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Ancient graves hint at cultural shift to Anglo-Saxon Britain
Phys.org ^ | 2-14-2014 | Alex Peel

Posted on 02/17/2014 1:08:17 PM PST by Renfield

Human remains dug up from an ancient grave in Oxfordshire add to a growing body of evidence that Britain's fifth-century transition from Roman to Anglo-Saxon was cultural rather than bloody.

The traditional historical narrative is one of brutal conquest, with invaders from the North wiping out and replacing the pre-existing population.

But a new study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, hints at a more peaceful process. Dr Andrew Millard, from Durham University, is one of the study's authors.

'The main controversy over the years has centred on how many Anglo-Saxons came across the North Sea,' he says.

'Was it a mass invasion, where the existing population was wiped out completely or forced back into Wales, or was it a small band of elites whose ways were then adopted very quickly?'...

(Excerpt) Read more at phys.org ...


TOPICS: History; Science
KEYWORDS: ambrosiusaurelianus; ancientautopsies; anglosaxons; antoninewall; archaeology; britain; england; gaskridge; germanlimes; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; hadrianswall; helixmakemineadouble; kingarthur; offasdyke; oxfordshire; romanempire; scotland; scotlandyet; unitedkingdom; wales; welsh

1 posted on 02/17/2014 1:08:17 PM PST by Renfield
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To: SunkenCiv

Ping


2 posted on 02/17/2014 1:08:32 PM PST by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Renfield
Much of Europe's ancient times (800 to 1,300 AD) have been embellished by the ruling class. Life was enough to kill most everyone by the age of 30. The logistics of arming, organizing, training, feeding, clothing, and moving vast armies about back then was impossible. Plague, various viruses, bacterial and fungal infections, and starvation was common living.

Every power which tried eventually suffered the same fate. They collapsed under their own draw-down on resources directly proportionate to distance from homelands.

3 posted on 02/17/2014 1:18:13 PM PST by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: Renfield

With the Romans on the descent by then what type of logistics would have helped them fight their way out of there?

I’d long thought they’d left fragmentarily.

“Time to head home, boys,” the Legion commander says. Though I bet a lot of ‘em went AWOL and stayed.


4 posted on 02/17/2014 1:28:02 PM PST by onedoug
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To: Renfield
English is a Germanic language. The real native languages are Gaelic and Welsh.

Tegid, considered the father of the modern Irish race, was actually born in Wales about 300 a.d.

Thus, the peoples of the British Isles are actually an amalgamation of races descended from both natives and invaders.

5 posted on 02/17/2014 1:29:02 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Renfield

One way of looking at it was that Roman Britain stopped enforcing immigration laws. They also couldn’t collect enough taxes to pay the Army, which either left or dissolved.


6 posted on 02/17/2014 1:32:38 PM PST by centurion316
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To: centurion316

“One way of looking at it was that Roman Britain stopped enforcing immigration laws. They also couldn’t collect enough taxes to pay the Army, which either left or dissolved.”

Hadrian’s Wall was the ultimate in stopping immigration; I think it was more of the latter. While Rome conquered England, they never populated it; in the end, they left - leaving it to the people we see there today.


7 posted on 02/17/2014 1:40:26 PM PST by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Vigilanteman
Welsh survived (with little influence from Latin, or so I have read), whereas the pre-Roman languages of France and Spain all died out, other than Basque.

There were two branches of ancient Celtic: Q-Celtic, of which the Gaelic of Ireland and Scottish Gaelic survive (Manx was a third but recently died out), and P-Celtic, which was everything else (Gaulish, the language of ancient Britain, Galatian, etc.) of which Welsh and Breton survive today. Cornish was in this group but died out 200+ years ago.

Stonehenge was built before the Celtic speakers arrived in the British Isles--there were people living there for thousands of years before the Celts arrived.

8 posted on 02/17/2014 1:49:51 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus
Good observations . . . to which I would add that another reason Welsh survived was its relative isolation. Until King Edward came along, nobody thought the Welsh were particularly worth conquering-- the poor land and rugged terrain didn't lend itself particularly well to farming and the value of the coal underneath wouldn't be realized until centuries later.

As you are probably aware, Cornish, Breton and Manx still survive in the academic realm of ancient language departments.

9 posted on 02/17/2014 2:12:29 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: centurion316

“One way of looking at it was that Roman Britain stopped enforcing immigration laws. They also couldn’t collect enough taxes to pay the Army, which either left or dissolved.”

The legions in Roman Britain were called one by one to return to Continental Europe to fight in the wars, foreign and civil, elsewhere in the Roman Empire.

At one point a civil war between claimants to the Roman imperial throne resulted in Rome’s loss of Gaul, and the lines of communication between Rome and Roman Britain were loss for a considerable time. During this period in which Roman Britain was relatively cutoff from Rome, the Germanic invaders increased their military threat against Roman Britain.

In response, Roman Britain rallied its society and defenses in part with the raising of a homegrown Roman legion recruited from among the cadre of legionaire retirees and the people of Roman Britain rather than the customary enlistees from the farthest reaches of the empire. No sooner had this new British Roman legion succeeded in stemming the tide of foreign invaders and raiders, when Rome reestablished contact long enough to order this legion to leave Britain to battle in the wars elsewhere in the empire. This left Roman Britain once again without an organized, trained, and experienced legion to serve in its own defense.


10 posted on 02/17/2014 2:54:20 PM PST by WhiskeyX ( provides a system for registering complaints about unfair broadcasters and the ability to request a)
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To: Vigilanteman
Breton is still spoken in France, but the government does not try to help its survival and apparently the number of speakers is steadily declining. The language was brought to that part of France by people fleeing from Britain.

There are people who have tried to revive Cornish (maybe mainly in Cornwall) but I think they have to "fill in the gaps" with material from Welsh (like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park which were recreated with the help of frog DNA).

11 posted on 02/17/2014 4:46:34 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Renfield
My family originated in what is now Glostershire. In doing some research on the area. I was surprised to find that the Natives and the Saxons teamed up.

History can be confusing.

12 posted on 02/17/2014 5:00:41 PM PST by Little Bill
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To: Verginius Rufus
Breton is still spoken in France, but the government does not try to help its survival and apparently the number of speakers is steadily declining. The language was brought to that part of France by people fleeing from Britain.

There are people who have tried to revive Cornish (maybe mainly in Cornwall) but I think they have to "fill in the gaps" with material from Welsh (like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park which were recreated with the help of frog DNA).

Interesting phenomenon, this idea of trying to save dying languages. Now, I'm fascinated by language, but I just don't quite see the point of saving one that has no use.

13 posted on 02/17/2014 5:03:30 PM PST by BfloGuy ( Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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To: BfloGuy
I think in France it is a question of the government being hostile to languages other than French. Some languages are going to die out, particularly those whose numbers decline beyond a certain point, but each language has some unique features or idioms and is a museum of how the speakers of that language in the past viewed the world--the human race is poorer when languages become extinct.

But modern nationalism tends to promote the dominant language of a country above all others. I think it is desirable for immigrants to America to become fluent in English, but we shouldn't accelerate the disappearance of Indian languages that were spoken here pre-1607.

14 posted on 02/17/2014 7:02:33 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Vigilanteman

As I understand it, Welsh actually derives from the old German root word for foreigner. Ironic given that the Germanic invaders were the foreigners. The self identifying word for the Romano-Britons was ‘Cymri’ and echoes of that can still be found in their western strongholds of Cymru (Wales), Cumberland (the Lakes region) and at more of a stretch, Kernow (Cornwall).

Cornish is now an official minority language in the UK and is growing strongly after dying out in the 60’s. A group of far sighted individuals spent a long time interviewing and taping the last fluent speaker before her death and have used that work to rebuild the language.


15 posted on 02/18/2014 1:35:43 AM PST by Natufian (t)
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To: Verginius Rufus
Some languages are going to die out, particularly those whose numbers decline beyond a certain point, but each language has some unique features or idioms and is a museum of how the speakers of that language in the past viewed the world--the human race is poorer when languages become extinct.

Yes, I agree that the preservation of knowledge of these languages is important. I only criticize attempts to prop up languages when people really have no interest or need of using them in everyday life.

16 posted on 02/18/2014 3:46:21 PM PST by BfloGuy ( Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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To: Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...
No one *ever* invaded Britain, the people there are descended from symbolically transformed reindeer. (stolen joke alert) What mountainish foolishness. The Saxons began to arrive during the tail end of the Roman era in Britain; the Britons felt sufficiently threatened that they built the Wansdyke, which remains traceable for 45 miles, and sections no longer visible have been detected through invasive and non-invasive methods out to Bath; a couple hundred years ago even more may have been visible, as one antiquarian traced it all the way to the Severn estuary. Other earthworks which postdate the Romans include the 40 mile long Wat's Dyke (which apparently inspired Mercian King Offa's Dyke, which is some centuries newer), Devil's Dyke (about 7 miles long, and attributed to East Anglia, but I'm not sure anyone's actually dug to find out), and one or two others. Thanks Renfield.

17 posted on 02/18/2014 5:46:53 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv

SC—A number of authors have investigated these dykes, and concluded that they are pre-Celtic (of Neolithic age, constructed contemporaneously with Stonehenge and Avebury), and have nothing at all to do with defense or warfare. In particular, I would direct you to a book entitled Before the Delusion, by William Gleeson. In this case, he uses the vehicle of fiction (a novel) to present his arguments, which I find more compelling than claims that the dykes were built by Romanized Britons to stem Saxon invasions.


18 posted on 02/19/2014 5:03:41 AM PST by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: blackdog

Life was enough to kill most everyone by the age of 30.

&&&
Good point.


19 posted on 02/19/2014 6:34:54 AM PST by Bigg Red (O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Ps 8)
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To: onedoug
I’d long thought they’d left fragmentarily.

Actually, no. They left when the Roman governor of Britain decided that he should be Emperor, and he took the Legions with him. After his rebellion was defeated, the Legions were never replaced.

That left the coasts clear (literally) for the Saxon pirates to raid at will. One of the local British kings invited a Saxon chief to take over the defense of his kingdom in return for land. The Saxons then just moved in and took over.

20 posted on 02/19/2014 10:50:01 AM PST by jimtorr
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To: Renfield

They probably just started out doing the jobs the Romans wouldn’t do....


21 posted on 02/19/2014 10:52:55 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Verginius Rufus
...but we shouldn't accelerate the disappearance of Indian languages that were spoken here pre-1607.

A great deal of that was done in boarding schools in the late 1800s. The children were not permitted to speak their native tongues.

22 posted on 02/19/2014 10:58:59 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

When I visited the Custer battlefield (Little Bighorn) some years ago I overheard a conversation about how the Crow Indians were told they had to speak English. I think that was by church leaders. The Crow were allies of the Seventh Cavalry in the war against the Sioux in 1876.


23 posted on 02/19/2014 11:34:11 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Natufian

I think you are right about the origin of Welsh. It is supposed to be related to Walloon (the French-speaking Belgians), Wallachia (as in Romania), and Vlach (Balkan shepherds whose language is similar to Romanian). In each case they are the people who lived under Roman rule, from the standpoint of the Germans. I think the Polish word for “Italy”/”Italian” is related.


24 posted on 02/19/2014 11:38:07 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

Whoever delivered the message, the Government set the policy.


25 posted on 02/19/2014 1:02:17 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: jimtorr

According to a lot of the old Welsh history, I think that was Vortigern who offered Hengist the security contract for his kingdom, with land as a major perq. Over less than a century, Hengist and his descendants brought over pretty much half of the Saxon population, and secured Vortigern’s place in British history as everything but the antichrist. I’ve read about it in British history books since my teens, and I still can’t understand his motivation, other than the fact that he wasn’t well liked for whatever reason, so no one in Britain would help him.


26 posted on 02/19/2014 2:51:36 PM PST by Texan5 (" You've got to saddle up your boys, you've got to draw a hard line"...)
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To: SunkenCiv; Renfield
Wouldn't DNA be better evidence that digging up graves and examining tooth enamel?

The author is drawing unwarranted conclusions. The author seems to think if the Saxons let the native Celts live on in numbers that the invasion would have been "peaceful." I suppose in this kum-by-ya age academics think it would be reasonable for the Celts without a fight just to invite the Saxons to take their best land, take over the government and make themselves wealthy by the standards of the day.

27 posted on 02/19/2014 3:50:22 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: Smokin' Joe

This may have been more widespread—trying to make all the Crow speak English, not just making the children in school use English. Presumably the children would be able to resume speaking their native language when they went back home.


28 posted on 02/19/2014 4:40:11 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: colorado tanker

The Saxon burials that have been found have been sumptious, and the obvious conclusion to draw is the wealth interred with the dead came from plunder. Like the Vikings not long after them, the Saxons sacked monasteries. It’s ironic that the British Isles turned to Christianity first in areas never ruled by the Romans; that said, there were also Christians in the Roman areas, before and after the Roman withdrawal, but they for the most part got hacked to pieces by the Saxon invaders.


29 posted on 02/19/2014 6:26:54 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: Renfield

Sorry, but the surviving earthworks consist of two basic types — the oppida or hillforts, which are clearly pre-Roman, as Roman roads make course changes to skirt them, and these earthen walls, which cross and bury (here and there) Roman remains such as abandoned settlements and roadways. I liked some of the historical fiction (like “Eagle of the Ninth” and the related novels by that same author), but relying on them to relay reliable history doesn’t work.


30 posted on 02/19/2014 6:30:26 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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The Roman historian Eutropius in his book, Historiae Romanae Breviarium, written around 369, mentions the Wall of Severus, a structure built by Septimius Severus who was Roman Emperor between 193 and 211:
Novissimum bellum in Britannia habuit, utque receptas provincias omni securitate muniret, vallum per CXXXIII passuum milia a mari ad mare deduxit. Decessit Eboraci admodum senex, imperii anno sexto decimo, mense tertio. Historiae Romanae Breviarium, viii 19.1

He had his most recent war in Britain, and to fortify the conquered provinces with all security, he built a wall for 133 miles from sea to sea. He died at York, a reasonably old man, in the sixteenth year and third month of his reign.
This source is conventionally thought to be referring, in error, to either Hadrian's Wall (73 miles (117 km)) or the Antonine Wall (37 miles (60 km)), which were both much shorter and built in the 2nd century. Recently, some writers have suggested that Eutropius may have been referring to the earthwork later called Offa's Dyke. Most archaeologists reject this theory.

Recent evidence has been found that strengthens the theory of an earlier date for the wall's construction. In December 1999 Shropshire County Council archaeologists uncovered the remains of a hearth or fire on the original ground surface beneath the raised bank of the ancient Wat's Dyke near Oswestry, England. Carbon dating analysis of the burnt charcoal and burnt clay in situ showed it was covered by earth on or around AD 446. Archaeologists concluded that this part of Wat's Dyke, so long thought of as Anglo-Saxon and a mid-8th century contemporary of Offa's Dyke, must have been built 300 years earlier in the post-Roman period in Britain.

[Offa's Dyke: Alternative theories]

31 posted on 02/19/2014 6:36:42 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: jimtorr

Interesting. I’ll be brushing up my history a bit.

Thanks.


32 posted on 02/19/2014 7:43:20 PM PST by onedoug
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