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Druid Grave Unearthed In UK?
Discovery News ^ | 2-11-2008 | Jennifer Viegas

Posted on 02/11/2008 3:11:33 PM PST by blam

Druid Grave Unearthed in U.K.?

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Digging for History

Feb. 11, 2008 -- Historical records tell of a mystical, priestly and learned class of elite individuals called Druids among Celtic societies in Britain, but there has been no archaeological evidence of their existence. Until, perhaps, now.

A series of graves found in a gravel quarry at Stanway near Colchester, Essex, have been dated to 40-60 A.D. At least one of the burials, it appears, may have been that of a Druid, according to a report published in British Archaeology.

Mike Pitts, the journal's editor and an archaeologist, authored the piece. Pitts studied classical Greek and Roman texts that mention the Druids in early France and Britain. The most detailed description, Pitts found, dates to 55 B.C. and comes from Roman military and political leader Julius Caesar.

"Druids, he says, were prestigious ritual specialists who performed human sacrifices, acted as judges in disputes, were excused action in battle and taught the transmigration of souls -- when you die, your soul is passed on to another living being," Pitts told Discovery News.

Other historians link the Druids to soothsaying and healing practices.

Within the wooden, chambered burial site, researchers have excavated a wine warmer, cremated human remains, a cloak pinned with brooches, a jet bead, divining rods (for fortune-telling), a series of surgical instruments, a strainer bowl last used to brew Artemisia-containing tea, a board game carefully laid out with pieces in play, as well as other objects.

"This person was clearly a specialist and also clearly wealthy and powerful, as indicated by the special grave and its apparent location within the compound of a 'chief.' That would all fit Caesar's Druid," he said, adding that Caesar likely also visited Stanway during his lifetime.

The surgical kit found in the grave includes iron and copper alloy scalpels, a surgical saw, hooks, needles, forceps and probes. Pitts said the collection mirrors basic medical tools from other parts of the Roman world.

Surgical Tools The board game and its arranged pieces, however, are anything but common. None other like it has ever been found at Roman-era sites in Great Britain.

Surviving metal corners and hinges from the board allowed Pitts to reconstruct it as an 8-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Raised sides suggest dice might have been used. The white and blue glass counters were positioned with care. Some were straight across the sides, another in a diagonal line and one white marker close to the board's center.

Pitts believes the game may have been another "divination tool," along with the rods, jet bead and scent bottles also excavated at Stanway.

Philip Crummy, director of the Colchester Archaeological Trust, told Discovery News that the person in the burial could very well have been a Druid "given the healing and divination attributes -- assuming that Druids could be trained in these skills."

Crummy agrees with Pitts that such individuals would have been "near the top of the social scale in Iron Age Britain."

He is, however, not yet convinced the person was Celtic, since the medical kit was "fairly Romanized" and the individual may have acted "like a Roman surgeon/doctor would have done."

"Divination was widely practiced in the Roman world too," he added.

Because of site's age and location, Pitts is more inclined to believe the person was indeed a Celtic Druid and could have been closely related to Cunobelin, a chief or king of the Catuvellauni tribe.

William Shakespeare immortalized Cunobelin as "Cymbeline" in a play of that same name. Cunobelin's sons led a heroic, yet failed, resistance against Roman Emperor Claudius' invasion of England in 43 A.D.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; druid; godsgravesglyphs; grave; uk
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1 posted on 02/11/2008 3:11:39 PM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping

Surgical Tools

2 posted on 02/11/2008 3:13:34 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

3 posted on 02/11/2008 3:17:14 PM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: blam

This ought to make Rowan Williams day, now he can go put flowers on the graves of his theological ancestors.


4 posted on 02/11/2008 3:20:49 PM PST by mkjessup (Any SOB who calls John F'in Kerry "his dear friend" will NEVER get my vote, no way, no how.)
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To: blam

Any pictures of that board game? MB might be interested.


5 posted on 02/11/2008 3:27:16 PM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: blam; Old Sarge

Thanks for the article Blam!
Hey Sarge..
PING!


6 posted on 02/11/2008 3:31:02 PM PST by MS.BEHAVIN (Women who behave rarely make history)
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To: blam

1. No evidence that Druids ever existed.
2. Roman tools and dice
3. Dice were used as gaming dvices by Romans
4. Dated to Roman period in Britain

= Headline without substance


7 posted on 02/11/2008 3:34:10 PM PST by Soliton
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To: blam

1. No evidence that Druids ever existed.
2. Roman tools and dice
3. Dice were used as gaming dvices by Romans
4. Dated to Roman period in Britain

= Headline without substance


8 posted on 02/11/2008 3:34:11 PM PST by Soliton
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To: blam

1. No evidence that Druids ever existed.
2. Roman tools and dice
3. Dice were used as gaming dvices by Romans
4. Dated to Roman period in Britain

= Headline without substance


9 posted on 02/11/2008 3:34:23 PM PST by Soliton
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To: Soliton
Got you the first time....or are you running Firefox 2.0.0.12?

Dang thing hangs for about 15-20 seconds at a time, queuing up keyboard and mouse "events".

10 posted on 02/11/2008 3:45:05 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: blam
dated to 40-60 A.D.

"Joseph of Arimathea and disciples arriving in Britain."

So legend has it - in the same time period = and was given large tracts of land by the ruling King - supposedly, (Cunobelin (Cymbeline) King of Britons died in 25 AD, and his son,) King Arviragus was the King who gave land (Glastonbury) to him and his band. (Joseph, the wealthy Pharisee and 'quiet' follower of Jesus, also reputed to by His uncle, had tin mine holdings in England, from which he acquired his wealth. He had, over the years, made trips to the area and would, therefore, have had to have contact and permissions with the ruling authority.

After Jesus was crucified, the story goes, and the Romans set out to hunt down and kill all close followers, and particularly family, of Jesus, Joseph fled to England, where his contacts stood him in good stead.

Arviragus was a DRUID King...

There are books and books, reams and reams of history/legend/fantasy/disinformation/obfuscation/truth hiding under myth, all intertwined in the life and times of Joseph of Arimathea. I've been researching him for decades and feel like I haven't but scratched the surface.

It is custom that he started the first church based on Jesus' teachings, in Glastonbury - and it flourished for hundreds of years - before being overrun...by greed and jealously, of course -

11 posted on 02/11/2008 4:01:58 PM PST by maine-iac7 (",,,but you can't fool all of the people all the time" LINCOLN)
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To: Soliton
Golly - if you post it three times, does that make it more valid?


12 posted on 02/11/2008 4:04:25 PM PST by maine-iac7 (",,,but you can't fool all of the people all the time" LINCOLN)
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To: Calvin Locke

Wow. I said it three times! I don’t usually agree with me that much. Sorry!


13 posted on 02/11/2008 4:05:08 PM PST by Soliton
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To: Soliton
Except Greek & Roman authors talk about them (e.g., Sotion of Alexandria & Caesar). They are usually very reliable sources so they very likely existed in some form.
14 posted on 02/11/2008 4:09:44 PM PST by Reily
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To: blam

If he was around in 60 AD, how come the Romans didn’t whack him, like they did the druids on Mona [Anglesly Island], before that little dustup with Bouddica?


15 posted on 02/11/2008 4:12:11 PM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: PzLdr
"If he was around in 60 AD, how come the Romans didn’t whack him, like they did the druids on Mona [Anglesly Island], before that little dustup with Bouddica?"

She Crucified Her Enemies And Burnt London To The Ground. Meet Britain's First Feminist, Boadicea

16 posted on 02/11/2008 4:20:00 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: Puppage

Funny - she doesn’t look Druish.


17 posted on 02/11/2008 4:32:00 PM PST by reagan_fanatic (Another liberal will be infesting the White House. Great.)
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To: Soliton
Wow. I said it three times! I don’t usually agree with me that much. Sorry

been there, done that ;o)

18 posted on 02/11/2008 5:32:24 PM PST by maine-iac7 (",,,but you can't fool all of the people all the time" LINCOLN)
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To: blam
She also managed to wrack up 50,000 to 80,000 dead on her own side [against about 7,000 to 10,000 Romans] when she finally stopped looting and killing civilians [in addition to a nice little win against part of Legio IX ‘Hispania’] to try the Roman Army in a set piece battle; and caused the almost extirpation of her own Iceni and neighboring Trinovantes in the aftermath. Sounds like a successful feminist to me.
19 posted on 02/11/2008 9:25:20 PM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...

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Gods
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Thanks Blam. Crummy? Pitts? Great names to not be taken seriously. Of course, it's not as bad as their postgrad archaeology professor, Dr. Feeces-Cranium.
Within the wooden, chambered burial site, researchers have excavated a wine warmer, cremated human remains, a cloak pinned with brooches, a jet bead, divining rods (for fortune-telling), a series of surgical instruments, a strainer bowl last used to brew Artemisia-containing tea, a board game carefully laid out with pieces in play, as well as other objects... The surgical kit found in the grave includes iron and copper alloy scalpels, a surgical saw, hooks, needles, forceps and probes. Pitts said the collection mirrors basic medical tools from other parts of the Roman world... The board game and its arranged pieces, however, are anything but common. None other like it has ever been found at Roman-era sites in Great Britain. Surviving metal corners and hinges from the board allowed Pitts to reconstruct it as an 8-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Raised sides suggest dice might have been used. The white and blue glass counters were positioned with care. Some were straight across the sides, another in a diagonal line and one white marker close to the board's center.
Of course, the game wasn't just a game, but attributed to "divination". We don't know how it was used, so it must have been a ceremonial and/or cultic object. Or maybe this roll of parchment we found was just buried to serve as toilet paper in the afterlife. ;')

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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20 posted on 02/11/2008 11:42:24 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________Profile updated Sunday, February 10, 2008)
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