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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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To: reagan_fanatic; martin_fierro; aculeus; dighton
Funny - she doesn’t look Druish.


21 posted on 02/11/2008 11:45:36 PM PST by Ezekiel
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To: PzLdr

The History Channel or some such had a long show on her. Very interesting story. Lots of tactics, etc. The Romans did the same thing that the Spartans “The 400” did - fought in a narrow area so the hordes had no number advantage.


22 posted on 02/11/2008 11:51:18 PM PST by geopyg (Don't wish for peace, pray for Victory.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Crummy? Pitts?

Let me share with you some names of English towns and their meanings...

AFFPUDDLE.

A puddle which is hidden under a pivoted paving stone. You only know it’s there when you step on the paving stone and the puddle shoots up your leg.

AITH.

The single bristle that sticks out sideways on a cheap toothbrush.

AMLWYCH.

A British Rail sandwich which has been kept soft by being regularly washed and resealed in clingfilm.

BECCLES.

The small bone buttons placed in bacon sandwiches by unemployed guerilla dentists...

I guess you have to be a Brit (or an aussie) to be amused.


23 posted on 02/12/2008 2:57:45 AM PST by Fred Nerks (FAIR DINKUM!)
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To: sionnsar

Rowan?


24 posted on 02/12/2008 3:11:40 AM PST by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: SunkenCiv
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.

Very clearly a forerunner of Gobstones. /Harry Potter reference

25 posted on 02/12/2008 5:20:32 AM PST by CholeraJoe (Super What? How much longer until Nascar starts?)
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To: maine-iac7

Good job!


26 posted on 02/12/2008 5:42:33 AM PST by GoforBroke
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To: CholeraJoe

So when it was buried, it really turned into an Everlasting Gobstone Stopper. /charlie and the chocolate factory reference

;’)


27 posted on 02/12/2008 9:29:21 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________Profile updated Sunday, February 10, 2008)
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To: Soliton

Move along, these are not the druids you are looking for.

28 posted on 02/12/2008 9:34:11 AM PST by CJ Wolf (To Join or leave the offical Ron Paul 'let freedom' Ping, Freepmail me.)
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To: CholeraJoe

http://ablemedia.com/ctcweb/showcase/boardgames8.html

Roman board games


29 posted on 02/12/2008 9:48:45 AM PST by Soliton
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To: geopyg

Discipline and professionalism [coupled with better technology] beats enthusiasm and inferior or no tactical doctrine every time.


30 posted on 02/12/2008 10:44:28 AM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: blam

Fascinating! It’s always good to discover more about one’s ancestors.

A woman named Morgan Llewellyn has written great fiction novels about the Druids. She really makes them come to life. They were a learned, highly-cultured group of people.


31 posted on 02/12/2008 10:47:41 AM PST by Palladin ("Pimp" is a synonym for "Democrat".)
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To: maine-iac7

Very interesting about Joseph of Arimathea.


32 posted on 02/12/2008 10:52:02 AM PST by Palladin ("Pimp" is a synonym for "Democrat".)
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To: PzLdr
My young son and I watched “We were Soldiers once and Young” and at the start it says the Cavalry starts off with 394 troops (I think). Later on they say their are 4000 NVA (or something). My son, who learned about the Spartans in class said something like - their odds are even worse than the Spartan’s.

I paused the movie for a bit and told him the little bit of “force multipliers” such as artillery. That, but most importantly, having brave smart men in the fight - especially in leadership.

33 posted on 02/12/2008 12:53:39 PM PST by geopyg (Don't wish for peace, pray for Victory.)
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To: geopyg
The Battle Of Ia Drang 1965
34 posted on 02/12/2008 1:26:08 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: geopyg

Actually, there were something like 1,000 -2,000 Greeks at Thermopolae: 300 Spartans, 400 Thebans and about 1,000 Thespians.


35 posted on 02/12/2008 2:08:28 PM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: geopyg

Actually, there were something like 1,000 -2,000 Greeks at Thermopolae: 300 Spartans, 400 Thebans and about 1,000 Thespians.

For real 7th Cav odds, try 211 7th Cavalrymen against 2,000 Sioux.


36 posted on 02/12/2008 2:10:27 PM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: maine-iac7
Joseph of Arimathea?

Walter Donovan: Find the man and you'll find the Grail.

Indiana Jones: You've got the wrong Jones, Mr. Donovan. Why don't you try my father?

37 posted on 02/12/2008 2:16:29 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: blam

I’m puzzled. What is missing about the Druids?

The Romans beat the ‘English’, got in to southern Scotland.
They took much of Wales in a very brutal fashion. They took the heartland of the druids, the Holy Isle ... but they didn’t take Ireland or even all of Wales. They left Alba (the Picts) pretty much untouched.
We were left with the Bardic tradition. In Ireland we had the complete tradition. We are after all ... Celtic.
Three divides of bards. A means to have a functioning society with rights to land, a right to law, a right to justice and poetry of the soul. Sounds a bit like the USA.

ACelt. Alba go Bragh.


38 posted on 02/12/2008 8:55:21 PM PST by ACelt
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