Megalithic shipping and trade routes

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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby hvered » 5:28 pm

Mick Harper wrote: I am surprised to hear of such intense Roman maritime interest in these parts since such activity seems remarkably sparse in Classical accounts.

When we were looking into the landscape of north-west Spain it became pretty clear that the activity to do with mining and transport developed if not began during Roman rule. The Las Medulas mines are claimed to have been the largest gold mines in the Roman Empire though the scale of the operation seems to have escaped notice until quite recently.

It's probably reasonable to assume the location of mines, presumably the transporting of the gold too, was well guarded. The Compostela route was the main, perhaps purpose-built, route through the region; it's still in use and still in Latin.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 5:54 pm

Las Médulas (and Dolaucothi in Wales) are on the TME map of ancient mines:

https://tme.carto.com/viz/350257a6-2c72 ... 9ffa50/map

Las Médulas is close to the pre-Roman towns of Nemetobrica (Puebla de Trives) and Nemetobriga. It may have been active before the Romans got there, if the example of Huelva is anything to go by.

In the 13th Century B.C. the Phoenicians, then an enterprising and rapidly growing nation of traders and mariners, ventured into the Atlantic and established Cadiz (1240 B.C.). They soon spread a short distance inland to Huelva, where they discovered and began to work an enormous mass of cupriferous pyrite which is still the largest of its type in the world, although it is now regarded primarily as a source of sulfur. Subsequently the deposits at Rio Tinto and the neighboring Tharsis became one of the most important sources of copper; and after the Romans had conquered Carthage in the First Punic War they occupied all Spain and seized the mines.

https://www.copper.org/education/histor ... anish.html


Loads more listed here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_met ... ces_of_ore
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 10:45 pm

Thanks to Tisi's sharp eyes for spotting the breaking news.

'Incredibly rare' find in Western Isles prehistoric forest


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland- ... s-46890793

Many have wondered how the good folk at Scara Brae on the Orkneys ever had a "sustainable" community when there's no coal or wood on the island to sustain them through a dark and dreich Orkney winter, feeling crabbit with only the blether to keep them going. The answer might have been to chop down the forest at Bendecula on North Uist. Nearby are the Carinish Stone Circle and Teampull na Trionaid.

Image

I've added it to the TME map.
https://tme.carto.com/viz/246a2de6-a307 ... 3bb92f/map
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Mick Harper » 11:55 pm

If you're going to have to import most everything anyway -- which clearly they would have to even on the orthodox model -- then why tie yourself down to one source? Although I quite like the idea of the local(ish) economy bending its back to the support of Megalithic savants. Wouldn't it be fair to say that the apparently sophisticated and expensive infrastructure of tarbets, megaliths and whatnot (he says vaguely) would seem to be out of scale for local needs even allowing for a bit of entrepôt?
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby TisILeclerc » 9:43 am

The great Orcadian Neolithic monuments were constructed almost a millennium before the sarsen stones of Stonehenge were erected.[21] At one time it was believed that this flowering of culture was essentially peripheral and that its origins were to be found to the south on mainland Great Britain. However, recently discovered evidence shows that Orkney was the starting place for much of the megalithic culture, including styles of architecture and pottery, that developed much later in the southern British Isles.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_Orkney

If Orkney was at the centre of megalithic life it seems obvious that it would need regular supplies from outside. Although as the article points out Orkney was not always an island, or even group of islands. If anything it was a promontary jutting out from the mainland and separating the eastern Atlantic from the Western Atlantic.

It would be relatively easy to float logs around the coast by sea. And sea levels were of course lower and possibly not as violent as they are today.

We know that the deer population as well as the voles came from Europe. The deer were even transported across to the western isles according to recent research. So these people were quite at home on the water both for travelling and transport of goods.

Doggerland was still there so we can see Orkney being at the northwestern edge of the landmass.

Local legends talk of the Finn folk who lived at the bottom of the sea and lured sailors to their deaths. These Finn folk were the inhabitants of Finnmark another very nautical people. The early Orkney legends show quite clearly that the locals believed the Finn folk to be human and alive and not some sort of large leprachaun people. Myths do tend to come from reality.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Mick Harper » 4:37 pm

If Orkney was at the centre of megalithic life

OK, I'll buy that whether in truth or sort of.

it seems obvious that it would need regular supplies from outside.

Agreed.

Although as the article points out Orkney was not always an island, or even group of islands. If anything it was a promontory jutting out from the mainland and separating the eastern Atlantic from the Western Atlantic.

This must be rejected on two grounds. Firstly it prays in aid something which is either untrue or much too early or much too convenient. Secondly, it destroys the very reason for Orkney's specialness i.e. being northernmost islands. Hell, promontories come a dime a dozen and are things to be avoided not embraced.

It would be relatively easy to float logs around the coast by sea. And sea levels were of course lower and possibly not as violent as they are today.

If true -- which I doubt -- you could float logs to anywhere. Not that I regard floating logs across the sea as of the least importance. If it were everyone would be doing it and your post is the first I've heard of the practice!

We know that the deer population as well as the voles came from Europe. The deer were even transported across to the western isles according to recent research. So these people were quite at home on the water both for travelling and transport of goods.

Agreed.

Doggerland was still there so we can see Orkney being at the northwestern edge of the landmass.

You can see anything you like once you wish into existence non-presently existing landmasses. Though why being at the northwestern edge of a landmass is important I really can't imagine.

Local legends talk of the Finn folk who lived at the bottom of the sea and lured sailors to their deaths. These Finn folk were the inhabitants of Finnmark another very nautical people. The early Orkney legends show quite clearly that the locals believed the Finn folk to be human and alive and not some sort of large leprachaun people. Myths do tend to come from reality.

If you say so. Sounds like they're everywhere. Hardly an Orcadian speciality. But exactly how do these bottom feeders promote or are evidence of Orcadian cultural advance?
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby TisILeclerc » 5:37 pm

Image

Theophrastus (Hist. Plant. 5.8.2) records how the Romans imported Corsican timber by way of a huge raft propelled by as many as fifty masts and sails.[1]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_rafting


Transporting logs by water, even sea, has been popular for a long time. Much easier than carrying them across land.

If you don't accept that there was a landmass we call Doggerland today I would say you are going against the increasing body of evidence.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 5:57 pm

Mick Harper wrote:If true -- which I doubt -- you could float logs to anywhere. Not that I regard floating logs across the sea as of the least importance. If it were everyone would be doing it and your post is the first I've heard of the practice!


Oh dear, there is a proper term for this kind of logical fallacy, which escapes me at the moment. Something like "denial by jumping to extremes with ignorance". In my local pub I think it's just called "being a bit of a prat".

Mick Harper wrote:You can see anything you like once you wish into existence non-presently existing landmasses. Though why being at the northwestern edge of a landmass is important I really can't imagine.


The title of this topic should give you a clue. Sea routes around mountains covered in ice and snow, etc.
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Boreades » 6:41 pm

To help break some people's deeply embedded habits of seeing London as the centre of the known universe, with all the quaint shires and shire folk being distant and unimportant, here's a different view of the British Isles, c. 8,000 years ago.

When people sailing north from Iberia (on the left) would have more easily have reached Ireland than England, and travelling north by sea was easier than trying to move east across land.

Image
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Re: Megalithic shipping and trade routes

Postby Mick Harper » 7:09 pm

You two have a dogged genius for mistaking the wood for the trees

Transporting logs by water, even sea, has been popular for a long time. Much easier than carrying them across land.


I don't doubt it since it is true and happens everywhere (and presumably at all stages of history). I merely doubted that floating them across a stretch of North Atlantic was likely. I note your pic is decidedly 'inland'. Do you have anything that might be a bit more rough trade?

If you don't accept that there was a landmass we call Doggerland today I would say you are going against the increasing body of evidence.


I did not and would not doubt the existence of Doggerland. The body of evidence you cite usually indicates a period around 10,000 BC, whereas Orkney is around 3000 BC.

The title of this topic should give you a clue. Sea routes around mountains covered in ice and snow, etc.


Well, I have written and lectured extensively on the importance of such nodal points, and indeed started this whole website to discuss such things, so this seems unduly harsh. As far as I know, nothing comparable to Orkney has shown up on any of them.

Oh dear, there is a proper term for this kind of logical fallacy, which escapes me at the moment. Something like "denial by jumping to extremes with ignorance". In my local pub I think it's just called "being a bit of a prat".


I was ignorant about your Corsican example. Is that a logical fallacy? Does that make me a pratt? You have such demanding standards, Borrie. Given which, why such vast rafts (or any size rafts) would be taken either to or from Orkney is something you might care to comment on.

To help break some people's deeply embedded habits of seeing London as the centre of the known universe, with all the quaint shires and shire folk being distant and unimportant, here's a different view of the British Isles, c. 8,000 years ago.


Yes, but we are dealing with 3000 BC. Though I acknowledge we are a little ahead in time here in London. Is that what you had in mind?

When people sailing north from Iberia (on the left) would have more easily have reached Ireland than England, and travelling north by sea was easier than trying to move east across land.


Yes, as I have extensively written etc etc
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