The Carnac stones are an exceptionally dense collection of megalithic sites around the village of Carnac in Brittany, consisting of alignments, dolmens and single menhirs. More than 3,000 prehistoric standing stones were hewn from rock and erected by the pre/proto-Celtic people of Brittany. Most of the stones are within the Breton village of Carnac, the stones were erected at some stage during the Neolithic period, probably around 3300 BCE, but some may date to as early as 4500 BCE. Brittany has its own versions of the Arthurian cycle. Local tradition claims that the reason they stand in such perfectly straight lines is that they are a Roman legion turned to stone by Merlin. In recent centuries, many of the sites have been neglected, with reports of dolmens being used as sheep shelters, even more commonly, stones have been removed to make way for roads, or as building materials. The continuing management of the remains a controversial topic. There are three groups of stone rows — Ménec and Kerlescan — which may have once formed a single group.
Eleven converging rows of menhirs stretching for 1,165 by 100 metres, there are what Alexander Thom considered to be the remains of stone circles at either end. According to the tourist office there is a cromlech containing 71 stone blocks at the western end and this fan-like layout recurs a little further along to the east in the Kermario alignment. It consists of 1029 stones in ten columns, about 1,300 m in length, a stone circle to the east end, where the stones are shorter, was revealed by aerial photography. A smaller group of 555 stones, further to the east of the two sites. It is composed of 13 lines with a length of about 800 metres. At the extreme west, where the stones are tallest, there is a circle which has 39 stones. There may be another stone circle to the north, a much smaller group, further east again of Kerlescan, falling within the commune of La Trinité-sur-Mer. These are now set in woods, and most are covered with moss, there are several tumuli, mounds of earth built up over a grave.
In this area, they feature a passage leading to a central chamber which once held neolithic artefacts. Saint-Michel The tumulus of Saint-Michel was constructed between 5000 BC and 3400 BC, at its base it is 125 by 60 m, and is 12 m high
Vendel is a parish in the Swedish province of Uppland. The village overlooks a long stretch of water, Vendelsjön. The church was established in 1310, Vendel is the site of an ancient royal estate, part of Uppsala öd, a network of royal estates meant to provide income for the medieval Swedish kings. In 1881 to 1883, several excavations by Hjalmar Stolpe revealed 14 graves in, several of the burials were contained in boats up to 9 m long, and they were richly furnished with arrangements of weapons, helmets and chains, shields, tools etc. The shield from Grave 12 at Vendel is comparable to the Sutton Hoo shield. The Vendel boats were identified by the presence of many ship-rivets, a grave contained an important set of bridle-mounts for a horse. These graves date between the 6th to 8th centuries, at Husby near Vendel there is a large mound which local tradition calls Ottarshögen from Ottar known as Ohthere and hög, meaning mound or barrow. Ohthere is associated with the person of same name in the epic Beowulf.
An excavation in 1917 revealed the remains of a man who was buried at the beginning of the 6th century. Other graves of similar date, associated with Ohtheres family, are at Old Uppsala, Vendel has given its name to a period in the Scandinavian Iron Age, and to the corresponding style in Art. It has often suggested that the Germanic Vandals, or at least their kings or rulers, were connected to the site. In this it is coupled with the name of a site at Valsgärde in the same region. The Sutton Hoo burial is associated with King Raedwald of East Anglia. Arne, La Necropole de Vendel, Kungl
The Oseberg ship is a well-preserved Viking ship discovered in a large burial mound at the Oseberg farm near Tønsberg in Vestfold county, Norway. This ship is commonly acknowledged to be among the artifacts to have survived from the Viking Era. The ship and some of its contents are displayed at the Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy on the side of Oslo. The Oseberg burial mound contained numerous grave goods and two human skeletons. The ships interment into its burial mound dates from 834 AD, but parts of the date from around 800. It was excavated by Norwegian archaeologist Haakon Shetelig and Swedish archaeologist Gabriel Gustafson in 1904-1905, the ship is a Karve, clinker built almost entirely of oak. It is 21.58 m long and 5.10 m broad, with a sail of c.90 m², the ship could achieve a speed up to 10 knots. The ship has 15 pairs of oar holes, which means that 30 people could row the ship, other fittings include a broad steering oar, iron anchor, and a bailer. The bow and stern of the ship are elaborately decorated with complex woodcarvings in the gripping beast style.
During the debate on whether to move the ship to a new proposed museum. During this process, very thorough photo scans and laser scans of both the outside and inside of the ship were made, in 2004, an attempt to build a copy of the Oseberg ship was launched. During this new attempt it was discovered that during the restoration of the ship a breach in one of the beams was made. This fact had not been discovered prior and it is believed this is perhaps the prime reason why several earlier replicas sank, previous attempts at working replicas had failed due to lack of correct data. In 2010, a new reconstruction was started titled Saga Oseberg, using timber from Denmark and Norway and utilizing traditional building methods from the Viking age, this newest Oseberg ship was successfully completed. On the 20th of June 2012 the new ship was launched from the city of Tønsberg, the ship floated very well and in March 2014 it was taken to open seas, with Færder as its destination, under full sail. A speed of 10 knots was achieved, the construction was a success, the ship performing very well.
It demonstrated that the Oseberg ship really could sail and was not just a burial chamber on land, the skeletons of two women were found in the grave with the ship. One, probably aged 60–70, suffered badly from arthritis and other maladies, the second was initially believed to be aged 25–30, but analysis of tooth-root translucency suggests she was older
Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, is the site of two 6th- and early 7th-century cemeteries. The site is in the care of the National Trust, Sutton Hoo is of primary importance to early medieval historians because it sheds light on a period of English history that is on the margin between myth and historical documentation. The site has been vital in understanding the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia, the initial excavation was privately sponsored by the landowner. When the significance of the find became apparent, national experts took over, subsequent archaeological campaigns, particularly in the late 1960s and late 1980s, have explored the wider site and many other individual burials. The ship-burial has, from the time of its discovery, prompted comparisons with the world described in the heroic Old English poem Beowulf, which is set in southern Sweden. The other, called here the new ground, is situated on a second hill-spur close to the present Exhibition Hall. It was discovered and partially explored in 2000 during preliminary work for the construction of the hall and this had burials under mounds, but was not known because these mounds had long since been flattened by agricultural activity.
It formed a path of entry into East Anglia during the period followed the end of Roman imperial rule in the 5th century. South of Woodbridge, there are 6th-century burial grounds at Rushmere, Little Bealings, and Tuddenham St Martin and circling Brightwell Heath, there are cemeteries of a similar date at Rendlesham and Ufford. A ship-burial at Snape is the one in England that can be compared to the example at Sutton Hoo. There is evidence that Sutton Hoo was occupied during the Neolithic period, circa 3000 BCE and they dug small pits that contained flint-tempered earthenware pots. Several pits were near to hollows where large trees had been uprooted, the best surviving example contained a ring of upright posts, up to 30 millimetres in diameter, with one pair suggesting an entrance to the south-east. In the central hearth, a faience bead had been dropped, the farmers who dwelt in this house used decorated Beaker-style pottery, cultivated barley and wheat, and collected hazelnuts. They dug ditches that marked the surrounding grassland into sections, indicating land ownership, during the Iron Age, iron became the dominant form of metal used in the British Isles, replacing copper and bronze.
In the Middle Iron Age, people living in the Sutton Hoo area grew crops again, the use of narrow trenches implies grape cultivation, whilst in other places, small pockets of dark soil indicate that big cabbages may have been grown. Such cultivation continued into the Romano-British period, from 43 to around 410, life for the Britons remained unaffected by the arrival of the Romans. Several artefacts from this period, including a few fragments of pottery, as the peoples of Western Europe were encouraged by the Empire to maximise the use of land for growing crops, the area around Sutton Hoo suffered degradation and soil loss. It was eventually abandoned again and became overgrown, following the withdrawal of the Romans from southern Britain after 410, the remaining population slowly adopted the language and beliefs of the Germanic Angles and Jutes
Snape Anglo-Saxon Cemetery
The Snape Anglo-Saxon Cemetery is a place of burial dated to the 6th century CE located on Snape Common, near to the town of Aldeburgh in Suffolk, Eastern England. Dating to the part of the Anglo-Saxon Era of English history, it contains a variety of different forms of burial. The site is known for the inclusion of a high status ship burial. A number of burials were included within burial mounds. The first recorded excavation of the site was conducted by antiquarians in 1827, with a later, during the 20th century, the heathland that the cemetery was on was given over to farmland, with a road and house being constructed atop the site. The Snape Anglo-Saxon cemetery is located in the north-east corner of the parish of Snape. The site is situated 2.5 kilometres north of the River Alde and 7 kilometres west of the town of Aldeburgh. The cemetery is 17 kilometres north-east of the more famous Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo. Prior to the 20th century, the site was a part of an area of acid Sandlings Heathland which stretched from Snape all the way to Aldeburgh.
By the 19th century at the latest, a road was built that bisected the cemetery, however, in the 1950s much of the heath was developed for agricultural use growing rape, linseed and rye. The largely stone-free glacial sand of the heath is highly free-draining, alongside the farmland and the A1094, parts of the cemetery were converted into a house, named St. Margarets, along with an accompanying garden. The Anglo-Saxon period saw changes in the society, language. Archaeological evidence corroborates this, but indicates the presence of a fourth continental tribal group settling in Britain during the 5th and 6th centuries. The Snape cemetery lies within land that comprised a part of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia, the Snape Anglo-Saxon cemetery has an east-west dimension of approximately 200 metres and a north-south dimension of approximately 70 metres. The ratio of the cremation to inhumation burials was approximately 1,1, at least nine – and possibly ten – tumuli, or burial mounds, were erected at the site.
The Snape cemetery is best known for the boat burial that was uncovered there in 1862 by Septimus Davidsons excavation, alongside these early accounts and plans, we have access to the surviving rivets and other ironwork now housed in Aldeburgh Moot Hall Museum. The ship was at least 14 metres long and contained a beam 3 metres in width, clinker built with riveted construction, the rivets were spaced at intervals of approximately 140 millimetres and according to the watercolour painting, there were nine strakes a side. The rivets are of usual Anglo-Saxon style, being composed of iron and having domed heads, excavators uncovered fragments of a metal strip, at least 300 millimetres in length, which was vertically riveted to the outside of the hull
The Iron Age is an archaeological era, referring to a period of time in the prehistory and protohistory of the Old World when the dominant toolmaking material was iron. It is commonly preceded by the Bronze Age in Europe and Asia with exceptions, meteoric iron has been used by humans since at least 3200 BC. Ancient iron production did not become widespread until the ability to smelt ore, remove impurities. The start of the Iron Age proper is considered by many to fall between around 1200 BC and 600 BC, depending on the region, the earliest known iron artifacts are nine small beads dated to 3200 BC, which were found in burials at Gerzeh, Lower Egypt. They have been identified as meteoric iron shaped by careful hammering, meteoric iron, a characteristic iron–nickel alloy, was used by various ancient peoples thousands of years before the Iron Age. Such iron, being in its metallic state, required no smelting of ores. Smelted iron appears sporadically in the record from the middle Bronze Age. While terrestrial iron is abundant, its high melting point of 1,538 °C placed it out of reach of common use until the end of the second millennium BC.
Tins low melting point of 231, recent archaeological remains of iron working in the Ganges Valley in India have been tentatively dated to 1800 BC. By the Middle Bronze Age, increasing numbers of smelted iron objects appeared in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, African sites are turning up dates as early as 1200 BC. Modern archaeological evidence identifies the start of iron production in around 1200 BC. Between 1200 BC and 1000 BC, diffusion in the understanding of iron metallurgy and use of objects was fast. As evidence, many bronze implements were recycled into weapons during this time, more widespread use of iron led to improved steel-making technology at lower cost. Thus, even when tin became available again, iron was cheaper and lighter, and forged iron implements superseded cast bronze tools permanently. Increasingly, the Iron Age in Europe is being seen as a part of the Bronze Age collapse in the ancient Near East, in ancient India, ancient Iran, and ancient Greece. In other regions of Europe, the Iron Age began in the 8th century BC in Central Europe, the Near Eastern Iron Age is divided into two subsections, Iron I and Iron II.
Iron I illustrates both continuity and discontinuity with the previous Late Bronze Age, during the Iron Age, the best tools and weapons were made from steel, particularly alloys which were produced with a carbon content between approximately 0. 30% and 1. 2% by weight. Steel weapons and tools were nearly the same weight as those of bronze, steel was difficult to produce with the methods available, and alloys that were easier to make, such as wrought iron, were more common in lower-priced goods
Gettlinge is a village in the southwest portion of the island of Öland, Sweden. It is known for its impressive Viking stone ship burial ground, Gettlinge is situated on the western fringe of the Stora Alvaret, a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO. The site is visible from the perimeter highway, Route 136. This ridge was one of the few places on the part of the island that had sufficient soil depth for creation of burial mounds. The standing stones of the Viking ship itself are granite, which moraine materials were pushed here from the mainland by ice age glaciers, at Gettlinge as for much of the island of Öland, bedrock layers are primarily Ordovician limestone that dates to at least 600 million years ago. Most of the supply of topsoil was created from glacial grinding of the limestone bedrock. It was the end of the last ice age which led to uplift, the village of Gettlinge, as well as the precursor civilizations from Stone Age to medieval time, is primarily developed on a narrow low-lying ridge running north/south parallel to the Baltic coast.
This ridge is the place along the southwestern coast that soil extends more than the two centimeter maximum of the Stora Alvaret. The ridge was formed by wave action during the post-Ice Age uplift, this thicker soil layer provided the only hospitable place for building foundations, burial grounds and agriculture. The earliest settlers in Öland built early Stone Age wooden huts and these earliest inhabitants would have crossed the Kalmar Strait from the mainland toward the end of the last Ice Age, before the glacial cap had fully melted, and thus provided an ice bridge. The settlements of the Stone Age are key resources on Öland that led to the UNESCO designation of the Stora Alvaret as a World Heritage Site, the principal evidence of life in the Gettlinge area from 1000 BC to 1000 AD is derived from the gravefields themselves. The Gettlinge Gravfeld is situated near the coast highway and contains some Bronze Age barrows as well as the more prominent stone ship burials and these burials span the late Bronze Age, Iron Age and Viking age.
Some of the standing stones are thought to predate the Viking era. Numerous artifacts have been recovered from gravefields elseshere on Öland, including bronze chains, Viking graves have been found at the Hulterstad Gravefield as well as the extensive Strandvalle Gravfeld, both on Oland. The first scientific study of the biota of the Stora Alvaret occurred in the year 1741 with the visit of Linnaeus to Öland, Linnaeus described this unusual ecosystem, It is noteworthy how some plants are able to thrive on the driest and most barren places of the alvar. Some relict species from the age are among the flora palette of the Stora Alvaret. A wide variety of wildflowers and other plants are found on the limestone pavement ecosystem, some of the species found include stonecrop, Artemisia Oelandica, Common spotted orchid and kidney vetch. Most of these wildflowers bloom from May to July, the alvar here is known for its severely dry conditions, evidenced by the dried appearance of ground cover and grasses in the upper right photo
The Gokstad ship is a 9th-century Viking ship found in a burial mound at Gokstad in Sandar, Vestfold, Norway. It is currently on display at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, in 1880, sons of the owner of Gokstad farm, having heard of the legends surrounding the site, uncovered the bow of a boat while digging in the still frozen ground. As word of the find got out, Nicolay Nicolaysen, President of the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments, having ascertained that the find was indeed that of an ancient artifact, he liaised for the digging to be stopped. Nicolaysen returned and established that the mound still measured 50 metres by 43 metres, with his team, he began excavating the mound from the side rather than from the top down, and on the second day of digging found the bow of the ship. The Gokstad ship is clinker-built and constructed largely of oak, the ship was intended for warfare, transportation of people and cargo. The ship is 23.80 metres long and 5.10 m wide and it is the largest in the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo.
The ship was steered by a quarter rudder fastened to a block of wood attached to the outside of the hull. The block is known as the wart, and is fastened by osiers, there are 16 tapered planks per side. The garboard planks are near vertical where they attach to the keel, the garboard planks are narrow and remain only slightly wider to take the turn of the bilge. The topside planks are progressively wider, each oak plank is slightly tapered in cross section to allow it to overlap about 30mm the plank above and below in normal clinker style. Iron rivets are about 180 mm apart where the planks lie straight, at the bow, all of the planks taper to butt the stem. The stem is carved from a curved oak log to form the cutwater and has one land for each plank. The inside of the stem is hollowed into a v shape so the inside of the rivets can be reached during construction or repair, each of the crossbeams has a ledge cut about 25 mm wide and deep to take a removable section of decking. Sea chests were placed on top of the decking to use when rowing, most likely on longer voyages sea chests were secured below decks to act as ballast when sailing.
The centre section of the keel has little rocker and together with flat midships transverse section the hull shape is suited to medium to flat water sailing. When sailing downwind in strong winds and waves, directional control would be poor, in such conditions the ship would take water aboard at an alarming rate if sailed at high speed. The ship was built to carry 32 oarsmen, and the oar holes could be hatched down when the ship was under sail and it utilized a square sail of approximately 110 square metres, which, it is estimated, could propel the ship to over 12 knots. The mast could be raised and lowered, while the ship was traveling in shallow water, the rudder could be raised very quickly by undoing the fastening
Great Britain, known as Britain, is a large island in the north Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2, Great Britain is the largest European island, in 2011 the island had a population of about 61 million people, making it the worlds third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of it, the island is dominated by a maritime climate with quite narrow temperature differences between seasons. Politically, the island is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, most of England and Wales are on the island. The term Great Britain often extends to surrounding islands that form part of England and Wales. A single Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the union of the Kingdom of England, the archipelago has been referred to by a single name for over 2000 years, the term British Isles derives from terms used by classical geographers to describe this island group.
By 50 BC Greek geographers were using equivalents of Prettanikē as a name for the British Isles. However, with the Roman conquest of Britain the Latin term Britannia was used for the island of Great Britain, the oldest mention of terms related to Great Britain was by Aristotle, or possibly by Pseudo-Aristotle, in his text On the Universe, Vol. III. To quote his works, There are two large islands in it, called the British Isles and Ierne. The name Britain descends from the Latin name for Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The French form replaced the Old English Breoton, Bryten, Britannia was used by the Romans from the 1st century BC for the British Isles taken together. It is derived from the writings of the Pytheas around 320 BC. Marcian of Heraclea, in his Periplus maris exteri, described the group as αἱ Πρεττανικαὶ νῆσοι. The peoples of these islands of Prettanike were called the Πρεττανοί, Priteni is the source of the Welsh language term Prydain, which has the same source as the Goidelic term Cruithne used to refer to the early Brythonic-speaking inhabitants of Ireland.
The latter were called Picts or Caledonians by the Romans, the Greco-Egyptian scientist Ptolemy referred to the larger island as great Britain and to Ireland as little Britain in his work Almagest. The name Albion appears to have out of use sometime after the Roman conquest of Britain. After the Anglo-Saxon period, Britain was used as a term only. It was used again in 1604, when King James VI and I styled himself King of Great Brittaine, Great Britain refers geographically to the island of Great Britain, politically to England and Wales in combination
It is the only ship burial discovered in Denmark. It was discovered southwest of Kerteminde on the island of Funen, the grave is situated within an ordinary burial site, from the Viking Age. Excavations revealed an abundance of grave goods consisting both of objects and of animals and it was previously dated to the early 10th century, based on a gilded link of bronze for a dog-harness, decorated in Jelling style, that was found there. The grave had been disturbed and, since only a few small human bones were found. Another more likely interpretation is that the struggle for dominance by King Haraldr Blátönn and his heir, Sveinn Tjúguskegg and it was, after all, a symbol of power very visible to all who travelled or lived in the area, glorifying the minor king buried there. By removing the deceased and chopping all his goods into hundreds of pieces within a few years of the burial. The site was discovered on or around February 28,1935, and their original drawings constitute the primary source-material for information on the find. P.
Helweg Mikkelsen showed himself to be a patron of historical landmarks by paying for a building to be raised above the site. This was given to the National Museum, which had responsibility for the site until 1994. Now the Viking Museum at Ladby displays many of the original finds, the new building from 2007 contains a reconstruction of the ship burial. There is a movie about the Vikings beliefs regarding the journey to the realm of the dead, based on Norse myths. A Danish Ship-Grave from the Viking Age Viking Ship Museum Roskilde, the Ladby Ship 1001 stories of Denmark, The Heritage Agency of Denmark
Tumulus of Bougon
The Tumulus of Bougon or Necropolis of Bougon is a group of five Neolithic barrows located in Bougon near La-Mothe-Saint-Héray, between Exoudon and Pamproux in Poitou-Charentes, France. Their discovery in 1840 raised great scientific interest, to protect the monuments, the site was acquired by the department of Deux-Sèvres in 1873. Excavations resumed in the late 1960s, the oldest structures of this prehistoric monument date to 4800 BC. The site is located on a limestone plateau within a loop of the river Bougon, the area used to be known as Les Chirons. The stepped mound, erected in the early 4th millennium BC, has a diameter of 42 m and its large rectangular chamber lies south of its centre. It is connected by a non-centrally placed passage, there is evidence that the passage was still used by the 3rd millennium BC. The chambers walls contain artificially shaped orthostats, the gaps were filled with dry stone walling, the chamber is covered by a capstone which weighs 90 tons. It is supported by two pillars, which serve to subdivide the chamber.
During its excavation in 1840, about 200 skeletons were discovered in three layers, separated by stone slabs, the vague reports of that early excavation prevent any detailed chronological analysis. Accompanying finds included flat-bottomed and round-bottomed pottery, pierced teeth, chains of seashells and stone tools, more recent excavations showed that the grave was abandoned shortly after its construction. The passage had been blocked with a stone slab. At its base lay the skull of a man who had undergone three trepanations during his lifetime, pottery was found in front of the monuments facade, suggesting that cult activities, entailing the deposition of pottery, took place after its closure. About 1,000 years later, the monument was re-used for more burials by people of a different culture who reached the passage from above, Tumulus B is a long mound,36 m long and 8 m wide. Two of them are very small cists, with no access passage, the mounds west part has two larger rectangular chambers, each accessible via a passage from the south.
The chamber B1 is a square structure, built from monolithic slabs. Such constructions are known as dolmen angoumoisin, a 2.2 m long passage leads to a chamber of 2 by 1.5 m, built simply from four wall slabs. One of them has a carved out of its side. A fifth slab covers the chamber, little archaeological material was found in it, probably because it had been cleared and reused in the 3rd millennium BC