Ir al contenido principal

Entradas

Mostrando las entradas de febrero, 2016

THE WARRIOR ELITE

“The other order is that of the knights. These, when there is occasion and any war occurs …, are all engaged in war. And those of them most distinguished by birth and resources, have the greatest number of vassals and dependents about them”.

(Caesar. Gallic War. 6.15)






The warrior class was a crucial element in Celtic culture and, along with the druids, formed the backbone of the social structure in Iron Age European society. Their military aptitude and ability to mobilize significant numbers of troops is evident from accounts of their struggles with the classical world, and confirmed by the profusion of weapons found in their burials. The warrior class also played a central political role as participation in tribal councils was reserved for those who bore arms (Kruta V. 2004:190).

However, what has hitherto remained unclear is exactly what proportion of Celtic society this warrior class represented. An analysis of burials sites in southeastern Europe allows us to throw some li…

40,000-year-old bracelet made by extinct human species found

In what is quite an amazing discovery, scientists have confirmed that a bracelet found in Siberia is 40,000 years old. This makes it the oldest piece of jewelry ever discovered, and archeologists have been taken aback by the level of its sophistication.
The bracelet was discovered in a site called the Denisova Cave in Siberia, close to Russia’s border with China and Mongolia. It was found next to the bones of extinct animals, such as the wooly mammoth, and other artifacts dating back 125,000 years.
The cave is named after the Denisovan people — a mysterious species of hominins from the Homo genus, who are genetically different from both Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.

The Denisovan cave in Siberia Anatoly Derevyanko and Mikhail Shunkov, Vera Salnitskaya
We know that the Denisovans migrated out of Africa sometime after the first wave of Homo erectus, and well before us, Homo sapiens.
The Denisovans were unique in many ways, having branched away from other humanoid ancestor…

Why was a 9th century Viking woman buried with a ring that says ‘for Allah’ on it?

washingtonpost.com

In the modern-era, Scandinavian countries have become known for their sometimes awkward embrace of migrants from the Arab and Muslim world. But the history behind that relationship goes back far further than you might expect.
Consider the case of a ring discovered in a Viking grave in Birka, a historic trading center in what is now Sweden. The woman in the grave died in the 9th century and was discovered around a thousand years later by the famous Swedish archaeologist Hjalmar Stolpe, who spent years excavating the grave sites around Birka.
The ring is unique. Made of silver alloy, it contained a stone with an inscription written in the Kufic Arabic script widely used between the 8th and 10th centuries. "For/to Allah," the inscription read. It was the only known Viking Age ring with an Arabic inscription to be found in the entire of Scandinavia. Exactly how the woman got the ring wasn't clear – she was found wearing typical Scandinavian d…

Bronze Age burial near Stonehenge discovered by badger

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-wiltshire-35523757?utm_content=buffer6f8d8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer


A Bronze Age cremation burial has been discovered near Stonehenge after being accidentally dug up by a badger. Objects found in a burial mound at Netheravon, Wiltshire, include a bronze saw, an archer's wrist guard, a copper chisel and cremated human remains.
Experts believe the burial may have been that of an archer or a person who made archery equipment.
The artefacts date back to 2,200-2,000BC, senior archaeologist Richard Osgood, of the MOD, said.
the burial mound, about five miles north of Stonehenge, lies on MOD land.
Mr Osgood, from the MOD's Defence Infrastructure Organisation, said it was "an exciting find".
"It was utterly unexpected. These are wonderful artefacts from the early Bronze Age, about 2,200-2,000 BC," he said


Excavation uncovers remains of high-status women at Stonehenge

http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/02/04/excavation-uncovers-remains-of-high-status-women-at-stonehenge/



The cremated remains of 14 women have been discovered at Stonehenge, challenging prevailing perceptions about the prehistoric monument. A recent excavation of “Aubrey Hole 7”—one of 56 pits dug outside of the iconic circle of stones—uncovered the bodies of nine men and 14 women, who were buried between 3100 BCE and 2140 BCE. Long bone pins, believed to be hairpins, were also unearthed during the excavation.
Archaeologists believe that anyone buried at Stonehenge enjoyed elevated social status — as religious and political leaders, members of prominent families, possessors of special skills — and so the new discovery calls for a re-examination of the roles of women during the late neolithic period. “The archaeology now shows that as far as the burials go, women were as prominent there as men,” said archaeologist Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology and au…

Mystical Runic Inscription on Oseberg Viking Ship Reads: “Man Knows Little”

http://readicon.com/oseberg-ships-mystical-runic-inscription-reads-man-knows-little/


The Runic inscriptions found written on the Oseberg viking ship have caused many people to ponder about their meaning. The Runes can be read both ways, but one interpretation is “litet-vis maðr,” which translates into English as: “man knows little.” So what did the Vikings know that we do not? The Oseberg ship is a well-preserved Viking ship that was discovered in a large burial mound at the Oseberg farm near Tønsberg in Vestfold county, Norway. It was excavated by Norwegian archaeologist Haakon Shetelig and Swedish archaeologist Gabriel Gustafson in 1904-1905.
The ship is dated to having been build and used during the dawn of the Viking Age. Research has revealed that parts of the ship date from around 800 AD, but the ship itself is thought to be much older.  The ship was used in 834 AD as a burial ship for two wealthy women in a burial mound.
The Oseberg mound is the richest Viking burial …

How to destroy gods

MEDIEVALIST.NET













 In the year 1168 a Danish bishop destroyed three pagan gods. The story is told in Gesta Danorum, by Saxo Grammaticus, which has recently been entirely translated into English for the first time
Saxo Grammaticus was a Danish cleric and historian who around the year 1188 began writing the first full history of Denmark. Stretched over 16 books, the Gesta Danorum goes back to the time before Jesus Christ to relate the mythological beginnings of the Danes. It has long been popular reading for the tales and legends it gives relating to the pagan past of this region, as well as for covering the rise of important leaders such as Cnut the Great.
As it moves into the twelfth century, the focus of the work concentrates on the rule by various Danish kings, most notably Valdemar I, who was King from 1146 to 1182. While Denmark had long been a Christian country, some of its neighbours in the Baltic Sea region were still pagan, including the Wends, a people who inhabited …

The astounding Bronze Age microscopic gold work from around Stonehenge

Archaeologists have revealed the process utilized by highly-skilled craftsmen to create the magnificent gold artifacts that were found around Stonehenge.  According to Discovery News, the gold work involved such tiny components that optical experts believe they could only have been made by children or adults with extreme short-sightedness, and would have caused lasting damage to their eyesight.
In 1808, William Cunnington, one of Britain's earliest professional archaeologists, discovered what has become known as the crown jewels of the 'King of Stonehenge'. They were found within a large Bronze Age burial mound just ½ mile from Stonehenge, known today as Bush Barrow. Within the 4,000-year-old barrow, Cunnington found ornate jewellery, a gold lozenge that fastened his cloak, and an intricately decorated dagger.


“The very finest gold work involved the making and positioning of literally tens of thousands of tiny individually-made components, each around a mill…

DNA discovery unearths 'unknown chapter in human history' in Europe 15,000 years ago

Scientists studying the DNA of ancient Europeans found evidence of a 'major population upheaval' at the end of the last Ice Age


A major and unexplained population shift occurred in Europe around 15,000 years ago when local hunter-gatherers were almost completely replaced by a group from another area, scientists researching our ancestors' genetics have discovered.
The findings were made after the extensive study of DNA evidence obtained from the bones and teeth of ancient people who lived in Europe during from the Late Pleistocene to the early Holocene, a period of roughly 30,000 years.
While attempting to find more genetic data from this time period, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany made an unexpected discovery.


The Institute's Johannes Krause said: "We uncovered a completely unknown chapter of human history: a major population turnover at the end of the last Ice Age."
To try and piece together the fac…