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TOPIC: Iron Age Massacre

Iron Age Massacre 11 Sep 2013 02:28 #1

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Iron Age Massacre Uncovered; Victims Slaughtered, Defleshed By Mystery Attackers (PHOTOS)

Archaeologists working at a massive Iron Age excavation in England have uncovered chilling details of an apparent massacre that occurred close to 1,800 years ago.

Researchers made the discoveries during a newly completed three-year project at the site of Britain’s largest Iron Age hillfort, Ham Hill. Stretching across 88 hectares, the area has been inhabited for thousands of years, according to the Ham Hill website. The team's 2013 excavations focused on some of the last additions constructed by the community of Ham Hill. These additions included fortifications that may have been erected in response to Roman legion attackers at the beginning of the first millennium, according to the site.

In an effort to defend their home, the inhabitants of the hill constructed these large-scale fortifications, according to the Western Morning News. Unfortunately for them, the defenses were not very practical and appear to have been overrun by the Romans. Around this same time, attackers -- perhaps the Romans, perhaps another group -- slaughtered many of the townspeople and chopped their bodies into pieces.

"There is obvious evidence of violence and assault in the ramparts," a spokesman for the University of Cambridge told the Western Morning News. "Researchers found defleshed and chopped-up human remains dating back to the time of the Roman Conquest."

While evidence of defleshing has been found at other Iron Age sites, the scale at Ham Hill is impressive, according to Dr. Marcus Brittain, the Cambridge archaeologist heading up the excavation on behalf of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit and the University of Cardiff. He told The Independent he believes there are “hundreds, if not thousands of bodies” buried at Ham Hill.

“It’s unusual to find this number of bodies on any site, let alone from the Iron Age," he said.

Researchers have so far failed to uncover who exactly mutilated the remains, however, according to The Independent. While the massacre appears to have occurred around the time of the Roman invasion, Romans have not typically been linked to such practices. On the other hand, Iron Age Britons have been known to deflesh victims.

The site has also turned up several other strange burials, including human skulls and bodies thrown haphazardly into open pits to be eaten by animals.

After three years of excavations, researchers hope they have a better grasp of what made the site special to generations of Iron Age inhabitants. Despite the evidence of fortifications, the area also experienced peaceable periods that fostered community togetherness and a "collective identity," according to the Western Morning News.

The site will be open for guided tours until Sept. 12.

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Iron Age Massacre 11 Sep 2013 03:22 #2

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Massacre, Evidence I am not sure. The current view in academic archaeology is that the Celts were war like and as such the cut marks on the bones are evidence of a society in a state of constant warfare. In my personal opinion other alternatives to that view point have not been explored. There is a constant in academia that what they deem to be primitive societies are inherently brutal.

My personal explanation.
The western Europeans believed in re birth and life cycles in much the same way as Buddhists do now. There is a good deal of evidence for that.
Now, how I interpret the same evidence from that period is that there was a belief in ancient Europe of the quick release of the soul, by cutting up and dissembling the body. In the same way as they often destroyed weapons and offerings thrown into rivers and water by bending swords breaking them up to release the spirit. Some modern Buddhists high in the Himalayas where there are no or few trees to burn bodies still hire people to dissemble the bodies of the dead in this way.
Where this becomes even more interesting is that there is a difference in treatment of bodies in ancient Europe. Around these 'hill forts' which we can presume to be cultural centers bodies are cut to shreds. However We also find in Ireland and Denmark Bog Bodies which have been ritually killed, but then buried in such a way that not only are these bodies not cut up but it seems deliberately interned in such a way that it seems they were meant to be preserved for all time in great condition. These Bog Bodies are buried on the edge of territories not at the center.
The question to ponder, if the first set of bodies were dissembled to release the spirit, back into the cycle of rebirth, were these bog bodies preserved to stop the spirits of those bodies reentering the cycle of life?

The evidence is the same it is just the interpretation that is different, and I think my interpretation is more credible than constant unending war.
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Iron Age Massacre 11 Sep 2013 03:41 #3

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you provide some more stuff to ponder...along with other things i have heard (that i am not even getting into right now because my brain is only half working)
I don't like to think before I speak.
I like to be just as surprised as everyone else by what comes out of my mouth.
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Iron Age Massacre 11 Sep 2013 11:44 #4

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Further to the above, If we accept my explanation as being possible, it throws into question a lot more archaeological evidence.
Cut marks on bones that are consistent with de-fleshing are always presumed to be because the flesh was being removed for eating, and as such when human bones are found with these cut marks it is presumed by academics this is because those primitive people were cannibals, however if the flesh was removed for religious reasons like the above mentioned Buddhists do now, then the whole agenda of ancient peoples being brutal primitive and ignorant starts to fall apart.
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Iron Age Massacre 11 Sep 2013 14:08 #5

Around 200ad Britain was a pretty weird place, lot's of different tribes fighting over territory, it wasn't at all a unified kingdom until about 1700.
...Molti nemici molto onore...
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Iron Age Massacre 11 Sep 2013 14:21 #6

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Ultimate Seeker ™ wrote:
Around 200ad Britain was a pretty weird place, lot's of different tribes fighting over territory, it wasn't at all a unified kingdom until about 1700.

Around 200ad Europe was a pretty weird place, lot's of different tribes fighting over territory, it wasn't at all a unified until about the Nineteen seventies under the EU.


So what?
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Iron Age Massacre 11 Sep 2013 18:13 #7

So what indeed.
...Molti nemici molto onore...
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Iron Age Massacre 11 Sep 2013 20:38 #8

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I would say if we take apart the supposition that only the legalistic, hierarchical, society we are in that makes humans civilized, and that humans are less naturally brutal than is supposed in many academic circles, then I would say this is indeed important.
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Iron Age Massacre 11 Sep 2013 23:32 #9

You could still observe human societies that exist outside of Agricultural civilizations, those in Papua New Guinea, various jungle tribes in south America, i expect you would find they engage in acts perceived as brutal by somebody with modern "civilized" values.

Body piercing, tattooing, manhood rituals, fighting, not to mention the fact they have to kill and butcher animals to survive...could all be seen as being quite brutal.

Anyway Mahayana Buddhism is still legalistic, hierarchical etc, so maybe the brutal, superstitious death rituals they conduct are derived from that form of "civilization", there having been Buddhist civilizations in the past.
...Molti nemici molto onore...
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Iron Age Massacre 12 Sep 2013 00:18 #10

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What is being talked about here is the inclination of academia to predominantly interpret evidence on so called 'primitive societies' as evidence for brutality whereas what I am pointing to is that there are other explanations which are being ignored.
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Iron Age Massacre 12 Sep 2013 10:30 #11

I agree with your premise, I'm a feminist and attribute the suppression of a more cooperative pre-historic humanity to the prevalence and dominance of patriarchy and agriculture.

I think when women are in charge of a society, especially the distribution of wealth or resources, they alleviate the need for constant competition->war etc that flourish within Patriarchal societies.

However I think a more likely explanation of this "Iron Age Massacre" would be the arrival of various Germanic tribes, Christian Missionaries and assorted other tribes around 200-300AD who are recorded archaeologically as being fairly barbaric to the natives..However as Agriculture, Patriarchy and the division of labour were already well established practices amongst some of the natives, and perhaps to a greater standard the invaders, I don't think the fact there are some historical and prehistoric massacres etc disproves your original premise, imo they would indicate the emergence of Patriarchy against the backdrop you describe, more distributive, cooperative prehistoric British societies did exist, especially to my knowledge North of the Border, also various tribes cooperated against the Saxons, Romans, and various other Patriarchal invaders...

A universal myth is the Dragon and the overthrow of the Dragon by a "Divine" bloke, what could the Dragon be>?

Another thing that annoys me, we are supposed to believe that since monkeys left the woodland women have been subservient, (considering there are "primitive" tribes which organize under a matriarchal system living that way for thousands of years) to me that requires way too far a leap of faith.
Female chimpanzees also have a hierarchy which is influenced by the position of a female individual within a group. In some chimpanzee communities, the young females may inherit high status from a high-ranking mother. The females will also form allies to dominate lower-ranking females. In contrast to males, which have a main purpose of acquiring dominant status for access to mating privileges and sometimes violent domination of subordinates, females acquire dominant status for access to resources such as food. High-ranking females will often get first access to resources. In general, both genders acquire dominant status to improve social standing within a group.

It is often the females who choose the alpha male. For a male chimpanzee to win the alpha status, he must gain acceptance from the females in the community. Females have to make sure their group is going to places that supply them with enough food. In some cases, a group of dominant females will oust an alpha male which is not to their preference and rather back up the other male who they see potential of leading the group as a successful alpha male.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimpanzee

It's my view based on Engel's and Marx that deep in history, Human society inherited it's actual social existence and tendencies thanks to Matriarchal overthrow of the repressive Alpha male system being evidenced by remnants of Goddess cults in ancient prehistory.

The narratives in the Sumerian Tablets about the overthrow of the Matriarchy by Anu, Enlil and Enki, sending Ninhurssag(I think) to the underworld, the story of Eve, the story of Pandora (the first woman) are all anti-female propaganda pieces by the regressive patriarchy trying to reinstitute the Alpha Male system.

Sorry for waffling, fairly pointless, just to say I don't disagree with your general premise, but think there may be more likely explanations around 200AD Britain...I wouldn't discount these were invasive agricultural tribes overthrowing native matriarchal tribes that lacked the ability to defend themselves.
...Molti nemici molto onore...
Last Edit: 12 Sep 2013 10:36 by Ultimate Seeker ™.
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Iron Age Massacre 12 Sep 2013 12:34 #12

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You have a few misconceptions of the situation in Britain at 200AD. I will write a a piece about it but is might take me a little while is that OK US?
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Iron Age Massacre 12 Sep 2013 14:41 #13

Of course, looking forward to it!
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Iron Age Massacre 12 Sep 2013 14:48 #14

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The situation of 200AD I will give a potted background.
At that time in England Rome was in control, However it had not been the conventional conquest you might have presumed some ‘tribes’ were Roman allies.
Britain had been agricultural for at least four thousand years, maybe even longer. (I won't go into earlier dates because it is one of my personal theories and here I will stick to what is commonly accepted).
British agriculture had been thriving for thousands of years and although they did not have iron ploughs which meant they could not farm on the heavy red clay soils of half of England, and only seemed to utilise the lighter white chalk soils for agriculture on most estimates they managed to produce as much agricultural produce from Britain as we do now. Which with a much smaller population meant that Britain was a huge exporter of food stuffs, and wealthy. It is now accepted that the Roman invasion was as much as any single factor can be said to be a cause was driven by a desire to get hold of the agricultural wealth of Britain. (Incidentally the dragon is a beast of the earth and stories in legend of red and white dragons in Britain seem to originate as a depiction of the soil types).
Society, although there was no single ruler in Britain like in the rest of western Europe, each little state running itself, The Druids were a class of law, and religious leaders who managed disputes not only in Britain, but as least as far as Switzerland and Poland and Spain before the Roman Conquests. So although on one hand you could conceive the situation as little warring tribes, on another view western Europe could also be seen as one society. When Caesar conquered Gaul, the 'Celts' had men from all sort of places in their army, not just France. Also it is worth mentioning on that subject, it seems Caesar invented the division of France and Germany, until then nobody seems to have distinguished the two much. It is speculated he had good reason to do this: Conquering all of a society it seems is more of an achievement than only half, In that he was unable to take operations across the Rhine, by referring to those people on the other side by a different name it consolidates his claim to have conquered a whole place.
The Druids:. As law and religious leaders, we can expect that although the Romans may have conquered Gaul, the population would still keep Druids in high regard and there is some evidence that away from the towns which the Romans held in tight control, the people of Gaul still referred to Druids to settle disputes, as well as we can presume carry out religious activities. As the centre for Druid Training was the island of Anglesey outside Roman control we can see why this adherence to the Druids would be interpreted as a threat to Roman control by the Romans. This was one of the major objectives of the Roman conquest of Britain to destroy the Druids. This is why Boadicea was not dealt with quickly, because the Romans saw the slaughter of the unarmed Druids on Anglesey as much more important than protecting the Cities of Colchester, London and the south east. Boadicea was a threat to a small part of Britain, the Druids were undermining Roman control of all of the western part of the Empire.
Trade: From long before Rome came to Britain there is a large amount of evidence that Britain was not just using the surplus to trade with France, but North Africa, the Baltic, Egypt, Greece etc etc etc.
Ham Hill would have come under Roman control in the 50s AD.

So evidence of these bodies becomes very problematic for the conventional academic view of history, because of the date of these bodies at 200AD.

If these bodies were all mutilated in a massacre as other Celtic remains have been supposed to been in a fight between Celts, then at half way though the Roman occupation of Britain it depicts the Roman occupation was only superficial that for the average Brit life went on much as before the Romans came. So when we find post occupation non Roman styles of art being found this can no longer be used as proof of foreigners coming into Britain, but could it be British people were just expressing themselves again artistically once the foreign occupiers had gone. This would fit with DNA that 80 of the Brits DNA goes back 7000 years.

If the bodies were killed by Romans, Then the way they were hacked up does not fit with how the Romans did things, So could it be that the bodies were then de-fleshed in accordance with the traditional way of the Celts? If that is the case then it too shows the Roman occupation was only skin deep and the same conclusions can be drawn from above, but also it brings into question all the interpretation of similar finds, that this is not evidence for brutality, but rather just pointing to how the dead were dealt with and as such questions suppositions not just about Celts, but about what much of humanity was presumed to be like stretching back hundreds of thousands of years.

Also on Celts Have a look at this-
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