MEGALITHS - breaking news, gossip, slander, lies etc.

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Paging @WashYourHands...

This is so cool. The bluestone vr5r2es that form the oldest megalithic phase of Stonehenge have been traced to a specific site in Pembrokeshire, where an existing stone circle was mostly dismantled around 3000 BC and dragged to its present location, 140 miles away. And they've even identified a specific five-sided hole at the Welsh site that precisely fits the outline of one of the bluestones.


There's a second freaky aspect to this, which is that Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote in the 12th century that Merlin had ordered giants to bring the stones from Ireland. And due to heavy Irish settlement of the west coast of Wales in the migration era, the Pembroke peninsula was apparently regarded as part of Ireland in those days. Did a folk memory actually persist for 4,000 years? Probably not... but it can't be ruled out.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Bit prior to my academic range, date wise. The Irish occupation of parts of Wales was post-Roman, but like all myths there are kernels of truth. The Preseli hills have their own clusters of early farming community tombs. A spellbinding place because you have to get your legs going to reach them (most roads are a ways away). Another big cluster is the more infamous complex across the Irish Sea around the bend of the Boyne river

If you broaden your geographic range of interest, Brittany‘s stone rows and megaliths are fucking mental. The clue’s in the name around Carnac. These are quite a bit older than anything in these islands, but the Irish Sea zone and the eastern river inlets of England provided prime routes into these islands for traders where navigation by sea was easier than crossing land




Stonehenge gets all the press yet it’s rarely seen as a monument that evolved over time. There were graves close to it that showed people from Preseli had been present during its earliest stages of construction. Hopefully the Senedd will petition Westminster to get the thing repatriated ;) , although all of these orthostat typologies owe their origins to Gobekli-Tepe and its T(ea) shaped pillars

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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Haha, my little lad bashed the keyboard while I was typing and I didn't spot his contribution when I hit Post. Think I'll leave it.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
They're actually not real. They're 19th century fakes. There never was a megalithic culture.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
This is a good guide to chronological and regional variation in monuments, if my decaying memory holds up. You can see the circle is venerated cross-culturally as a symbol (even today). Compare this distribution to the Irish Sea zone


People miss the point that raising megaliths first involved breaking soil and causewayed enclosures are a useful threshold marker there, the Mesolithic only really has seashell middens
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
I was about to ask, WYH - what do you make of Julian Cope? I got his book years ago, really liked it, even the daft "etymosophies".
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
I admire his enthusiasm, even if he struts round like a bell-end

He broke the stranglehold of academics on the weirder side of British and Irish culture and that was no small feat. All too easy to drape flags over these things
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
One of our low-grade rona hobbies has been exploring varyingly crap ancient monuments near Cambridge based on the Modern Antiquarian website and a few other sources.

Bartlow Hills are legitimately quite impressive, the more so for the fact that no-one we know has ever heard of them:

We haven't yet made it to Stonea Camp, but it has the impressive distinction of being the lowest hill fort in Britain, at 2m asl:
but we did see Belsar's Hill, which is very much not a hill:

There's actually something quite interesting about seeing this sort of stuff in East Anglia, where a lot of the time you're looking for barely surviving traces in a modern industrio-agricultural landscape, compared to going somewhere like North Wales or Orkney where standing stones have just been left where they are for thousands of years because why not.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
That's the thing isn't it, the crapness. Oh here's an ancient barrow , burial place of a King, and you see it and it's just a bulge in the grass. Really have to use your imagination. There's exceptions of course.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
One of our low-grade rona hobbies has been exploring varyingly crap ancient monuments near Cambridge based on the Modern Antiquarian website and a few other sources.

Bartlow Hills are legitimately quite impressive, the more so for the fact that no-one we know has ever heard of them:

We haven't yet made it to Stonea Camp, but it has the impressive distinction of being the lowest hill fort in Britain, at 2m asl:
but we did see Belsar's Hill, which is very much not a hill:

There's actually something quite interesting about seeing this sort of stuff in East Anglia, where a lot of the time you're looking for barely surviving traces in a modern industrio-agricultural landscape, compared to going somewhere like North Wales or Orkney where standing stones have just been left where they are for thousands of years because why not.
Nice one. I love the idea of a "hill" fort that's barely one John Eden unit above sea level.

Our nearest spot is the very modest, Bronze Age Scorehill circle on the eastern edge of Dartmoor. I often make a small detour to see the stones when I'm on my way to scale a stone wall surrounding a small patch of private, planted pine forest which is a great spot for ceps at certain times of the year.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
That's the thing isn't it, the crapness. Oh here's an ancient barrow , burial place of a King, and you see it and it's just a bulge in the grass. Really have to use your imagination. There's exceptions of course.

it the ordinariness that belies the potency of their magic

i’m relatively sure if we did some mushrooms and spent a night out among the Sidhe, you’d return home a changed man
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Nice one. I love the idea of a "hill" fort that's barely one John Eden unit above sea level.

Our nearest spot is the very modest, Bronze Age Scorehill circle on the eastern edge of Dartmoor. I often make a small detour to see the stones when I'm on my way to scale a stone wall surrounding a small patch of private, planted pine forest which is a great spot for ceps at certain times of the year.

where you at? I don’t want to set you on fire with a clipper fwiw
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
where you at? I don’t want to set you on fire with a clipper fwiw
Exeter, since 2016. Dartmoor must have one of the highest concentrations of prehistoric remains this side of Orkney, so I'm looking forward to my lad being big enough to come on proper walks so we can all go and explore cairns and stone rows and hut circles together.

It'll be something for him to tell his therapist about, anyway.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
Are those Gogmagog? That name has stood out ever since seeing it for the first time on a map (north-Walians are known as gogs)


Nah, the Gog Magogs are actual chalk downs. There's a hill fort there, too - Wandlebury - but it's the sort that's actually on relatively high ground, where it would have had a fairly clear view of the surrounding country. The grave of the Godolphin Arabian - one of the three stallions at the back end of all British racehorse bloodlines - is there too.

Bartlow Hills are actually pretty impressive. They're sat in one of the little valleys below the downs - you start on a totally average country road, go down a footpath through some woods and then you suddenly pop out into a clearing and there are a bunch of 10-15 metre tall tumuli.
 
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