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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2006, 02:10:11 PM »

The article quoated above - Questionable Origins - has some interested and related observations on the possibilities of transoceanic transport of various plants, though the author takes, perhaps, a rather sceptical view.

The problem is complicated by the fact that at least two American plants do seem to have crossed the Pacific before Columbus crossed the Atlantic... The other is cotton, the diploid variety of which is found in both Old World and New, and may have been taken to the New World very early.

Let us see what modern science and in particular, the genetics, has to say on diploid cotton and its history.

Cotton: The Fabric of Our Lives

The origin, evolution, and domestication of cotton remain somewhat of a mystery even to this day. The time when cotton fiber was first used by humans is not known. It is known, though, that civilizations on both sides of the world possessed cotton. The oldest archaeological record of cotton textiles, which dates back to about 3000 B.C., was found in excavations at Mohenjo-daro in the valley of the Indus River in West Pakistan. Peruvian archaeological excavations found cotton specimens that had been fabricated into textiles as far back as 2500 B.C. There are even reports of cotton fabrics found in prehistoric pueblo ruins in Arizona - in the New World, and in the Upper Nile, what is now Sudan country of Africa - in the Old World (Brown, 1958).

There are 43 species of cotton. These consist of both diploid (2n = 2x = 26 chromosomes) and tetraploid (2n = 4x = 52 chromosomes) types. The New World tetraploid species are allo-tretraploids, which means that their chromosomal makeup combines the genomes of two distinct diploid species (Munro, 1987). The two genomes were so sufficiently different that their chromosomes would not pair during meiosis, consequently, the initial hybrid was sterile. Therefore, natural doubling of each set of chromosomes had to occur for the natural hybrid to be fertile and produce offspring, this is an extremely rare event in nature.

Thirty-seven of the 43 species of Gossypium, are diploid and distributed predominately across the Old World: Africa, Asia Minor, Mexico, and Australia. The remaining six species of cotton are tetraploid and their origins are believed to be in the New World, specific countries being Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Hawaii, and the Galapagos Islands (Smith, 1995). There are many varieties of cotton grown in different countries. These differ in the attributes of their fiber, yield, ginning percentage, disease resistance and vegetative characters (Munro, 1987).

Cotton is unique among cultivated crops in that four distinct species were domesticated by humans, and in that, two evolved in the Old World and two evolved in the New World:
* Gossypium herbaceum var. herbaceum race acerifolium, this race is considered the most primitive cultivated form of the Old World cotton.
* Gossypium arboreum, is probably a mutation selected by humans. This second Old World species is found today only under production, or as escapes from production.
* Gossypium hirsutum, a New World species which is believed to have evolved in Mexico. The oldest archaeological specimens of this species were found in Tehuacan, and are tentatively dated at 3400 to 2300 B.C.
* Gossypium barbadense, is the second species of New World cotton. This cotton, it is noted, was considered to have been the cotton of choice because of the quality of its fibers, compared to the Gossypium hirsutum by the Mayans (250 to 900 A.D.). This variety generally has almost no fuzz on its seed.

It is unknown exactly how cotton from the Old World traveled to the New World, but one theory suggests that from the origins in Africa and Asia Minor ancient trade routes existed along the east coast of Africa, to the western coast of India. Through ocean trade routes, even as escaped cargo, the fiber plant, it is reported, found its way to the New World (Smith, 1995).

Although the cotton industry is very successful today, and cotton is the most common textile fiber now in use, it was the last natural fiber to attain commercial importance. In the 5th century B.C., the Greek historian Herodotus reported that among the valuable products in India was the "wild plant that bears fleece as its fruit." In the following century, cotton was introduced from India into Greece by Alexander the Great. Although the early Greeks and Romans used cotton for "awnings and sails," as well as for clothing, it was not adopted for widespread use in Europe until centuries later ("Cotton", Microsoft Encyclopedia).

In the New World the Mexicans used cotton for weaving in the pre-Columbian period, as stated earlier. It is known that the natives upon Columbus' arrival cultivated two types of cotton. Cotton could have been used as wadding, packing, or for dressing wounds. Smith states, "The use of cotton as a spinnable fiber probably occurred in societies that already spun flax or animal hair (Smith, 1995).

Polyploidy and the evolutionary history of cotton
Author: Wendel, Jonathan F.; Cronn, R.C.
Date: 2002
Source: Advances in Agronomy. 87: 139-186.
The evolutionary history of the genus included multiple episodes of trans-oceanic dispersal, invasion of new ecological niches, and a surprisingly high frequency of natural interspecific hybridization among lineages that are presently both geographically isolated and intersterile. Recent investigations have clarified many aspects of this history, including relationships within and among the eight genome groups, the domestication history of each of the four cultivated species, and the origin of the allopolyploid cottons. Data implicate an origin for Gossypium 5?15 million years ago (mya) and a rapid early diversification of the major genome groups. Allopolyploid cottons appear to have arisen within the last million years, as a consequence of trans-oceanic dispersal of an A-genome taxon to the New World followed by hybridization with an indigenous D-genome diploid. Subsequent to formation, allopolyploids radiated into three modern lineages, including those containing the commercially important species G. hirsutum and G. barbadense. Genome doubling has led to an array of molecular genetic interactions, including inter-locus concerted evolution, differential rates of genomic evolution, inter-genomic genetic transfer, and probable alterations in gene expression. The myriad underlying mechanisms are also suggested to have contributed to both ecological success and agronomic potential.

'Within the last million years' does not pin down the date exactly. It does, however, encompass the history of modern man.


Cotton (Gossypium spp. )

   1. Origin and history of use: Gossypium is a genus of 39 species found worldwide, four species are domesticated:
         1. Gossypium herbaceum from S. Africa and G. arboreum from India, both independently domesticated, especially India, spread to Arabia, Europe. Both are diploid species, have short staple (fiber).
         2. G. hirsutum upland cotton, domesticated in Central America, predominant cotton grown today, long staple, tetraploid hybrid of wild South American diploid species and Old World G. herbaceum.
         3. G. barbadense, Sea Island, pima, or Egyptian cotton, domesticated in Andes, spread early to Caribbean, also long staple, tetraploid hybrid of New World and Old World diploid species.

It is therefore established that the diploid variety of cotton is found across the world and has been from ancient times.

* cotton.doc (39.5 KB - downloaded 18 times.)
* PLANT FIBER MATERIALS - cloth, paper, spices and herbs.doc (68.5 KB - downloaded 27 times.)
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2006, 11:16:25 PM »

It's time to take a look at the culture that built Stonehenge and related monuments.

Approximate extent of the Beaker culture
Beaker culture
The Bell-Beaker culture (sometimes shortened to Beaker culture, Beaker people, or Beaker folk, German Glockenbecherkultur), ca. 2800 ? 1900 BCE, is the term for a widely but spottily scattered archaeological culture of prehistoric western Europe starting in the late Neolithic (stone age) running into the early bronze age. The term was devised by the Honorable John Abercromby.

Its remains have been found in what is now Portugal, Spain, France (excluding the central massif), Great Britain and Ireland, the Low Countries, and Germany between the Elbe and Rhine, with an extension along the upper Danube into the Vienna basin (Austria), with Mediterranean outposts on Sardinia and Sicily; there is less certain evidence for direct penetration in the east. Beakers remained in use longest in the British isles.

Beaker culture is defined by the common use of a pottery style ? a beaker with a distinctive inverted bell-shaped profile found across the western part of the Continent during the late 3rd millennium BCE. The beakers seem to be associated with the consumption of mead or perhaps beer and are likely part of a larger prestige-oriented cultural package.

Some believe the Beaker culture to be of Iberian origin (modern day Spain and Portugal). To others, the Beaker culture apparently derives from early Corded Ware culture elements, with the Netherlands/Rhineland region as probably the most widely accepted site of origin, (J. P. Mallory,EIEC p. 53). It is often suggested as a candidate for an early Indo-European culture.

In contrast to this, Marija Gimbutas derived the Beakers from east central European cultures that became "Kurganized" by incursions of steppe tribes. Despite this, an eastern origin is not often sought, even by supporters of the Kurgan hypothesis.

Given the unusual form and fabric of Beaker pottery, and its abrupt appearance in the archaeological record, the traditional explanation for the Beaker culture has been to interpret it as a diffusion of one group of people across Europe. During the early twentieth century, Beaker pottery was seen as one element of a people who, through repeated waves of invasion, brought with them metal-working, crouched burials and round barrows, replacing an earlier Neolithic race of Europeans. Vere Gordon Childe described the Beaker people as "[w]arlike invaders imbued with domineering habits and an appreciation of metal weapons and ornaments which inspired them to impose sufficient political unity on their new domain for some economic unification to follow."

There is no necessary correlation between an archaeological culture and an ethnic group however, as there is no one-to-one correlation between the material culture excavated by archaeologists and an ethnicity or society. Additionally, material culture and technological innovations can spread independently of population movement that is, through cultural diffusion rather than demic diffusion. Childe's view is now seen as being incorrect, its connections erroneous and based on limited knowledge, whilst its assumption of a Beaker invasion is considered an attempt to attribute numerous different cultural changes to one cause.

Other archaeologists, noting the distribution of Beakers was highest in areas of transport routes, including fording sites, river valleys and mountain passes, suggested that the pan-European style of Beaker 'folk' were originally bronze traders, who subsequently settled within local neolithic or early chalcolithic cultures creating local styles. Close analysis of the bronze tools associated with beaker use suggests an early Iberian source for the copper, followed subsequently by Central European and Bohemian ores. This would support a "two-wave" thesis for the spread of Beaker culture, initially coming from the South West, and subsequently spreading from Central or even Western Europe. Lanting (1976)[1] suggests, from a compilation context, that Bell Beaker culture emerged on the Rhine delta from a Corded Ware culture context.

A recent Strontium isotope analysis of 86 people from Bell Beaker graves in Bavaria suggests that between 18-25% of all graves were occupied by people who came from a considerable distance outside the area. This was true of children as well as adults, indicative of some significant migration wave. Given the similarities with readings from people living on loess soils, the general direction of the movement according to Price et al, is from the northeast to the southwest [2].

Many archaeologists now believe that the Beaker 'people' did not exist as a group, and that the beakers and other new artefacts and practices found across Europe at the time that are attributed to the Beaker people are indicative of the development of particular manufacturing skills. This new knowledge may have come about through the influence of neighbouring peoples, rather than as a result of mass migrations, knowledge that could spread independently of any population movement. An example might be as part of a prestige cult related to the production and consumption of beer, or trading links such as those demonstrated by finds made along the sea-ways of Atlantic Europe. Palynological studies of pollen analysis conducted, associated with the spread of beakers certainly suggests increased growing of barley, which may be associated with beer brewing.

This non-invasionist theory was first proposed by Colin Burgess and Steve Shennan in the mid 1970s and it is now common to see the Beaker culture as a 'package' of knowledge (including religious beliefs and copper, bronze and gold working) and artefacts (including copper daggers, v-perforated buttons and stone wrist-guards for archers) adopted and adapted by the indigenous peoples of Europe to varying degrees.
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2006, 11:29:00 PM »

Many archaeologists now believe that the Beaker 'people' did not exist as a group, and that the beakers and other new artefacts and practices found across Europe at the time that are attributed to the Beaker people are indicative of the development of particular manufacturing skills. This new knowledge may have come about through the influence of neighbouring peoples, rather than as a result of mass migrations, knowledge that could spread independently of any population movement.
That is my view, also. Let us look at the culture that later developed into the Beaker Culture.

European Megalithic Culture
The European Megalithic Culture was a prehistoric (and preliterate) civilisation based primarily in Western Europe, that has left a legacy of large stone monuments, or megaliths, scattered widely across the continent. The earliest of these constructions, found in Brittany and the Iberian Peninsula, are reckoned to date to around 4800 BC, thus predating the Egyptian pyramids by some two millennia.

Originally consisting of communal tombs and other fairly simple structures, megalithic design later evolved to include the stone rows of Brittany and the hundreds of stone circles of the British Isles, of which the most famous is Stonehenge. Many of these constructions have been shown to have significant astronomical alignments, though the function of these still remains mysterious ? a fact that has not prevented endless theorising. Whilst a number of intriguing and distinctive artistic symbols have been discovered, it is virtually certain that this early culture had no proper form of writing, and consequently we are almost totally reliant on archaeology to unearth its history.

Types of megaliths

Carnac, Brittany

The most common type of megalithic construction in Europe is the dolmen ? a chamber consisting of upright stones (orthostats) with one or more large flat capstones forming a roof. Many of these, though by no means all, contain traces of human remains, and it is debatable whether use as a burial site was ever their primary function. Though generally known as dolmens, many local names also exist, such as anta in Portugal, stazzone in Sardinia, hunebed in Holland, dysser in Denmark, and cromlech in Wales.

Another type of megalithic monument that occurs throughout the culture area is the single standing stone, or menhir. Some of these have been shown to have an astronomical function as a marker or foresight, and in some areas long and complex alignments of such stones exist ? most famously at Carnac in Brittany.

In the British Isles the most well-known type of megalithic construction is the stone circle, of which there are hundreds of examples, including Stonehenge and Avebury. These too display clear evidence of astronomical alignments, both solar and lunar. Stonehenge, for example, is famous for its solstice alignment (though whether this was originally intended to mark the winter solstice, rather than the summer, is open to question). Examples of stone circles, though rare, are also found in Continental Europe.

Poulnabrone dolmen, Ireland
Other structures
Associated with the megalithic constructions across Europe there are often large earthworks of various designs ? ditches and banks, broad terraces, circular enclosures known as henges, and frequently artificial mounds such as Silbury Hill in England and Monte d?Accoddi in Sardinia. Sometimes, as at Glastonbury Tor in England, it is theorised that a natural hill has been artificially sculpted to form a maze or spiral pattern in the turf.

Spirals were evidently an important motif for the megalith builders, and have been found carved into megalithic structures all over Europe ? along with other symbols such as lozenges, eye-patterns, zigzags in various configurations, and cup and ring marks. Whilst clearly not a written script in the modern sense of the term, these symbols no doubt conveyed meaning to their creators, and are remarkably consistent across the whole of Western Europe.

Distribution and development

Cup and ring marks, England
The distribution of megalithic constructions strongly indicates that this culture was spread by seafarers. With the earliest sites found on the Atlantic seaboards of Brittany and Portugal dating to about 4800 BC, the techniques of building and other cultural traits gradually spread to other coastal areas, thence inland via the major river systems. Archaeologists usually distinguish five geographical regions within the megalithic culture that display certain local characteristics in addition to sharing in the general continent-wide trends. These are the North West Group (north Germany, Netherlands, and Denmark), Far West Group (British Isles), Centre West Group (north-west France), South West Group (Iberia), and Mediterranean Group (Malta, Sardinia, Corsica, the Balearics, and surrounding coasts).

As the people who created the megalithic culture have left no decipherable records, their linguistic affiliation remains completely obscure. It has recently been argued, however, that the spread of Indo-European languages in Europe coincided with the introduction of agriculture during the Neolithic period (see Anatolian hypothesis). If so, the megalith builders would have spoken an early dialect of Indo-European, some terms from which may survive in river names and other geographical features across Western Europe. The megalithic culture remained at the Neolithic stage until the so-called Bell-beaker explosion from around 2500 BC, which ushered in the Chalcolithic period ? a preliminary phase of the Bronze Age. It was this era that witnessed the full flowering of megalithic design in such areas as the British Isles with their stone circles, and Brittany with its alignments.

Because of many well-preserved burials in Northern Europe from this period, such as that of the Egtved Girl in Denmark, we even know something of the clothing styles worn by these people. Most such garments were made of wool, but bronze personal adorments, such as bracelets, were common.


    * Circa 4800 BC: Constructions in Brittany (Barnenez) and Iberia (?vora and Mourdo). Emergence of the Neolithic period, the age of agriculture.

    * Circa 4000 BC: Constructions in Brittany (Carnac), Iberia (Lisbon), France (central and southern), Corsica, England and Wales.

    * Circa 3700 BC: Constructions in Ireland (Knockiveagh and elsewhere).

    * Circa 3600 BC: Constructions in England (Maumbury Rings and Godmanchester).

    * Circa 3500 BC: Constructions in Iberia (M?laga and Guadiana), Ireland (south-west), France (Arles and the north), Sardinia, Sicily, Malta (and elsewhere in the Mediterranean), Belgium (north-east) and Germany (central and south-west).

    * Circa 3400 BC: Constructions in Ireland (Newgrange), Holland (north-east), Germany (northern) and Denmark.

    * Circa 3000 BC: Constructions in France (Saumer, Dordogne, Languedoc, Biscay, and the Mediterranean coast), Iberia (Los Millares), Sicily, Belgium (Ardennes), and Orkney, as well as the first henges (circular earthworks) in Britain.

    * Circa 2800 BC: Climax of the megalithic Funnel-beaker Culture in Denmark, and the construction of the henge at Stonehenge.

    * Circa 2500 BC: Constructions in Brittany (Le Menec, Kermario and elsewhere), Italy (Otranto), Sardinia, and Scotland (north-east), plus the climax of the megalithic Bell-beaker Culture in Iberia, Germany, Ireland, and Britain (stone circle at Stonehenge). With the bell-beakers the Neolithic period gave way to the Chalcolithic, the age of copper.

    * Circa 2400 BC: The megalithic Bell-beaker Culture was dominant in Britain, and hundreds of smaller stone circles were built in the British Isles at this time.

    * Circa 2000 BC: Constructions in Brittany (Er Grah), Italy (Bari), Sardinia (northern), and Scotland (Callanish).

    * Circa 1800 BC: Constructions in Italy (Giovinazzo).

    * Circa 1500 BC: Constructions in Iberia (Alter Pedroso and Medons da Mourela).

    * Circa 1400 BC: Burial of the Egtved Girl in Denmark, whose body is today one of the most well-preserved examples of its kind.

    * Circa 1200 BC: Last vestiges of the megalithic tradition in the Mediterranean and elsewhere come to an end during the general population upheaval known to ancient history as the Invasions of the Sea Peoples.

    * Barraclough, Geoffrey The Times Atlas of World History (Times Books, 1978)
    * Renfrew, Colin Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins (Jonathan Cape, 1987)
    * Service, Alastair & Bradbery, Jean Megaliths and their Mysteries: The Standing Stones of Old Europe (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979)
    * Spanuth, J?rgen Atlantis of the North (Sidgwick and Jackson, 1979)
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2006, 06:36:59 PM »

These two are related:

Pre-Columbian Voyages to America
And the list goes on and on - some evidence being better than others - but as a whole it seems pretty much irrefutable. Claims to the contrary seem to be made by individuals with a vested interest in the isolationist position. The evidence, pro and con, when evaluated objectively, would seem without question, to favor the diffusionist position (which claims that pre-Columbian contacts took place).

I believe that the recently forwarded evidence of human genetics, cultivated plants, and language are overwhelming, and put transoceanic influence studies on a new and much firmer footing. We no longer need rely solely on cultural comparisons: hard science, though a hard sell to some, is in the process of demonstrating what simple cultural comparisons alone can never do: folks were traveling the oceans in amazingly early times and left their genes and their languages in America and took home American cultigens. They were there, and if they were there they had the opportunity to exert cultural influence.

« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2006, 11:06:38 AM »

Now the point has been made on transoceanic contact, let us also look at how far back in time this may have been.

« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2006, 03:25:31 PM »

You see the spirals in the image above (Cup and ring marks, England)? You will find the same in all sorts of megalithic sites across Europe, Malta in particular:

Tarxien Temple

* Mnajdra Temple.jpg (55.64 KB, 501x353 - viewed 10 times.)

* Hagar Qim Temple.jpg (38.35 KB, 500x276 - viewed 54 times.)
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2006, 03:40:26 PM »

As you say, those spirals are everywhere.

Achnabreck, Strathclyde, Scotland

Portal Stone at Newgrange, Ireland

Spiral at Newgrange roof stone, Ireland

« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2006, 05:34:22 PM »

This offers an explanation of the spirals:

Loughcrew Cairn L Megalithic Monument
Oldcastle, Co. Meath Ireland
Solar Eclipse 3340 BC Nov 30th
Confirmation of World's Oldest Solar Eclipse Recorded in Stone
Paul Griffin

Special thanks to Dan Charrois and his team at Syzygy Research for all their help and assistance in making this page possible and for valuable information pertaining to the eclipse.

Irish archaeoastronomer Paul Griffin has announced the confirmation of the world's oldest known solar eclipse recorded in stone, substantially older than the recordings made in 2800 BC by Chinese astronomers. This finding was made at the world's oldest lunar eclipse tracking multi cairn site at the Loughcrew Cairn L Megalithic Monument in Ireland, and corresponds to a solar eclipse which occurred on November 30, 3340 BC, calculated with The Digital Universe astronomy software.

The Irish Neolithics used a 4044.5 day lunar eclipse cycle which is broken up into 365 days x 11 years + 29.5 days (synodic lunar month). This is also similar to a Tritos/Nova Lunation combination of one Tritos cycle of 3986.63 days and two nova lunations of 29.53 days each, yielding a total of 4045.69 days.

The Irish Neolithic astronomer priests at this site recorded events on 3 stones relating to the eclipse as seen from that location. This is the only eclipse that fits these petroglyphs out of 92 solar eclipses tracked by the discoverer.

Neolithic Word Symbol Key Code:
To better understand the symbols to follow, the following legend (established by Paul Griffin through extensive study of the Loughcrew Megalithic Complex area) may be helpful:

Full Moon

Anticlockwise (from centre) single spiral
SW2 Kerbstone Knowth Satellite 12, Knowth SE4, SW18, NW9, SE31, SW9, SE2 Kerbstones

New Moon

Small Clockwise (from centre) single spiral
Stone 4, 20, Cairn L Stone 1, Cairn H Loughcrew K13, Newgrange SE4, SW7, NE6, SW9, Kerbstones Knowth

Lunar Eclipse

Concentric Circles Isolated
Cairn H Loughcrew Knockmany, Stone 2 + 4 SE2, Knowth East Basin SW5, NE4, NW10, SW3, NW15, NW20, NW19, NW4, SE34, SE29, SE28, East 0, Knowth

Solar Eclipse

Concentric Circles Overlapping
Eclipse Stone, Stone 7 Cairn L, Stone 1 Cairn T Loughcrew, NW20, Knowth, Stone 6 Sess Kilgreen, Tyrone

Standing Stone or Pillar

Stones North of Loughcrew SE4, SE2, Knowth, K52, K67, K1, R21, L15 Newgrange

Eclipse Icon 3340 BCE

We see here, again, how the megaliths are to do with the moon as much, if not more than the sun.

« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2006, 07:20:19 PM »

This panel is of the tombs at Mycenae, Greece and dates to the 16th century BCE. Mycenaean art was temporarily dominated by the influences of Minoan art. Cretan artists must have emigrated to the mainland, and local varieties of all the Minoan arts arose at Mycenae.

Note that the date is much more recent that the spirals appearing in the above illustrations.

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« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2006, 01:50:24 AM »

I have something to add about the spirals. In the Virgin Islands very similar engravings were noted when I was doing my amateur archaeology, many, many years ago. There is something about these symbols that I, and others, feel has to do with the female reproductive organs, the ovaries. That has been stated by persons more knowledgeable than myself. The whole discussion is in prehistory but the prevalence in all parts of the world begs for an answer, at least in my mind anyway.

« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2006, 12:08:43 PM »

I have something to add about the spirals. In the Virgin Islands very similar engravings were noted when I was doing my amateur archaeology, many, many years ago. There is something about these symbols that I, and others, feel has to do with the female reproductive organs, the ovaries. That has been stated by persons more knowledgeable than myself. The whole discussion is in prehistory but the prevalence in all parts of the world begs for an answer, at least in my mind anyway.
That is very interesting, Doc. I hope that with time, you may be able to reference this pattern to the Virgin Islands.

When I studied them in Malta some decades ago, I understood them to represent eternity, in that a spiral is never-ending. Similar to the idea of resurrection: having reached the end, you can return. However, they are also associated with the female figurines which I understood to represent the Earth-Mother goddess. Now we have the idea that they are astronomical symbols. Maybe these are not unconnected.

« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2006, 06:26:17 PM »

Professor Timothy Darvill, Head of the Archaeology Group at Bournemouth University, has breathed new life into the controversy surrounding the origins of Stonehenge by publishing a theory which suggests that the ancient monument was a source and centre for healing and not a place for the dead as believed by many previous scholars.

After publication of his new book on the subject - Stonehenge: The Biography of a Landscape (Tempus Publishing) - Professor Darvill also makes a case for revellers who travel to be near the ancient monument for the summer solstice in June to reconsider. Instead, Professor Darvill believes that those seeking to tap into the monument?s powers at its most potent time of the year should do so in December during the winter solstice when our ancestors believed that the henge was ?occupied? by a prehistoric god - the equivalent of the Roman and Greek god of healing, Apollo ? who ?chose? to reside in winter with the Hyborians, long believed to be the ancient Britons.

The basis for Professor Darvill?s findings lies in the Preseli Mountains in west Wales where he and colleague Professor Geoffrey Wainwright have located an exact origin for the bluestones used in the construction of Stonehenge some 250 km away.

?The questions most people ask when they consider Stonehenge is ?why was it built?? and ?how was it was used??? says Professor Darvill. ?Our work has taken us to the Preseli Mountains to provide a robust context for the source of the bluestones and to explore various ideas about why those mountains were so special to prehistoric people?.

?We have several strands of evidence to consider. First, there have folklore in the form of accounts written in the 14th century which refer to a magician bringing the stones from the west of the British Isles to what we know as Salisbury Plain,? he continues. ?It was believed that these particular stones had many healing properties because in Preseli, there are many sacred springs that are considered to have health-giving qualities; the water comes out of the rocks used to build Stonehenge and it?s well established that as recently as the late 18th century, people went to Stonehenge to break off bits of rock as talismans.

?Also, around the Stonehenge landscape, there are many burials, some of which have been excavated and amongst these there are a good proportion of people who show sings of being unwell ? some would have walked with a limp or had broken bones ? just the sort of thing that in modern times pressurises people to seek help from the Almighty.

?In the case of Stonehenge, I suggest that the presiding deity was a prehistoric equivalent of the Greek and Roman god of healing, Apollo. Although his main sanctuary was at Delphi in Greece, it is widely believed that he left Greece in the winter months to reside in the land of the Hyborians ? usually taken to be Britain.

?Altogether, and with the incorporation of the stones from Wales, Stonehenge is a very powerful and positive place of pilgrimage, although whether the monument?s healing power actually worked is a matter for further discussion,? he concludes.

Source: Bournemouth University Press Release

Professor Timothy Darvill launches essays on the archaeology of Gloucestershire
A volume of papers reviewing the archaeology of Gloucestershire in the light of new discoveries and new thinking over the last 25 years has just been launched by Professor Timothy Darvill at a lunchtime gathering in the headquarters of Cotswold Archaeology near Cirencester. Edited by Neil Holbrook and John Jurica, the volume is jointly published by Cotswold Archaeology, the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, the Committee for Archaeology in Gloucestershire, and English Heritage.

Speaking at the launch, Professor Darvill noted how much had changed since the last synthesis of the county�s archaeology was published back in 1984. Commercial archaeology had completely changed the way archaeology was funded; new field practices had given new opportunities for the way ancient materials were studied; and archaeological theory had radically altered the way in which the past was understood. All these things were visible in the papers presented in the volume. Rather important, however, is that this volume on Gloucestershire is the first regional study of its kind to take account of the wealth of new evidence arising from the integration of archaeological work with key stages in the spatial planning system that now applies in England. In his own contribution to the volume, which covers early prehistory, Professor Darvill draws extensively on research being carried out at Bournemouth University for English Heritage that aims to document and understand changing patterns of archaeological work across England. One outcome of this study is a database of archaeological investigations undertaken by commercial, private, and research bodies; a national resource that will no doubt by used in many future synthetic studies such as this one.

Twenty-five years of archaeology in Gloucestershire: a review of new discoveries and new thinking in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, and Bristol 1979�2004, Edited by N Holbrook and J Jurica, is available from Cotswold Archaeology. (ISBN 0 9523196 8 3. Published by Cotswold Archaeology and Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society as Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Report 3, 2006)

* Picture by Phil Rowley / BU

Telephone: +(0)1202 695536 Email:

Born and brought up in Cheltenham and the central Cotswolds, I have always had a love of the open countryside, walking, cycling, and visiting ancient sites. After being introduced to history and archaeology at school I was fortunate in being able to participate in excavations at Cirencester, Gloucester, Andoversford, Guiting Power, and many other sites beside through the 1970s. After completing a first degree in archaeology and then a PhD that focused on the Neolithic of Wales and western England at Southampton University I worked for the Western Archaeological Trust and the Council for British Archaeology before establishing a private practice offering consultancy services to developers and land managers. I was appointed to the Chair of Archaeology in the newly-established archaeology group at Bournemouth University in October 1991. My current research interests focus on the Neolithic of northwest Europe, prehistoric ceramics, and archaeological resource management. In addition to archaeology I have a longstanding interest in music, especially folk, blues, and rock.

Academic and professional qualifications
    * 1979 BA(Hons) Archaeology. University of Southampton
    * 1983 PhD. University of Southampton
    * 1984 Member of the Institute of Field Archaeologists
    * 1988 Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London
    * 1990 Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
    * 2001 Registered Professional Archaeologist
    * 2005 DSc. University of Southampton

1983-1984. Field Officer, Western Archaeological Trust: October 1983 to March 1984 Director of Birdlip Bypass Landscape Survey. March 1984 to October 1984 Director of excavations at Commercial Road, Gloucester (Medieval castle and Roman buildings). Western Archaeological Trust went into voluntary liquidation during 1984. Reports published in 1984 and 1989.

1984-1985. Project Officer on the archaeology of the uplands project sponsored jointly by the Council for British Archaeology, the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, and the Countryside Commission. This work was a contribution towards the Countryside Commission's Upland Project. Reports published in 1986.

1985-1991. Director of Timothy Darvill Archaeological Consultants specializing in research and development programmes for government funded bodies, developers, and local authorities. Major contracts included: Research and preparation of reports for the Ancient Monuments in the Countryside initiative established by English Heritage (1985 7); Environmental impact assessment (archaeology) for the Channel Tunnel Project in England (1986); Research on evaluation procedures for the Monuments Protection Programme (1986-1994); Archaeological adviser to Cotswold District Council for Corinium Development (1988 1993); Research for English Heritage on the monument decay study (1989); Stonehenge Visitor Centre sites (1990-1996). Other clients included: Dyfed Archaeological Trust, the Oxford Archaeological Unit, the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust, Thames Water Authority, the Countryside Commission, Erostin Group Plc, Countryside Planning and Management, and the Automobile Association.

1991. Appointed Professor of Archaeology, Bournemouth University. Head of Archaeology Group (1996-); Director of the Billown Neolithic Landscape Project, Isle of Man; Member of University Research Committee (1993-2000); Vice-chairman of the University Research Committee (2000-).
Membership of panels, committees, boards and working parties

These have included: Secretary of Council for British Archaeology Regional Group 13 (1984 1988); Member of the Executive Board of the Council for British Archaeology (1987/8); Reviews Editor (Archaeology) for Transaction of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (1984 1990); Member of the Council for the Gloucestershire Countryside (1986-1989); Member of Council of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (1982 1991); Member of the Executive Committee of Council for British Archaeology Regional Group 13 (1984-1991); Member of the Committee for Archaeology in Gloucestershire (1978-1991); Co ordinator for the Neolithic Studies Group (1983 ); Member of the Council for British Archaeology's Countryside Committee (1987 1992); Member of Council of the Institute of Field Archaeologists (1988 1990); Member of Council of the National Trust (1988 1997); Member of the Structure and Policy Review Working Party of the Council for British Archaeology (1988 1990); Member of the National Trust Archaeology Panel (1989-1997); Chairman of the Institute of Field Archaeologists (1989 1991); non-pecuniary Director of Cotswold Archaeological Trust (1988-); External representative on the RCHME convened Working Party on the Future of Local Sites and Monuments Record (1998); Chairman of the board of directors of the Cotswold Archaeological Trust (1992-). Member of the QAA subject benchmarking panel for Archaeology (1999-2000); Member of Council of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (2000-); Chairman of the Dorset Coastal Forum Archaeology Working Party (1999-2001); Chairman of the Poole Harbour Heritage Project (1998-); Chairman of the Subject Committee for Archaeology (2001-); Trustee of the Theoretical Archaeology Group (2001-); Chairman of the HEA Archaeology Subject Centre Steering Group (2004 ); Member of the Council of the Society of Antiquaries of London (2004 ); Member of the Research Committee of the Society of Antiquaries of London (2004 ); Chairman of the English Heritage / National Trust Avebury Museum Advisory Panel (2005); Advisory editor for several journals including International Journal of Heritage Studies (1994), and Antiquity (1998-2003).
Current teaching

Unit leader / deputy leader for BSc Archaeology, BA Archaeology and Prehistory, BSc Marine Archaeology, BSc Heritage Conservation, and BSc Field Archaeology :

    * AHE104 Exploring the Historic Environment Past and Present (20 credits: level C)
    * AHE108 Introduction to Archaeology and Prehistory (20 credits: level C)
    * AHE205 Excavation and Fieldwork (20 credits: level I)
    * AHE209 Bronze Age Britain (20 credits: level I)
    * AHE311 The Neolithic of Britain and Ireland (20 credits: level H)
    * Dissertation supervision (40 credits: level H)

Other contributions to taught undergraduate and postgraduate units include lectures and seminars on: Neolithic Europe; Archaeological theory; Landscape archaeology; Social use of space; Research methodology; Project management; Archaeological, heritage, and planning legislation; European prehistory; Prehistoric ceramics.

Current research interests
    * Neolithic of Northwest Europe
    * Ancient ceramics
    * Archaeological resource management

Current projects include:
Billown Neolithic Landscape Project, Isle of Man

Archaeological Investigations Project

Prehistoric Rock Art in Britain

Stonehenge and its landscapes

SPACES: The Strumble-Preseli Ancient Comminities and Environment Study (with Professor Geoffrey Wainwright)

Select bibliography
New approaches to our past: an archaeological forum (edited with M Parker Pearson, R Smith and R Thomas. Southampton University Archaeological Society, 1978)
Megalithic chambered tombs of the Cotswold Severn region (Vorda, 1982)
The archaeology of the uplands (CBA and Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England, 1986)
Prehistoric Britain (Batsford, 1987; Yale University Press 1987; Routledge 1996)
Ancient monuments in the countryside (English Heritage, 1987)
Prehistoric Gloucestershire (Alan Sutton, 1987)
Cirencester: town and landscape (with Christopher Gerrard. Cotswold Archaeological Trust, 1994)
Planning for the past. An assessment of archaeological assessments 1982-91 (with Stephen Burrow and Deborah-Anne Wildgust. English Heritage, 1995)
Neolithic houses in northwest Europe and beyond (edited with Julian Thomas. Oxbow Books, 1996)
Prehistoric Britain from the air (Cambridge University Press, 1996)
Making English landscapes (edited with Katherine Barker. Oxbow Books, 1997)
MARS: The Monuments at Risk Survey of England 1995 (with Andrew Fulton. Bournemouth University and English Heritage 1998)
The Cerne Giant : an antiquity on trial (with Katherine Barker, Barbara Bender, and Ronald Hutton. Oxbow Books, 1999)
Prehistory: a teacher's guide (with Mike Corbishley and Peter Stone. English Heritage, 2000)
Anglo-Russian archaeology seminar: recording systems for archaeological projects (edited with Gennadii Afanas'ev and Eileen Wilkes. Bournemouth University and the Institute of Archaeology, Moscow, 2000)
Neolithic enclosures in Atlantic Northwest Europe (edited with Julian Thomas. Oxbow Books, 2001) One land, many landscapes (edited with Martin Gojda. British Archaeological Reports International Series, 2001)
Oxford guide to archaeological sites in England (with Paul Stamper and Jane Timby. Oxford University Press, 2002)
Concise Oxford Dictionary of archaeology (Oxford University Press, 2002)
Megaliths from Antiquity (Antiquity Papers 3. Edited with Caroline Malone. Antiquity Publications, Cambridge, 2003)
The long barrows of the Cotswolds and surrounding areas (Tempus, 2004)
Heritage of value: archaeology of renoun (edited with Clay Mathers and Barbara Little. University Press of Florida, 2005)
Stonehenge. The biography of a landscape (Tempus, 2006)

* Stonehenge 'No Place for the Dead', Says Expert.pdf (26.26 KB - downloaded 24 times.)
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2006, 03:22:00 PM »

Jordanian Physician Unveils Mystery of Stonehenge Civilization
Amman, Dec. 8 (Petra) ? The Jordanian Astronomical Society (JAS) on Thursday organized a scientific lecture for students of Astronomical and Space Sciences at Al Al-Bayt University.

The lecture was entitled with The Stonehenge Code and hosted the Jordanian physician Imad Al Qayyam who outlined a number of facts and results based on his precise anatomical findings in the human body, explaining the mechanism of living of the Stonehenge civilization, which existed in Britain and is competing to be one of the new 7 wonders.

Qayyam also revealed the relation between the astronomy physics and the human body anatomy, which forms a scientific revolution in the 21st century concepts. He also outlined a number of results he came up with in his scientific research presented to be published in the California-based scientific magazine 'Plus 1'.

//Petra// Shniqat
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2007, 12:12:55 AM »

Golden Cone from Ezelsdorf, Urnenfeld Period 12th - 8th century BCE

Golden cone of Ezelsdorf-Buch

The photo showed something the museum eventually decided to buy, when they discovered it wasn't a fake: the fourth golden cone or hat ever to be unearthed: Bronze age artifacts had been found in Avanton, Schifferstadt and Ezelsdorf. The site where the fourth hat was found is unknown - see the earlier entry on treasure trove law in Germany.

Since the 1996 discovery, it's been possible to interpret these cones as the hats of some kind of priest or wizard, and the symbols on them relate to the sun cult.

Mysterious gold cones 'hats of ancient wizards'

The wizards of early Europe wore hats of gold intricately embellished with astrological symbols that helped them to predict the movement of the sun and stars.

This is the conclusion of German archaeologists and historians who claim to have solved the mystery behind a series of strange yet beautiful golden cone-shaped objects discovered at Bronze Age sites across Europe.

Four of the elaborately decorated cones have been uncovered at sites in Switzerland, Germany and France over the past 167 years. Their original purpose has baffled archaeologists for decades.

Some concluded that they were parts of Bronze Age suits of armour; others assumed that they served as ceremonial vases.

A third theory, which had gained widespread acceptance until now, was that the cones functioned as decorative caps that were placed on top of wooden stakes that surrounded Bronze Age sites of worship.

Historians at Berlin's Museum for Pre- and Early History, however, claim to have established with near certainty that the mysterious cones were originally worn as ceremonial hats by Bronze Age oracles.

Such figures, referred to as "king-priests", were held to have supernatural powers because of their ability to predict accurately the correct time for sowing, planting and harvesting crops.

"They would have been regarded as Lords of Time who had access to a divine knowledge that enabled them to look into the future," said Wilfried Menghin, the director of the Berlin Museum which has been carrying out detailed research on a 3,000-year-old, 30" high Bronze Age cone of beaten gold that was discovered in Switzerland in 1995 and purchased by the museum the following year.

Mr Menghin and his researchers discovered that the 1,739 sun and half-moon symbols decorating the Berlin cone's surface make up a scientific code which corresponds almost exactly to the "Metonic cycle" discovered by the Greek astronomer Meton in 432 B.C.E. - about 500 years after the cone was made - which explains the relationship between moon and sun years.

"The symbols on the hat are a logarithmic table which enables the movements of the sun and the moon to be calculated in advance," Mr Menghin said. "They suggest that Bronze Age man would have been able to make long-term, empirical astrological observations," he added.

The findings radically alter the standard image of the European Bronze Age as an era in which a society of primitive farmers lived in smoke-filled wooden huts eking out an existence from the land with the most basic of tools.

"Our findings suggest that the Bronze Age was a far more sophisticated period in Europe than has hitherto been thought," Mr Menghin said.

Another cone, found near the German town of Schifferstadt in 1835, had a chin strap attached to it. The cone, which is also studded with sun and moon symbols, is the earliest example found and dates back to 1,300 B.C.E..

Other German archaeologists have suggested that the gold-hatted king-priests were to be found across much of prehistoric Europe. Prof Sabine Gerloff, a German archaeologist from Erlangen University, has found evidence that five similar golden cones were exhumed by peat diggers in Ireland during the 17th and 18th centuries.

These objects, described at the time as "vases", have disappeared. Prof Gerloff says, however, that her research suggests almost conclusively that they were hats worn by Bronze Age king-priests.

She is also convinced that a Bronze Age cape of beaten gold - the "Gold Cape of Mold" discovered in Wales in 1831 - was part of a king-priest's ceremonial dress.

How do these hats relate to Stonehenge?

They all bring the sun and moon together.

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« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2007, 09:37:26 PM »

I am curious how this map relates to the Beaker Culture megalith map above. It appears to be very similar yet not as extensive as this map. Was there another culture/s that followed the magalith tradition?


This map of Britain and Ireland, is divided into 100 kilometre squares. Locations of prehistoric stone circles and stone rows are indicated by the red dots. Click on a grid square to see that map sheet in greater detail. Many of the pages have links to images and text elsewhere on the web, making this a master index of stone circles and rows on the web.


Learning is a treasure which accompanies its owner everywhere.
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