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Mon Jul 19, 2021, 06:11 AM

From The BBC: Scotland's mysterious ancient artificial islands with an additional nod to

the Swiss Lake People. And away we go!

From Scotland: "While no one is sure exactly why these ingenious islets were were constructed, they provide a unique window on human life all the way back to Neolithic times in Britain.

It was simple curiosity that prompted retired Royal Navy diver Chris Murray a decade ago to plunge into the icy waters around a mysterious islet in a small loch on his home island of Lewis in the Scottish Hebrides. But when the extraordinarily well-preserved pottery he found in the islet's silty surround was radiocarbon dated to 3600 BC, it pushed our awareness of civilisation on the British Isles back to a time before both Stonehenge and the first pyramids in Egypt.

The piece of land poking out of the Hebridean loch is an example of a remarkable form of a man-made island known as a crannog, which were created in multitudes via an inspiring blend of ingenuity and effort. Nearly 600 of these artificial islands have so far been recorded across mainland Scotland and its islands, built big enough to support large communal roundhouses or clusters of smaller dwellings, and linked by slender causeways or piers to the shorelines of myriad lochs in often stunning locations of wild beauty."

much more text and photos at link:

https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20210718-scotlands-mysterious-ancient-artificial-islands

And then I remembered reading about the Neolithic Lake People in Switzerland when I was in
school years ago, and occasionally here and there since then.

Here's a good introduction to this: "The Neolithic reaches the Swiss plateau before 7,000 years ago (late 6th millennium BC), dominated by the Linear Pottery culture. The area was relatively densely populated, as is attested to by the many archeological findings from that period. Remains of pile dwellings have been found in the shallow areas of many lakes. Artifacts dated to the 5th millennium BC were discovered at the Schnidejoch in 2003 to 2005."

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

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Reply From The BBC: Scotland's mysterious ancient artificial islands with an additional nod to (Original post)
abqtommy Jul 19 OP
Onthefly Jul 19 #1
calimary Jul 19 #2
Phoenix61 Jul 19 #3
abqtommy Jul 19 #4
Emrys Jul 19 #5
Klaralven Jul 19 #6
Emrys Jul 19 #25
LittleGirl Jul 19 #7
BSdetect Jul 19 #8
Pinback Jul 19 #9
Native Jul 19 #10
BumRushDaShow Jul 19 #11
Roisin Ni Fiachra Jul 19 #12
RobinA Jul 19 #30
panader0 Jul 19 #13
abqtommy Jul 19 #14
niyad Jul 19 #15
samnsara Jul 19 #16
Klaralven Jul 19 #29
getagrip_already Jul 19 #17
edhopper Jul 19 #18
getagrip_already Jul 19 #19
MineralMan Jul 19 #20
edhopper Jul 19 #21
MineralMan Jul 19 #23
getagrip_already Jul 19 #22
MineralMan Jul 19 #24
getagrip_already Jul 19 #26
MineralMan Jul 19 #27
lagomorph777 Jul 19 #28


Response to Onthefly (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 06:42 AM

2. Indeed!

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 06:53 AM

3. The first link goes to "page not found" nt

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Response to Phoenix61 (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 06:58 AM

4. I always double-check my links before I post an op so I just checked it again and it's

working fine for me. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with this technology.

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 07:08 AM

5. The Scottish Crannog Centre is located on Loch Tay

https://www.crannog.co.uk/

It's a living museum, and the photos at the link above show its reconstruction of an Iron Age Crannog structure.

Unfortunately, it was destroyed in a fire a few weeks ago:

Fire destroys recreated Iron Age house in Perthshire

The Scottish Crannog Centre, which is also a museum of life in ancient Scotland, was hit by a devastating blaze on Friday evening.

The Iron Age roundhouse stood on stilts on the loch shore at Kenmore in Perthshire.

Video and pictures posted online by people nearby showed the Iron Age house engulfed in flames.

Mike Benson, the director of the Crannog Centre, said CCTV footage showed the fire took hold and destroyed the house in minutes.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-57452498


The accompanying museum is still open, and there's been an outpouring of public support which may see a reconstruction rebuilt eventually, but not necessarily on the same site on the loch.

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Response to Emrys (Reply #5)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 07:30 AM

6. That most likely happened in the neolithic too.

I wonder whether they have found burned timbers during some of the excavations.

The work seems prodigious, but it may be comparable to that of building a palisade strong enough to keep predators, such as bears, away from livestock overnight.

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Response to Klaralven (Reply #6)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 10:06 AM

25. There is evidence of crannogs being prone to fire damage in ancient times, deliberate or accidental

For instance, here's an article about findings at Coatbridge, near Glasgow:

https://www.culturenlmuseums.co.uk/story/crannogs-celts-and-coatbridge/

About one set of crannog remains in Lochend Loch, it says:

The timbers showed that this crannog had been burned multiple times. This burning could have been deliberate, with the dwellers firing the crannog when it began to crumble so that the old timbers would fall into the loch, and they could build a sound new structure above. The presence of human bones may suggest that they were taken by surprise, either by accident or by malice. The crannog also contained pottery, the bones of oxen, large quern stones used for grinding grain by hand, pieces of crucibles for metalwork, and part of a jet bracelet. It is thought that this crannog was in use from 800 B.C. to 400 B.C.


It wasn't uncommon for a crannog that collapsed for whatever reason to be used as the foundations of a dwelling on what was in effect an artificial island.

It reminds me of the scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail which describes a succession of castles being built on top of each other in a swamp:



These crannogs were prestigious strongholds, so presumably there was no shortage of labour and materials (or time).

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 07:33 AM

7. Thanks for this post

I really enjoyed reading about Switzerland’s early history. I live 2km from one of the Roman structures in Kaiseraugst and have been wanting to go there for several years. Now that the rains have let up, I will get over there.

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 07:34 AM

8. The time going back beyond 3000 BC is very interesting

Building those crannogs took some serious energy and technical know how.

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 07:54 AM

9. Fantastic.

I’ve read before about this practice, but they’re finding out more about how amazingly resourceful and resilient our forebears were. I guess they had to be to live in a climate that could be so forbidding!

I followed down the links rabbit hole and read about ghillies as well. Wonderful information from a wild and beautiful place.

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 08:00 AM

10. Super cool.

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 08:05 AM

11. Some pics of the fire at Loch Tay Crannog Centre





This is what was on the inside -



That building design is pretty much universal around the world where ancient (and even modern) people lived (live) in free-standing structures, particularly where there are seasons with quite a bit of rain.

(marking my post #83,000 with a to Scotland and hope they get their Center's structure rebuilt - according to the article, plans had already been in the works to move it to a different location before this happened)

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 08:25 AM

12. Radiocarbon dating and location (Ireland and Scotland) suggests that

these structures were most likely built by the Gaels, (Insular Celts) of the YDNA R1b-L21 haplogroup, who are still the primary native inhabitants of these regions.

Neolithic and Bronze Age migration to Ireland and establishment of the insular Atlantic genome

https://www.pnas.org/content/113/2/368


In 2016, a study analyzing ancient DNA found Bronze Age remains from Rathlin Island in Ireland to be most genetically similar to the modern indigenous populations of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The majority of the genomes of the insular Celts would therefore have emerged by 4,000 years ago. It was also suggested that the arrival of proto-Celtic language, possibly ancestral to Gaelic languages, may have occurred around this time.[9] Several genetic traits found at maximum or very high frequencies in the modern populations of Gaelic ancestry were also observed in the Bronze Age period. These traits include a hereditary disease known as HFE hereditary haemochromatosis, Y-DNA Haplogroup R-M269, lactase persistence and blue eyes.[9][52] Another trait very common in Gaelic populations is red hair, with 10% of Irish and at least 13% of Scots having red hair, much larger numbers being carriers of variants of the MC1R gene, and which is possibly related to an adaptation to the cloudy conditions of the regional climate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaels#Population

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Response to Roisin Ni Fiachra (Reply #12)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 12:39 PM

30. Interesting

Thanks.

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 08:27 AM

13. Recommended.

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 08:32 AM

14. With all the info that this thread has generated I'm saving it to my bookmarks. Well done, all!

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 08:33 AM

15. KNR and bookmarking. Thank you for this fascinating post.

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 08:51 AM

16. the entire Bristish Isles is one big archealogical site....

.... I caught a cute British series called the Detectorists. If I lived there I would be doing this every spare minute...

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Response to samnsara (Reply #16)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 10:41 AM

29. And prior to 9000 years ago, eastern England was connected to Denmark, Germany, Netherlands

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Response to abqtommy (Original post)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 09:17 AM

17. didn't they have better things to do? ya know, like hunt, farm, and eat?

Why would a primitive culture spend literally lifetimes building islands when there were perfectly habitable areas within reach? It had to be a decades long effort involving huge amounts of labor and resources. Those involved in construction would have to be fed and sheltered, boats had to be built, horses dedicated, wagons or carts, and they wouldn't be returning anything to the society other than construction that wasn't needed.

To what end? Why would groups of people do this? By hand. It's possible the people who started it never saw it complete.

mind boggling.

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Response to getagrip_already (Reply #17)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 09:24 AM

18. Ask that

to the natives of Easter Island.

But seriously, mostly likely they had enough people to take care of their needs while building these islands.

There are construction projects all over the world, throughout the ages that took generations to complete. Even today.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #18)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 09:32 AM

19. The natives claim the moans walked there by themselves.. ;)

They have no detailed cultural memory of how they got there, but they claim they walked to where they are by themselves. But at least you could assume it was for religious reasons. Or to send a message to aliens.

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Response to getagrip_already (Reply #17)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 09:39 AM

20. They lived pretty simple lives back then.

Nothing complicated about their lives. So, building things like this did not overtax the small populations that lived in those places. They took years or decades to complete, and probably provided a community activity that all could contribute to.

The place I lived in California for 35 years was once home to Native Americans that we call the Chumash. They are documented to have lived by that shallow bay for 6000 years. Since I lived there in modern times, I often thought about what life might have been like there in the long ago past. The bay is full of fish. Deer still graze in the fields and hills around that area. Rabbits abound. A few thousand years ago, those populations of potential food animals were probably much larger. A thriving population of oak trees is still there, as well, along with native plants that produce berries and other fruits.

Everywhere you walk that is off the beaten path in that area is littered with evidence of the Chumash. Arrowheads and spear points are common, even just lying on the surface of the ground.

What I realized, as I imagined life there, and often fished in the bay and gathered wild gooseberries and the fruit of wild plums from the remaining native plants, was that life would have been fairly easy back then, really. The Chumash were not an agricultural people. They simple hunted and gathered their food, built structures from available materials, and enjoyed the very, very mild weather in that coastal region in California. Even today, it would be possible to live solely on the resources that are readily available there.

We can't think about people of those times as having lives that resemble ours in any way, really. Their lives were very different.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #20)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 09:45 AM

21. And even here in America

we think of Native Americans as nomadic tribes when many were builders and had stable civilizations.

https://www.wilderness.org/articles/article/10-extraordinary-native-american-cultural-sites-protected-public-lands

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Response to edhopper (Reply #21)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 09:56 AM

23. Yes. There are plentiful signs in the Chumash areas

of long-standing villages. They ate a lot of shellfish, and large shell middens are pretty much everywhere. Most villages were alongside creeks, on hills. The middens or dumps, were located a short distance away from the village sites. They weren't nomads at all. I identified a number of places where villages were located. A few of them were not described in archaeological papers about the area, so I contacted a local group about their locations.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #20)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 09:52 AM

22. interesting, but I think you are oversimplifying what life was like...

It wasn't an easy existence. Sure, food was available, but not easily gathered. Try it sometime with the tools they had available. Take down a 200 pound deer miles from your camp and it will take you all day. Fishing with nets likewise would take you all day to accomplish. and then someone has to build shelter, gather dry wood, and fend off rivals. Then, at some point, you had to move the entire tribe.

Just look at the indians who lived along the coat when the white men arrived. They had busy lives, and didn't have hundreds of people who could be spared for vanity construction projects. Easy? Well, they weren't starving or freezing, but it wasn't mar a lago either.

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Response to getagrip_already (Reply #22)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 10:03 AM

24. What they had, though, was time.

They lived simply. The deer weren't miles away, either. In my walks around that area, I frequently saw deer in the same areas as old Chumash village sites. Small game is everywhere, even today, and would have been more prevalent at that time. I suspect that hunting for deer wasn't a pursuit that was followed much, really. There was plenty of other, much easier to find and kill, animal food, along with the readily available seafood.

Where I was, and where a helluva lot of Chumash lived was beside a shallow bay and estuary area. Even now, shellfish can be gathered simply by walking around at low tide. Shore birds are there in huge numbers, even now. Creeks and streams were full of native trout and Steelhead during the fall season. Turtles, too, still abound in that area's streams.

I spotted small arrowheads by the hundreds, just walking around in the area. I didn't collect any of them. Larger points, that would have been used to hunt deer, are very scarce. There are plenty of large ground stone tools lying around, as well, used for grinding acorns and wild grains. Boulder mortars are quite common, as well, near some of the village locations.

Most of the places I walked over the years were never visited by local residents. I was most interested in brushy areas without trails, so that's where I walked. I focused primarily on areas near creeks not far from the bay, of which there were many, and the hillsides around them. That's where I would choose to live, and that's exactly where the Chumash lived.



Chumash villages were small. They didn't involve hundreds of people living in them.

I think you may be overcomplicating their lives, frankly.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #24)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 10:15 AM

26. maybe, but there may be more deer now then there were then....

Back then, there were predators. Wolves, coyotes, bears, big cats. In a balanced ecosystem, they would have been more spread out and not walking between well manicured lawns.

Again, don't use modern standards to judge life back before even steel was common. Living off the land is not an easy life. Going to the supermarket and out to dinner is an easy life.

Now if they had a surplus population for some reason, and they had so much food they didn't have to even gather it, then maybe it was a way to keep people busy.

But that is applying modern standards.

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Response to getagrip_already (Reply #26)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 10:32 AM

27. When thinking about how people in prehistoric times

lived, it is very difficult to leave our own experiences behind, actually, and accurately imagine living without the complications of modern life. Neolithic societies were totally different from out own. Small village cultures are very different from how we live today.

I have spent a lot of time doing thought experiments about living as a Chumash individual in that particular area. That's one of the reasons I spend so much time exploring the areas where the Chumash lived. Where I lived was also Chumash territory, but all signs of that are buried, really, except rarely, in vacant lots and undeveloped places.

However, it was not difficult to spend days wandering around in still-wild areas nearby, where they also lived. So, that's what I did, and why I spent so much time thinking about living in that area before Europeans and technology moved in.

I know where they lived, what they ate, and where they walked. I'm a curious sort of guy. I like thinking about alternatives to modern living, even though I do not choose to try to duplicate such a lifestyle. So, I spent a lot of time exploring the areas where villages existed, looking for clues.

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Response to getagrip_already (Reply #17)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 10:38 AM

28. There was probably a survival benefit to having an island refuge.

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