Saturday, 30 July 2016

Top 10 Prehistoric Sites in Britain


Mysterious Britain - Top 10 Sites

No.1 - Stonehenge

 



What the history books will Tell You:
The most famous stone circle in the world, Stonehenge was constructed in phases between 1500 and 3000 B.C.  Of course, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is unclear why, or even how the huge stones were erected as they were—creating an enduring mystery that has captivated people for centuries. 

The Truth:
Built 5,000 years earlier than present estimates as a spa to cure the sick.  The ditch around Stonehenge is a moat which was full of pure water and the Bluestones were used as 'bath salts' to cure the biggest killer of that period -  cut and bite infections.

 
Stonehenge Debunked - Part One



Stonehenge Debunked - Part Two

No.2 - Avebury



What the history books will Tell You:
Avebury contains the largest stone circle in England and was constructed around 2600 B.C.  The entire site consists of a henge, a large circle of stones, and two smaller circles within the larger circle.  Archaeologists disagree on the original purpose of Avebury: some suggest that it was a key element in religious rituals, while others highlight its potential function as an astronomical calendar system. 

The Truth:
It's gigantic bank were built to protect boats from the elements like the harbours of today and the ditch was made incredibly deep to accommodate transatlantic ships.  The site was used meeting and trading place - hence the evidence of fires but a lack of houses.

Avebury Debunked

No.3 - Durrington Walls (Woodhenge)


What the history books will Tell You:
Durrington Walls is the site of a large Neolithic settlement and later henge enclosure located in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. It is 2 miles north-east of Stonehenge in the parish of Durrington, just north of Amesbury.

Recent Excavations (2013) on the site by a team led by the University of Sheffield, has revealed a huge settlement; 1,000 homes have been found, supporting a population of 4,000 people at one time. The village was carbon dated to about 2600 B.C.

It is the "largest Neolithic settlement in the whole of northern Europe". At 500m in diameter, the henge is the largest in Britain and recent evidence suggests that it was a complementary monument to Stonehenge.


The Truth:
Probably the oldest natural harbour in the world.  Its bank was originally semi-circular and like Avebury high enough to shelter boats from storms. Its interior is v- shaped allowing more boats to be anchored in the centre of the site as well as in the channel on the exterior. 


Durrington Walls (Woodhenge) - Debunked

No.4 - Old Sarum


What the history books will Tell You:
Old Sarum (Latin: Sorviodunum) is the site of the earliest settlement of Salisbury in England. The site contains evidence of human habitation as early as 3000 BC. Old Sarum is mentioned in some of the earliest records in the country. It is located on a hill about two miles north of modern Salisbury next to the A345 road.

Old Sarum was originally an Iron Age hill fort strategically placed on the conjunction of two land trade routes and the River Avon. The hill fort is broadly oval shaped, measuring 400 metres (1,300 ft) in length and 360 metres (1,180 ft) in width; it consists of a double bank and intermediate ditch with an entrance on the eastern side. The site was used by the Romans, becoming the town of Sorviodunum.
The Truth:
Another harbour like both Durrington Walls and Avebury.  In fact, these three sites are all on the same sailing route on the River Avon, which led to the current Bristol Channel and the open sea.  Moreover, is not only its moat the same size as Avebury but also two harbours in the interior testifying to its real age - constructed in the Mesolithic Period, about 8000 bc.

No.5 - Newgrange


What the history books will Tell You:
Newgrange is a mound constructed around 3200 B.C., in Ireland, and it is part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is a circular mound with a stone passageway leading to chambers inside.  Ringed by kerbstones engraved with artwork,  Newgrange is certainly an impressive sight.  The main passage is aligned so that the rising sun of the winter solstice floods the interior with light, which enters through an opening above the doorway.  Once again, archaeologists do not completely understand the original purpose of Newgrange, but most agree that it was probably used in religious rituals.
The Truth:
Built at a much earlier date about 4500BC by a civilisation that once lived in Doggerland known to the Greek Philosopher Plato as Atlantis.  When their island sank below the waters of the North Sea, the 'survivors' spread across the oceans and some settled in Ireland and built settlements like this used for health purposes using acoustics.

No.6 - Ring of Brogar 

What the history books will Tell You:
Located on the same island as Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Most henges do not contain stone circles, making this a rather unusual site.  It is the third largest stone circle in the UK.  Archaeologists have never excavated the interior of the circle, and no scientific dating has been done, so it’s difficult to assess the age of the site accurately—but it is believed to date from approximately 2500 B.C. 

Alexander Thom has proposed that the Neolithic builders of Brodgar and other sites used a common unit of measurement which he calls the “megalithic yard”; the diameter of the inner banks of Brodgar, Newgrange, and Avebury are all exactly 175 megalithic yards.  This theory remains highly contested, however, as a common unit of measurement would suggest a sophisticated transfer of information not expected from Megalithic builders.
The Truth:
Stone Circles on the coasts of Northern Europe were originally direction indicators of the boat civilisation of Doggerland in the Mesolithic Period.  Ships navigators would use the stone circles to find other safe harbours throughout the area.  When the waters receded in the Neolithic Periodstone circles were introduced to indicated the direction of inland sites in conjunction with Round Barrows.

No.7 - Belas Knap


What the history books will Tell You:
Belas Knap is a neolithic chambered long barrow, situated on Cleeve Hill, near Cheltenham and Winchcombe, in Gloucestershire, England. It is a scheduled ancient monument in the care of English Heritage but managed by Gloucestershire County Council. "Belas" is possibly derived from the Latin word bellus, 'beautiful', which could describe the hill or its view. "Knap" is derived from the Old English for the top, crest, or summit of a hill.

It is a type of monument known as the Cotswold-Severn Cairn, all of which have a similar trapezoid shape, and are found scattered along the River Severn. Belas Knap is described in the English Heritage designation listing statement as an "outstanding example representing a group of long barrows commonly referred to as the Cotswold-Severn group".

The Truth:
Long Barrows like Belas Knap are symbolic boats to the afterlife.  The bodies of the dead were left out on an excarnation slab to deflesh and the bones were then gathered to be placed in the boat on the hillside for their final voyage.  The design of a Long Barrow is identical to a  small ship with the chambers at the rear of the monument acting like a stern of the boat where the family would normally live.  The Long Barrow would be deeper at the back and shallower at the front and a watery moat would be built around the entire monument to simulate the water.


No.8 - Whitehawk Camp




What the history books will Tell You:
Whitehawk Camp, on Whitehawk Hill, is one of the earliest signs of human habitation in Brighton and Hove, Sussex, England. It is the remains of a Neolithic causewayed camp inhabited sometime around 2700 BCE and is a scheduled ancient monument. It has been described as one of the first monuments in England to be identified as being of national importance, and one of the most important Neolithic sites in the country.

It is one of only twelve remaining examples of a causewayed hill camp from the Windmill Hill culture in Britain and one of three known to have existed in the South Downs. It reaches 396 feet above sea level and measures 950 feet by 700 feet. It is made up of four concentric ditches broken up by causeways. The first written mention of the camp (as "White Hawke Hill") was in 1587.
The Truth:
These 'Concentric Circle' sites which have been incorrectly called 'Causeway enclosures' by archaeologists are meeting places for the boating civilisation of the Mesolithic Period who's homeland Doggerland is below the North Sea.  These types of settlement are mentioned in Ancient Greek writings of Plato who described an Ancient Advanced Civilisation who lived nine thousand years ago on an island he called Atlantis.

No.9 - Skara Brae



What the history books will Tell You:
Skara Brae is a stone Neolithic settlement on the island of Mainland in the Orkneys.   It was inhabited from roughly 3150 to 2500 B.C.  It is the most intact Neolithic settlement in Europe, gaining it UNESCO World Heritage Site status and the nickname of “Scottish Pompeii”. 

The settlement is remarkably advanced for its age, with a sophisticated drainage system connecting to primitive toilets in each dwelling.  Many intriguing artefacts were discovered at Skara Brae, including unusual carved stone balls.  What is believed to be a form of runic writing appears on artefacts and throughout the site, but the successful translation has so far been impossible.
The Truth:
When at the end of the Mesolithic Period the groundwater levels and the river heights fell and the sea level accordingly rose, the boat civilisation turned to farming on the new fertile lowlands that once were covered with water.  These are the Neolithic Farmers and Skara Brae shows the transition from ships to houses, using the advanced engineering skills they utilised when making and maintaining boats and ships.  Over the years this skill diminished and simpler houses were made - this 'backwards' technological evolution can also be observed when the Roman empire left Britain and their houses were abandoned for mud huts.

No.10 - Lanyon Quoit 


What the history books will Tell You:
Lanyon Quoit currently has three support stones which stand to a height of 1.5 metres. These bear a capstone which is 5.5 metres long, and which weighs more than 12 tonnes.

A dolmen, also known as a portal tomb, portal grave or quoit, is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of two or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table), although there are also more complex variants. Most date from the early Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BC). Dolmens were typically covered with earth or smaller stones to form a barrow. In many instances, that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone "skeleton" of the burial mound intact.

The quoit lies at the north end of a long barrow 26 metres long and 12 metres wide. The barrow, which is covered by grass and bracken, is damaged and its outline is difficult to see. At the south end of the barrow are some more large stones which may be the remains of one or more cists.
The Truth:
Dolmens are the remains of 'excarnation' platforms of the Mesolithic Period'.  Bodies would have been laid out on the slab away from vermin and ground animals (hence the legs inside the edges of the slabs and high above the ground) allowing birds to clean the body as they were seen as sacred as they lived in the air and were closer to the afterlife in the sky.

 

BONUS SITE - Wansdyke


 
What the history books will Tell You:
Wansdyke (from Woden's Dyke) is a series of early medieval defensive linear earthworks in the West Country of England, consisting of a ditch and a running embankment from the ditch spoil, with the ditching facing north.

There are two main parts: an eastern dyke which runs between Savernake Forest and Morgan's Hill in Wiltshire, and a western dyke which runs from Monkton Combe to the ancient hill fort of Maes Knoll in historic Somerset. Between these two dykes, there is a middle section formed by the remains of the London to Bath Roman road. There is also some evidence in charters that it extended west from Maes Knoll to the coast of the Severn Estuary, but this is uncertain. It may define a post-Roman boundary.
The Truth:
Wansdyke is just one of a Mesolithic Canal System which archaeologists have identified as 'earthworks'.  They are much older than current experts believe as they have been described in Roman texts and have been filled in and used as Roman roads.  Geological maps show that they link 'post-glacial flooded' parts of Britain together and in the case of Wansdyke links the River Thames some 20 miles to the Bristol channel as did the Victorian Avon & Kennet Canal built almost 6,000 years later.