Oddities, curiousities and strangness in history [2]

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Aug 13, 2023 10:42 am

{{ This is super cool and amazing. Theyve dug up a 3000 year old sword from central europe, the Urnfield culture (so named because they buried their cremated dead in urns in fields) they are considered basically the proto-Celts. Whats remarkable about this find is the damn thing looks almost new coming out the ground, the preservation is remarkable, and the other thing of note is the style of it. Its really good, and has in fact been compared in its styling to the swords in the LotR's films, particularly those of Rohan where that stylistic resemblances in the hilt is quite striking. }}

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Post by halfwise Sun Aug 13, 2023 12:45 pm

the rich green makes it look more like carved out of a mineral than oxidized bronze.

From the size of the pommel it appears their intended method of use was swinging in an arc with arm extended to produce maximum speed. They were more worried about it slipping out of the grasp during the swing than by being pushed out during a thrust.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Aug 13, 2023 2:30 pm

{{ You are quite correct Halfy-  'The hilt is ornately decorated, while the blade shows no indication of impact marks. This suggests that the sword had a ceremonial function or was a symbol of high status. However, according to the researchers, it would still have served as an effective weapon as the centre of gravity on the front part of the blade indicates that it would be used predominantly for slashing.'

Its a fascinating discovery as it's so rare to find a burial chamber of that period that hasn't been robbed out at some point in history. You may also note in the pictures a collection of finely crafted arrow heads, and there is what may be the remains of an archers bracer. There was also the remains of a woman and a child in the grave so lots of research to do on the remains if they are related and what all the grave goods are among many other things to be answered.

This is the tale end of my personal favourite 'history period' which is basically from as early as we know, stuff in Turkey that takes us back to about 12,000bc for humans starting to form civilisations to about 100AD when we start to get more reliable and firm sources and recorded history from people like the Romans. History is a lot more fun when you have to work out what was happening rather than read it.

On the general subject of which this is worth a watch, a Time Team classic special on Stonehenge. The stuff uncovered in the dig this highlights confirmed a theory about what was going on at Stonehenge and its related wooden circles, so if you've ever wondered what sort of rituals might have occurred there this is for you, plus its Time Team so its entertaining stuff. }}


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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Aug 13, 2023 6:48 pm

{{ Got an historic conundrum for you that I've been puzzling, and even more puzzlingly it seems no-one else seems to be puzzling over it, so perhaps I am missing something obvious one of you will spot for me.

It concerns Doggerland, which used to be the landmass that connected what is now the island of Britain to the rest of Europe.

And it was, for the time period, surprisingly densely populated going on the amount of flint tools and the like that have been dredged up by fishing boats over the years. There was also a wide variety of wildlife and habitats, with low hills, rivers, fens and marshes. And it was big, a quarter the size of present day Europe. Assuming it was as populated as the rest of Europe at that time, which evidence increasingly seems to support, you'd get a population of about 0.3 million people living in the area now under the North Sea.

It was gone entirely by 7000bc. And it was quite quick as these things go, not tsunami quick but geologically quick, the later southern part vanishing in about a thousand years or less.
Oddities, curiousities and strangness in history [2] - Page 21 Doggerland

So its 7000bc and the once well populated Doggerland has all finally vanished beneath the waves, so what's going on in Britain while this is going on?
And here's part one of my conundrum the answer seems to be, nothing at all of note.

By which I mean since about 9000bc what is now Britain has been inhabited by people of the Mesolithic who seems to have originated somewhere sub-Saharan as they were dark skinned, for a long time they were thought to be hunter-gathers only, but this is being revised with the discovery of what seem to be some permanent buildings in a round fashion, and seasonal dwellings, as well as signs of religion and ceremony, burial rites and they were expert flint nappers and flint tool makers. When they arrived Britain was just another bit of Europe, they walked there.
And throughout the sinking of Doggerland there they were, and after it there were.

In fact going on the archaeological record the chronology for the history of Britain goes, and I'll quote here from the Warwickshire Archaeological Project, but its pretty much copy and paste info wherever you go-

'Following the Palaeolithic Age ('Old-Stone Age'), the Mesolithic ( 'Middle-Stone Age') ran from about 9000-4500 years ago. During this period humans spread and reached the far north of Scotland and famous British Mesolithic sites are found in the Mendips, at Star Carr in Yorkshire, and Oronsay in the Inner Hebrides.
The Neolithic period lasted from around 4500 BC down to 2000 BC.'

Looking at the estimated population numbers for Britain during the Mesolithic nothing stands out, they are as you'd expect, first couple generations of arrival in Britain there is between 1000-1500 of them, 1000 years later its estimated to have grown by a third, over the next 1000 it doubles, and it goes on in an expected and predictable pattern up to about 5000- 5500 by the time the Neolithic farmers arrive in 4500bc.
But at no point during the entire Doggerland sinking is there any indication of a bump in population in Britain any more than would be expected of the native population growth.

From about 4500bc  new people arrived in Britain from Europe, they brought farming with them and they completely replaced the original Mesolithic people, well incorporated might be more appropriate. DNA studies of the modern British population show that there are tiny traces of those far off ancestors still in the British mix, so it seems the new comers bred with more often than killed off the locals. These new people originated around the Mediterranean and were olive skinned.

The other thing the DNA tells us is that the amount of Mesolithic people in Britain, compared to the numbers of incomers, was so tiny and so insignificant in the overall British mix that the numbers of Mesolithic people must have been as small as ever- estimated at the time to be abut 5,000.

And there's another part of the problem. You might be wondering what problem so if I'm not clear enough yet where did all the people from Doggerland go? And after they all went why did no-one come back to Britain for 1500 years, that's a lot of generations back then?

Doggerland as it sunk would have seen more and more people moved to the edges and higher ground and eventually out, now mainland Europe might seem the obvious choice but they didn't have a map, they would have known about the rest of Europe from folk memory and trade and those in the southern and eastern parts of Doggerland may well have routinely followed herds back and forth between what is now sea and mainland Europe, but surely a decent number must have gone to the higher ground that was about to become the island of Britain as the water rose? Adding to the people who were already there from 9000bc? Yet the numbers show there seems to be no more people in Britain before Doggerland sinks, during it or after it. Out of 0.3 million fleeing inhabitants so few went to the higher ground of Britain they don't show up at all in the records? Does that not seem odd to anyone?

And why the gap in the record of  one and half thousand years after Doggerland is gone before anyone does go to Britain? Those in Britain would have known about Europe, on a clear day you can see it, and those in Europe knew about Britain, yet no one of note makes the crossing until the farmers arrive? Its not like it was beyond them, people do it now in all sorts of makeshift boats, people swim it for charity.
Yet the neolithic farmers that swept through Europe stopped at the channel for the best part of two thousand years. Why? And what made them decide to go when they did?

If you look up maps of the movements of people for the period its like they have just forgotten Doggerland and its people were even there, all the arrows will show you northern movement up through what is now Europe to Britain during that period, but no arrows to indicate what way the inhabitants of Doggerland went.

So my two puzzles- where did all the people of Doggerland go and why do none of them seem to show up in Britain as you'd expect altering the population numbers (not to mention cultural changes that should show up), and why after Doggerland disappeared did it take another 1500 years for the farming culture that had swept through Europe to cross the channel?

Oddly enough the same things happens again, the Mediterranean type farmers who built stone henge and there like were themselves replaced about 2500-2000bc by the Beaker People, again there is no evidence these incomers came with force or with conflict, yet the by then native Neolithic farmer population had crashed from 100% of the population to 10%. 90% of the native population is just missing when the Beaker People arrive. And no-one knows why.

Among the contending theories are the incomers brought a disease unknown to the native Neolithic Britons given the odd 1,500 year gap in contact with mainland Europe and wiped 90% of them out, or a mass famine or drought or some other as yet unknown natural catastrophe happened immediately before the Beaker People turned up. I think given the scale of the collapse combined with no evidence of it being violent or indications of drastic climate change after the sea levels had risen that disease and no immunity is my favoured theory of them all.

Perhaps the opposite happened to the people of Doggerland who fled to Britain, they encountered the natives and didn't have resistance to some local disease and were all but wiped out, hence them not appearing in the archaeological record of Britain or altering the native population numbers?

Anyone got any ideas? }}

{{edit add, I said there was no tsunami style speed of takeover, actually there was, just it happened right at the end when the slower creep of rising sea levels had already covered most of it, there was massive undersea landslide off Norway, and the very last of Doggerland, the very low hills surrounding the central lake by now two islands, finally went when the North America ice dam broke and the global sea rises dramatically rose. }}

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Post by halfwise Mon Aug 14, 2023 2:14 pm

You are making the assumption that the number of people is a conserved quantity.  this may be roughly true over the course of a few generations, but we are talking scores of generations as Doggerland flooded.  Look how much the population map has changed in our own lifetime - conservation of humans goes out the window once you expand your time scale to more than a couple generations.

Begetting is highly dependent on circumstances, and the flooding of Doggerland came about due to significant climate change, raising all sorts of uncertainties with agriculture, game, etc.    And the effects are not so predictable.    Commonly you'd assume more child births in times of plenty, but though we've seen excesses of food due to the green revolution, in the countries with the greatest excess resources we've actually seen birth rates drop!  This is because resources extend beyond food, and it's become very expensive to provide full education and (in America) health care for children.  People are opting out due to the less tangible expenses of children.  Did anyone predict this before it happened?

To bring it back to Tolkien, we find in the Nature of Middle Earth that during the long migration to Valinor, whenever the elves came to some place they liked they stopped and commenced happily procreating, much to the consternation of their leaders.  You might assume the opposite would be true in a a land subject to flooding.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Aug 14, 2023 2:39 pm

{{ I suppose, there isnt much choice as obviously the archaeological record cant give a year by year census. But looking at the dates the light green parts of the map they went slowly as the ice melts, taking roughly 8000 years to vanish completely (however for most of that as far as we know no one was there, the first people don't arrive this far north until about 10,000-9000bc so as far as human habitation its only 1000 to 2000 years from the land they settled to it being under the sea), but that still left the sizeable and very lush southern half of Doggerland from just above Dogger Bank. That would have been a well inhabited region, and its population would have been getting added to for generations as those further north were slowly but surely driven south as the water rose.

But that last bit of Doggerland, the mid and dark green on the map that was gone in roughly 1000 years. Estimated lifespan in the Mesolithic, assuming you survived childhood and made it to adulthood, was a reasonable 30-50. That's only 19 grandfathers between living in a lush green plains land and under the sea. And that's 1000 years of the slow forcing out of people to higher land. I still think that should show up somewhere in the record for Britain.

And not just Britain, its really hard to find anything on where they went on the continent, if you look up people movement for this period it's all based on the current map of Europe and so doesn't even include where the people of Doggerland eventually went.
I think there's an oversight there, for example the cultures that immediately followed the sinking of the last of Doggerland in 6000bc are assumed to have come from the south upwards and everything culturally we find after that in northern Europe we attribute to these southern people bringing north with them. But what if they didn't, assuming a culture existed in Doggerland that had to that point existed for thousands of years, and its inhabitants ended up in northern Europe is it not just as likely that the incomers were incorporating elements of the culture they found there? Rather than it all being their culture alone? I think we might be dismissing the input of an entire Doggerland culture. I doubt the culture just vanished when the land did because the people couldn't have just vanished, they had generations to move to higher ground.

I get the feeling old assumptions still hold some sway and haven't given over yet in British archaeology, even when we know from recent finds it's not true - for example it's the incoming Beaker people we have always attributed the first British house building too, but we know now there were permanent settlements not just in Britain but all over Doggerland in the Mesolithic, and especially around the great lake near Doggerbank (although its quite possible it only seems denser settled because its easiest to access being the shallowest the North Sea is at any point), so is it not just as likely that the incomers adopted and improved the settlements they already found rather than inventing them? If you look up round house in Britain you'll see it's still attributed solely to the later Bronze Age incomers. Yet the Mesolthic people had houses, we don't know what they looked like exactly, but we do know one thing from the post holes, that the houses were round.}}

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Post by Mrs Figg Mon Aug 14, 2023 5:13 pm

What was the climate like then? were there any ice ages or climates that would make people reluctant to move North West?
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Post by halfwise Mon Aug 14, 2023 5:24 pm

Definitely ice sheets when the seas were lower, which I assume is why Doggerland was exposed. That may discourage people from going North.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Aug 14, 2023 5:54 pm

{{ We know from about 8000bc onwards it was inhabited. Going on what's in Britain for human habitation it should have had numbers somewhere about 0.3 million at top end inhabiting Doggerland by 6000bc. But that may be an underestimate as they keep finding more evidence as techniques get better, the numbers used to be in the thousands, then hundreds of thousands and so on. It keeps going up.


Figg the timeline of events goes more or less 12,000-10,000 bc end of the last Ice age.

People move into the north starting about 9,000bc this would have included Doggerland as well as Britain and Scandinavia.

Doggerland was still at its fullest extent up till about 8000bc when the rising sea levels covered the northern portion of it slowly over the next thousand years. So those living that far north would have had to go back south or walk to higher ground in what would now be Britain (they would be less likely to go east towards Norway as there was the Norway Trench between the east side of Doggerland and Norway as that would have involved a tricky boat crossing).

Southern Doggerland lasted another thousand years or so, but by about 6000bc it was only two large islands and gone entirely not long after when a combination of tsunami from the Norway slip and the North American ice dam breaking caused the final sea level rise that put it all beneath the waves once and for all.

When it comes to population I have come across a recent discovery, very close to what would be Stonehenge, but much earlier, Mesolithic in fact about 6,400bc only about 200-400 years later than the end of Doggerland, if it wasn't active throughout the later Doggerland period. It's called Blick Mead and seems to have been centred around a 'magic' spring that due to underground shenanigans, regardless of surface temperatures, never freezes. There is speculation this is the reason this whole area became such a sacred site, evolving eventually into all the henge monuments and stuff two thousand years later.

It has barely been dug yet, they just put a few trenches in to test the area, and were shocked at what has turned up. Not only evidence of habitation, but mass feasting and given how little they have investigated a massive and completely unprecedented 35,000 individual flint tools already. And there is evidence in the remains of a buried hunting dog that some people were travelling from the north of Scotland to this place.
Perhaps most interestingly as it seems to have been occupied from here on right through to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages there is already evidence that the incoming Neolithic farmers who started turning up about 4000bc from what was now mainland Europe were joining in, with cultivated seeds turning up alongside the more expected hunter/gatherer material of the Mesolithic people. It's even possible this place became somewhere the two peoples, native tribes and incoming tribes met for sharing of knowledge, mates, food stuffs and the like. Its all very intriguing.
But Ive only just found out about it so still researching what they have found and it's still very much an ongoing investigation anyway. One I shall be keeping an eye on. }}


Last edited by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 15, 2023 7:37 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Aug 15, 2023 7:19 am

{{ Blick Mead is proving to be as fascinating as it is frustrating to me.

First where is the Blick Mead site? Well its in what is considered the Stonehenge landscape, ie the immediate area around Stonehenge that contains a load of interconnected circles, trackways, processional routes and barrows.

Oddities, curiousities and strangness in history [2] - Page 21 1-s2-0-S2352409-X18301871-gr1

What first seems to have attracted people here they think is its spring, which has a couple of very unusual properties, firstly it stays at the same temperature of ll C year round so never freezes like other springs, and secondly there is a type of algae in it that means if you take something, say a nice stone, put it in the water for a bit then take it out and expose it to the air for ten minutes or so and it will turn bright red.

Due to the sensitivity of this area archaeologists were very careful in what they dug up, making incisions rather than a mass excavation, as a result the area of this extensive site uncovered so far is small compared to the whole, an area about the size of the penalty box on a football pitch (for non-Europeans that's 44 yards by 18 yards) and the sheer volume of stuff even that relatively small area has turned up is astonishing and rewriting everything we thought we knew about Mesolithic life, chiefly among them the idea Mesolithic people didn't do permanent settlements. Blick Mead it appears has had people there continuously from about 9,600bc right through until the Middle Ages! This makes it the most continuously inhabited known site anywhere in Europe.

Report from lead archaeologist-

'we have recovered over 35,000 pieces of worked flint – as well as tools that suggest far-reaching contacts, among them a Horsham Point, a microlith type from the Sussex Weald, though made from slate that could have been brought from as far west as Wales – plus 2,420 pieces of animal bone and 126kg of burnt flint that speak of extravagant feasts having been held beside the spring. Analysis of these remains by Durham University and the Natural History Museum reveals that around 60% of the animal bone comes from auroch, a kind of large prehistoric cattle. Killing just one of these animals would have provided food for 200 people, and at least seven aurochs are represented among the Blick Mead finds. This is taken to be a conservative estimate, however, and radiocarbon dating of the remains reveals that such animals were being eaten at the site between 6650-4722 BC. Taken together, these finds hint at large gatherings of people, potentially drawn from far afield, coming together for sumptuous feasts beside the spring over a long period of time.'

I find the auroch eating interesting, Doggerland had huge herds of them and of course just like the humans as the sea levels rose they too would have been driven ever more towards higher ground. At the time of the auroch feasting Doggerland was pretty much gone by then. So the period of these feasts is a time when the plains of the aurochs were now gone and there must have been an abundance of them forced west towards Britain - they seem to have ended up coincidentally or not in the region of Britain that is now Salisbury Plain, which if course just happens to be exactly where we find Blick Mead and later Stonehenge. If you look at a map this makes sense, the auroch herds would have been forced south by the rising water and there was just a massive plain with low gentle rising hills between sinking southern Doggerland and the flat plain of Salisbury to the West, it would have been an ideal way for large animals like auroch to go (if they went mainly south into what is now France and Belgium they would have river crossings to make too, but herds could have followed the river Ouse which ran from just north of what is now London right out into the Lake at Doggerbank and it would have led them right to Salisbury. Of course course not all Doggerlands aurochs went west to Britain, but we know that those in the northern plains that sank first did seek higher ground in what would become Scotland as Highland Cattle are their domestic descendants).

There is a fascinating cross over here with the Neolithic farmers who turned up about 4000bc as they seem to just have joined in and eventually taken over this sacred area from the Mesolithic people. And I get why archaeologists are excited about that, we have no other site that shows this sort of crossover of cultures, but what is frustrating is we know this site was in use from 9,600bc at the earliest and 8000bc at latest date estimates, but that means this place was in use when Doggerland was still there for at least 2000 years. And we know Doggerland was densely inhabited.  

Yet everything I've read on Blick Mead talks about folk coming there from Wales, Sussex, and even as far north as Scotland, but its like they have forgotten there was also a massive landmass full of people right next door, certainly Blick Mead its no further from Scotland than it would be east to Doggerbank, and the walk from there would have been a lot easier then than the journey through the more mountains Britain from Scotland would have been. Even France is a shorter walk back then.
Nor does anyone seem to be even considering the possibility that this site is not a 'main site' but a satellite of the Mesolithic culture already covering Doggerland and northern Europe. Or even that there is any connection to the lost folk of Doggerland.

If you look at its location and look at the map of Doggerland, then from 9,600bc- to 8000bc the light green area vanishes, the remainder lasts from roughly 8000bc to 6000bc becoming large islands before even those went. Blick Mead is closer to France and Doggerbank than it is Scotland and about same distance away as northern Wales, but we know people came from those places to Blick Mead, so why wouldn't folk from Doggerland?

Oddities, curiousities and strangness in history [2] - Page 21 F

Its as if they treat the archaeology in Britain of this time as if its been found on something that was always an isolated island, rather than what it actually was, just the western and northern edge of a massive inhabited European landmass.

And if there were permanent settlements at Blick Mead lasting thousands of years I don't see why that would not also be true in Doggerland, especially in prime locations such as round the huge lake at Doggerbank with a temperate climate and abundant wildlife and plants all year round. If you have a lake you don't need to move as you don't follow the herds, the herds come to you when they need a drink. Nor in such a location would you be reliant on any one food source, as I mentioned it was abundant in fish, animal and plant life with a variety of habitats within it.

And the time frame is important here, for whilst half of Doggerland went quickly in the end when the tsunami swept across it, the southern half went mainly when the ice dam in North America broke increasing global sea levels.
But this last part, if you'd been living at Doggerbank your great grandfather would have lived by a fresh water lake, your grandfather by a salty marshland, your father on an island surrounded by a widening sea channel, and you'd be in a boat. The last part sunk that fast.

And throughout all this the colonising then settling of Doggerland, the encroaching sea, the later tsunami and final rise of the water was Blick Mead. And yet as far as the archaeologists are concerned Doggerland plays no part in Blick Mead, and I find that just extraordinarily unlikely, if not impossible they were unaware of the events in Doggerland or if its people. Especially as Blick Mead appears to be somewhere folk from different areas and tribes came to meet and feast together. I see no reason to assume either that it was unique in its purpose (tribes way eastward in Doggerland would also have need to meet up to exchange info, mates, food and the like somewhere) or that the only people who ever went there just happened to be only from the bits of Doggerland that would end up as Britain. I just don't buy that. }}

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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Aug 15, 2023 10:13 am

I wonder how deep the Channel is. Britain must have been on much higher ground.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Aug 15, 2023 12:36 pm

{{The depth of the English Channel is only 174m so whats the channel now was a gentle rolling landscape of very low lying green hills, fens, marsh and a river meandering through the centre of it. And it would have been a much easier walk than today as the famous White Cliffs of Dover would have been a more gentle 174m high chalk slope down to the river rather than the sea eaten out cliff edges of today. }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Aug 15, 2023 2:31 pm

{{ We are off to Britain's other great Mesolithic site of recent years, Star Carr. This ones a cracker, much like before we have evidence of a round building, the earliest evidence of wood cutting and shaping for planking to make piers and wharfs for their log boats, lots of flint and stuff. And antler skulls, lots of them thought to have been used either worn to aid in deer stalking, or by a Shaman type figure in ceremonies.

Oddities, curiousities and strangness in history [2] - Page 21 Star3

As far as dates are concerned it was established about 8,700bc the list of finds includes, 'large quantities of butchered animal bone, barbed antler projectile points, elk antler mattocks, bone scrapers, beads and, most iconic of all, several masks made from red deer skulls and antler...with evidence for intensive flint knapping and the processing of animal bones. In the waterlogged areas large quantities of red deer antler were recovered much of which appears to have been waste material used in the production of barbed antler points.... This may support recent ideas that Star Carr, rather than being a typical base camp  was actually a site where certain rites took place, involving the ritual deposition of antler barbed points and frontlets into the waters of the lake.'

Now I call bull on that last claim this is part of the problem I am highlighting, it's like they forgot that it was attached to Doggerland! I am with the archaeologist Clark who excavated it and believed it was 'typical'. Not special, there is this assumption it seems that because the find is rare in Britain it must be a rare thing. As if they just forgot that 90% of where these people live is gone under the sea, so of course it's rare to find now, but that doesn't mean it was at all rare in its day.

And just look where Star Carr is located.

Oddities, curiousities and strangness in history [2] - Page 21 Catpture

It's pretty much directly West of Doggerbank and its Lake, which was still there at the time above the sea, an inhabited land for another two thousand years after Star Carr was established. Its pretty close, about 140 miles east to that central lush Lake and its people surely they must have been connected if only to trade and such. You could walk that in one to two weeks, faster if there are built wood walkways in any boggy areas, and good chance there were water channels where a log boat would take you a good bit of the way.

Artists impression of Star Carr (if you'd asked me a while ago what time period this represented in Britain I'd have said Bronze to Iron Age without a doubt, round houses, permanent settlement etc, but this was 4000 years earlier, that's how much further ahead in some areas like settlement they seem to be than was previously thought)-

Oddities, curiousities and strangness in history [2] - Page 21 Fig-5

Reconstruction of the discovered permanent house,

Oddities, curiousities and strangness in history [2] - Page 21 Star1

And the high numbers of antler masks and stuff, rather than indicating some special ritual site, might just point to a manufacturing and distribution of them, as they seem to have more than you'd think one tribe would need. What is now Britain was starting to becoming densely forested after the Ice Age, Doggerland being lower lying was always that bit wetter and marshier, deer would have been plentiful in the British woods, so it would make sense to get your Shaman antler mask made where the deer are and take them to Doggerbank or wherever the local Shaman needed a new mask whenever you went to the annual mid-winter/summer meet up, just as these people seemed to be meeting up at Blick Mead over greater distances than that between Star Carr and Doggerbank. For all we know all the tribes that turned up could have had their own unique thing they made and contributed to the whole until the next year's meet.

Surely its more likely that here, as with the Blick Mead area, we simply see all that's left of the many Mesolithic settlements of Doggerland? It's exactly what you'd expect to find if you took any country and sunk all but the edges of it, a few remaining examples of what was, left isolated on the higher ground.

My next stop is to see what's lurking in the eastern edges of Doggerbank in Denmark and Northern Germany, it follows to me if you find similar there we are dealing with a single large interconnected Mesolithic people, not disparate unconnected roaming groups of hunter gatherers following herds about. I am increasingly certain we have sorely underestimated the sophistication and interconnectivity and contribution, of effectively, an entire countries worth of people!}}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Aug 15, 2023 9:50 pm

{{ Ive put together a map of Doggerland.

All the red dots are confirmed dated archaeological sites of the Mesolithic period and of the same people in terms of DNA, culture of course is a different matter.

All the blue dots are my speculation on the sort of possible habitation we might expect in the now under water bits.

The green line represent everything that was still above water after 8000bc when the northern area had flooded.

The pink line everything still above water from 7000bc until 6000bc. After which Doggerland was gone.

I've placed the speculative blue dot sites based on when you are on a flat land that might be prone to seasonal flooding you tend to build on any even slightly higher land you can, on likely linking trade routes, especially those likely to use waterways, availability of resources, temperature and association to areas of known sites.
It is of course not meant to be an accurate representation of locations, but only likely ones and to give a visual idea of how inhabited it was likely to be.

Information on the period covered in the map.

You can ignore both the Scottish and Irish glaciers, by the time humans arrive as far north as NE Scotland in about 9,500bc they are gone.
In terms of seasons and temperatures they were comparable to today, so perfectly liveable.

Important notes about red dots sites- these sites cover a period of some 5000 years, from 9,500 to 4,500 approximately and not all where in use at the same time. Some like Blick Mead were in continuous use and occupation throughout this entire period and beyond, others like Star Carr lasted only a few hundred years. However given the age and difficulty of locating Mesolithic sites at all we can assume as many as we know of are still to be discovered or are lost to time.
It was also assumed until very recently that all these sites were transitory and temporary, but we now know that from the earliest time we have these people here, 9,600bc they were building permanent round house structures, so we can assume that many of them were in fact like Blick Mead or Star Carr, occupied sites for lengthy generational periods of time.
Also each dot does not necessarily represent a single site, many are clusters of smaller sites maybe only a few miles apart, more they represent areas we definitely know they inhabited and we have evidence of them being there for some significant time.

Oddities, curiousities and strangness in history [2] - Page 21 Doggerland-meso-sites2

It all paints a picture of a vast land of people settling, some for a long time as the living is good there for a lengthy sustained period, others for shorter periods before moving on to settle elsewhere for whatever reasons. A network of people and settlements, sharing knowledge. There is a style of micro-flint making that is practised in Mesolithic Germany, but turns up in Britain, a stone amulet at Blink Mead inscribed with markings bears a remarkably similar design to Mesolithic stone amulets found in Belgium. People, ideas, religion all seems to me to have been flowing across Doggerland. }}

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Post by halfwise Wed Aug 16, 2023 11:48 am

Interesting that Ireland and Denmark have more mesolithic sites. I wonder if this reflects reality or just the vagaries of archeological discovery.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Aug 16, 2023 12:27 pm

{{ I think a mix of a few things Halfy. The Mesolithic was a long time ago, its rare to find anything at all, and the soil and climate are in general not conductive to preservation. Peat is good though and Ireland is very peaty (as is Scotland but bit more inaccessible), not sure what Denmark's soil is like.
As the water rose people would naturally move to the higher ground and ended up I think along the new coastlines, this might explain the denser areas at the edges, people just ended up there and that would answer part of my initial pondering of where did all the people go? }}

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Post by halfwise Wed Aug 16, 2023 2:29 pm

But the coastlines are still on the current land.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Aug 16, 2023 5:41 pm

{{ Not sure I follow you Halfy }}

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Post by halfwise Wed Aug 16, 2023 10:41 pm

How can people moving to the coastlines solve the problem of why didn't more people end up in current Britannia if the coastlines are PART of current Britannia?

It's like asking "why didn't more people come to my house for the party?" and getting the answer "they're in the kitchen".  Well, unless you didn't look in the kitchen those people still came to your house for the party, so saying they are in the kitchen doesn't explain what happened to the people who didn't come.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 17, 2023 8:19 am

{{ Ah I see what you mean. Well I was more thinking perhaps the numbers are underestimated for how many were in places like Britain, Ireland and Denmark, where there seems to be a clustering of sites, and perhaps the reason for so many in these locations was the addition of people from Doggerland.

However some further hunting leans me more towards its just because it's peaty there. When I checked to see if Denmark was particularly peaty it turned out to indeed be particularly peaty. So much so they export the stuff.
And of course cutting out the peat layers exposes archaeology, which more than likely explains the greater number of finds- there is simply more left to be found in those places.
But then if this is true it would imply the entire area was perhaps more densely populated than previously thought and that Ireland or Denmark are not exceptions but the norm for the time in terms of density of sites.

I would expect a lot over 5000 years, especially as whilst a few were long term inhabited for all that time, the majority were probably more like Star Carr, inhabited for anything from a few decades to a few hundred years before relocating.
But the fact we now know they could and did make permanent settlements just changes the whole ball game of what might have been going on compared to what we previously thought. I'd also expect to impact numbers, estimates were always based on the premise they were nomadic peoples, following herds. I'd expect settlements to see a bump in birth rates compared to a nomadic life.}}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Aug 22, 2023 4:16 pm

{{ Ive found some new things out that relate to my recent musing on Doggerland and Britain during this period. Things that once again change the entire potential landscape of what was going on, and which so far general history hasn't caught up with yet, by which I mean if you look up this period you will find what's looking like an increasingly inaccurate version that's now out of date.

So I'm going to give you what we thought versus what we now know.

1. Climate – Scotland up till about 10,000bc-9,600 was too cold and inhospitable for humans to live in.
2. Humans only start turning up from about 9,600bc
3. People- Doggerland and Britain were sparsely populated by people who had no permanent dwellings and were hunter-gatherers who simply moved about the land following the herds.
4. Rituals- The religions, rituals ceremonies associated with stone and wood henges and barrows are all the product of the later incoming neolithic farmers in 4500bc who supplanted and replaced whatever minimalist hunter/gatherer culture predated it.

What we now know.

1. Climate- Britain as far as the north of Scotland and all of Doggerland were largely ice free outside of very mountainous regions and had a temperate climate about the same as today.
2. Humans were in Scotland as early as 14,000bc. 5000 years earlier than previously thought.* It is highly likely therefore they had also made it as far north as the far more accessible Doggerland.
3. People- Taking the amount of Mesolithic activity uncovered around all fringes of Doggerland there is no reason to assume it was not as densely populated as the rest. This is further evidenced by the fact Doggerland was only first discovered thanks to the wealth of Mesolithic material being regularly brought up by fishing vessels across the entire North Sea, indicating wide spread actively across Doggerland. We also now know that from as early as 9,500 they were building permanent dwellings and structures rather than just being herd followers and hat in some places such as Star Carr they remained permanently for generations and even thousands of years in locales like Blick Mead.
4. Ritual- Sites such as Blick Mead indicate ritual activity in the exact same areas the Neolithic would centre their religious upon. There is debate raging over whether evidence for a circle indicated by post holes is signs of a structure or a wood henge. But if other cultures and later history is anything to judge by its not uncommon for a new incoming group to adopt and adapt the existing religious systems rather than eradicate and replace them - the Romans adopted the pagan springs and built their baths around them and simply associated their closest equivalent god to the local one to it.
The Christian Church adopted the midwinter festival as Christmas and pagan spring fertility rituals and made them Easter.
The names and associations change, but the actual rituals tend not to, the Romans and pagans both still bathed in the same hot springs and devoted their presence to a god, we still bring holly and fir trees into our home as the pagans did at midwinter, we still associate Easter with eggs and so fertility. I imagine it was much the same then too, not eradication but adoption and adaptation.


*This is one of those new things that changes everything we found out recently-

'Until just a few years ago, the accepted wisdom was that there was no evidence of humans in Scotland before what’s known as the Mesolithic period, about 10,000 years ago.
However, a paradigm shift came when Stone Age tools discovered in Scotland, previously thought to date from the Mesolithic period, were revealed to be from much earlier. These flints, like spear points, came from the Palaeolithic period, and are around 14,000 years old. That pushes back the date for the earliest humans arriving in Scotland by thousands of years.' - University of Edinburgh

In my rooting around I also stumbled on this interesting piece, not directly anything to do with Doggerbank, it was looking into the DNA of Orkney, with a main aim of seeing how much of it was Viking (not as much as previously thought it turns out) but as an interesting aside it of course turned up lots of other stuff, including this interesting gem-

'As elsewhere in Bronze Age Britain, much of the population displayed significant genome-wide ancestry deriving ultimately from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe. However, uniquely in northern and central Europe...we also find evidence for continuity in the female line of descent from Mesolithic Britain into the Bronze Age and even to the present day.'- PNAS (National Academy of Science)

This is pretty much what Id expect from people who move from a flooding Doggerland to higher ground that then became an island isolated from most other folk for a very long time in the far north. }}

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Post by halfwise Mon Feb 19, 2024 3:38 am

Not sure why the history thread is in the big bad serious forum, but this sort of fits here. We've seen several restored and colorized films from over a century ago, but this is the first one that's been restored by AI. I wonder if anything has been added that we don't know about...


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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Feb 19, 2024 6:23 am

{{ The opening shot of the harbour looks suss to me, there are buildings, there are boats, but why is there not a single person anywhere in that panning shot of the harbour? Suspect }}

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Post by halfwise Mon Feb 19, 2024 1:52 pm

Good catch, that shot is especially unreal. I also mistrust the woman having her dress blown up; the first subway was in 1904; steam vents wouldn't have that sudden rush to them. I suspect the algorithm borrowed this from Marylin Monroe. Of course it would have to invent the whole very different reaction of clutching the clothes to the body which seems a stretch, but that bit struck me as very suspicious.

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Post by azriel Mon Feb 19, 2024 11:16 pm

looks odd that the girl with her hands in the air ( around 19 seconds in ) vanishes into the girl behind her. it feels eerie, the whole video.

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