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 thepiece.
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.
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 lastused to brew Artemisia-containing
tea, a board game carefully laid out with pieces in play, as well as
"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.
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
Summer excavations at Bosnia and Herzegovina's Mt. Visocica yielded results, but not the kind an entrepreneur turned amateur archaeologist was looking for. Semir Osmanagic, a US businessman of BiH origin, has invested large amounts of his own money in a personal quest to unearth what he says are Europe's first pyramids. His claims have not yet been corroborated. Instead, an archeological team said over the summer that it has unearthed significant artefacts from a more recent era. These i...Hidden Gobi Desert relics found
A number of rare relics have been unearthed in the Gobi Desert including statues, art, manuscripts and the personal belongings of a Buddhist master. The artefacts date back to the 1930"s when many monasteries were looted and destroyed."Rare Buddhist treasures, not seen formore than 70 years, have been unearthed in the Gobi Desert.The historic artefacts were buried in the 1930s during Mongolia"s Communist purge, when hundre...Mystery Surrounds Leavenworth's Underground City
Glastonbury Tor is a place of legend, intrigue and mystery; a conical hill in the Somerset landscape it has been the subject of many tales ranging from it being the entrance to the Underworld to a global energy point ofcrossing ley lines."The Tor at Glastonbury is a natural 520’ conical hill set in the Somersetlandscape, its legends and accolades are many ranging from a faerie hill, the Entrance to the Underworld of King Gwyn A...Gold coin horde found in Jerusalem
A hoard of more than 250 gold coins -- believed to be 1,300-year-old Chanukah money -- was exposed December 11 in Jerusalem as part of excavations that the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting in the Giv‘ati car park in the City of David, in the walls Around Jerusalem National Park.The excavations at the site are being carriedout on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority and are underwritten by the ‘Ir DavidFoundation. View: Full Arti...Ancient Mediterranean flood mystery solved
Research has revealed details of the catastrophic Zanclean flood that refilled the Mediterranean Sea more than five million years ago. The flood occurred when Atlantic waters found their way into the cut-off and desiccated Mediterranean basin. The researchers say that a 200km channel across the Gibraltar strait was carved out by the floodwaters. Their findings, published in Nature, show that the resulting flood could have filled the basin within two years. The team was led by Daniel Ga...Ancient Rainforest Revealed in Coal Mine
Scientists exploring a mine have uncovered a natural Sistine chapel showing not religious paintings, but incredibly well preserved images of sprawling tree trunks and fallen leaves that once breathed life into an ancient rainforest. Replete with a diverse mix of extinct plants, the 300-million-year-old fossilized forest is revealing clues about the ecology of Earth’s first rainforests . The discovery and details of the forest are published in the May issue of the journal Geology. “We’re...4,000-year-old flowers found at grave site
Proof has been found for the first time ever that pre-historic people would have placed flowers at the graves of their deceased. A bronze age dig site near Perth yielded a bunch of meadowsweet blossoms placed at one such grave."For thefirst time ever there is proof that pre-historic people placed bunches of flowers in thegrave when they buried their dead, experts have said. . Archaeologists have discovered a bunch of meadowswee..."Jesus-era" burial shroud found
A burial shroud from the time of Jesus has been found in a tomb in Jerusalem. The man wrapped in the shroud is believed to have been either a high priest or a member of the aristocracy and was buried in the "Field of Blood"cemetery."A team of archaeologists and scientists says it has, for the firsttime, found pieces of a burial shroud from the time of Jesus in a tomb in Jerusalem. . The researchers, from Hebrew University and i...Worlds oldest doodle found on rock
Scientists have discovered what is thought to be the world"s oldest doodle - a spiral shape carved in to a rock.
Scientists have discovered what is believed to be one of the world"s oldest doodles - an ancient scrawl carved onto a rock by a caveman 4,500 years ago. The6. 6in (17cm) chunk of sandstone was discovered by an amateurarchaeologist from the bottom of a deep quarry in Over, Cambs. . , during a university fun day.
View: Full article | Source: ...