THE BOOK
Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my book called "The Bluestone Enigma" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
To order, click
HERE

Monday, 10 December 2012

Castell Mawr, Rome and Mecca



 Was Castell Mawr once the centre of the western world?  It's starting to look that way, at least to some people with rather vivid imaginations........

A little bird tells me that in the latest issue of "Current Archaeology" there is a report by Chris Catling called "Stonehenge Blues" -- summarising MPP's unofficial inaugural lecture (October 29th 2012) as newly appointed Professor of British Later Prehistory at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

Apparently MPP is saying that Stonehenge was built to celebrate 'the merging of two or more polities'.   Nothing new there -- he has been saying that for some time, without of course having any evidence to support the idea.  Catling says a scenario is now being created in advance of OSL dating of soil from Castell Mawr, designed to determine how long ago soil minerals were last exposed to daylight.  (I'm not sure how those dates, whatever they may be, will contribute to this political debate, but let that pass......)  The scenario says that the Stonehenge bluestones were originally quarried in west Wales, and erected as a stone circle at Castell Mawr.  They were later moved to Salisbury Plain, says MPP, and used to create a new monument at the centre of the newly unified Neolithic world.

Apparently, when asked by a member of the audience whether the merger was voluntary or enforced, MPP said 'who knows?' - but then added rich spice to the theory by saying that if it was a forced merger, one shouldn't make assumptions about who had been conquered by whom.  So the possibility is being thrown out here that Neolithic people from Wales brought their bluestones  (and perhaps their cremated ancestors) to Salisbury Plain to mark their victory over the people of the east.........

All very jolly.  The only problem is that there is no evidence in support of any of it, and as far as I know not even any evidence of a stone circle at Castell Mawr.  They looked for standing stone sockets this year, but according to two of the diggers to whom I talked, they didn't find any.  Well, what the hell -- why let the lack of evidence get in the way of a jolly good story?  Haven't we heard that before..........?

58 comments:

Jon Morris said...

Beautiful part of the world to be spending a bit of time though Brian. I remember driving about the area a little while ago and being struck by the beauty of the place.

Personally I wouldn't be spending my resources looking looking at the line of enquiry they've chosen, but we don't have access to their data so it's difficult to pre-judge? I guess the detail of why they think this site is related to Stonehenge will be revealed in time.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

MPP's theories can be easily refuted if it can be shown his “human quarry” at Rhosyfelin was under water some 4000BP.

Looking at the aerial photo you have posted of the Rhosyfelin area, it is very obvious the river banks extended far wider. Placing Rhosyfelin in the very center of a rather large river. The orientation of Rhosyfelin perfectly matches this river flow. The wear and shape of Rhosyfelin also indicate the action of strong water flow. Likewise, the round edges of the fallen stones and the “polish” of the NW side support such river flow (leaving “no slickensides on the rock face” Myris, because the torrents that cut through the Crag were not stagnant!) And the softer soil cover over the fallen spree (some 1 meter deep?) indicates river deposits when the river was less turbulent. Collecting at the wider flat area near where the river bents.

All the facts on the ground confirm Rhosyfelin was in the middle of a large wide river. Possibly submerged completely one time.

The whole issue of “human quarry” at Rhosyfelin can thus be settled if organic material found under the fallen spree dates to 4000BP and later. And surely such organic material must exist near rivers! My sense is these dates could turn out to be even more recent, maybe even 3000BP.

This will put the final nail in the coffin of MPPs “human quarry” theory! It might even end his fantasizing! But that may be too much to expect!

Kostas

Anonymous said...

I strangely agree with young Brian.

The geosurvey in 1988 concluded with "Castell Mawr is anomalous in several respects when compared to the other later prehistoric sites in south-west Wales"

http://www.coflein.gov.uk/pdf/AENT17_06/

Now that Time Team with Francis Prior's 'ceremonial' & 'ritual' annoying bluster have finally been buried into the annuals of history, perhaps MPP is attempting to fill that void?

He sure is a one man team!

Enoch

chris johnson said...

I suppose the evidence consists of the essential fact that Prescelli bluestones WERE used at Stonehenge.

There are three possible explanations (imo):
- the stones arrived by glacier: a coincidence
- the bluestones have magical/religious properties, so far undetected by modern science, and they were thus worth collecting.
- the stones were physically transported for some equally unknown political or sociological reason. It is difficult to conceive that this immense feat, unique in the British Isles, was achieved without a similar compulsion that we think we see in Egyptian and South American monuments. However, MPP seems to think this might have been voluntary...

In support of MPP's premise is the fact that other immense works of apparently voluntary physical labour were happening in the same area at the same time - Silbury Hill. MPP is dismissing the glacial and magical/religious theories - what remains is political

Are we not back where we started?

Where I have some sympathy with MPP's proposition is that there is plenty of evidence that the folk around Stonehenge were capable of immense physical efforts for reasons that are still incomprehensible. He dismisses the glacial and the magical, so what remains on his scale of rational plausibility is the sociological/political.

There is no evidence for a compelled society - otherwise we would have remains of palaces and big buildings. So I think it plausible that the effort was voluntary - if it was done by people.

So we have the Darvill/MPP/John debate. Magic/voluntary politics/glaciers.

Myris of Alexandria said...

"Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself".

My guess at a 4th possibility.

What do the Preseli dolerite outcrops and CRyf have in common.
Long joint blocks that can be plucked/quarried very easily and are the correct size (a whiff of a circular argument here).
My wife said of Cryf that it was a Neolithic IKEA- just take what you want off the shelves.
A very clever woman my wife.

Kostas, my old and dear friend, did you look up the mechanism for slickenslides? -not water but earth movements.
Yes C14 dates are being sought. But they do have a habit of biting one in the bum.
M

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Chris, you write

“There is no evidence for a compelled society - otherwise we would have remains of palaces and big buildings. So I think it plausible that the effort was voluntary - if it was done by people.”


Finally! A small acknowledgment by you these prehistoric sites may not have been done by people! So that leaves Nature or extraterrestrials? Want to take your pick?

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

Long joint blocks that can be quarried and taken away very easily? A Neolithic Ikea? The trouble with Ikea is that there are too many of them about -- I could take you to plenty of other sites where there are "elongated pillars" lying around or ready to be taken away -- as you say, more than a whiff of a circular argument. Too much is made of these elongated pillars. Look at the Stonehenge bluestones -- some of them are elongated pillars, but plenty aren't. They are all shapes and sizes. And we still don't know whether there ever was a Rhosyfelin stone -- or several -- at Stonehenge. There may just have been a few cobbles that were smashed up because they were no use for anything.......

Chris -- "the stones arrived by glacier: a coincidence" -- don't follow you. No coincidences here, as far as I can see.

Jon Morris said...

There is no evidence for a compelled society - otherwise we would have remains of palaces and big buildings. So I think it plausible that the effort was voluntary - if it was done by people.

Makes a lot of sense, regardless of whether or not the initial bluestone transport was carried out by people or by nature.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Myris my friend,

I have succeeded drawing you out of our Great Library and to the real world!

“the mechanism for slickenslides? -not water but earth movements.”

My argument places Crag Rhosyfelin in the middle of a much wider river. So how do “slickenslides” figure here? Exactly!

Kostas

TonyH said...

"And though they say
That East is East, and West is West
And never the twain shall meet....
My baby lives in Mecca to me"

Gene Pitney: "Mecca"

Seems that MPP is pinning his hopes (or is it just his publicity?) on a scenario that folk moved into Pembrokeshire/ West Wales rather early (date so far uncertain) and built the likes of Carreg Samson chambered tomb at that early stage. He is setting this as a counter-argument to the known movement across the English Channel
to Kent, as stated by Alistair Whittle and others. MPP is backed by the likes of Scotland's Alison Sheridan (have I got the name right?). MPP & AS etc would like to end up with movements of folk not only from SE England westwards, but also from Angel Mountain (or thereabouts!!) westwards. Sort of pre-cursors to Lloyd George, millenia earlier.

Geocur said...

Tony , Alison Sheridan differs from Whittle ,in that she considers there was a movement from the continent to other areas of Britain that does not follow his model . One of her interests is immigration and she has long argued in favour of the idea of a widespread rapid diaspora like colonisation of the isles from the continent in the Early Neolithic , rather than the earlier gradualist or diffusionist view . MPP mentions her views and quotes the findings and while they may not preclude further movement in any direction from their various settling points in wales , Orkney , westtern Scotland , eastern Scotland etc she has never suggested anything in as specific as a movement from Wales to Wessex .

chris johnson said...

I recall there was some preliminary scanning and scratching done at Castell Mawr this year - a suspicion of the neolithic and some possible stone holes, maybe even circular. It will be interesting to see what next season reveals - MPP seems quite convinced.

I have never been up there myself but there must be a good view along with good grazing and a nice little river full of salmon and sea trout at the right time.

TonyH said...

Alistair Whittle (see above) is Distinguished Research Professor in Archaeology at Cardiff University these days. His email address, etc, is easily uncovered.

Connected with his researches is an item, again easily found, on the BBC News website:-
Archaeologists unearth Britain's "first building boom". June 5th, 2011, by Pallab ghosh, Science Correspondant, BBC News.

TonyH said...

Geo, thank you for your helpful comments which shed greater light on my limited understanding of Things Neolithic.

Some further quotes from the Current Archaeology Chris Catling article:-

'This [the idea that Stonehenge was built to celebrate 'the merging of two polities'] is an idea that helps to explain some of the anomalies in "Gathering Time", the award-winning book by Whittle, Baylis and Healy. This argues that migrants from the pas de Calais region brought the domesticated crops and animals, monument types, house forms, and pottery styles that we call Neolithic to the south-east of Britain around 4000 BC,and that the British Neolithic spread out rapidly from this point. This neat idea is contradicted by evidence in the same book for earlier migrations from Brittany into Wales, Ireland, and Scotland; Alison Sheridan has long argued that there was not one Neolithic migration but a whole series, not all of which succeeded in establishing permanent settlements.'

So, again, thank you Geo!

chris johnson said...

Geo and Myris. The reference to Robert Frost reminded me, as perhaps intended, of the different ways we think about boundaries. In the Frost poem he wonders why you would think of building a wall unless you intended keeping cows - well although Darvill talks about cow cultures I am not sure I know of any evidence for a wall building innovation in mid-3rd century BC - or perhaps he means the Causeway Camps of earlier times are which are mostly in the East. Myris is tantalising as usual.

I am reliably informed that there is a school of thought, based on recent research, that there was an East-West movement in 4th century BC and we know the Irish Sea was giving rise to a different culture. No doubt books are being written as I speak, and perhaps the main lines already published behind peer-reviewed paywalls. Then we have the Northerners in their island fastness - how do the little cities on Orkney fit? Or the folk near Aberdeen or Yorkshire.

It would of course be highly inconvenient when the early origins of Castell Mawr should turn out to be a causeway camp. It might be a perfect location. I believe Darvill was looking on the other side of the Prescelly near the New Inn, but seeing nothing has been published that I am aware of, perhaps it was a false trail.

Much remains to be investigated and the funding is running out, with our government employing homeopaths as health ministers and wanting to shake our earth by fracking for gas. The barbarians are at the gates.

Geocur said...

The bbc news story led to "Gathering Time " which won the best Archaeological book prize in the British Archaeological awards 2012 . It was briefly discussed here 20-21 Sept 2011 , worth reading for the the RJL comments alone , which are particularly funny , capped with the unlenited b's of “dribble “

Jon Morris said...

Shale gas is now seriously shaking the alternative technologies market Chris. Interestingly, it's boosting interest in getting alternatives moving rather than what you would expect, though the interest doesn't originate in the UK obviously.

It'll be interesting when they reveal the discoveries they've made at Castell Mawr: Does anyone know why MPP thinks this is related to Stonehenge rather than say any other neolithic monument?

Geocur said...

Chris ,there were stone walls associated with pasture and some cereal growing at Ceide Fields in north Mayo dated 3700 BC and abandoned possibly due to peat 500 years later .

Myris of Alexandria said...

"Why this sudden bewilderment, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home lost in thought?

Because night has fallen and the barbarians haven't come.
And some of our men just in from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.


Now what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
Those people were a kind of solution."

Sorry, I know, too too obvious, but could not resist.

May the Gods ever bless Cavafy.His voices of irony and dispair ever echo in our streets.
M

Myris of Alexandria said...

The Turner of Ixer and Turner 2006 -the Stonehenge Altar stone paper is the Fracking man. Sold his company to the present owners but still heavily involved.
And a superb siliciclastic sedimentologist, one of the very best.
M

TonyH said...

For what it's worth, I would commend Alistair Whittle as an archaeologist full of integrity and intelligence, having heard him speaking at the palisaded camps excavations near West Kennet in the late 1980's, where he was the Director. A man worth listening to, devoid of hubris.

Anonymous said...

Devoid of hubris, that's what I like t'hear!! Not so sure about this Fracking siliciclastic sedimentologist, mind.

GEOFFREY BOYCOTT

Robert John Langdon said...

More like 'Gathering Dust' Colin.

Don't forget the discredited Darvill won it in 2008 - so much for the credibility of awards.

As for 'dribble'..... I would not dream of arguing with an expert!

RJL

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Myris do you know,

… if any of the organic material tested at Rhosyfelin for carbon-dating came from under the fallen spree? If these were taken only from the soil cover, nothing conclusive can be known. And if the soil cover is the result of river deposits, as I argue, such organic material could have come from elsewhere.

None of these would tell us anything about Rhosyfelin dates. The only carbon-dating that can be useful here is of organic material found under the fallen clutter. We could then determine the fallen clutter to have occurred NOT any earlier than the RC date. But of course the fallen clutter could have occurred at any time after that date.

What has Apollo whispered in your ear?

Kostas

Geocur said...

RJL , neither of your "reviews " actually deal with the content and are merely abusive .I wonder if you have you actually read the book(s)? My previous post was not sent by a Colin .There was a Colin who has posted here who lives near Brian , you are getting us mixed up ,possibly intentionally .

Robert John Langdon said...

If you want content Colin go to the BGS viewer and take a good long look at the 'Ancient Riverbed' indicated at Castell Mawr - this is an BGS 'estimate' as they are produced by boreholes and sampling.

My book proves these estimates are grossly underestimated as the multiple bore holes around Stonehenge are compared to the same river remains of Stonehenge Bottom and are shown to be four to five times larger than the viewers estimation.

This indicates that Castell Mawr was built on the shoreline of the ancient river bed and hence its strange shape (like Durrington Walls) - the book also proves that these are post-glacial deposits through carbon dating.

If you wish to continue to believe this is a coincidence, that's your problem, but most people would call this TRUE science rather than the poor excuse of archaeology FACT you pontificate on this and other sites.

RJL

chris johnson said...

Thanks for the link to "Gathering time". It seems to be an important reference.

However, at 85 Euros and with some negative reviews about ignoring inconvenient evidence I will be passing on the opportunity for now.

Does anyone know of causeway camps in Belgium and Germany? I'll take a look over the holidays.

Myris of Alexandria said...

My Irish friend.
When you are as good as Dr Turner even the Gods may tremble.
Trust me he is a Colossus and in the very pink!
Kostas,
Sublime Apollo is strangely quiet on this. I know that some C14 material has been taken and that some dates have been returned but I really know no more than that. I have read the excavation report but it is out of expertise and I cannot make much sense of the contexts for the dated material.
I am told that more are being done.
M

Anonymous said...

Why this sudden bewilderment, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home lost in thought?

Because night has fallen and the barbarians haven't come.
And some of our men just in from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer!.

They lay dying with their cattle, poisoned by the flame gas dirtied waters!!. let them drink gold!!.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Robert -- where on earth do you get this idea of an ancient riverbed at Castell Mawr? There is nothing on the BGS map to support such a suggestion. Plenty of till, patches of fluvioglacial materials, and some alluvial material on valley floors. Exactly what you would expect.

BRIAN JOHN said...

I suppose Dr Turner needs to make a living like everybody else. Just wish he hadn't chosen to do it by messing about with fracking and encouraging us to use yet more fossil fuels.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Re the radiocarbon dates, there is not much point in speculating until we know what the dates are and where the samples came from. Then we can see whether we have honest science or jiggery-pokery. My assumption is that there is not likely to be much organic material from layers dated to 20,000 - 10,000 BP, but that after 10,000 BP and into the Holocene there would have been a much more extensive vegetation cover and therefore a much greater chance of organic material getting trapped in the sediments.

Geocur said...

RJL ,there is no Colin posting here at the moment .A simple check on the Colin who has posted here in the past will confirm that he and I are two different peoples , the only similarity being is that both have pointed out your misunderstanding of the term "precession" . The content referred to was in relation to "Gathering Time " not fantasies about Castell Mawr .You also failed to mention whether you had even read the book(s).

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Myris my friend,

Your 'expertise' as a free thinker qualifies you. And your intellectual honesty requires you to think!

Unless the dated organic material came from under the fallen clutter at Rhosyfelin, nothing conclusive can be said about any RC dates and Rhosyfelin quarries. And even then all we would know is the fallen clutter does not predate the RC dates. But such event could have occurred at any time afterward and possibly in several episodes.

Kostas

Robert John Langdon said...

Brian

Open the BGS viewer for Castell Mawr and the yellow thing to the left in yellow is called Alluvium from ancient river deposits. On the map it is 0.15 km away according to BGS estimations - which means it was a lot bigger in the past than the small stream of today.

I have proven the BGS estimations on these maps are greatly underestimated and therefore the alluvium would have stretched all the way to the site.

If you don't believe the BGS have underestimated the extent of the ancient river beds go to my blog site where I show the same kind of deposits from the BGS maps for the South Downs against the true photographic evidence that can be seen by the naked eye and physically examined.

What is even more interesting is the pink alluvium (to the NE) showing how flooded this area was after the last ice age and during the construction of the site.

Use the Same Tool for Stonehenge, Avebury and Durrington Walls and you get the same result - this is the 'geological' evidence you have always badgered me for in the past - and now you have it - enjoy!!

RJL

Robert John Langdon said...

Geo or whatever you want to call yourself.

Do I read books that clearly have flawed dating evidence? - no, what's the point?

Are Concentric Circle (incorrectly called enclosures by archaeologists) monuments the earliest built - Maybe!! Avebury, Durrington Walls and Castell Mawr have the same design (they all have walls on the outside of the ditch to protect boats from storms (as do harbours) and goes completely against this defensive iron age dribble found in most text books - as your enemy would be on high ground shooting down upon you.

However, Avebury would have been flooded when Windmill Hill was constructed - so either Avebury was late in construction or this type of mooring site post-dates concentric circles. Either way the lasted date for Concentric Circles is the 7th millennium, as shown by the carbon dating of the alluvium at Durrington walls is 8300-7200BCE GU-3239, Cleal and Pollard 2004)

RJL

BRIAN JOHN said...

Robert -- if this is what you think of as "true science", best of luck to you. I call it junk science. There is no reason whatsoever to assume that the alluvium shown is ancient, or that it was once more extensive. What we have here is an area dominated by Fishguard Volcanics, with assorted patches of till, fluvio-glacial materials and alluvium in the valleys. Slope deposits here and there too. There is NO evidence to support your mad fantasies.

Geocur said...

RJL etc , by your own admission you didn't read "Gathering Time" yet managed to comment that it was a severly flawed work . Telling . I thought that you had at least looked at the pictures .However you made up for this by stuff worthy of a Ronnie barker /Stanley Holloway on acid e.g. the first use of dribble ,btw repeating it doesn't make it any less funny ,"fascile " used in relation to construction , was there a Mussolinish point being made about ditches being dug on time and "Mitigation from Europe started in Kent " can still hurt the sides . Can I suggest some other titles for review ? , no need to read them of course .

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Robert,

Though you and I disagree on many thinks Stonehenge, we do agree on far wider rivers and vast bodies of water (frozen or not) existing in the prehistoric, but now extinct or nearly.

I have also argued here Crag Rhosyfelin was in the middle of a far wider river and so couldn't possibly have been a “human quarry”. But Brian doesn't see it. And Geo doesn't want to see it.

Kostas

Geocur said...

RJL ,I'm not sure what the "lasted date " for concentric circles means .Possibly an effort at latest ?Regardless GU-3239 has nothing to do with dating the monument at Durrington Walls , it is the date for a pollen sequence found in basal peats extracted from the floodplain near Durrington . The other extreme wild speculation is no longer funny .Nobody has suggested the banks at Avebury , Castell Mawr , or Durrington Walls are actually defensive . You seem to be getting confused with the old term "hillfort " being associated with some Iron Age monuments that clearly were never forts in the defensive sense .

Robert John Langdon said...

Brian

"There is no reason whatsoever to assume that the alluvium shown is ancient, or that it was once more extensive."

These are not my maps, but BGS's, are they wrong Brian?

If they are not ancient, they must be modern then?? Alluvium are deposits of rivers "with assorted patches of till, fluvio-glacial materials" are shown in different colours and so are "slope deposits" - see key for details.

If you are suggesting that BGS evidence of ancient riverbeds (which from the reply to Geo have been carbon dated to 8300-7200BCE) is by your standards remotely tangible proof of my 'mad fantasies' - then nothing (including empirical evidence on the South Downs) will be!

I will therefore, leave you to wallow in your own ignorance.

RJL

Myris of Alexandria said...


Sorry I omitted a word and so totally changed what I wanted to say!!
I have read the excavation report but it is out of MY (THAT WORD WAS LOST) expertise and I cannot make much sense of the contexts for the dated material.
I am told that more are being done.
M
I am sure the report is fine but as I say I cannot judge as it is technical and I have other French axes to grind.
M
I am not hearing much comfort and joy lads we may all be totally bonkers but let us be civil (except towards the Mills and Boon archies-you know who you are)

BRIAN JOHN said...

Farewell, Robert. Back to some evidence-based discussions...

BRIAN JOHN said...

Well said, Myris. We look forward to hearing more about the excavation report and about whartever C14 dates they may come up with. In the meantime, peace and joy be unto thee, as that fellow says in the Barber of Seville. First Christmas turkey dinner of the season today -- so that's a cause for celebration. May there be many more...

Geocur said...

Chris , Causewayed enclosures are found over much of europe .Darion in Belgium is probably the most famous and extensively excavated causewayed enclosure close to you .

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Myris,

Thank you for reporting on the report saying nothing! We are really looking for some simple truths here. Where the material tested came from and what were the RC dates obtained for these.

As usual, the raw scientific facts are simple and straight. The interpretations ('contexts' ?) of these facts by archeologists get complicated. Why? Reminds me of mischievous school boys caught in a misdeed and seeking amongst themselves to come up with a consistent believable story to cover their tracks. Just metaphorically speaking!

My argument that Rhosyfelin was in the middle of a wider river fits all the facts on the ground naturally. Here is another such fact this theory fits: the very mysterious circular pit found during MPP's excavation of the grounds at Rhosyfelin. Its simple. This was a fisherman's hole dug on the banks of the river to keep their catch fresh in water. And this could have happened much latter when the river retreated some but not all the way to its present position.

So what can we conclude from RC dates of material found along the banks of a river? Nothing! Trying to make something out of nothing will not make the nothing something. Not for free thinkers like you and me!

My best wishes to everyone for a Merry Christmas!

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

Kostas, peace and joy be unto thee too, in this season of goodwill. On the matter of floods, valleys and radiocarbon dates, your ire is a bit premature. No point in criticising corrupt archaeologists for something which none of us have actually seen -- shall we just agree to wait and see what evidence they come up with? Then we can quite justifiably see whether the evidence justifies the conclusions, and argue with one another on that basis. It would be nice to argue with MPP and the others too, but they prefer to keep their heads down.

chris johnson said...

Thanks Geocur,
I had a good year business wise so I might yet buy "Gathering Time" for Christmas although much of it will go over my head, but then it will be in the true spirit of Christmas where much goes over my head.

I am forewarned about the prejudices regarding immigration and Irish sea monuments.

I have never been a big believer in the influence of immigration since I meet many Indian and Caribbean natives to UK who are more British than I can now claim to be - still I can cook a decent curry and boil a sweet potato, so immigration has had added value.

Thanks for Darion.

chris johnson said...

@Kostas.

I gave you some observations on Rhos-y-felin in recent weeks which you choose to ignore in pursuit of your new theory. Put simply: no meltwaters running parallel to the excavated face.

My understanding is the dig has gone down to neolithic levels. Mesolithic and earlier remains to be explored next season. So any carbon dating being done will only tell a small part of the history so far, if it adds anything significant.

Happy Christmas - although I am sure we will talk again before then.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

It wasn't my intention to accuse “corrupt archeologists”. I have no trouble believing they all act in good faith seeking to know the truth as they know it. But if their underlying beliefs are faulty, any 'truth' they may report is faulty too.

“... seeking amongst themselves to come up with a consistent believable story” is how “peer review” looks to an outsider!

Are we asking too much asking for the raw facts of their RC data? Before any of their interpretations of the facts confuse Myris and others of their conclusions? And is it unfair criticism to argue any RC dating of material found along the banks of a river is meaningless, since such could have come from elsewhere and at indeterminable time?

@Chris: I have responded to you re:meltwater. I concede it may not have been seasonal snowfall that has “polished” the NW side of Rhosyfelin. Rather, it likely was the much wider river which has now retreated to within tens of meters from the site.

Having trouble seeing this? Look again at the aerial photo of Rhosyfelin Brian has posted in http://brian-mountainman.blogspot.com/2012/11/rhosyfelin-is-it-quarry-site.html . Note the markings in the landscape of the much wider river banks. Note Rhosyfelin is located in the middle of these river banks. Note the orientation and direction of Rhosyfelin – matching exactly the same direction as the flow of the river. Note the rather large flat green area in front of the tip of Rhosyfelin and by the bent of the river. This spot would have made for great fishing! Note the excavated pit near this area. This pit I argue was dug by fishermen to keep their catch fresh in water. A practice that is still used today! Enough! There is more ...

Kostas

Anonymous said...

A curiosity. Can anyone identify the gray spots peppered in the green/tree areas of the aerial photo in Brian's post “Rhosyfelin – is it a quarry site?” last month?

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

Mayflower trees in full bloom, Kostas.

chris johnson said...

@Kostas,
I wonder if you might not be mixing up the road on the photo with the river. The river is actually hidden by the trees.

The green area on the photo near the rocks is a flattish area long the river which, I suppose, floods when the river is high. The farmhouse is built a few metres elevated presumably for this reason.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian thanks. Makes sense!

@Chris: I am not confusing the road for the river! Brian long ago identified for me where the river is in that aerial photo. The interesting and relevant fact here is the river, the 'wider embankments', and Crag Rhosyfeling all run in the same direction. Suggesting these were all the result of a wider river in the past. Other features in the immediate landscape suggest to me that past was not too long ago and possibly just 4000 years ago or less. Placing MPP's “human quarry” under water!

You write, “... the dig has gone down to neolithic levels.”

I offer this is not possible when the sediments are disturbed – as they would be along rivers. If you believe it is possible, make me a counter-offer I can't refute!

Kostas

chris johnson said...

I@Kostas. There is think it will be very difficult to get meaningful dates from Rhos-y-felin for exactly the reasons you propose.

The river does NOT run in the same direction as Rhos-y-felin unless you refer to an unexplored side, It actually runs at an approximate right angle to the explored area.

Maybe you should come over and take a closer look. There is no trace of meltwater flows running parallel to the excavated face.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Chris,

The river bents. You have one part running parallel to the Crag (the whole Crag!), while the other part where the river bents is perpendicular to the Crag!

Meltwater streams are getting to your head! There is absolutely no need for them. Just the river and the river past.

Were I to come there, I'd be sure I ask you as a guide. That way I can convince you close up what I am arguing is true.

Kostas

TonyH said...

Kostas, please come to the U.K. soon. There is nothing quite like seeing our megalithic monuments close up. The same goes for aerial photos of locations alleged to have been altered by prehistoric man. When I saw Stonehenge close up by virtue of a Guided Tour within the stones themselves, I was blown away.You would get a feel for our prehistoric landscapes, AND your dollar would benefit our economy!

Constantnos Ragazas said...

Dear Tony,

Thank you for your invitation to visit. Such display of hospitality is especially welcomed by a Greek like me. With a long tradition for hospitality going back to ancient times.

I have already been at Stonehenge. Would love to see it again close up, however. And if my circumstances permit, I will. And many more of your amazing monuments I am learning so much about. Realizing the role Nature had in making these makes them even more wondrous.

We have some such natural wonders here in the States. The Grand Canyon, for example. And every year millions come to it to admire it and be inspired by it.

Merry Christmas!

Kostas