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    Greetings from Saddleworth

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    chaffinches

    Join date : 2011-03-15
    Age : 26
    Location : Saddleworth

    Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  chaffinches on Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:03 pm

    Ey up everyone. This seems to be exactly the kind of forum I was looking for!
    I'm Jenny, I come from Saddleworth, which is either Lancashire or Yorkshire depending on how old you are and which cricket club you prefer.

    Currently doing an Archaeology and Anthropology degree and about to write the introduction to my dissertation. Had a (possibly ill-advised) idea to combine this with my interest in (but unfortunately not much knowledge about) the prehistoric landscape of the Pennines. It's a neglected area, at least in the universities. Wessex Wessex Wessex, blah blah blah. What about Kinder Scout, Alderley Edge, Melandra Castle?
    (Actually, I quite like Wessex, but that's beside the point).

    Anyway, specifically I'd like to focus on Blackstone Edge - does anyone here know it? People who do seem to feel quite strongly about it in my experience - so let me ask you lot - is it Lancashire or Yorkshire? Who should it belong to? How old is the 'Roman' road?.

    So I thought I'd do my dissertation on how people relate to their landscape, focussing on Blackstone Edge but in a way that hopefully should be transferable to the wider British landscape. Too often it's assumed in academic archaeology that personal relationships with our land are something for prehistoric or 'traditional' people only, and that the post-industrial English only care about a) how good it looks, and b) how much money they can make from it. Things like this forum are testimony against this assumption I reckon, and I'd really like to explore this.

    A part of this, a part that is really rather fun, is trying to track down this group of white-robed fellows:
    http://www.mckbennett.com/main.php/v/Calendar/PA170169.JPG.html
    And in this 2007 article http://menmedia.co.uk/rochdaleobserver/news/s/522245_magic_on_moors_or_fertile_imagination
    Dare I say 'druids'?
    If anyone knows anything about this (I have a bit more material, in the form of geocaching forum discussions and a couple more photos if desired), it would be great if you'd like to share!

    Equally, the thesis is about a wide variety of responses to landscape, and this forum seems like it would be a very interesting place to gather these. Seen talk about transpersonal experiences, shamanism, a lot of things which would be great material. I am looking for any form of contact, from emailing to possibly meeting up and recording an interview. Even if you don't know Blackstone Edge but do have something to say about elsewhere, that's fine.
    Oh, and if anyone has book recommendations around this quite wide topic I would welcome them too!

    Hope to hear from some of you soon! Am also not just here for dissertation research, but hopefully a few good off-topic chats too. Ta for reading.


    Last edited by chaffinches on Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  Paulus on Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:38 pm

    Hi Jenny! Smile

    Nice to have you on board. I just sent you an email about an hour ago. I wondered who 'chaffinches' was when I saw the name pop up! I'll have a waffle a bit more tomorrow as I've gotta get an early nite.

    Blackstone Edge ey? We were up there a coupla weeks back - and if one of our other members, Dave, is OK about it, we'll be up there again to check out Mr Hood's Bed and the standing stone a half-mile further on. There's more on that there moor than meets the casual explorer...

    ttfn - Paul
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Greeting from Saddleworth Moor

    Post  Sunbright57 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:53 am

    Hi Jenny, Welcome. I think Saddleworth is in west Yorkshire, or it was ? Interesting place Blackstone Edge Roman road, not sure when it was built - perhaps 1st - 2nd century ? I know of The Aiggin Stone up there, but that's more Medieval. They seem a nice lot down in Wessex, especially that lot from Wessex Archeology - Phil Harding comes to mind - you know the bloke on Time Team. Ray.
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    chaffinches

    Join date : 2011-03-15
    Age : 26
    Location : Saddleworth

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  chaffinches on Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:09 am

    Ah, yes it was, but is now part of Oldham according to our postcode. Which would make it either Lancashire or (God forbid) Greater Manchester.
    Thanks for the welcome! Lovely to be here.
    Last I heard, the Roman road is a bit later than that, possibly not actually Roman. Or possibly laid down around that time and then paved over later. But it's still open to argument, which is why I thought I'd ask you lot.
    Apparently, Phil Harding puts on that accent! Someone who went to school with him said he did have a West Country accent, but it's different to the one he uses on Time Team.
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  Sunbright57 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:57 am

    Hi Jenny, well Oldham is part of Lancashire, that's a surprise. Its amazing how these County boundaries reach out and take in certain towns on the edge of what was originally another county. So, is Rochdale in Lancashire now, because it used to be part of Greater Manchester. It seems the surfacing of the road at Blackstone Edge was built by the Romans, but the stones that we see today are later, possibly Medieval. Yes, I think Phil Harding does over-do that west country accent - what with all the ooo's and arrr's. Is Mick Aston still wearing those rainbow coloured jumpers. Its hard to imagine Phil Harding at school, but there you go - we all have to start somewhere.
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    chaffinches

    Join date : 2011-03-15
    Age : 26
    Location : Saddleworth

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  chaffinches on Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:09 pm

    Yes, pissing off everyone in their wake. Yep, Rochdale's Lancashire I think! Where are you from?
    And yeah, reckon that's what happened with the road. Apparently the central groove is a bit of a Roman feature, and you can see something similar at Vindolanda.
    Wouldn't know about Mick Aston and his jumpers, though I just got a book delivered by him today!
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Greeting from Saddleworth

    Post  Sunbright57 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:16 pm

    I live in Nelson about 4 miles north of Burnley, in Lancashire, of course, but I went to boarding school in Rochdale. Wow, you are very honoured in having prof. Mick Aston delivering your book, that certainly doesn't happen everyday, I bet. Ray.
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    chaffinches

    Join date : 2011-03-15
    Age : 26
    Location : Saddleworth

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  chaffinches on Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:13 pm

    Ah. Semantic confusion there, my mistake. Book written by him, not delivered by him, unfortunately! Haha.
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  Sunbright57 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:53 pm

    Oh well never mind Jenny, I am quite sure Mick is pretty pleased that you have bought his book, even if he didn't deliver it himself. I have one of his books it's called 'Mick's Archeology'. Anything else you need to know - just post a comment and we will see what we can do, or do our best at any rate. Ray.
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    mikki

    Join date : 2009-01-29
    Age : 25
    Location : West Yorkshire

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  mikki on Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:20 pm

    chaffinches wrote:Ey up everyone. This seems to be exactly the kind of forum I was looking for!
    I'm Jenny, I come from Saddleworth, which is either Lancashire or Yorkshire depending on how old you are and which cricket club you prefer.

    Currently doing an Archaeology and Anthropology degree and about to write the introduction to my dissertation. Had a (possibly ill-advised) idea to combine this with my interest in (but unfortunately not much knowledge about) the prehistoric landscape of the Pennines. It's a neglected area, at least in the universities. Wessex Wessex Wessex, blah blah blah. What about Kinder Scout, Alderley Edge, Melandra Castle?
    (Actually, I quite like Wessex, but that's beside the point).

    Anyway, specifically I'd like to focus on Blackstone Edge - does anyone here know it? People who do seem to feel quite strongly about it in my experience - so let me ask you lot - is it Lancashire or Yorkshire? Who should it belong to? How old is the 'Roman' road?.

    So I thought I'd do my dissertation on how people relate to their landscape, focussing on Blackstone Edge but in a way that hopefully should be transferable to the wider British landscape. Too often it's assumed in academic archaeology that personal relationships with our land are something for prehistoric or 'traditional' people only, and that the post-industrial English only care about a) how good it looks, and b) how much money they can make from it. Things like this forum are testimony against this assumption I reckon, and I'd really like to explore this.

    A part of this, a part that is really rather fun, is trying to track down this group of white-robed fellows:
    http://www.mckbennett.com/main.php/v/Calendar/PA170169.JPG.html
    And in this 2007 article http://menmedia.co.uk/rochdaleobserver/news/s/522245_magic_on_moors_or_fertile_imagination
    Dare I say 'druids'?
    If anyone knows anything about this (I have a bit more material, in the form of geocaching forum discussions and a couple more photos if desired), it would be great if you'd like to share!

    Equally, the thesis is about a wide variety of responses to landscape, and this forum seems like it would be a very interesting place to gather these. Seen talk about transpersonal experiences, shamanism, a lot of things which would be great material. I am looking for any form of contact, from emailing to possibly meeting up and recording an interview. Even if you don't know Blackstone Edge but do have something to say about elsewhere, that's fine.
    Oh, and if anyone has book recommendations around this quite wide topic I would welcome them too!

    Hope to hear from some of you soon! Am also not just here for dissertation research, but hopefully a few good off-topic chats too. Ta for reading.

    My email is jenny.reddish@magd.ox.ac.uk, and will be checking my PMs too.

    Hi Jenny! A belated welcome to you also.
    We need more females on here. It's a bit overcrowded with the men Laughing

    Mikki
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Greeting from Saddleworth

    Post  Sunbright57 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:23 am

    Hello Mikki, where have you been all these weeks. Yes, far too many fellas on this website !! A nice lady is what we want on here. She will bring that "feminine" touch to everything, I'm quite sure. Good to have your input Jenny.
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    Last edited by Sunbright57 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  Paulus on Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:54 am

    Hi again Jenny!

    Saddleworth ey...? I've been after a copy of Wrigley's Prehistoric Saddleworth for quite sometime, but aint been sure whether it's worth getting. Have you any idea? Does it mainly cover the older sites, or more the Roman history of the region? If it's mainly prehistoric, I'll get a copy. And, if it ticks the right boxes for me, does anyone know if there's a cheap copy of it going anywhere? Wink

    And are there any decent sites on the moors Jenny, where a few of us could meet up & check out? The daylight hours are back upon us again and my gazelle-ishness has already started wading us into a few good moorland bogs! We're out again tomorrow, checking up on some prehistoric circular remains (uncatalogued) nr Blubberhouses. It's be good to get over to Saddleworth sometime & see what we can find!

    All the best - Paul Cool
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    mikki

    Join date : 2009-01-29
    Age : 25
    Location : West Yorkshire

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  mikki on Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:50 am

    Sunbright57 wrote:Hello Mikki, where have you been all these weeks.
    Myself & Paulus went to Scotland for a couple of weeks visiting relatives...climbing mountains, looking for stones etc.. also, we have been very busy since we got back.


    Sunbright57 wrote: Yes, far too many fellas on this website !! A nice lady is what we want on here. She will bring that "feminine" touch to everything, I'm quite sure.


    Just please don't ask us to do the cooking, hoovering or laundry. I have enough to do with the dusting and cleaning the windows of the forum.

    Mikki x
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    laughingball

    Join date : 2011-05-20
    Location : West Yorkshire

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  laughingball on Sat May 21, 2011 3:05 am

    Hello,

    I'm another one from Saddeworth and new to the forum section. Looks like a nice place to hang out - I like the carpets and curtains!

    Blackstone is a lovely atmospheric place even if a bit peopled at times. I believe various ancient artifacts have been found there including a lovely lump of flint int the shape of a cock n' balls(http://www.hebdenbridgehistory.org.uk/prehistory/gallery1/page_17.html). I quite like to go a sit up there on a rainy day.

    Its good see others have noticed those dudes in the white robes too. Me and my family have spotted them on various occasions when driving past. I would love to know if anyone finds out who they are. Failing that I may have to hide behind a rock and grab one of them!

    Re The Prehistory of Saddleworth by Wrigley, it doesn't seem to come up very often - i'm always looking for it myself. I think its always been pretty pricey when I have seen it and usually in poor condition. Its a while since I looked at a copy (they have one in Oldham library) but Its quite a slim book.
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Greeting from Saddleworth

    Post  Sunbright57 on Sat May 21, 2011 8:31 am

    Hi there laughingball, welcome and glad you like the site. Most of the Brigantia team are away to the mountains of Scotland at the mo, but they'll be back before the end of the month, hopefully, if Paulus dosesn't get lost up there ! It's a while since I went up Blackstone Edge and over Saddleworth way. I once saw a lot of those Hari Krishna lot up at Rivington Pike, are they the same lot that you saw, or were they druids. Is there any difference, I wonder. Anyway, enjoy being on the TNA and put some stuff on the forum if you wish. Cheers. Ray.
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    laughingball

    Join date : 2011-05-20
    Location : West Yorkshire

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  laughingball on Sat May 21, 2011 9:09 am

    Sunbright57 wrote:Hi there laughingball, welcome and glad you like the site. Most of the Brigantia team are away to the mountains of Scotland at the mo, but they'll be back before the end of the month, hopefully, if Paulus dosesn't get lost up there ! It's a while since I went up Blackstone Edge and over Saddleworth way. I once saw a lot of those Hari Krishna lot up at Rivington Pike, are they the same lot that you saw, or were they druids. Is there any difference, I wonder. Anyway, enjoy being on the TNA and put some stuff on the forum if you wish. Cheers. Ray.
    bounce


    Thanks Ray!
    The ones at Blackstone Edge are probably not Hare Krishna's or Buddhists either (I'm guessing, at the risk of making a sweeping asumption) because I think they were all Black and these ones wore white robes.

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    mikki

    Join date : 2009-01-29
    Age : 25
    Location : West Yorkshire

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  mikki on Thu May 26, 2011 2:06 pm

    laughingball wrote:Hello,

    I'm another one from Saddeworth and new to the forum section. Looks like a nice place to hang out - I like the carpets and curtains!

    Blackstone is a lovely atmospheric place even if a bit peopled at times. I believe various ancient artifacts have been found there including a lovely lump of flint int the shape of a cock n' balls(http://www.hebdenbridgehistory.org.uk/prehistory/gallery1/page_17.html). I quite like to go a sit up there on a rainy day.

    Its good see others have noticed those dudes in the white robes too. Me and my family have spotted them on various occasions when driving past. I would love to know if anyone finds out who they are. Failing that I may have to hide behind a rock and grab one of them!

    Re The Prehistory of Saddleworth by Wrigley, it doesn't seem to come up very often - i'm always looking for it myself. I think its always been pretty pricey when I have seen it and usually in poor condition. Its a while since I looked at a copy (they have one in Oldham library) but Its quite a slim book.



    Hi there Laughingball and welcome to the forum. So glad that you like the furnishings, maybe the walls need brightening up with some artwork?

    Mikki x
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    laughingball

    Join date : 2011-05-20
    Location : West Yorkshire

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  laughingball on Sun May 29, 2011 10:51 am



    Hi there Laughingball and welcome to the forum. So glad that you like the furnishings, maybe the walls need brightening up with some artwork?

    Mikki x


    Good idea Mikki, I'll get my crayons out. flower
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  Paulus on Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:17 am

    Hi LaughingBall!

    Good to see thee in here! So you live over Saddleworth-way? We'll be having a Northern Antiquarian walkabout (i.e. exploratory frobble on the moors) in the coming months. If you know the region, could you perhaps show us any sites you know about that are hidden from the usual tourist routes? It'd be good if Jenny could be there aswell.

    Anyway - it's nice to have you on board here.

    ttfn - Brigantia .... er, sorry - Paulus! Cool
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    laughingball

    Join date : 2011-05-20
    Location : West Yorkshire

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  laughingball on Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:38 am

    Thanks Paulus,

    Hats of to you on your website and forum - I'm mightily impressed by what you doing! I like this forum too - it has a really special flavour about it.

    I'd love to join you for a frobble on the moors - but please don't have high expectations about my knowledge of sites in this area. The only sites I know of are the ones on archaeo records and local publications (I would be interested in learning the ability from you guys on nosing out / recognising how to spot potential sites).
    I think many of the sites in this area are just out of Saddleworth area or on the border (like Rishworth/Marsden/Meltham/Holmfirth/Stalybridge way).

    Cheers,

    Ben Laughing
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  Paulus on Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:06 am

    laughingball wrote:...Hats of to you on your website and forum - I'm mightily impressed by what you doing! I like this forum too - it has a really special flavour about it.

    Cheers Ben! It's nice to hear. Cool

    laughingball wrote:I'd love to join you for a frobble on the moors - but please don't have high expectations about my knowledge of sites in this area. The only sites I know of are the ones on archaeo records and local publications (I would be interested in learning the ability from you guys on nosing out / recognising how to spot potential sites).

    Having never had a look for sites on those moors, the place will always hold intrigue for me. As I've found throughout mi life, archaeological records of things (unless it's in safe accessible regions) don't really paint accurate pictures of regions from the prehistoric periods, so I'll bet there's some good stuff hidden amidst the heathland up Saddleworth and adjacent moors. The landscape, placenames and folklore certainly implies there to be more up there than the records tell - and archaeo's, as we know, fail very efficiently when it comes to multidisciplinary analysis. So some exploratory ventures up there would seem to be a worthwhile idea. I'll try sort some dates out in the coming weeks and see if we could meet up. Wot's best for you, weekends or weekdays?

    All the best - Paul
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    laughingball

    Join date : 2011-05-20
    Location : West Yorkshire

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  laughingball on Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:01 pm



    Having never had a look for sites on those moors, the place will always hold intrigue for me. As I've found throughout mi life, archaeological records of things (unless it's in safe accessible regions) don't really paint accurate pictures of regions from the prehistoric periods, so I'll bet there's some good stuff hidden amidst the heathland up Saddleworth and adjacent moors. The landscape, placenames and folklore certainly implies there to be more up there than the records tell - and archaeo's, as we know, fail very efficiently when it comes to multidisciplinary analysis. So some exploratory ventures up there would seem to be a worthwhile idea. I'll try sort some dates out in the coming weeks and see if we could meet up. Wot's best for you, weekends or weekdays?

    All the best - Paul


    Yes I should perhaps dig deeper into what lies beneath these 'ere Saddleworth moor's (besides poor children).

    Weekends are usually better for me (...with being shackled to the workhouse during the week Evil or Very Mad ).
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    DrDan

    Join date : 2011-10-06

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  DrDan on Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:10 am

    As far as druids go, I really rather doubt that this bunch are in the slightest bit like the original Iron Age druids, for a number of reasons. The best sources of info on the original druids are partly archaeological, and partly from unwitting Roman historians. Now, most of the Roman descriptions of what Druids got up to can probably be discounted as propaganda dreamed up to smear the Druids, but a few salient facts do emerge from the gloom.

    Firstly, a while ago, someone found a hoard of Gaulish gold coins in Britain, which dated to some years before the Roman invasion of Britain. The only plausible explanation for these is that British tribesmen were hiring out as mercenaries to Gaulish tribes, and most importantly enough were surviving to bring the gold back home. The only people that would worry the Gauls enough to hire in outside barbarians would be the Roman Empire. So, British tribesmen and by inference British Druids would have to have known all about the Roman Empire, how these people fought and how they were an aggressively expansionistic empire that wasn't slowing down at all.

    Secondly, there is the magnificent palace at Fishbourne, near Chichester. It is a Roman design of palace but it dates to a couple of hundred years before the Roman invasion, wasn't used by Romans, and happens to be built right next to one of the best natural harbours in Europe. What it is, is evidence that the Romans had scoped out how and where they wanted to invade Britain long before they actually did so, and were actively buttering-up the local tribal king on a truly epic scale, so when the Roman Empire turned up on his doorstep one day, he'd be nicely welcoming of them all. The Druids have to have known who was doing the buttering-up and why, yet they did nothing about it.

    Thirdly, after the Roman invasion the Druids did not kick off and resist the invasion immediately. Any sane general would have rallied a force and tried to disrupt the initial landings; the Druids did not do so and indeed only started getting annoyed much, much later on when a large area of tribal land was Romanised and under the Pax Romanis.

    I reckon I know what was going on. Druids in Britain were a religious group, and did remember a lot of past knowledge and whatnot, but that wasn't their core business, if you will. No, Britain at that time was a patchwork of different tribes all of which were pretty insular and not inclined to tolerate territorial incursions off other tribes. If you tried to trade a herd of cattle, say, from the Welsh uplands down to the fertile arable areas of Wessex then you'd be crossing several tribal boundaries and sooner or later you'd get bushwhacked, the herd stolen and you'd get beaten up at best.

    This sort of thing isn't good for trade, and there's plenty of evidence that the pre-Roman British were famous for trading quite a few commodities, ergo they had a way of getting around the "armed truce" scenario of different tribes. The key would be the Druids. I think the core business of Druids was basic diplomacy; Druids never, ever assisted one tribe to make war on another tribe so if you had a druid with your trading mission, you'd be able to pass through different areas relatively unmolested, and conduct your business peacefully.

    What the Druids got out of all this was a cut of the profits of trade.

    Enter the Romans and the Pax Romanis. In Roman-controlled areas of Britain, anyone could go anywhere they liked as long as they didn't break the law, and under the Pax Romanis you didn't need Druids to smooth the way for you diplomatically. It was the realisation that they were out of a job that got the Iron Age Druids all hot under the collar and started off their revolt. This also unfortunately destroys the "Guardians of ancient wisdom" airs of these Druids still further, since ancient wisdom presumably had a thing or two to say about taking on overwhelming odds and one's probable lifespan when one does this.

    The only problem with this hypothesis is this: archaeologists hate it because there's no concrete evidence for it and they didn't think of it, and druids hate it because it paints their assumed forbears as a bunch of twits. Anyway, what do you think of it?
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Re: Greetings from Saddleworth

    Post  Sunbright57 on Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:21 am

    Excellent and well thought out piece of work Dan. More from where that came from, please.bounce
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    DrDan

    Join date : 2011-10-06

    Alright, another one...

    Post  DrDan on Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:41 pm

    OK, a wee bit more food for thought for you here.

    The Neolithic and Bronze Age culture that built stone circles also built henges. Roughly speaking, they built stone circles in the uplands and henges in the lowlands, except in Wessex where they went a bit bonkers and did both. But, broadly speaking the terrain split holds out.

    To answer this without sounding off like an archaeologist in a pub on his third pint, I aim to use a bit of simple practical sort of thinking. We know that stone circles are aligned on astronomical events, and henges are contemporary with stone circles. So, let us assume that both were "churches" and the same religion and religious observances went on in both; both henges and stone circles were something to do with astronomy. We also know from pollen analysis that at the time these monuments were in use, the uplands were fairly clear of trees, and the lowlands were scrubby grassland interspersed with the odd clump of woodlands. Up in the hills, getting sight of the horizon ain't going to be a problem; the circles are usually sited on places with a decent view of the horizon, never on a hilltop, never in a deep valley.

    Down in the lowlands, you have a problem, though. Down there you cannot see a clear horizon line because of all the shrubbery; and this is hazel shrubbery which provides a bounteous nut harvest every year so any High Priest who suggests clearing all of this so he can see the horizon is going to get a stone axe shoved somewhere painful. What's the solution: build an artificial horizon for your outdoor church. This is what a henge is; the ditch or ditches aren't the important bit, the high bank around the site is the important bit. The bank gives you an artificial horizon that isn't obscured by shrubbery; erosion since then has erased any stone-holes or post-holes that there pretty much have to have been on the top of the bank, for those all-important astronomical observations. I *know* this is an awful lot of work to go to, but where I used to work in Accrington there was evidence that there too they were in the past prepared to spend an awful lot of money (money is sort of distilled work, if you will) on making, expanding and duplicating churches beyond all reason.

    Now, I know I'm missing a hell of a lot out here. If I walk onto any of the Thornborough henges with any dowsing equipment, I know I'm on disturbed ground to the very inch. I can (and have) felt energy leys in the past; I once traced one roughly over twenty miles or so of ground in a great sweeping arc north of Leeds, and I'm no stranger to dowsing water. I know I'm missing a lot of metaphysical stuff in stone circles and henges, but I reckon I might be onto something with the crude construction of them. What do you think?

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