26, 2005. 10:00 am EDT.Witches plan casts spell over Lottery: The Heritage Lottery Fund has given £14,500 for a memorial to the victims of the Scottish witch hunts under James VI (yeah, he of the King James Bible fame). 1500 people were executed.
Ancient stone circle holds air of mystery: Specifically Avebury, which is a really neat place I've been to. The ring encompasses much of the town, and Silbury Hill is also in the vacinity. Not to mention the longbarrows, the crop circles....
Secrets of Ancient Iceland I and II: a diary kept by a student at Penn State. OK, yeah, I'm jealous.
Lessons from our ancestors about the countryside: Some Brits see if they can live like 17th century farmers in a new BBC series--you know, like the other "Live in a different era" shows they put on.
Man launches ice cream stick Viking ship: I gotta get me one of these.
Irish Peace Negotiator Dead At 55: Mo Mowlam, of Britain. Died of a head injury, unfortunately.
Ancient Bead May Be Clue To King Of Orkney: er, seems a bit of a stretch...
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Friday, July 29, 2005. 2:00 pm EDT.Bog People in Pittsburg: a rare chance to see the famous bog bodies discovered last century. They are likely the remains of human sacrifices performed by the Celts, and tell us quite a bit about some elements of Celtic practices and beliefs.
Unidentified Sea Creature Found After Typhoon: in China. Now this is just cool. It's probably a squid or something, but it's still pretty cool.
Ring of water ice on Mars raises hopes of finding life on red planet: with really cool pics.
Monday, July 25, 2005. 9:15 am EDT.
Courtesy of Owen Thomas, Lecturer at University of Wales, Lampeter:
I just wanted to let you and the readers of your website and blog that the University of Wales, Lampeter will be offering a new postgraduate online MA in Celtic Studies from October 2005 onwards. Students from around the world will be able to study online either full-time (one-year) or part-time (2-4 years) under the guidance of an experienced tutor without attending a campus. Residential courses will become available at a later date if there is sufficient demand but the principal idea is to give students an opportunity to broaden their knowledge of Celtic Studies before taking the plunge possibly into independent research (MPhil or PhD). Further details will become available at www.e-addysg.com (the home address of the Department of Welsh at the University of Wales, Lampeter and which also has a link to a free Welsh-English dictionary) or those interested could simply send an e-mail to the Head of Department, Dr Jane Cartwright (firstname.lastname@example.org).
So, if this interests you (and I assume there must be some it would, including myself), please check out the Welsh Department at UoW, Lampeter.
The Department of Welsh at Lampeter would like to publicise this unique postgraduate course more widely in North America and would greatly appreciate any contact details for institutions and/or individuals who would be interested in Celtic Studies.
Friday, June 24, 2005. 11:00 am EDT.Gaelic Language Gets Official EU Status: Great news, but of course the so-called liberal NYT bitches about how much it'll cost the EU taxpayers.
Stonehenge druids 'mark wrong solstice': Stonhenge was only for the winter solstice? I'm not convinced. Of course, I'm not even going to touch the whole druid-stonehenge problem.
Europe's Ancient Past Revealed: excavations on a so-called "sun temple." We'll see. At the very least, they would have been built by the Neolithic folks in the area, and not Indo-Europeans. Which is still cool.
21,000 mark summer solstice at Stonehenge: Yeah, man. Very cool.
Tara campaigners to mark summer solstice with M3 protest: While some celebrate at the (mostly) preserved Stonehenge, others celebrate at Tara, which is still under threat.
Archaeologists figure out mystery of Stonehenge bluestones: Not a mystery exactly--they've simply pinned down where the stones came from in Wales. You know, I had a friend who dismissed all the mystery of Stonehenge's building very well. "If I'm a neolithic guy, and someone explains to me that he's got a plan for us to track the planting times, you think I'm going to sit on my butt and not get in on that project?"
Friday, June 10, 2005. 11:00 am EDT.Halloween in June: Celebrating the Summer Solstice in New England. Traditionally, the Solstice is one of the "Three Spirit Nights" in Welsh folklore; and let's not forget A Midsummer Night's Dream.
New Map Brings Ancient Britain To Life: New ordinance map combines ancient monuments with modern street maps to make it easier to find things.
Archaeologists find Iron Age remains: In Cornwall. Even including a La Tene style brooch. Very cool.
Find is missing piece of torc: a find made last year is part of a torc found 39 years earlier on the same site.
Scientists Find Hoard of Celtic Coins: In the Netherlands, home to the Belgic confederation, but also to some Germanic tribes, who are thought to be the actual users of the coins. Early Euro, eh?
Away With the Fairies: a Fairy museum is openning in Orkney. Sorry, no donations from Elton John.
Grass fungus once called 'fairy rings': Me, I call it a reason to wear shoes.
Life-Long Champion Of Language: About Henry Jenner, an early advocate of Cornish revival.
YES! We've returned after a long absence. Some interesting stories:
Friday, April 15, 2005. 12:00 pm EDT.Celtic tiger threatens mystical Tara: More on the threat to Tara.
Weaving a whole new story from an old tapestry: Reading history from the Bayeux Tapestry.
Friday, April 8, 2005. 12:00 pm EST.Obit: Alan Dundes: the Berkeley professor and folklorist has, sadly, died.
The softer, caring side of the marauding Viking: Turns out sometimes when men went a-viking, they took their wives.
A moving experience deep in the city's vaults: A seance in the most haunted room in the most haunted spot in Edinburgh.
Archaeologist finds 'oldest porn statue': Um, just because it depicts the sex act doesn't necessarily make it porn. Just ask the Hindus.
Novel interpretation of ‘monster’ sighting: A 270 year old sea monster sighting has been re-interpreted as a really horny whale. Ugh.
Salem approves `Bewitch'-ing monument: Dude, I totally have to go to Salem now--they're errecting a statue of Bewitched's Samantha Stevens. :) One of my favorite tv shows when I was a kid.
Searching for the Welsh-Hindi link: "Welsh people talk funny; Indians talk funny; there must be a connection!"
Friday, April 1, 2005. 12:00 pm EST.Irish language law takes effect: In the Gaeltach, where Irish is still a spoken language, all road signs must now be in Irish, not English, as a way to preserve the language. Well, if Wales can have Llanfairpwll..., Ireland should be allowed An Daingean in Contae an Ciarrai (Dingle in County Kerry).
Academics suggest Irish travellers are remnant of pre-Celtic culture: Their language isn't Indo-European, and their culture is unlike that of the Irish--so what are the Travellers? Hard to say, really.
Gold Hoard a Treasure: ranging from Bronze Age axeheads to an Elizabethan gold ring, a collection of artifacts found in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, is ruled a treasure by the coroner's court in Cardiff--so that it is now owned by the Crown.
No, no April Fools jokes here, just the news:
Friday, March 11, 2005. 12:00 pm EST.Face of History's Forgotten Ruler on Display: Recently-found coins of the "Forgotten Emperor" Domitianus (one of the many generals who declared themselves a Roman Emperor) are going on display at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
City Druids line up to put a spring in their step: Old-School Druids gather at Tower Hill in London, something that's been going on, apparently, since before even old Iolo Morgannwng.
Tara under threat: more on the latest problems with Tara.
Museum Of Witchcraft Reopens After Boscastle Flood Clear Up: Coincidence? ;-)
Yeah, I've been AWOL. I moved recently, I've been sick, whine whine whine. Anyway, here we go 'round the mulberry bush...
Friday, March 11, 2005. 12:00 pm EST.Witch warns of Curse Stone power: A "cursed" stone in Carlisle is due to be destroyed; so, of course, a local witch says that they'd better not. It's not as crazy as it sounds. The witch points out that curses only work when people believe they work; thus, destroying the stone will only cause worse luck, since people are giving it such power.
Friday, February 18, 2005. 12:00 pm EST.Legend legitimized?: remains in Rome may confirm the time of the story of Romulus' founding. Basically, parts of a palace date to ca. 750 BCE.
NZ unveils Stonehenge replica: it's even wired for sound. It's made with concrete, not stones, and it's calibrated with the southern hemisphere.
Attracted by the Druids: the C of E interviews Emma Restall Orr, head of the Druid Network, on the growth of Druidism and its "coming in from the fringe"
St. Patrick, the smooth operator: Apparently, Pat wasn't against getting and recieving bribes.
Mummified body found during dig: a Roman-era mummy has been found in Yorkshire, and it's very well preserved.
Appeal for Stolen Stone Age Relics Return: some jackass stole a van full of relics from a guy giving a lecture on the Celts. Give 'em back, jerk!
Iron age necklace discovered: in Nottinghamshire. It's thought to be worth £100,000.
Friday, February 7, 2005. 12:00 pm EST.Treasure found in Viking market: Lots of stuff in Cumbria, may have been a 10th century Viking market.
Rare Bronze Age Ring Find: Found in Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight.
Meet Norman, A 2,000-Year-Old Carving: Woman in Melton found what may be a British carving from the Roman era.
The real Macbeth was not all toil and trouble: On Shakespeare's propaganda.
Celtic 'Lughnasadh' Festival in time for show: For us up north, it's Imbolc; in Australia, it's Lughnassadh
They promote chain mail bonding: on SCA, the Society for Creative Anachronisms.
Friday, January 28, 2005. 12:00 pm EST.Ignoble Ancestors: Turns out George Bush is descended of both Strongbow the Norman invader of Ireland, and Dermot MacMurrough, the Leinster king who sold out Ireland to Strongbow. Not exactly great ancestors.
The mysterious end of Essex man: It's possible that two very different types of prehistoric man fought for control of Britain--axe-weilders vs. knife-weidlers. The axe-men supposedly won.
Danish Archaeologists in Search of Vikings in Iran: Well, if they can take over Russia (the Rus of Sweden giving the country its name), then they could've made it to Iran. Especially since we know they made it to Constantinople--er, Istanbul, not Constantinople.
In Ireland, Commuters vs. Kings: More on the problems with building a road through Tara.
Trust makes plea over Stonehenge: Like Tara, Stonehenge is also under threat from road building.
Young recruits swore their allegiance to pagan gods and Caesar: On the life of a Roman soldier. Just some interesting facts, and the relationship between becoming a soldier, and what Christianity used from these ceremonies.
Friday, January 21, 2005. 12:00 pm EST.Ancient rock carvings go online: Which is really cool, but there's no details about the URL for this future website :(
Britain and Ireland Were Always Separate: Ireland has apparently always been an island and was never connected to Britain and the continent, according to scientists.
The Leprechaun Watch: a friend pointed this out to me. A real-time cam in Ireland (supposedly) where you can watch for leprechauns.
In defence of 'lost' languages: More languages are dying every year; on the plus side, the article says Welsh is making a comeback.
Friday, January 14, 2005. 12:00 pm EST.Hertford, home of the Holy Grail: erm, I doubt it, but OK. Still, feeds my fascination with weird, conspiracy stuff.
Statue reveals ancient astronomy: on the Roman "Farnese Atlas", which may show the constellations as seen by the astronomer Hipparchus. Cool. No pics, sadly.
Buried Women 'Were in Amazon Fighting Tribe': Women warriors from Eastern Europe--the land of the Amazons--are found buried in England, and dating to the Roman era.
Ancient 'Colours of White': all those white marble ideas of the ancient world? They were actually in color.
Yeah, I know--I've been lazy. Plus, there hasn't been that much news, unfortunately. So here we go:
Friday, December 3, 2004. 1:40 pm EST.Mystery of erotic symbol smashed in church: This is disgusting. History isn't allowed to stand in the way of "Christian" morality. An 800-year-old sculpture of a Sheela-na-gig on a church in Sussex--a very rare sculpture at that--has been destroyed. Fucking iconoclast Christian Taliban. An image of the sculpture can be found here.
Microsoft unveils Welsh software : Cool! (or, uh, Cwl!) That F'in Rocks! MS Word now in Welsh, a response to the complaint that the younger generations are losing their native languages. Frankly, this is cool, because it means Welsh is that much more of a living language and culture.
President Clinton Orders Spy Unit to Find Nessie: Clinton told the Psychic Spy Unit to look for the Loch Ness Monster. Huh? Yeah, doesn't sound real plausible.
Eagle secret of Bronze Age burial: Talons of a golden eagle was found with the burial remains of a Bronze Age community recently excavated in Skilmafilly; the site dates to around 2000-1500 BCE.
Graves of Saxon warriors found: In Marlborough
Monday, November 29, 2004. 12:00 pm EST.Couple Get Hitched in Stone Circle Wedding: Man, I'm envious; my mom would have a stroke.
Viking map may rewrite US history: Just stuff on the Vineland map.
Bisexual Viking idol marks ancient circle: the "bisexual" (actually capable of changing his sex) viking idol in question is Odin.
Talks start on wild animal plans: Scotland wants to bring back the wolves, bears, bison, and lynx to Britain. Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, unavailable for comment.
Another Stonehenge Found in Russia?: Why not?
Codebreaker scores success in search for the Holy Grail: not likely; too steeped in the Priory of Sion bunk.
Gallic war treasure discovered in southern France:
The Vikings: A Memorable Visit to America: article from the Smithsonian magazine.
Sorry, things've been hectic:
Friday, November 12, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Decision due on Hill of Tara motorway: Hopefully it will be spared the bulldozers.
Friday, November 5, 2004. 12:00 pm EST.Standing Stone reveals ancient secrets at modern opencast site: in Scotland, funery sites and standing stones have been discovered. A wealth of information, apparently.
Roman Beauty Secrets Revealed in 1,800-Year-Old Makeup: using Cornish tin instead of the more poisonous lead. It was found in London. It was probably a foundation.
Friday, October 29, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.'Hobbit' joins human family tree: Way cool--tiny humanoid skeletons dated to only 13,000 years ago (well within the time of modern man) have been found in Indonesia.
Foil reveals Roman magic: A Roman lamella--a rare form of amulet--has been found in Norfolk.
Town to officially pardon executed witches: Well, better late than never.
Friday, October 22, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Germany's Bronze Age Blockbuster: one of the oldest depictions of the heavens (dating to 3600 years ago), the Sky Disk of Nebra is on display again.
Roman Comet 5,000 Times More Powerful Than A-Bomb: Craters around Lake Chiemsee, Bavaria, may be evidence of an impact ca. 200 BCE, in what was then Celtic territory. However, such impacts are usually much more destructive, so it may not be a comet.
Forest excuse 'pure Roman spin': I used to play baseball; when I didn't catch a pop fly, it was always, "Well, the sun was in my eyes." Turns out, the so-called great forests of Caledonia are the same, except unlike the sun, these trees didn't exist.
Full Excavation for Irish Viking Village?: Digging for a highway, they find a buried Viking village.
Friday, October 15, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Celtic Klondike prepares for a gold rush: Gold found in Ireland. Woohoo!
Danebury: Ritual and Religion in the Iron Age: The Archaeology Channel website has a streaming video on Danebury, England.
Monday, October 11, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Japanese monster hunters arrive in Clifden: They're searching for the horse-eel. No, I'm not kidding.
Entire Iron Age village discovered at lochside: On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond. Dates to around 100 BCE.
Celebrities join demonstration to protect Hill of Tara: Well, Irish celebrities, and not a Bono in sight. Bono, where are you?
Medieval surgeons were advanced: That, or we're not as advanced as we like to think we are.
Medieval teeth 'better than Baldrick's': It's the sugar that's the problem.
Remains of Genghis Khan palace unearthed: not Celtic, but that's still really cool.
I know I'm late, but I was sick all last week.
Friday, October 1, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Vandals Strike Again at Birkrigg Stone Circle: Jerks are splashing red paint on this ancient stone circle. To be honest, for me, this is like burning a church.
Stonehenge replica brings tranquility to W. Mich. pair: sounds like a neat place; I'm envious.
Experts Concerned Over Climbing on Prehistoric Rock Carvings: A really cool megalith in Copt Howe, Chapel Stile in England's lake district, is being damaged by climers. It's prehistoric carvings are being destroyed.
Ancient Artefacts Found in Rock Formations: Remote areas in Scotland are yeilding evidence of habitation.
Culloden: The Jacobite's Last Stand: Mmm. Jacobites vs. Orangemen. God help us all.
Witch hunts and trials in the 17th century: Just to get you in that Autumnal, Pilgrim-Halloween vibe, regarding English witch trials.
Picts wrongly painted as a race of barbarians: Instead, they were supposedly rather advanced, but assimilated early into the Scots kingdom. Deals with a new book on Pictish art, which is actually a gorgeous volume, definitely worth finding at your library.
Rings Were Secret Mark of War God: a number of silver rings with the inscription "TOT" (thought to stand for Toutatis) have been found throughout Lincolnshire, which may have been a cultic center.
Friday, September 17, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Ancient graves uncovered at pit: A 1500 year old Christian burial in Scotland.
Friday, September 10, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Irish homecoming for Viking boat: A replica of a ship built 1000 years ago in Ireland, will now sail from Denmark to Ireland. Hopefully leaving the axes and swords at home.
Viking burial ground dispels myth of longship marauders: "These were clearly not the longship pirates of legend, but a settled, wealthy, peaceful community." Well, yes, after two hundred years of pillaging and the like, you usually want a roof over your head.
Experts stunned as Viking graves found: More on the graves--a mix of men and women, fully decked out in jewels, swords, and all sorts of other things you might want in the next life, whether it be Heaven or Valholl.
Geneticists find Celtic links to Spain and Portugal: Guess the Irish were right about being descended of Mil of Spain. In all seriousness, there's supposedly a genentic link to the section of Spain called Galacia--which ultimately means "Place of Gauls" or Celts. So, in other words, duh. Truth be told, the article is very silly, acting surprised that there's a link between the Irish and the Scots that goes back further than the 1600 settlements in Northern Ireland--damn it, anyone who knows just a little history about Scotland knows that the name Scot originally meant "Those guys living in Ireland" (think John Scotus Erigena), and that they emigrated to Scotland during the Dark Ages.
Friday, August 27, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Owain Glyn Dwr and the Battle for Wales: a quick and dirty history of the Welsh freedom fighter.
Ancient Gold Mask Discovered in Bulgaria: A 2400 year old golden mask (24 oz. near solid) found in what was once Thrace may be of King Seutus III.
Irish archaeologists find 9th century Viking body: dates to about 1100 years ago, and is likely a woman. Also, a rare oval brooch was found.
Mystery of biggest Viking gold ring: Big golden arm bracelet has been found.
Mystery of figure's identity is revealed: Mystery statue seems to be of Isis. However, there has been no temple to Isis found in the Wiltshire area.
Anglo-Saxon Pendant is Jewel of a Find: believed to be around 1,500 years old, which would place it early in the Saxon invasion.
Friday, August 20, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.British Badgers Threaten Historical Site: Apparently badgers rather like the soft earth around Stonehenge, and are disturbing the area around and including the site.
Carved Figure Linked to Bronze Age Burials: Dating to 2200 BCE, it was found in the Thames estuary.
Book bag reveals the education of ancient Scotland: A 1400-year-old leather bookbag has been found in Argyll, showing that books were actually a relatively common item for the educated classes.
Ancient ring declared treasure trove: Another article on what may be Boudicca's torc.
Friday, August 13, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Mystery of Iron Age woman with rings on her toes: Buried 1500 years ago under the floors of an Iron Age workshop?
Tree that holds the spirit of Aintree to be felled: A bit of Saxon heritage in the town of Aintree is about to be cut down, and folks aren't to happy about it.
Relic linked to Seahenge: a wooden figure may have some significance for the site.
Friday, August 6, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.
Ireland is Atlantis?
According to one Swedish scientist, when Plato described Atlantis, he was describing ancient Ireland:
Atlantis, the Greek philosopher Plato wrote in 360 B.C., was an island in the Atlantic Ocean where an advanced civilization developed some 11,500 years ago until it was hit by a cataclysmic natural disaster and sank beneath the waves.
Well. Guess I'm half Atlantean then. In all seriousness, I still hold that Atlantis is Thera, but I'm willing to at least look at the guy's book. Plus, Ireland would have been beyond the Pillars of Hercules. Guess all those guys who claimed the Druids came from Atlantis were right.
Geographer Ulf Erlingsson, whose book explaining his theory will be published next month, says the measurements, geography, and landscape of Atlantis as described by Plato match Ireland almost exactly.
"Just like Atlantis, Ireland is 300 miles long, 200 miles wide, and widest across the middle. They both have a central plain surrounded by mountains.
"I've looked at geographical data from the rest of the world and of the 50 largest islands there is only one that has a plain in the middle -- Ireland."
Erlingsson believes the idea that Atlantis sank came from the fate of Dogger Bank, an isolated shoal in the North Sea, about 60 miles off the northeastern coast of England, which sank after being hit by a huge flood wave around 6,100 B.C.
"I suspect that myth came from Ireland and it derives from Dogger Bank. I think the memory of Dogger Bank was probably preserved in Ireland for around 3,000 years and became mixed up with the story of Atlantis," he said.
Or not. I think Atlantis is a mix of legend, history, and allegory. Maybe a little bit of Ireland and its geography was mixed in, but I don't think that could explain everything. Oh well--it's still kinda neat.
Ancient magic still to be seen at Brigit's garden: Tourist spot in Galway, but it sounds like a neat place.
We have found Europe's earliest altar, say archaeologists: in Bulgaria, it may be up to 8,000 years old.
Ancient Script Uncovered in Bulgaria: meanwhile, down the street, a 3,000 year old script has been discovered. Man, Bulgaria is the place to be. Er, several thousand years ago, anyway.
In Search of the Real King Arthur: trying to piece together the puzzle. ("Woads"? "Woads"?!?)
Scientists Save Viking Hair: 'cause who ever heard of a bald Viking?
Prosecutors Drop Case Against Druid Charged With Carrying a Sword: Yeah, "Merlin" isn't going to be prosecuted. I'm sorry, but damn these guys give Druids a bad name.
At Scottish chapel, book's fans seek Grail: about The Da Vinci Code. Sorry, I can't get excited about that hoax.
"Nine Maidens" May Have To Be Renamed: Well, no, not really. But the ancient stones in Cornwall are having trouble standing up.
Ancient Find Unearths Past Religious Battles: Maybe, or maybe it's just a broken fountain.
Newgrange Being Rebuilt for Burning Man: This is pretty cool--some Irish folks are rebuilding the famous Newgrange monument at the Burning Man Festival.
Friday, July 30, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Welsh expert discovers why the Vikings were so mad: Hmm. Guess size really does matter.
Thousands mark 31 years of The Wicker Man: Ah, but will anyone mark 31 years of Showgirls?
Polish excavation in Syria sheds new light on ancient cult: Supposedly new findings about the cult of Mithra, divorcing it from the Mitra of Vedic religion. Not sure if I buy it.
Dig team baffled over tribe who suddenly upped sticks: Why did the Novantae, a tribe in Scotland, suddenly abandon their home on the Galloway coast 2200 years ago?
Friday, July 23, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Iceni Coin Dates to 35 BC: More coins found in West Norfolk. BTW, the Iceni were the tribe of Boudicca.
Human sacrifice was rarer than thought: Who'da thunk it?
Bronze age traces found in forest: Forest of Dean, SW England. I've driven through there; it was quite beautiful.
Friday, July 16, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.'Merlin' Tried for Shopping With Sword: Um... really, it makes fun of itself without even trying.
Treasures of 'Southend's King' Go On Display at Museum in Docklands: with pictures.
Child Skeleton Found Just In Time: a 2000 year old skeleton was found, thankfully before houses were built on the site. The child is wearing jewelry, and likely lived during the early days of the Roman occupation of Britain.
Stone me, what a find: Guy in Manchester (England, England) finds a bronze-age stone axe in a wardrobe. Reports of an umbrella-carrying satyr are still under investigation.
Ruins' holes mark solstice: Not Celtic, but still really interesting.
Friday, July 9, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Lisa puts cool into Cornish cause: Wha? 'S got to be a joke. Supposedly, Lisa Simpson will be shouting "Rydhsys rag Kernow lemmyn!" (Freedom for Cornwall now!) in a Christmas episode that will be an alternative to QEII's speech. ???
Cornish version of bible unveiled: After 27 years, a new translation will be released. Huh--given that Cornish is a dead language, this is fairly interesting.
Friday, July 2, 2004. 12:00 pm EDT.Most Gaeltacht dwellers do not speak Irish daily: sadly, up to 70% of the Gaeltacht--the western part of Ireland where Gaelic is still spoken (and where my family comes from)--do not speak the language on a daily basis.
Treasure hunter's historic ring find: A gold ring--two dragon heads holding a blue stone--dates to the 13h or 14th century; it still looks really good, too.
Farming origins gain 10,000 years: Turns out agriculture is older than we thought. Makes me wonder how many other achievements may be pushed back.
Iron Age Discovery in Heybridge: A decorated bronze plaque from the turn from BCE to BC contains La Tene influences.
Ramblers barred from ancient mound: Silbury Hill is reclassified, which will keep people from walking on it and destroying it.
Bronze Age axe found in harbour: found in Poole Harbour, it dates from 1000 to 800BC.
Man unearths Bronze Age dagger in field: the dagger dates from 1600BC.
Pilgrims flock to 'healing' well: North Welsh well of St. Winefrid. The interesting thing here is that it claims it's the only pilgrimage site that wasn't disrupted by Henry VIII.
Crannog rises out of lake: new bog dwellings in Powys.
Rabbits Threaten Viking Site: I knew they were a problem in Australia, but Scotland?
Orkney’s prehistoric secrets unearthed: Apparently, the prehistoric folks in Orkney didn't mind living near the dead. Intersting.
Friday, June 25, 2004. 11:45 am EDT.Outrage over destruction of Celtic fort: This is absolutely horrible. The largest ring-fort--the 3000 year old Dun Mor fort in Co. Kerry, Ireland, has been partially destroyed, likely by a local farmer claiming the land. An ogham stone was also removed.
Clans touch swords in battle to crown Arthur as their own: So who's descended of King Arthur? Was he Welsh? Scottish? Cornish? Is this a really silly debate? All signs point to "Answer Cloudy--Ask Again Later."
Here Comes the SUN: Druids celebrate the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge; of course, the connection between Druids and Stonehenge is questionable (they certainly didn't build it), but hey, it's still a neat site, right?
Stonehenge: Built by Welshmen?: 'Tis the season of Stonehenge. Of course, "Welshmen" is a medieval/modern political identity, certainly not applicable to those who built Stonehenge 4000 years ago.
For solstice, a druid who's down to earth: Druids are pretty normal people, it turns out (um, duh).
Stonehenge study tells pagans and historians it's good to talk: Fights over using Stonehenge today vs. archaeological studies. Gotta be a compromise here somewhere.
Mystery of Stone Anchors: relics of a type of anchor unique to the British Isles are showing up in Lothain, Scotland.
Builders of Stonehenge found: Hmm. Short of having a note on the body saying "I built Stonehenge", I don't know how the scientists can make this claim, but oh well.
Remains of Huge Stone Elephant Found In Kent: Who knew there used to be elephants in Britain?
Archdruid wants Stonehenge back: The Archdruid of Wales (that is, of the Gorsedd), wants Stonehenge to be returned to Wales. (C'mon--after 5000 or so years, I think England can keep the damn stones.)
Long Man is not as old as he looks: This has been debated for years. I think he's probably a late creation inspired by the presumably much older Cern Abbas Giant, or the White Horse of Uffington.
Holy cow, I found a lot of stuff this week:
Friday, June 18, 2004. 11:15 am EDT.
Borders folk may be descended from Africans: Ah, the Afro-Celt hypothesis comes back around. Maybe, maybe not.
White Witch Hopes to Contact Nessie's Ghost: umm.... yeah.
Friday, June 4, 2004. 1:00 pm EDT.
Major excavation to open Viking graves: Lots of neat stuff being found, particularly ship materials.
The Establishment and Demise of the Medieval Nordic Settlements on Greenland: The Role of Natural Climate Change: yep.
£50,000 facelift for kirk's ugly past: Scottish church, supposedly a scene of a massive witch congregation in East Lothain, is getting fixed.
Hollywood plans stir Celtic ghosts: Mel Gibson's making a movie about Boudicca. Erm. We'll see. Well, at least he can't blame her death on the Jews.
Friday, May 28, 2004. 1:00 pm EDT.
Ancient monument may be reclassified: Silbury Hill is falling apart, and reclassifying it as a building (it is man-made) may help slow the process.
Bronze Age Burials and the Beginning of the Greeks: Turns out Agamemnon's mask is way older than Agamemnon.
Friday, May 14, 2004. 1:00 pm EDT.
Restoration of pagan stone circle: work on the Nine Maidens in Cornwall will soon begin.
Bronze Age treasure hoard found: More treasure, this time found in Mickelham.
Discovery of gifts to the gods is hailed as find of a lifetime: Treasure from North Wales.
Wooden Pipe Find Excites Irish Archaeologists: This is the oldest wooden musical instrument every found; sort of like pan pipes, they're tuned to Eb, Ab, and F. Older whistles made of bone, going back 100,000 years, have already been found in Ireland; wood is a rare find.
Underwater Islands Add To The Mystery Of Orkney: Man-made islands near the coast; were likely an easily-defendable land, while they farmed on the natural islands.
Archaeologists Discover Alma Mater Of Archimedes: Not Celtic, but still really cool--reportedly, the University of Alexandria has been found; it is the oldest known university in the world.
Friday, May 7, 2004. 1:00 pm EDT.
Treasure hunters hit jackpot: major hoard found in north Wales was likely a gift to the gods. This isn't the first Bronze Age treasure hoard found at Wrexham, either.
Asteroid Toutatis to pass by earth in September: Interesting, especially given that its name is from the Gaullic god Teutatis. It will be closest to the earth on September 29, which is Michaelmas, just after the autumnal equinox.
Grace and Power: Yeah, another Kennedy book, but this one goes into where the Camelot association came from, which people of my generation may not know. As my boyfriend said, "Is Marilyn Monroe the Morgan Le Fay of the 1960s?"
Dig shows Welsh were evolving at faster pace: Hey, when you're still being ruled by the Queen of England, you've gotta find something to be proud of, right?
Friday, April 24, 2004. 1:00 pm EDT.
Warrior's grave points to Druid site
Quarrying of sand on beach damages ancient burial site
Amateur treasure-hunter unearths missing piece from 'Boudicca's necklace'
Friday, March 19, 2004. 1:00 pm EST.
Microsoft To Add Welsh to Windows: maybe now I can make ŵ and ŷ without searching through Unicode.
Beltane fans fired up over early finish: Edinburgh wants the partiers to go home early. I say, get in touch with yer warrior ancestors, kids, and say the hell with 'em.
Teeth unravel Anglo-Saxon legacy: Seems the English aren't quite so Anglish.
Stonehenge Tunnle Debate: Archaeologists say that it would bring "irreversible damage to the World Heritage site".
International academics make a stand for Tara as UNESCO World Heritage Site: What's worse than digging a tunnle under Stonehenge? Building a highway over Tara.
Friday, March 12, 2004. 1:00 pm EST.
Inscription could have been carved by Viking settler: Rock found in Fife could be from 9th century.
Sparks fly over rare axe head: more rock stuff from Fife.
Roman treasure found in pond dig: See what happens when you dig up the backyard?
Fresh Bronze Age treasure find: Found in Britain; dates back to over 3000 years ago.
Friday, March 5, 2004. 12:30 pm EST.
Tuscan 'Excalibur' Mystery to be Unearthed: A real-live sword in the stone, supposedly put there by St. Galgano a medieval knight who became a hermit, is to be tested to see if it is a fake. Whether or not this is the origin of King Arthur's sword in the stone (which, I should point out, is not Excalibur) is up in the air.
Give Stonehenge a New Druid Shrine To the Dead: Druids want Stonehenge and its dead to be protected during the construction of the tunnel.
Historians preserve Govan’s 1000-year-old stones: Scottish sculptures to be saved.
Disney to Make Viking Flik: starring Michael Eisner.
Friday, February 20, 2004. 12:30 pm EST.
Pagan fire festival reignites with a fee: Return of the Beltane fires in Scotland.
'Awesome' Treasure Find Could Be England's First Viking Boat Burial: Dating to the first raids on the Isles by the Vikings. Lots of neat artifacts.
Suspected Viking burial fills a hole in English history: More about the above Viking burial.
Vikings' Barbaric Bad Rap Beginning to Fade: See, all that raping and pillaging wasn't so bad, now was it?
Fight begins over Stonehenge tunnel scheme: Jesus--why don't we just build a fucking strip mall next to the Great Pyramid while we're at it?
Island Hopping To A New World: Just how did the first Americans get here, when, and from where?
Viking find rewrites Cork history: The finds will be incorporated into a new development.
Ancient stone circle has made us ill, say ghost detectives: Psychics visiting the Carn Llechart in Swansea Valley found that instead of having healing properties, the stones are more apt to make them sick.
Friday, February 6, 2004. 10:10 am EST.
Astronomers Unravel A Mystery Of The Dark Ages: A comet that may have hit the earth in 536 AD is thought to have caused a minor nuclear winter, particularly in England. In the Annales Cambriae, there is reference to a great plague in the year 537 AD (the same year as the battle of Camlann), and another in 547 (the year Maelgwn Gwynedd died)--either, it is thought, could be related to this nuclear winter.
Caves Move Into the Future: Prehistoric cave in South Devon is getting a makeover.
Fabulous Finds as Saxon King's Tomb Is Unearthed: The find is thought to be on the par with the famous Sutton Hoo, and of the same period. They don't know who he is, though.
First Couple To Marry at Roman Baths: As in Bath, UK. Hey, it was probably cheaper than Hawaii. Sulis is probably happy.
Friday, January 30, 2004. 10:29 am EST.
Stones may hold key to why we are here: Axes, etc.
Artefact recalls witches' shadow: "Witch's Ball" found in house dating to the 1830s. Guess some beliefs took longer to die out that we thought.
Slovak Celts celebrate spring: While the Celts once lived in what is now Slovakia, I didn't realize there are people there who are still interested in the culture. Kudos, guys.
Celtic Centre on the Ropes: Unfortunately, the new Celtic Culture Center in Carmarthen, Wales, is having buget problems, keeping it from being built.
Roman soldier's life unfurls: Roman soldier writes home, asking for dad to send socks and boots. In another letter, he wants permission to marry his girlfriend. You know what they say, the more things change...
Friday, January 23, 2004. 12:23 pm EST.
World heritage site faces quarry threat: a number of megalithic sites are under threat by a quarry in the Orkneys.
Well, hopefully the news will pick up.
Friday, January 9, 2004. 11:00 am EST.
The 400BC Ferrari: More on the oldest chariot found in Britain; possibly shows that the people (Picts? Britons?) had more contact with the contient than previously thought. Which, if you've done your history, shouldn't really surprise you.
It's last rites for Braveheart... at last: Given that we don't know where his remains are, this is a largely symbolic act. But never underestimate the power of symbolism, I say.
Siberian graveyard's secrets: That's some cold mummies up there... As usual, not Celtic, but I find it interesting.
Prehistoric cave for sale: A cave--called "the sorcerer's cave"--in Perigueux, France, filled with prehistoric artwork, is on sale for 1,000,000. Let's hope a preservation society buys it.
Macabre find behind bedroom wall: Some odd finds in a Suffolk house may point to 16th/17th century witchcraft repellant.
Friday, January 2, 2004. 11:11 am EST.
Romans Wiped Out Scots Tribes: Actually, they were likely Picts, though some support a Germanic hypothesis. At any rate, this isn't terribly surprising.
Evidence Found of Arctic Hunters Living in Siberia Near New World 30,000 Years Ago: Not at all related to Celts, Romans, the Middle Ages, or whatever, but still interesting.
Here Comes the Sun, Again: On the winter solstice in northern Europe.
Irish Crowd into Tomb for Solstice: Crowding into Newgrange for the winter solstice. For more on Newgrange happenings, read the following.
Newgrange needs protection from incinerator: I can't believe they want to build a trash incinerator right near Newgrange. For those of you who don't know Newgrange, read here. It's like building a trash incinerator next to Stonehenge.
Orangemen Set for Battle of the Boyne: The Orangemen are even angry about it too (though they're more focused on the site of the Battle of the Boyne. Politics aside, folks, politics aside.)
Treasure beneath your feet and under the waves: On the joy of discovery.
Friday, December 19, 2003. 1:00 pm EST.
: Hey, it's just Pascal's wager for the recently converted.
Tiny sculptures are oldest artworks in world: cool thing is that they're made of mammoth ivory, ca. 30,000 BCE.
Ancient disc declared treasure: Not exactly surprising.
This week I recieved a letter refuting my commentary on the November 7th article on the Devonshire flag. It's worth a read, and the writer has allowed me to print it here:
I came across your website recently, and its reference to Devon and the BBC artlicle.
I would like to make some comments
Devon's claim to having a Celtic component is not new or sudden.
In 1870 Professor Thomas Huxley (President of the Royal Society, President of the Ethnological Society) commented that Devon was no more Anglo-Saxon than the Northumbrians are Welsh. From around the same era Freedman (an avowed pro-Saxon historian) acknowledged that Devonians were 'English only by adoption'.
Like Cornwall (but separate) Devon had its own Stannary Parliaments from the early dark ages up until the eighteenth century, and had its own form of Celtic wrestling - with 17000 attending a match as recently as in the 19th Century. The Celtic language lingered here long after the Norman invasion - at least until the fourteenth century, and possibly until the sixteenth, and the language survived to modern times in certain dialect words.
Recent DNA testing suggests that the majority of the population in South West England is of Celtic rather than Anglo-Saxon ancestry.
The name Devon does derive from the ancient Celtic tribe in that area, but you are wrong in saying that the Dumnoni lived (only) in Cornwall. In fact the Dumnoni inhabited Devon, Cornwall and (at least) Western Somerset. It is possible - even likely - that within this tribal area there may have been divisions (it is the Celtic habit) and it is possible that Cornwall was to some degree autonomous - but no one knows.
As a nation (as opposed to the people themselves) Dumnonia did decline in influence once the Saxons arrived, but up until the tenth century the Celts who lived in Exeter (Devon's capital) were subjects of the Celtic nation at the same time that Saxons in the same city were under Saxon rule - as equals.
The influence of the Dumnonian nation declined thereafter and little more than a hundred years later the last Dumnonian King controlled only a small part of western Cornwall.
The people (of course) continued to be Celts, but over time and very gradually the language also started to recede westward (as it has in Brittany) - probably in a patchy an un-uniform way across Devon and Cornwall and eventually became extinct - to then be revived!
The issue that the BBC article addressed was that we Devonians are simply trying to assert our own identity, but in doing so we seem to have upset some Cornish preconceptions and fables. I think the article exaggerated the issue - most Cornish people that I know seem quite happy for Devon to do what it has, and it is only a few of the more extreme nationalist flavour that seem to have taken offence.
No harm is intended, and certainly Devon's identity in no way diminishes that of Cornwall.
Some of the Celtic background to Devon is encapsulated in the following web-site
Thanks, Paul. I'm glad you could clear that up. I was honestly ignorant about whether or not Devon retained any of its previous Celtic culture, but I see that they did. Glad you could correct me on this. :)
Friday, December 12, 2003. 1:00 pm EST.
German "Stonehenge" marks oldest observatory: Older than Stonehenge, it is (so far) the earliest Neolithic observatory.
A child's face amid 10,000 years of Irish at war: New exibit in Ulster on the history of Irish warfare from 8,000 BCE to Nov 1, 2003 (an interesting date to pick--Samhain, the Celtic New Year).
A new era for Orkney's ancient runes of attraction: Is the lozenge a fertility symbol? Will people buy more products if it features lozenges? Is this a little silly, or a relevent subset of semiotics? Damned if I know.
Iolo reveals the fertile magic of mistletoe(Thankfully the Iolo in question is not Iolo Morgannwg.) Ah--mistletoe, robins, druids, and Christmas. Warms me heart.
Forester wins award after ancient kiln find: Found a grain-drying kiln in the forest. Really, you should take walks in the woods more often--see what can happen?
Glimpse into life of rebel Welsh prince: Research on the Latin vita on Gruffydd ap Cynan, wins an award. Cool.
Friday, December 5, 2003. 12:00 pm EST.
Archaeological find may lead to rewriting of history: The Dark Ages? Not so dark. The Bronze Age? Not so primitive. Turns out civilization didn't begin with the Romans and leave with them in 410. Heh.
Vindication for Vinland map: New study supports authenticity: more speculation and possible proof that the Vinland Map is authentic and not a forgery. It's all in the ink, baby.
King's grave mystery may be unearthed: Looking to see if King Harold II, last Saxon king of England, is buried at Holy Trinity Church in Bosham, West Sussex. Personally, I'm more curious as to where John Lennon is buried. Or was he cremated? I have no idea.
Dig unearths Bronze Age sun disc: In Ceredigion, Wales. Apparently often found in Ireland and Britain, this is the first found in Wales itself.
Motorway Diggers Unearth Ancient Chariot: Now this is pretty cool--finding Bronze Age chariots under the highway.
Stone warrior delights experts: Unusual find--stone torso, possibly of a god, but definitely of a soldier-figure in Roman-style armor.
Friday, November 21, 2003. 12:00 pm EST.
Ancient Scots link to Stonehenge: Aye.
Anglo-Saxon spin halted to credit Welsh: Seems that the Welsh didn't just go quietly into that good night, but stuck around making history. (Um, well, duh.)
Black market robbing UK of its treasures: Not surprising, but unfortunate; also, for some reason it reminds me of Indiana Jones's fighting with Belloq about antiquities.
How seahenge will go on show: Seahenge is going on display in Norfolk; God, I wish I had the money to go see that.
Dimension Mulls Merlin: Dimension Films is considering doing a film based on T.A. Barron's series The Lost Years of Merlin; I hope they do, it's a good YA series.
Friday, November 14, 2003. 1:05 pm EST.
Gold Sword of 7th Century Saxon King, Caedwalla Found?: maybe
DNA tests debunk blond Inuit legend: Now, if we could just debunk the myth that Ann Coulter is a journalist...
Grave Discovery Brings Viking Fashion To Doncaster Museum: They did like their brooches...
Old oaks hold key to history: Trees, of course, are very important not only to the Celts, but to scientists. Yay trees.
Bid for centre in honour of bawdy bard: Nice! A look towards honoring Dafydd ap Gwilym, one of the greatest medieval Welsh poets (and one of my favorites).
Friday, November 7, 2003. 1:48 pm EST.
Was Orkney the ceremonial capital of ancient Britain?: There sure are a whole lot of artefacts and monuments, they say...
Bones of the Saxons have already been found: Better luck next time...
Reheating Bath - New mineral spa could restore British city's reputation as soaking center: An attempt to revamp Bath's (formerly Aquae Sulis, center of a cult to a Minerva-type goddess) original attraction--hot springs.
New Flag Causes A Flap in South West: Flap over the new Devonshire flag. It's a complicated issue, really--Devon suddenly wants to be considered as Celtic as Cornwall. And to some extent, it is, or at least its name is (Devon < Dumnonii, a local tribe, who actually lived in what is now Cornwall, not Devon), it's culture is much more English. Hey, I don't live there and I'm not an archaeologist. You'll just have to read the article for yourself.
Viking Gods Recognized: Not exactly Celtic, but still interesting. Seems that Denmark is going to recognize Heathenism as a legit religion. Of course, the need to "recognize" a religion seems strange to me, but then, the U.S. government technically doesn't recognize any religion. It's not the government's place to determin whether a religion is legitimate.
Friday, October 31, 2003. 1:48 pm EST.
Tiny Hazelnut Reveals Secrets of Peeblesshire’s Earliest People: Signs of a prehistoric hunting camp.
Archaeologists Battle To Save Galloway Site: preserving the prehistoric village of the Novantae tribe.
Archaeologists dig for answers at Mildenhall: What happens when you try to build a baseball diamond in Britain? You end up digging up neolithic artefacts. That's a lot more interesting than the rocks in my parents' back yard.
Valuable Verulamium: Roman Site Saved From The Plough: On the push to save Verulamium, now part of St. Albans, from becoming a cornfield. Fair enough.
Roman ruins found in rural Germany: somewhat out of the usual scope, but still interesting.
Friday, October 24, 2003. 4:32 pm EDT.
Samhain: a little to whet yer appetite for next week.
Plans to Protect Gaelic: Scotland will finally recognize Gaelic as an offical language. Well, duh.
The Original 'Iron Lady' Rides Again: Looking for the site of Boudicca's battles.
Was This an Iceni Warrior?: um, probably.
Lasers Reveal Stonehenge's 'Art Gallery': and you thought they were just pretty rocks.
In Hot Water: fun messing with Bath's baths.
Ancient Cup Leads to Discovery of Ancient Fort in Hadrien's Wall: more on that souveneir they found.
Friday, October 3, 2003. 4:32 pm EDT.
Anglo-Saxon Warrior Woman's Remains Found: ah, I can hear "Ride of the Valkyries" now...
Roman souvenir of wall found: a unique find, namely a bronze bowl with inlaid enamel of Celtic designs, found up near Hadrien's Wall.
Why Did Ancient Britons Stop Eating Fish?: I dunno--tired of fish and chips everyday?
Cosmic Link to Stone Circles: Gotta love those Neolithic builders.
Senua, Britain's unknown goddess unearthed: Little bit of an older story, but I'm adding it here, since it is rather important when a new member of the pantheon is discovered.
Roman Crimes of Fashion Revealed: Ah--nice to know that the most powerful empire ever committed that most famous of fashion faux pas.
Diggin up Carmarthen Castle.
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