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Title: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on September 27, 2012, 03:18:47 PM
The bell beaker phase must have been an amazing period of adventure and travel that would have been unprecidented on scale.  I wonder if the Celtic mythological myths with their emphasis on travel, boat journeys to strange lands and the race of gods was based on the beaker period and its aftermath being seen as a golden era.  It is also interesting that one of the very top Celtic gods, Lug/Lugh was known as the 'master of all arts' and other major gods also have a tendency to relate to crafts, skills, knowledge, the sea etc.   I personally think it owes something to the copper/bronze age society and doesnt very well fit the rather marginal Iron Age in Ireland.  I think there is a lot in Celtic and Irish mythology that looks back to a golden age which probably lay with the beaker period and the subsequent Bronze Age.  This may have seemed like a golden age that had been lost by the time of the Iron Age when the basis of elites wealth in many cases turned more to land than trade and was more parochial.  


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on September 27, 2012, 03:52:58 PM
I would add that the evidence of the Celtic social structures etc has always indicated that the Celts had a very large learned, sacred and skills professional element in their society.  It just seems different from Germanic emphasis in early references to their society and their mythology which seems to be very based on raw martial aspects.  I think this sort of Germanic social structure was created during the periods of their migrations and was based on opportunity, spoils and rewards.  Very militaristic.  The Celtic peoples always seems to havee had a rather different structure and outlook.  I believe people get the wrong idea about the Celts based on the violent outpourings and clashes in the late centuries BC which really probably marked their decline and collapse rather than their zenith.  The Celts had long been settled in temperate Europes best lands and although martial I do not believe that this was what the social structure was geared towards.  I dont think they were a martial people per se and they did not have a society and social structure that was basically geared for war like Germanic society seems to have evolved.  The Celts seem to have invested far more of their society's resources in learned, sacred/religous and craft classes.  I admire them for that.  

I also wonder if the roots of this distinction goes right back to the copper age and the contrast in the beaker culture and the Corded Ware and related groups to the east.  Its almost as though there was a different idealogy.  I think in many ways the beaker people are a one-off group or lineage who developed a unique philosophy that in many ways diverged from typical IE societies.  As I posted before, beakers roots may be very hard to find if beaker is intimately connected with the R1b explosion in western Europe.  It may be a new phenomenon created by a single line.  BTW I am not saying this didnt have pre-beaker roots.  Something along the lines Jean was highlighting about apparently similar pre-beaker groups may be the origins.  Alternatively the origin of the R1b/beaker explosion could have been a single family who were located in such a place that they combined central European ideas with early Beaker ideas coming along from the west and developing the full beaker package.  Both possibilities are not ruled out by the evidence.  

Whatever happened they were something special.  As I posted before, this small group really established themselves but in the beaker period itself this could not have been by numbers or purely martial means.  That would be absurd IF it is linked to R1b.  As I posted before, the choice of weapon, archery, indicates to me that it was self defense perfect for small groups planting niches among existing populations.  It is suggestive that there was either pragmatism or a rejection of raw IE 'heroic' fighting methods  or maybe a bit of both.  Cirumstances may have created ethos.  I feel that these roots in the beaker circumstance and ethos is echoed in the nature of later Celtic society and mythology.  


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: eochaidh on September 27, 2012, 09:25:44 PM
Unfortunately, I believe posters have mocked this topic out of existence. It's a shame, because legends often hold a grain a truth. Yet, the Irish legends don't seem to be allowed that consideration.

When it comes to the areas of the Celts, only writings from the Romans and Greeks are accepted. If an Irishman wrote it, you might just as well "pitch it to the devil", as my Mom would have said.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Heber on September 28, 2012, 02:31:48 AM
Here are a number of areas worth exploring:

1) Religious infrastructure: Megalithic monuments, Newgrange, Knowth, Stonehenge, Morbihan, Carnac, Tagus, Scara Brae, Galacia, Evora, Gobelki Tepe, Bell Beaker aDNA found in a Megalithic context
2) Druid strongholds: Mona, Anglesea, Erne, Carnutes, Caesar understood the power of the Druids in Celtic society and proceeded to eliminate them
3) Bull worship, Anatolia, Catahayuk, Balkens, Mycean, Minoan, Cyprus, Iberian, Halstatt, Gaelic, Tain Bo Culaigh
4) Origin Myths, Book of Invasions, Iberia, Galecia, Scythia, Troy, Deluge myths
5) Deposition sites: Thames, Shannon, Erne, Swords, Sacred Rivers, Bog Bodies
6) Brewing, Halstatt, Hochdorf, RHyfelwyr, Atlantic wine trade, Mead, Bell Beaker drinking vessels

There arev


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Mike Walsh on September 28, 2012, 09:26:37 AM
Unfortunately, I believe posters have mocked this topic out of existence. It's a shame, because legends often hold a grain a truth. Yet, the Irish legends don't seem to be allowed that consideration.

When it comes to the areas of the Celts, only writings from the Romans and Greeks are accepted. If an Irishman wrote it, you might just as well "pitch it to the devil", as my Mom would have said.

I disagree with your characterization of the ubiquitous but unidentified "posters," but it matters little.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: eochaidh on September 28, 2012, 10:22:23 AM
Unfortunately, I believe posters have mocked this topic out of existence. It's a shame, because legends often hold a grain a truth. Yet, the Irish legends don't seem to be allowed that consideration.

When it comes to the areas of the Celts, only writings from the Romans and Greeks are accepted. If an Irishman wrote it, you might just as well "pitch it to the devil", as my Mom would have said.

I disagree with your characterization of the ubiquitous but unidentified "posters," but it matters little.

Yea, you're right, it was probably only one poster one time. If I were to identify that poster it could be taken as a personal attack, so I'll refrain.

Well, now that we've cleared that up and we find that Irish legends are accepted, without mockery, as having a grain of truth, let the discussion begin!

What are your views, Mike?


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: eochaidh on September 28, 2012, 11:04:08 AM
I think that Balkans played a part in Irish genetics and culture during the Bell Beaker period. Mostly in cattle (bull worship) and metal working.

Some have interpreted Irish Legends as connecting the Fir Bolg with the Balkans and even some have postulated that the Fir Bolg (men of the bags) represents metal workers and their bellows.

I think that much of the J2 found along the Atlantic Fringe is from the Balkans as well as some R1b. This migration could also account for higher "Caucasian" (West Asian) scores in the autosomal test of Cornish testers.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: inver2b1 on September 28, 2012, 11:12:10 AM
Regarding The Tain, could this story of a massive war between two regions be interpretated as the island being very regional at the time?


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: inver2b1 on September 28, 2012, 12:14:45 PM
It's just in Bryan Sykes book he made a point that stood out to me that a tale of a war such as that might be an indication of differences/divisions going way back.
Perhaps I read too much into it.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on September 28, 2012, 02:43:53 PM
Unfortunately, I believe posters have mocked this topic out of existence.

I suspect you are thinking of me, but there is a big difference between medieval Irish literature and the Lebor Gabála Érenn which I discuss as Milesian myth (http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/originstories.shtml#Milesian). The latter seems to be nothing but a "learned fiction." By contrast stories such as the Cattle Raid of Cooley are regarded by many scholars as preserving elements of pre-Christian Celtic life. Cú Chulainn's chariot is fascinating for a start.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: eochaidh on September 28, 2012, 03:03:56 PM
I think the Lebor Gabala Erenn (Book of Invasions) is a reconstruction of ancient legends to give the Milesians an acceptable origin. Still, I think it was based on oral tradition and that there is a grain a truth, no matter how small, to the legends. My feeling is that an island people are very interested in the origin of new arrivals. Plus, I believe there was constantly movement out of Ireland in the form of trade, so the Irish of the Beaker Period were very familiar with the lands new arrivals were migrating from.

In simple terms, I do not believe the Book of Invasions was made up out of thin air. I believe it was a reconstruction of ancients legends which held some truth to them.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Mike Walsh on September 28, 2012, 03:13:47 PM
Unfortunately, I believe posters have mocked this topic out of existence. It's a shame, because legends often hold a grain a truth. Yet, the Irish legends don't seem to be allowed that consideration.

When it comes to the areas of the Celts, only writings from the Romans and Greeks are accepted. If an Irishman wrote it, you might just as well "pitch it to the devil", as my Mom would have said.

I disagree with your characterization of the ubiquitous but unidentified "posters," but it matters little.

Yea, you're right, it was probably only one poster one time. If I were to identify that poster it could be taken as a personal attack, so I'll refrain.

Well, now that we've cleared that up and we find that Irish legends are accepted, without mockery, as having a grain of truth, let the discussion begin!

What are your views, Mike?

I think they are fascinating reading. I am probably swayed but my initial population genetics readings (Sykes, Oppenheimer), but I think undocumented legends, stories and folklore are definitely worth investigating. I don't accept undocumented information as fact but it is certainly better than no information. If a story aligns with linguistic, climatic, genetic or archeological information... its pretty exciting!  I wouldn't use stories and legends as a baseline for an hypothesis, but they could provide explanatory information, or at least clues.

To answer directly, I would never say they are all true nor all false.  All is a very precise word and there could be a grain of truth in a lot of things.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: A.D. on September 28, 2012, 10:44:15 PM
When dealing with legends that have origins in oral traditons you can find phrases, lines,repititions, structures etc that appear in very unexpected places. E.g in the Iliad Hector's spear is discribed as 'thick as a weavers beam' the exact same wording is used to discribe Goliath's in the bible. Most of these myths were rendered into poetry and music. It's probable that say in a verse chorus structure the verse could be a specific spoken narrative and the chorus a sung pre-set piece/theme like a leit motif.  In Irish you say a song. It's killing me to say this but think Rap and dance music. In Christian times this had been turned into written poetry or prose this is the point where the most is lost.
Another thing is how close the Celtic, Germanic and less so the Greek and Roman are espesially in the centeral 12 dieties. If you remove the Milesians from Irish   mythology it starts to line up better with the Germanic myths.  
I find the various versions of the spear of Lugh intresting. I think these little phrases etc can tell us a lot if they can be pinned down.

Note: Empty space removed by moderator. Content unaltered. - rms2


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on September 29, 2012, 04:52:28 AM
I think the Lebor Gabala Erenn (Book of Invasions) is a reconstruction of ancient legends to give the Milesians an acceptable origin.

The Book of Invasions shows no sign of being based on ancient legends and every sign of being cobbled together by someone versed in Christian writings in Latin. The very name Míl Espáine is simply an Irish version of the Latin miles Hispaniae (soldier of Spain). The earliest surviving version of the tale appears in the 8th-century Historia Brittonum. It simply claims that three sons of a Spanish soldier arrived in Ireland with thirty ships.   A mass of fake genealogy was grafted onto the scheme. In the Lebor Gabála Érenn, his sons Éber and Erimón divide the kingship of Ireland between them. Éber, presented as the founding father of the Eóghanachta, takes the southern half, while Erimón takes the north. This division supplants an earlier concept of Ireland being divided into five parts. So it was probably cooked up in the 8th century AD to give a respectably ancient ancestry to the newly dominant dynasties of the Uí Néill and Eóghanachta, who had risen to prominence in the north and south respectively.

The tale attempts to fit the Gaels into a biblical setting. Iafeth [Japheth] is pictured as the patriarch of the nations of "Asia Minor, Armenia, Media, the People of Scythia; and of him are the inhabitants of all Europe." This was standard thinking for Christian writers of the time, following the Jewish historian Josephus (37-c.100 AD) and Isidore of Seville (c.560-635). It also borrows from the early Christian writer Orosius. It was he who claimed that from the southern promontory of Ireland one could see far-off Brigantia, a city of Gallaecia (North-West Spain). Which is nonsense. Other early Christian writers are also drawn on.

Woven into all this are genuine Irish names. The Fir Domnann and Fig Bolg can be recognised as groups possibly arriving from Britain quite late in the pre-Christian era. So some idea of these people as foreign might have been retained, though no knowledge of when they came, of from where. The story of their origins is rubbish. The idea that they lived in Ireland before the Gaelic-speakers is vaguely interesting, as it may preserve some idea of the taking by the Gaelic-speaking Uí Néill of parts of Ireland which had been settled (quite late) by people from Britain speaking P-Celtic. So that might be the much-misunderstood grain of truth in the midst of all the chaff.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Heber on September 29, 2012, 05:33:03 AM
Here is what Cunliffe has to say about the Book of Invasions in his new book Britain Begins.
I appreciate the respect and balance that Cunliffe brings to the subject he is writing about, surely the sign of a great scholar and writer.

"The recurring reference to Spain as the origin of the Irish invaders may simply be a mistaken belief on the part of the monks who composed the text that the Latin name for Ireland, Hibernia, was derived from 'Iberia'. However, given the archaeological evidence which demonstrates long term contacts along the Atlantic seaways in the prehistoric period, it may just be that the early oral traditions used by the monks preserved echos of folk memories going back far in time. While folk traditions cannot be taken as evidence for past events, they should not be dismissed as entirely irrelevant."

http://tinyurl.com/8jvpkhd


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on September 29, 2012, 05:51:51 AM
Sorry Heber, but much as I admire Barry Cunliffe, I don't agree with him on this one. I don't think that the Irish of 900 AD had the smallest clue that their ancestors arrived in Ireland 2450 BC, or where exactly they came from. Oral history is seldom accurate beyond three generations.

It is in fact quite possible that some of the Bell Beaker incomers came along the Atlantic route. There are some clues to just that. But I wouldn't waste time trying to squeeze something out of The Book of Invasions as evidence. If there is anything in there that reflects genuine history, it is likely to be much closer in time to the origin of the The Book of Invasions i.e. the period of the Uí Néill and Eóghanachta ascendency.

The bulk of R1b in Ireland is L21, which suggests that descendants of BB coming up the Rhine ended up predominating in Ireland by whatever means. For all we know that could reflect quite a lot of later movement as much as initial Copper Age arrival.



Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Heber on September 29, 2012, 06:10:11 AM
Sorry Heber, but much as I admire Barry Cunliffe, I don't agree with him on this one. I don't think that the Irish of 900 AD had the smallest clue that their ancestors arrived in Ireland 2450 BC, or where exactly they came from. Oral history is seldom accurate beyond three generations.

It is in fact quite possible that some of the Bell Beaker incomers came along the Atlantic route. There are some clues to just that. But I wouldn't waste time trying to squeeze something out of The Book of Invasions as evidence. If there is anything in there that reflects genuine history, it is likely to be much closer in time to the origin of the The Book of Invasions i.e. the period of the Uí Néill and Eóghanachta ascendency.

The bulk of R1b in Ireland is L21, which suggests that descendants of BB coming up the Rhine ended up predominating in Ireland by whatever means. For all we know that could reflect quite a lot of later movement as much as initial Copper Age arrival.



Jean,
Cunliffe is not just talking about a few Bell Beakers. In his book he describes extensive exchanges from the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Megalithic, Copper, Bronze and even Iron Ages along the Arlantic Facade.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on September 29, 2012, 06:33:30 AM
@ Heber

Yes I know. Prof. Cunliffe has promoted his vision of contact along the Atlantic over a long period in book after book, starting with Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and Its Peoples, 8000 BC to AD 1500  (2001). As a matter of fact I heard him lecture on the topic in Bristol before that book appeared.

So of course he likes the idea that the Irish preserved in myth some idea of links along the Atlantic seaboard. There were indeed such links, and I feel that he has done us all a service in pointing this out, as a counter-weight to the narrative of influences northwards via central Europe. Sometimes the latter tale is told as though it is the only one. Both are relevant.



Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Heber on September 29, 2012, 07:25:28 AM
Sorry Heber, but much as I admire Barry Cunliffe, I don't agree with him on this one. I don't think that the Irish of 900 AD had the smallest clue that their ancestors arrived in Ireland 2450 BC, or where exactly they came from. Oral history is seldom accurate beyond three generations.

It is in fact quite possible that some of the Bell Beaker incomers came along the Atlantic route. There are some clues to just that. But I wouldn't waste time trying to squeeze something out of The Book of Invasions as evidence. If there is anything in there that reflects genuine history, it is likely to be much closer in time to the origin of the The Book of Invasions i.e. the period of the Uí Néill and Eóghanachta ascendency.

The bulk of R1b in Ireland is L21, which suggests that descendants of BB coming up the Rhine ended up predominating in Ireland by whatever means. For all we know that could reflect quite a lot of later movement as much as initial Copper Age arrival.



Jean,
Cunliffe is not just talking about a few Bell Beakers. In his book he describes extensive exchanges from the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Megalithic, Copper, Bronze and even Iron Ages along the Arlantic Facade.

@Jean,

Here are a few examples of the Atlantic Facade network.

http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763837986/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763837988/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850315/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763837998/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763179592/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763837994/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850284/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850296/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850936/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850430/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763838007/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763838001/


Yes, I agree the bulk of L21 is in Ireland. However I dont think it came down the Rhine with Corded Ware.
Busby has shown the the highest frequencies for M269, L51, L11, P312, L21, M222 are found in Ireland.
The next highest frequencies for relevant defining mutations are found in Iberia and along the Atlantic Facade.

http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763811258/
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763708372/


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Heber on September 29, 2012, 07:45:47 AM
In defense of the humble Irish Monk, who is much malaigned on these boards varioiusly accused of "cobbling together" worthless documents, I would point out that the Irish monastic schools taught the sacral languages of Greek, Hebrew, and Latin; as well as astronomy, genealogy, ancient Irish orals sagas, classical philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Cato, and Augustine. As Celtic Monks and later monks of the Order of Saint Benedict these Irish scholars were the social architects of the Germanic intelligentsia of Europe; and their illustrious monasteries evolved as the proto-towns of Europe ’s great cities. A large part of the great manuscripts preserved in the Medieval libraries of Europe bear the celtic script used by the monks. If it was not for their efforts we would not have the Aristotal, Plato, Virgil, Ovid, Pythagoras and many of the classical works we have today. If anyone had access to the corpus of western knowledge between the 8th and 13th C it was the Irish monks. It is not correct to say the Irish did not know where they came from in 900. Genealogy was a core part of Celtic culture.
Here is a small selection of their achievements:

http://pinterest.com/gerardcorcoran/celtic-monastic-movement/




Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on September 29, 2012, 08:17:54 AM
Heber - No insult was intended to Irish monks! The whole problem of the Lebor Gabála Érenn is that its author was deeply familiar with the Bible and early Christian writers in Latin. Within the Church, scholarship was bound up with literacy. Churchmen looking for the history of a people tried to find answers in books. But of course Europe was illiterate until writing briefly reached a few places in the Mediterranean c. 2100 BC, only to vanish once more in the long Greek Dark Ages. Light dawns once more with Homer and stays on pretty continuously through the Greek and Roman Empires. This is long, long, long after the Bell Beaker people reached the British Isles. No amount of learned burrowing around in the Classics could tell any Irish monk how the Celts arrived in Ireland, because the Classical Greeks and Romans had not the faintest idea.

The instinct then of a Christian scholar of any nation would be to search the Bible, which seems to explain the origins of all mankind back to Noah. Later authors expanded on the tale from Genesis to give an ancestry of specific European peoples back to Japheth.  If we take Japheth to represent the Indo-Europeans, this is not bad thinking for the time. But we don't need to take it literally today.  

The Lebor Gabála Érenn falls into a category of medieval work that we can find examples of throughout Europe. It is no better and no worse. It is typical. I have been far ruder about Geoffrey of Monmouth, I assure you.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Richard Rocca on September 29, 2012, 08:31:31 AM
@Jean,

As you know, there is a paper regarding isles BB groups in "Bell Beakers Today". However, the paper mostly groups the different local styles and makes almost no attempts to link the isles BB groups to continental regional groups. As such, it has always been difficult for me to quantify N. France BB influences from Rhine BB influences. Do you know of any papers that deal specifically with BB flows from the continent and into the isles?


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on September 29, 2012, 08:41:47 AM
Busby has shown the the highest frequencies for M269, L51, L11, P312, L21, M222 are found in Ireland. The next highest frequencies for relevant defining mutations are found in Iberia and along the Atlantic Facade.

I am talking about L21 and its subclades specifically, not M269. We all know that M269 washed all over Western Europe pooling in density as it hit the barrier of the Atlantic. But there is a distinct difference between the countries richest in L21 and subclades (the British Isles and Brittany) and those richest in R1b1a2a1a1b1 (DF27), the fairly newly discovered SNP directly under P312. Richard Rocca found Iberian samples from the 1000 Genomes Project show 44.4% DF27.

There is some L21 in Iberia, as we should expect from Gauls settling there in the Iron Age and some Britons settling there, but it is not a match for Ireland.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on September 29, 2012, 08:55:46 AM
@Jean,

As you know, there is a paper regarding isles BB groups in "Bell Beakers Today". However, the paper mostly groups the different local styles and makes almost no attempts to link the isles BB groups to continental regional groups. As such, it has always been difficult for me to quantify N. France BB influences from Rhine BB influences. Do you know of any papers that deal specifically with BB flows from the continent and into the isles?

The data is spread around. Alison Sheridan, Towards a fuller, more nuanced narrative of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain 2500-1500 BC (http://www.britishmuseum.org/pdf/BAR1_2008_6_Sheridan_c.pdf), Bronze Age Review, vol. 1 (November 2008), pp. 57-78 covers the Dutch style beakers at Upper Largie, Argyll & Bute. The material at Ross Island (http://www.culturalheritageireland.ie/index.php/irelands-top-100-heritage-discoveries/81-irelands-top-100-heritage-discoveries/151-heritage-discoveries-the-copper-mines-at-ross-island-co-kerry), Country Kerry, by contrast looks more like it came from the Atlantic, maybe Brittany or thereabouts. The Amesbury Archer looks like he came from near the Alps.

One clue is the two main styles of wrist-bracer. The only type found among the Early or Southern Bell Beakers are narrow with two holes. Broader, four-holed types predominate in Central Europe. England and Scotland lean heavily towards elaborate four-hole types, while Ireland has almost exclusively two-holed types. Now two-holed types are also found in Central Europe. But still I think there is a suggestion here of some early BB in Ireland coming up the Atlantic route, though their descendants may have been swamped at some point by those coming up the other route.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Heber on September 29, 2012, 10:40:25 AM
@Jean,

As you know, there is a paper regarding isles BB groups in "Bell Beakers Today". However, the paper mostly groups the different local styles and makes almost no attempts to link the isles BB groups to continental regional groups. As such, it has always been difficult for me to quantify N. France BB influences from Rhine BB influences. Do you know of any papers that deal specifically with BB flows from the continent and into the isles?

The data is spread around. Alison Sheridan, Towards a fuller, more nuanced narrative of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain 2500-1500 BC (http://www.britishmuseum.org/pdf/BAR1_2008_6_Sheridan_c.pdf), Bronze Age Review, vol. 1 (November 2008), pp. 57-78 covers the Dutch style beakers at Upper Largie, Argyll & Bute. The material at Ross Island (http://www.culturalheritageireland.ie/index.php/irelands-top-100-heritage-discoveries/81-irelands-top-100-heritage-discoveries/151-heritage-discoveries-the-copper-mines-at-ross-island-co-kerry), Country Kerry, by contrast looks more like it came from the Atlantic, maybe Brittany or thereabouts. The Amesbury Archer looks like he came from near the Alps.

One clue is the two main styles of wrist-bracer. The only type found among the Early or Southern Bell Beakers are narrow with two holes. Broader, four-holed types predominate in Central Europe. England and Scotland lean heavily towards elaborate four-hole types, while Ireland has almost exclusively two-holed types. Now two-holed types are also found in Central Europe. But still I think there is a suggestion here of some early BB in Ireland coming up the Atlantic route, though their descendants may have been swamped at some point by those coming up the other route.

Regarding Ross Island, here is a quote from Cunliffe,  "Celtic from the West" supporting the Atlantic Facade network:

"The earliest form of Bell Beaker - the so called Maritime Bell Beaker - probably originated in the vibrant copper using community of Tagus estuary around 2800 - 2700 BC and spread from there to many parts of Western Europe. As the map (Fig 1.8) shows the initial movements were maritime...
The earliest copper production took place in the Tagus region and spread from there to the other areas. The earliest copper production in Ireland identified at Ross Island in the period 2400-2200, was associated with early Beaker Pottery (O'Brian 2004, 451-78). Here the local sulpharside ores were smelted to produce the first copper axes  used in Britain and Ireland.  The same technologies were used in the Tagus region and in the west and south west of France. The evidence is sufficient to support the suggestion that the initial spread of the Maritime Bell Beakers along the Atlantic and into the Meditteranean, using the sea routes that had long been in operation, was directly associated with the quest for copper and other raw materials."

http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763837986/




Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: rms2 on September 29, 2012, 11:30:54 AM
Heber

If you are hinting at Ireland as the matrix of L21 in Europe (and don't get me wrong, I think Ireland is great), please recall that thus far, after a lot of testing, Ireland is proving itself 100% DF13+. It's looking like the L21 that arrived in Ireland had already moved on to the DF13+ stage.

There is also little P312 (xL21) in Ireland, and I'm guessing what is there probably came in with the English and other outsiders.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Heber on September 29, 2012, 11:43:53 AM
Heber

If you are hinting at Ireland as the matrix of L21 in Europe (and don't get me wrong, I think Ireland is great), please recall that thus far, after a lot of testing, Ireland is proving itself 100% DF13+. It's looking like the L21 that arrived in Ireland had already moved on to the DF13+ stage.

There is also little P312 (xL21) in Ireland, and I'm guessing what is there probably came in with the English and other outsiders.

Rich,
I see L21 as Atlantic Celtic and DF13 as Gaelic Ireland and Scotland.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Heber on September 29, 2012, 11:59:25 AM
Heber - No insult was intended to Irish monks! The whole problem of the Lebor Gabála Érenn is that its author was deeply familiar with the Bible and early Christian writers in Latin. Within the Church, scholarship was bound up with literacy. Churchmen looking for the history of a people tried to find answers in books. But of course Europe was illiterate until writing briefly reached a few places in the Mediterranean c. 2100 BC, only to vanish once more in the long Greek Dark Ages. Light dawns once more with Homer and stays on pretty continuously through the Greek and Roman Empires. This is long, long, long after the Bell Beaker people reached the British Isles. No amount of learned burrowing around in the Classics could tell any Irish monk how the Celts arrived in Ireland, because the Classical Greeks and Romans had not the faintest idea.

The instinct then of a Christian scholar of any nation would be to search the Bible, which seems to explain the origins of all mankind back to Noah. Later authors expanded on the tale from Genesis to give an ancestry of specific European peoples back to Japheth.  If we take Japheth to represent the Indo-Europeans, this is not bad thinking for the time. But we don't need to take it literally today.  

The Lebor Gabála Érenn falls into a category of medieval work that we can find examples of throughout Europe. It is no better and no worse. It is typical. I have been far ruder about Geoffrey of Monmouth, I assure you.

Jean,
No offence taken, although you do understand I have to defend my illustrious ancestors who are no longer here to defend themselves.
No one that I know takes the Book of Invasions literally. We place it in its time and context.
As you are writing about this subject and have a strong opinion on Gaelic Genealogies, I am sure you have read Leabhar an nGenealagh, which is the definitive work on the subject.
Of course MacFirbhisigh includes extracts from the Book of Invasions in his monumental volume with the usual cautionary notes.
I would be interested which sections you consider "cobbled" and which are acceptable to you.
My personal opinion is the genealogies post 500AD are on reasonably solid grounds, those from 0-500 give fascinating insights into Gaelic culture and should probably be mined for useful information. Those in the BC era are lost in the Celtic Mist and should only be approached by those brave soles with a tolerant and open mind willing to search for clues.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: rms2 on September 29, 2012, 12:02:53 PM
Heber

If you are hinting at Ireland as the matrix of L21 in Europe (and don't get me wrong, I think Ireland is great), please recall that thus far, after a lot of testing, Ireland is proving itself 100% DF13+. It's looking like the L21 that arrived in Ireland had already moved on to the DF13+ stage.

There is also little P312 (xL21) in Ireland, and I'm guessing what is there probably came in with the English and other outsiders.

Rich,
I see L21 as Atlantic Celtic and DF13 as Gaelic Ireland and Scotland.

I see both as originally from the Continent and brought into the Isles by the Beaker Folk. For one thing, there isn't much L21 that isn't DF13+.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: eochaidh on September 29, 2012, 01:42:51 PM
One thing that I have come to realize on these forums is that Irish posters have a different view of the center of knowledge and culture than other posters. It was hard for me to put my finger on it because I was raised and educated traditionally Irish even though I was born and raised in San Francisco. To an Irish poster, the center of knowledge and culture is Ireland and we look out at the Continent. To other posters, the center of knowledge and culture is Rome and Greece. The average non-Irish poster looks from the Continent into the darkness of Ireland on the fringe of the western world. The only question is when and how the lightness of the Continent arrived in Ireland. I just laughed as I typed that, because I can sense the complete difference in thinking.

Again, perhaps it is a common view of island people, but I know of no Irishman from my family or my neighborhood who looks at History as if the Irish were relieved of the darkness by people from the Continent. We consider that we knew about you before you came our way. And, as Heber points out, genealogy and the oral tradition is at our core. I believe we resent when others attempt to tell us what our History is from the view of outsiders. It's as if someone comes into your home, sees your family tree on the wall and says, "All of that is wrong! Here, let me show you what I have found out about your family from my research."

I think that people may be able to come to understand the Irish point of view, but maybe you have to grow up Irish to truly have that point of view.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: razyn on September 29, 2012, 01:57:24 PM
One may understand another's point of view without necessarily thinking that other is correct, or for that matter, sane.  We get a lot of strong viewpoints here, most of which are mutually contradictory at some level.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: inver2b1 on September 29, 2012, 01:59:52 PM
Irish people also like to have an Irishcentric view of things, doesn't make it right though. When trying to find out what happened in the past no country is owed anything.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on September 29, 2012, 02:17:22 PM
To an Irish poster, the center of knowledge and culture is Ireland and we look out at the Continent. To other posters, the center of knowledge and culture is Rome and Greece.

Miles, I have just pointed out that the Romans and Greeks hadn't got a clue how the Celts got to Ireland. I have just about worn myself to a frazzle pointing out on other occasions that  the Romans and Greeks hadn't got a clue how the Celts got to Britain. It is a complete and utter waste of time trying to tease out of Caesar and Tacitus information that they didn't have. Tacitus was honest about it (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/tacitus-agricola.asp).

Quote
Who were the original inhabitants of Britain, whether they were indigenous or foreign, is as usual among barbarians, little known.

The Britons couldn't tell him because they didn't know either. It was all too long ago.

In fact the Greeks did not know how they got to Greece, and the Romans were no better informed about their origins and made up a tale about Romulus and Remus (and claimed Trojan origins.) (http://History of Rome)  It was all too far back in prehistory for even a glimmer of a hint of the truth to appear in legend.

That is why we have archaeology. And now we have genetics.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: stoneman on September 29, 2012, 02:32:45 PM
Is there a 67 marker modal for DF13?


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on September 29, 2012, 03:19:38 PM
Just to clarrify, I dont mean book of invasions etc.  All the experts have concluded this a Medieval creation.  What I mean is the mythological cycle and the nature of the gods.  The nature of the gods and their charachteristics i.e. the Celtic religion is what I am getting at.  The pantheon of the gods etc indirectly may be telling us something of the roots of Celticity.  I mean pan-Celtic stuff although it is best preserved in Ireland and to a lesser degree Wales.  I am not in any way wanting to revive discussion about mythology and Irish prehistory/invasions etc.  I mean something deeper than that about Celtic roots as a whole. The gods in Irish mythology are the Tuatha de Dannan etc.  Yes they have been portrayed as history in the myths but they clearly represent the otherworld and remnants of the Celtic religion.  There is a massive distinction between this and the pseudo history.  I think Dubthach and others will understand what I am getting at.  I am talking about what the dieties and their mythology tell us about the roots of Celtic culture.  There is an emphasis on crafts, magic jouneys etc in Celtic mythology that I think reveals the sort of socieity that was the roots of very early Celtic society. 


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Heber on September 29, 2012, 03:20:35 PM
To an Irish poster, the center of knowledge and culture is Ireland and we look out at the Continent. To other posters, the center of knowledge and culture is Rome and Greece.

Miles, I have just pointed out that the Romans and Greeks hadn't got a clue how the Celts got to Ireland. I have just about worn myself to a frazzle pointing out on other occasions that  the Romans and Greeks hadn't got a clue how the Celts got to Britain. It is a complete and utter waste of time trying to tease out of Caesar and Tacitus information that they didn't have. Tacitus was honest about it (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/tacitus-agricola.asp).

Quote
Who were the original inhabitants of Britain, whether they were indigenous or foreign, is as usual among barbarians, little known.

The Britons couldn't tell him because they didn't know either. It was all too long ago.

In fact the Greeks did not know how they got to Greece, and the Romans were no better informed about their origins and made up a tale about Romulus and Remus (and claimed Trojan origins.) (http://History of Rome)  It was all too far back in prehistory for even a glimmer of a hint of the truth to appear in legend.

That is why we have archaeology. And now we have genetics.


Jean,

Thanks for that link to Tacitus. I found it very interesting.
I noted he had only one line of relevance to the subject.
Most of the Meditteranean commentatators never set foot in Ireland and as you rightly pointed out had little of no knowledge of how the Celts got to the Isles.
That is why I put more faith in the Celtic Monastic Movement.
This was an extensive network of monasteries, all across Ireland and all across Europe but heavily concentrated in the Holy Roman Empire. Some of the monasteries numered over 3000 monks and twice as many lay people, students, teachers and farmers.
They controlled 30% of the land and brought innovations in farming, market gardening, bee keeping, brewing and of course manuscripts. They were the Information Industry of the dark ages.
The monks were Celtic people. They lived with the people and shared their culture and customs including genealogy. They set down the oral tradition and stories to vellum and preserved them for future generation. I am sure that many of the Druids and Bards of the old Pagan Ireland just blended into the church as they adopted the same sacred places and festivals.
The Corpus of Gaelic Genealogy and Law and Traditions is enormous and spread across several libraries.
We all know that it poses a challange but it should not be dismissed because it is a difficult task.
It will be interesting to see if and how the Gaelic Genealogies match up with the Phylogentic Tree.


Title: Re: Does Celtic religion betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on September 29, 2012, 03:27:21 PM
Boy has the point of this thread been misunderstood.  I mean Celtic religion and gods. 


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on September 29, 2012, 04:43:30 PM
Thread title changed


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on September 29, 2012, 04:47:28 PM
That is why I put more faith in the Celtic Monastic Movement.

Heber - they didn't know either. That's why they were trying to get something out of the Bible and early Christian authors. That's not just my conclusion. It's the conclusion of modern Irish historians who have studied the text in far more detail than I have.

They didn't have a history of Ireland back to the arrival of the Celts. No such thing existed, any more than the Greeks had a history of Greece back to the time of the arrival of the Greeks, etc, etc. It is not that the Irish were  any worse off in this respect than any other European nation. Trying to work out when the Greeks arrived in Greece has been one big puzzle and there is no consensus to this day. Believe me the Greeks had plenty of monks in the medieval period. So did pretty well every European nation. It wasn't a help with this issue. You can't conjure up history out of prehistory. It doesn't matter how well you know your Bible. It doesn't matter how 100% Irish or Greek or whatever you are. Nothing helps to find knowledge that does not exist without a totally new way of looking for it i.e. archaeology or genetics.  

What the Irish do have is a fascinating literature and law codes that can tell us a lot about pre-Christian, Celtic Ireland and potentially therefore about Celts elsewhere who were submerged by the Romans before they could commit anything like that to writing. The Irish have an important heritage. It just doesn't lie in the Book of Invasions. You have early Irish poetry. There is nothing like that for Gaul.      


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on September 29, 2012, 05:07:18 PM
It also seems to me that the Welsh/post-Roman Britons didnt have any idea of their origins judging from the cobbled classical nonsense about Brutus etc in Nennius.  The main links of the British in prehistory can in the main be placed from the Loire to the Rhine (as can Ireland's) but they go for a Greek origin.  This Irish go for an Iberian one.  As far as I understand both the Brutus nonsense and the first version of the Book of Invasions scheme appear in Nennius.  

People overestimate oral tradition.  Another thing that I find interesting is that a scholarly classical influenced scheme like the Book of Invasions did later become oral traditions.  So people need to be warned about seeing writting down of myths as the tail end of oral tradition.  Sometimes scholarly latinate stuff can become oral tradition.  

ANYWAY this is all off topic.  This thread was about the Celtic gods pantheon and its interesting characteristics which are fairly peculiar to the Celts in many ways.   I am hoping Dubthach can chip in.  He is very well read on Irish literature.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: eochaidh on September 29, 2012, 05:18:45 PM
I think people overestimate pots found in the ground. Well, it's not the pot itself that is overestimated, but the story given to it by the archaeologist that is overestimated.

Gods and myths are from oral tradition, not from pots in the ground.

As far as gods and myths go, I am interested in the horse goddesses, such as Epona (Continental) and Macha (Irish). Perhaps my interest comes from the fact that my own name Kehoe/MacEochadha derives from the Irish word for horse. There were great horse cults/tribes in Ireland and Scotland. Who brought the horse to Ireland?

My guess would be that a maritime culture brought the horse to Ireland. I know that maritime seems obvious, but, again, it appears that many people look to grounded Continental cultures first before considering maritime cultures when it comes to migrations to The Isles.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: razyn on September 29, 2012, 05:49:46 PM
People overestimate oral tradition.

Depends on the people; some of you guys overestimate other stuff.  Calibrate the Geiger counter wrong, forget to divide by two, that sort of thing.  Remember when the Hubble telescope reached orbit with astigmatism, because technicians at the best optical facility in the US had installed some gauge upside down when its mirror was being ground?  Hard science is great, but we're all in this together.  And there are things archaeologists could learn from folklore, linguistics, genetics -- lots of other disciplines.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on September 29, 2012, 06:29:46 PM
I think people overestimate pots found in the ground. Well, it's not the pot itself that is overestimated, but the story given to it by the archaeologist that is overestimated.

Gods and myths are from oral tradition, not from pots in the ground.

As far as gods and myths go, I am interested in the horse goddesses, such as Epona (Continental) and Macha (Irish). Perhaps my interest comes from the fact that my own name Kehoe/MacEochadha derives from the Irish word for horse. There were great horse cults/tribes in Ireland and Scotland. Who brought the horse to Ireland?

My guess would be that a maritime culture brought the horse to Ireland. I know that maritime seems obvious, but, again, it appears that many people look to grounded Continental cultures first before considering maritime cultures when it comes to migrations to The Isles.

As an island its basically a certainty that everything that arrived in Ireland came (at least in its final step) from a coastal/maritime group or at least a group with a very good access to the sea.  Noone landlocked is in a position to do that - no sea, no maritime skills, no knowledge of the destination through prior contact.  I dont think anyone literally thinks a landlocked group could have much contact with Ireland. However, a lot of cultures had both landlocked and coastal areas within their distributions. 



Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: eochaidh on September 29, 2012, 07:02:06 PM
I think people overestimate pots found in the ground. Well, it's not the pot itself that is overestimated, but the story given to it by the archaeologist that is overestimated.

Gods and myths are from oral tradition, not from pots in the ground.

As far as gods and myths go, I am interested in the horse goddesses, such as Epona (Continental) and Macha (Irish). Perhaps my interest comes from the fact that my own name Kehoe/MacEochadha derives from the Irish word for horse. There were great horse cults/tribes in Ireland and Scotland. Who brought the horse to Ireland?

My guess would be that a maritime culture brought the horse to Ireland. I know that maritime seems obvious, but, again, it appears that many people look to grounded Continental cultures first before considering maritime cultures when it comes to migrations to The Isles.

As an island its basically a certainty that everything that arrived in Ireland came (at least in its final step) from a coastal/maritime group or at least a group with a very good access to the sea.  Noone landlocked is in a position to do that - no sea, no maritime skills, no knowledge of the destination through prior contact.  I dont think anyone literally thinks a landlocked group could have much contact with Ireland. However, a lot of cultures had both landlocked and coastal areas within their distributions. 



So, what does archaeology show about the Atlantic Maritime cultures and horses? What part did the horse play in the Atlantic Beaker Culture? Eochaidh (Horseman) is one of the most popular names in Irish myth, so the importance of the horse is without doubt.

And, who brought the horse to the Atlantic Cultures? Have there been studies on horse DNA?


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Jean M on September 29, 2012, 07:10:32 PM
It also seems to me that the Welsh/post-Roman Britons didnt have any idea of their origins judging from the cobbled classical nonsense about Brutus etc in Nennius. 

Precisely. And Geoffrey of Monmouth was writing fiction frankly.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Jean M on September 29, 2012, 07:34:09 PM
And, who brought the horse to the Atlantic Cultures? Have there been studies on horse DNA?

Plenty. 


Mitochondrial DNA sequence diversity in extant Irish horse populations and in ancient horses. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16978181) (2006)

Quote
Equine mitochondrial DNA sequence variation was investigated in three indigenous Irish horse populations (Irish Draught Horse, Kerry Bog Pony and Connemara Pony) and, for context, in 69 other horse populations. There was no evidence of Irish Draught Horse or Connemara Pony sequence clustering, although the majority of Irish Draught Horse sequences (47%) were assigned to haplogroup D. Conversely, 31% of the Kerry Bog Pony sequences were assigned to the rare haplogroup E. In addition to the extant population analyses, ancient DNA sequences were generated from three out of four Irish archaeological specimens, all of which were assigned to haplogroup A.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Jean M on September 29, 2012, 07:37:44 PM
Ancient DNA reveals traces of Iberian Neolithic and Bronze Age lineages in modern Iberian horses  (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04430.x/abstract) (2010)

Quote
Multiple geographical regions have been proposed for the domestication of Equus caballus. It has been suggested, based on zooarchaeological and genetic analyses that wild horses from the Iberian Peninsula were involved in the process, and the overrepresentation of mitochondrial D1 cluster in modern Iberian horses supports this suggestion. To test this hypothesis, we analysed mitochondrial DNA from 22 ancient Iberian horse remains belonging to the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the Middle Ages, against previously published sequences. Only the medieval Iberian sequence appeared in the D1 group. Neolithic and Bronze Age sequences grouped in other clusters, one of which (Lusitano group C) is exclusively represented by modern horses of Iberian origin. Moreover, Bronze Age Iberian sequences displayed the lowest nucleotide diversity values when compared with modern horses, ancient wild horses and other ancient domesticates using nonparametric bootstrapping analyses. We conclude that the excessive clustering of Bronze Age horses in the Lusitano group C, the observed nucleotide diversity and the local continuity from wild Neolithic Iberian to modern Iberian horses, could be explained by the use of local wild mares during an early Iberian domestication or restocking event, whereas the D1 group probably was introduced into Iberia in later historical times


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Dubhthach on September 29, 2012, 07:39:17 PM
Prime example of a pan-celtic god of course is Lugh (Lú -- would reflect modern Irish pronunciation). In old Irish the name was written as Lug, he is of course a reflex of the pan-celtic Lugus. Whose name is reflected in placenames on the continent such as Lyon -- *Lugudūnon (Fort of Lugus) which if you were to create a version in modern Irish would be Dúnlugh / Dúnlú (Dún = stone fort). As well as in Spain and other places as far as apart as Netherlands and Austria.

Anyways I would say we have to be a bit careful relying on Irish mythology for glimpse into Celtic "paganism" as the stories were in the end written down by Christian monks. As a result you do see changes going on, such as removal of most of the reference to the Tuatha Dé as been gods, instead been an "invasion".

There's quite a heavy amount of tales regarding the sea and the likes of sea gods such as Lír and Manannan mac Lír (whom the Isle of Man is named after). Here is an example of a monoglot seanachaí (story teller) who could only speak Irish. This was filmed during the 1980's. The story he is telling in the clip is specifically nautical. It also gives you and idea of the type of reduplication that would go into telling a story such as the Táin (or even the Illiad) orally.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UP4nXlKJx_4


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Jean M on September 29, 2012, 07:48:21 PM
Michael Cieslak et al.,  (2010) Origin and History of Mitochondrial DNA Lineages in Domestic Horses (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0015311). PLoS ONE 5(12): e15311.

Quote
Domestic horses represent a genetic paradox: although they have the greatest number of maternal lineages (mtDNA) of all domestic species, their paternal lineages are extremely homogeneous on the Y-chromosome. In order to address their huge mtDNA variation and the origin and history of maternal lineages in domestic horses, we analyzed 1961 partial d-loop sequences from 207 ancient remains and 1754 modern horses. The sample set ranged from Alaska and North East Siberia to the Iberian Peninsula and from the Late Pleistocene to modern times. We found a panmictic Late Pleistocene horse population ranging from Alaska to the Pyrenees. Later, during the Early Holocene and the Copper Age, more or less separated sub-populations are indicated for the Eurasian steppe region and Iberia. Our data suggest multiple domestications and introgressions of females especially during the Iron Age. Although all Eurasian regions contributed to the genetic pedigree of modern breeds, most haplotypes had their roots in Eastern Europe and Siberia.

Online in full, with handy map with pie-charts of haplogroups in primitive breeds, and chronological maps.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: eochaidh on September 29, 2012, 08:06:46 PM
Michael Cieslak et al.,  (2010) Origin and History of Mitochondrial DNA Lineages in Domestic Horses (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0015311). PLoS ONE 5(12): e15311.

Quote
Domestic horses represent a genetic paradox: although they have the greatest number of maternal lineages (mtDNA) of all domestic species, their paternal lineages are extremely homogeneous on the Y-chromosome. In order to address their huge mtDNA variation and the origin and history of maternal lineages in domestic horses, we analyzed 1961 partial d-loop sequences from 207 ancient remains and 1754 modern horses. The sample set ranged from Alaska and North East Siberia to the Iberian Peninsula and from the Late Pleistocene to modern times. We found a panmictic Late Pleistocene horse population ranging from Alaska to the Pyrenees. Later, during the Early Holocene and the Copper Age, more or less separated sub-populations are indicated for the Eurasian steppe region and Iberia. Our data suggest multiple domestications and introgressions of females especially during the Iron Age. Although all Eurasian regions contributed to the genetic pedigree of modern breeds, most haplotypes had their roots in Eastern Europe and Siberia.

Online in full, with handy map with pie-charts of haplogroups in primitive breeds, and chronological maps.

Thanks!


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: rms2 on September 29, 2012, 08:09:24 PM
One thing that I have come to realize on these forums is that Irish posters have a different view of the center of knowledge and culture than other posters. It was hard for me to put my finger on it because I was raised and educated traditionally Irish even though I was born and raised in San Francisco. To an Irish poster, the center of knowledge and culture is Ireland and we look out at the Continent. To other posters, the center of knowledge and culture is Rome and Greece. The average non-Irish poster looks from the Continent into the darkness of Ireland on the fringe of the western world. The only question is when and how the lightness of the Continent arrived in Ireland. I just laughed as I typed that, because I can sense the complete difference in thinking.

Again, perhaps it is a common view of island people, but I know of no Irishman from my family or my neighborhood who looks at History as if the Irish were relieved of the darkness by people from the Continent. We consider that we knew about you before you came our way. And, as Heber points out, genealogy and the oral tradition is at our core. I believe we resent when others attempt to tell us what our History is from the view of outsiders. It's as if someone comes into your home, sees your family tree on the wall and says, "All of that is wrong! Here, let me show you what I have found out about your family from my research."

I think that people may be able to come to understand the Irish point of view, but maybe you have to grow up Irish to truly have that point of view.

That's all a bit too Manichean for me: light versus darkness, and all that.

I just think L21 got to Ireland from the Continent, and it was no longer just L21, it was already DF13. That fact seals the deal pretty much, if you ask me.

It isn't about some attempt to denigrate Ireland or rob the Irish people of their heritage, yadda yadda yadda. It's about common sense and realizing that people got to Ireland somehow and somewhen. They didn't just spring from the sod.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: rms2 on September 29, 2012, 08:29:12 PM
Anyone besides me remember that old British Robin Hood tv series from the 1980s  that featured "Herne the Hunter"?

Wasn't he supposed to be the Celtic horned god Cernunnos?



Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: A.D. on September 29, 2012, 10:22:31 PM
Carnun and crom cruic are both featured on the gundstrup cauldron. places like Cromlin (Crom's pool) are named after him and some have surgested they were sacrificial pools. Crom cruic the bloody bent one) is a ram headed serpent, he is assosiated with human sacrifice his 'alter' was a mound with a single stone at the top this is where the deed was done. These are gods that are outside the central 12.Others include Anu and sile na gig these are thought to be pre-celtic gods. Crom was hijacked by Robert E howard in his Conan books.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: A.D. on September 29, 2012, 10:30:31 PM
Alan
got any ideas how Horses got assosiated with the sea gods. I think it could have been people from the steppe arriving at the Med. JeanM's stalae people?


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: eochaidh on September 29, 2012, 10:35:34 PM
One thing that I have come to realize on these forums is that Irish posters have a different view of the center of knowledge and culture than other posters. It was hard for me to put my finger on it because I was raised and educated traditionally Irish even though I was born and raised in San Francisco. To an Irish poster, the center of knowledge and culture is Ireland and we look out at the Continent. To other posters, the center of knowledge and culture is Rome and Greece. The average non-Irish poster looks from the Continent into the darkness of Ireland on the fringe of the western world. The only question is when and how the lightness of the Continent arrived in Ireland. I just laughed as I typed that, because I can sense the complete difference in thinking.

Again, perhaps it is a common view of island people, but I know of no Irishman from my family or my neighborhood who looks at History as if the Irish were relieved of the darkness by people from the Continent. We consider that we knew about you before you came our way. And, as Heber points out, genealogy and the oral tradition is at our core. I believe we resent when others attempt to tell us what our History is from the view of outsiders. It's as if someone comes into your home, sees your family tree on the wall and says, "All of that is wrong! Here, let me show you what I have found out about your family from my research."

I think that people may be able to come to understand the Irish point of view, but maybe you have to grow up Irish to truly have that point of view.

That's all a bit too Manichean for me: light versus darkness, and all that.

I just think L21 got to Ireland from the Continent, and it was no longer just L21, it was already DF13. That fact seals the deal pretty much, if you ask me.

It isn't about some attempt to denigrate Ireland or rob the Irish people of their heritage, yadda yadda yadda. It's about common sense and realizing that people got to Ireland somehow and somewhen. They didn't just spring from the sod.

How in God's name did anyone (I remembered not to use personal pronouns!) get anything about L21 or DF13 out of what I posted?! I was clearly talking about the Irish view of their History and the History of Europe as compared to the Continetal/Classical view. I even think that many English people have the view that the Roman Empire saved them from the darkness of their Brittanic past.

I never mentioned anything about any Haplogroup. This thread is about  Celtic mythology and Celtic origins and I was expressing that posters seem to view that from either an Irish view or a Classical view.

Also, I am the only poster I know of who has gone on record saying that L21 and ALL of its Subclades have a Continental origin. I stand by that 100%.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on September 30, 2012, 06:16:19 AM
This thread is about  Celtic mythology and Celtic origins and I was expressing that posters seem to view that from either an Irish view or a Classical view.

There is no such thing as a Classical view of Celtic origins. The Greeks and Romans hadn't got a clue about it. There certainly are Greek and Roman references to the Celts, which many authors tend to start with simply because these are earlier than anything from the Celts actually about themselves. It is a way of pinning them to the map.

Personally I don't approach the Celts in that way. I come into the subject via Bell Beaker. I think that the Classical references can be deceptive. People tend to think that if you want to find the history of a people that we now call X, you just go through all the written sources, looking for references to X. That is a huge mistake. It presupposes that a linguistic group or tribe or whatever will always have the same name. It misunderstands the nature of the evidence.  

This naive approach led Simon James to declare that there was no such thing as a Celt in Britain and Ireland, because he couldn't find an ancient reference to the people of these islands as Celts, or even one in early Irish literature. How potty! They were speaking Celtic languages. So if we are going to follow Caesar and accept that the Gauls were Celts, then so were the Britons and Irish. The Irish don't need to tell us that they are Celts in the Ulster cycle or wherever. That is our name for them.    

So we can see some of the common threads in Celtic religion and lifestyle expressed through the adventures of Cú Chulainn. We will certainly get a different view of the Celts from their own writings than we get through the eyes of their enemies. That's for sure.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: rms2 on September 30, 2012, 08:28:35 AM
One thing that I have come to realize on these forums is that Irish posters have a different view of the center of knowledge and culture than other posters. It was hard for me to put my finger on it because I was raised and educated traditionally Irish even though I was born and raised in San Francisco. To an Irish poster, the center of knowledge and culture is Ireland and we look out at the Continent. To other posters, the center of knowledge and culture is Rome and Greece. The average non-Irish poster looks from the Continent into the darkness of Ireland on the fringe of the western world. The only question is when and how the lightness of the Continent arrived in Ireland. I just laughed as I typed that, because I can sense the complete difference in thinking.

Again, perhaps it is a common view of island people, but I know of no Irishman from my family or my neighborhood who looks at History as if the Irish were relieved of the darkness by people from the Continent. We consider that we knew about you before you came our way. And, as Heber points out, genealogy and the oral tradition is at our core. I believe we resent when others attempt to tell us what our History is from the view of outsiders. It's as if someone comes into your home, sees your family tree on the wall and says, "All of that is wrong! Here, let me show you what I have found out about your family from my research."

I think that people may be able to come to understand the Irish point of view, but maybe you have to grow up Irish to truly have that point of view.

That's all a bit too Manichean for me: light versus darkness, and all that.

I just think L21 got to Ireland from the Continent, and it was no longer just L21, it was already DF13. That fact seals the deal pretty much, if you ask me.

It isn't about some attempt to denigrate Ireland or rob the Irish people of their heritage, yadda yadda yadda. It's about common sense and realizing that people got to Ireland somehow and somewhen. They didn't just spring from the sod.

How in God's name did anyone (I remembered not to use personal pronouns!) get anything about L21 or DF13 out of what I posted?! I was clearly talking about the Irish view of their History and the History of Europe as compared to the Continetal/Classical view. I even think that many English people have the view that the Roman Empire saved them from the darkness of their Brittanic past.

I never mentioned anything about any Haplogroup. This thread is about  Celtic mythology and Celtic origins and I was expressing that posters seem to view that from either an Irish view or a Classical view.

Also, I am the only poster I know of who has gone on record saying that L21 and ALL of its Subclades have a Continental origin. I stand by that 100%.

It's all too funny: arguing for the Hiberno-centric view of knowledge to defend a book of legends about how the Irish came from somewhere else!

Whether or not you mentioned anything about haplogroups, this subforum is dedicated to one of them. All discussions here are ultimately about R1b and its subclades. If this thread is not ultimately about that, let me know, and I'll move it to General Discussions.

Anyone who has been here for any length of time knows the nature of your statement about being on record that "L21 and ALL of its Subclades have a Continental origin". Enough said about that.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Heber on September 30, 2012, 09:32:15 AM
Here are a number of areas worth exploring:

1) Religious infrastructure: Megalithic monuments, Newgrange, Knowth, Stonehenge, Morbihan, Carnac, Tagus, Scara Brae, Galacia, Evora, Gobelki Tepe, Bell Beaker aDNA found in a Megalithic context
2) Druid strongholds: Mona, Anglesea, Erne, Carnutes, Caesar understood the power of the Druids in Celtic society and proceeded to eliminate them
3) Bull worship, Anatolia, Catahayuk, Balkens, Mycean, Minoan, Cyprus, Iberian, Halstatt, Gaelic, Tain Bo Culaigh
4) Origin Myths, Book of Invasions, Iberia, Galecia, Scythia, Troy, Deluge myths
5) Deposition sites: Thames, Shannon, Erne, Swords, Sacred Rivers, Bog Bodies
6) Brewing, Halstatt, Hochdorf, RHyfelwyr, Atlantic wine trade, Mead, Bell Beaker drinking vessels



Interesting to explore the Megalithic Tombs and continuity to Bell Beaker.
Bell Beaker artefacts and DNA found in Megalithic sites.

Sacred Places
Eastern Tomb at Knowth in the Boyne Valley
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850469/
The Mound of the Great Passage of Knowth
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850466/
The interior of the Passage Grave of Newgrange
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850472/
Distribution of Passage Graves in Ireland and Wales
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850827/
The Ring of Brogdar on Orkeney
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850435/
The Great Mound of Navan
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763847246/
Stonehenge
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763851044/

The Amesbury Archer and BosCombe Bowman and Stonehenge
http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/blogs/news/2008/09/26/amesbury-archer-pilgrim-or-magician


Gundestrup Cauldron
Celtic God Tarantis
Celtic God Daghda
Celtic God Teutates
Celtic God Mebh
Celtic God Cerunnos
Celtic God Master of Dragons
Taming or Slaying of the Unicorns
Boy riding a Fish
Celtic God Master of Stags

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/28433765@N07/tags/gundestrupcauldron/











Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: eochaidh on September 30, 2012, 10:32:15 AM
This thread is about  Celtic mythology and Celtic origins and I was expressing that posters seem to view that from either an Irish view or a Classical view.

There is no such thing as a Classical view of Celtic origins. The Greeks and Romans hadn't got a clue about it. There certainly are Greek and Roman references to the Celts, which many authors tend to start with simply because these are earlier than anything from the Celts actually about themselves. It is a way of pinning them to the map.

Personally I don't approach the Celts in that way. I come into the subject via Bell Beaker. I think that the Classical references can be deceptive. People tend to think that if you want to find the history of a people that we now call X, you just go through all the written sources, looking for references to X. That is a huge mistake. It presupposes that a linguistic group or tribe or whatever will always have the same name. It misunderstands the nature of the evidence.  

This naive approach led Simon James to declare that there was no such thing as a Celt in Britain and Ireland, because he couldn't find an ancient reference to the people of these islands as Celts, or even one in early Irish literature. How potty! They were speaking Celtic languages. So if we are going to follow Caesar and accept that the Gauls were Celts, then so were the Britons and Irish. The Irish don't need to tell us that they are Celts in the Ulster cycle or wherever. That is our name for them.    

So we can see some of the common threads in Celtic religion and lifestyle expressed through the adventures of Cú Chulainn. We will certainly get a different view of the Celts from their own writings than we get through the eyes of their enemies. That's for sure.

Some posters may not be familiar with the old theories of Celts from the Continent and newer theories of Celts from the west. I thought everyone was.

The old view represents the old Classical way of thinking, because it largely depends on what Classical writers said about the Celts and there locations. There is also a Classical view that the Roman Empire civilized the Celtic world.

I'm very surprised that such well read people are completely unfamiliar with this, or that they have problems reading simple English.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on September 30, 2012, 11:58:42 AM
I'm with you now Miles. I partly agree. I have to point out that Cunliffe and Koch's "Celtic from the West" theory actually is just as much "from the Continent" as the older idea of Celts moving into Iberia and the Isles in the Iron Age from Gaul. They are not saying that the Celts originated in the Isles. They also depend heavily on Classical sources, which include references to Celts in Iberia.

But certainly the discovery in the 19th century of  material at La Tene which could be linked to references to the Celts had a huge impact on the way the Celts were viewed.    





Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on September 30, 2012, 12:17:59 PM
There is also a Classical view that the Roman Empire civilized the Celtic world.

I shouldn't let that perturb you. The definition of civilization is a politically and technologically complex society with central organisation and literacy. We don't have to see that as superior if we don't want to. We don't have to see modern society as superior. What value we place on these things is up to us.

Ireland was of course outside the Empire and just decided at some point that literacy might come in useful.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: stoneman on September 30, 2012, 01:13:06 PM
I think that DF13 originated in the Isles. Majority rules. Why would a genetic defect be more prolific in a place that isnt the origin.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on September 30, 2012, 01:20:29 PM
Here are a number of areas worth exploring:

1) Religious infrastructure: Megalithic monuments, Newgrange, Knowth, Stonehenge, Morbihan, Carnac, Tagus, Scara Brae, Galacia, Evora, Gobelki Tepe, Bell Beaker aDNA found in a Megalithic context
2) Druid strongholds: Mona, Anglesea, Erne, Carnutes, Caesar understood the power of the Druids in Celtic society and proceeded to eliminate them
3) Bull worship, Anatolia, Catahayuk, Balkens, Mycean, Minoan, Cyprus, Iberian, Halstatt, Gaelic, Tain Bo Culaigh
4) Origin Myths, Book of Invasions, Iberia, Galecia, Scythia, Troy, Deluge myths
5) Deposition sites: Thames, Shannon, Erne, Swords, Sacred Rivers, Bog Bodies
6) Brewing, Halstatt, Hochdorf, RHyfelwyr, Atlantic wine trade, Mead, Bell Beaker drinking vessels



Interesting to explore the Megalithic Tombs and continuity to Bell Beaker.
Bell Beaker artefacts and DNA found in Megalithic sites.

Sacred Places
Eastern Tomb at Knowth in the Boyne Valley
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850469/
The Mound of the Great Passage of Knowth
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850466/
The interior of the Passage Grave of Newgrange
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850472/
Distribution of Passage Graves in Ireland and Wales
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850827/
The Ring of Brogdar on Orkeney
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763850435/
The Great Mound of Navan
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763847246/
Stonehenge
http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763851044/

The Amesbury Archer and BosCombe Bowman and Stonehenge
http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/blogs/news/2008/09/26/amesbury-archer-pilgrim-or-magician


Gundestrup Cauldron
Celtic God Tarantis
Celtic God Daghda
Celtic God Teutates
Celtic God Mebh
Celtic God Cerunnos
Celtic God Master of Dragons
Taming or Slaying of the Unicorns
Boy riding a Fish
Celtic God Master of Stags

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/28433765@N07/tags/gundestrupcauldron/











I couldnt recommend enough a book called ''The Sacred Isle: Belief and Religion in pre-Christian Ireland' by Daithi O 'hOgain (1999).  Its a simply incredible experience of deeper understanding of the subject.  Nothing else comes close.  Anyone interested in Irish mythology from the perspective of Celtic religion and even how some of it links (convincingly) in to some of the monuments like Newgrange simply must read it.  You can get  soft cover versions of it on Amazon 2nd hand.    


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Jdean on September 30, 2012, 01:31:06 PM
I think that DF13 originated in the Isles. Majority rules. Why would a genetic defect be more prolific in a place that isnt the origin.

I'll bet you a pound to a penny that most people who have tested positive for it are actually Americans and I'm reasonable sure it didn't originate there ;)


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on September 30, 2012, 01:52:24 PM
This thread is about  Celtic mythology and Celtic origins and I was expressing that posters seem to view that from either an Irish view or a Classical view.

There is no such thing as a Classical view of Celtic origins. The Greeks and Romans hadn't got a clue about it. There certainly are Greek and Roman references to the Celts, which many authors tend to start with simply because these are earlier than anything from the Celts actually about themselves. It is a way of pinning them to the map.

Personally I don't approach the Celts in that way. I come into the subject via Bell Beaker. I think that the Classical references can be deceptive. People tend to think that if you want to find the history of a people that we now call X, you just go through all the written sources, looking for references to X. That is a huge mistake. It presupposes that a linguistic group or tribe or whatever will always have the same name. It misunderstands the nature of the evidence.  

This naive approach led Simon James to declare that there was no such thing as a Celt in Britain and Ireland, because he couldn't find an ancient reference to the people of these islands as Celts, or even one in early Irish literature. How potty! They were speaking Celtic languages. So if we are going to follow Caesar and accept that the Gauls were Celts, then so were the Britons and Irish. The Irish don't need to tell us that they are Celts in the Ulster cycle or wherever. That is our name for them.    

So we can see some of the common threads in Celtic religion and lifestyle expressed through the adventures of Cú Chulainn. We will certainly get a different view of the Celts from their own writings than we get through the eyes of their enemies. That's for sure.

Some posters may not be familiar with the old theories of Celts from the Continent and newer theories of Celts from the west. I thought everyone was.

The old view represents the old Classical way of thinking, because it largely depends on what Classical writers said about the Celts and there locations. There is also a Classical view that the Roman Empire civilized the Celtic world.

I'm very surprised that such well read people are completely unfamiliar with this, or that they have problems reading simple English.


One thing I dont like is the way the old view of the Celts and the Celts from the West models are made as oppositional as possible with central Europe on the one hand and Iberia on the other as if nothing lay in between.  When the Romans arrived the main block of Celts on the continent who were unmixed with other peoples lay in the Gaul which if you subtract Aquitania, Belgica and the Med coast basically consisted of much of France.  The idea that the Celts originated east of France in south Germany and west-central Europe was down to Hubert who based this on slightly bonkers river name evidence.  The classical authors didnt say in any clear way that the Celts originated to the east.  In fact all the evidence is that the spread was into the east and driven by an outpouring from france and adjacent.  The placename evidence is actually not very good for Celts east of Gaul other than in a thin strip heading sort of along the Danube towards SE Europe and into Italy (and the sources for that seem to indicate this had only relatively recently happened).  However, I wouldnt rule out Celtic having enclaves and patches in the east controlling trade, much as the beakers did.  

However, dismissing the old Celtic origin east of Gaul does not mean we then have to go to the opposite extreme westwards.  There is a lot of land in between and much of it was France which, weirdly for a place where the main block of Celts lived, is seldom looked at as the origin point.  In fact I think the idea of an origin point is part of the problem.  The Celtic language probably originated in a large zone of interaction among early IE or Celto-Italic speakers and formed a dialect rather than happening at one point with it being imposed on everyone.  That arrows on maps comming from a 'core' approach is another bad inheritance from the 19th and early 20th century colonial approach to history which tended to back-project the ideas of that time 2 or 3000 years onto the Celts.  

IMO the beaker network (which lasted c. 7 or 800 years in some areas) is the pretty well the only option to explain the IE-isation and subsequent Celticisation of Europe.  No later explanation really works.  That is something Hubert did get right and later revived by Myles Dillon in the 1960s and then sort of submerged again for a while.  Not only is the beaker explanation good in the sense that it was known in all future Celtic areas but the 700 year plus duration of the beaker culture and its subdivision into groupings provides plenty of time for evolution from some form of west IE or Celto-Italic into Celtic in part of the beaker domain.  If you go forward in time to the end of the beaker period I think the split of Celtic and Italic looks plausible as the west Med. zone formed its own tighter network while in the NW of Europe beaker-descended elites like Wessex, Armorican and Unetice (as well as related groups in Ireland, France, belgium etc) remained in contact.  

The recent discovery of a potentially non-IE wedge overlaying the beaker network in SE Spain also provides another element that would have helped split Celtic and Italic.  Indeed there seem to have been a whole lot of east Med. derived groups arriving in the Bronze Age what had once been part of the south beaker lands and putting a bit of a wedge in between the former Atlantic and the Med.  parts of the beaker network.  One of the articles in e-keltoi on Iberia notes this re-orientation of Med. (and perhaps even parts of south Atlantic) Iberia in the late beaker period and after into the west Med. zone that stretch as far as Italy.  I am suspicious this is the origin of the not-quite-Celtic or slightly Italic looking languages such as Ligurian and Lusitanian.  Basically it looks like their dialects development was influenced by their being drawn into the fringes of the Italic world.      


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Heber on September 30, 2012, 05:35:22 PM
Another aspect of Celtic religion worth looking at is inhumation versus cremation.
Dienekes has an interesting theory on the subject linking cremation to Bronze Age mobility.

http://dienekes.blogspot.de/2012/09/the-rise-and-wane-of-cremation-ritual.html

"I don't know whether this hypothesis has been advanced before, but it seems to me that the most practical reason for the cremation burial is to facilitate transportation of remains."

"The revolution of the Metal Age was the rise of mobility. This was facilitated by advanced in transportation technology associated with wheeled vehicles, and was driven by the trade in metal objects and other specialized, high-value items. The segment of the population involved in this business formed the elite, because of their access to weaponry and wealth, and these elites were intrinsically mobile for the reasons enumerated above. They, like other Neolithic peoples, had inherited a "love of home" and were territorial, but their way of life demanded that they live and fight away from "home"."


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on September 30, 2012, 07:59:43 PM
The crux at what I was getting at in this thread is how the Celtic pantheon and the myths and functions attached to them differ from standard IE.  It seems to me that Celtic religion and gods do differ from many IE ones and often do not have the simple cognates.  I think there is a different and rather more developed tone in the material that survives.  I have read before that there is in general a contrast in IE myths and dieties as one moves east to west with the western half including more female aspects and being less patriarchal.  The Celts also had a large religous and learned class with specialists in those fields.  In general it seems more developed.  I also think there are a lot of dieties and myths that point towards the importance of crafts and to travel and the sea.  In general it seems to have a clear tone that sets it apart.  I also get the impression that it is a little closer to the Italic scheme than others.  Even the concept of the afterlife seems rather distinctive with its ideas of a pleasant land beyond the western waves.  Very different from some IE religions.  It is possible that this is down to pre-IE influences but it is also possible that it is a relic of the sort of roots that the Celts had being in the rather distinctive mobile, trading orientated society that can be seen earliest in the beaker period. 


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: stoneman on October 01, 2012, 03:50:11 AM
They are Americans who give  the Isles as their origin and the SNPs they have are more than 400 ybp. Most of them believe they are descended from the Celts and they are 100% correct.




I think that DF13 originated in the Isles. Majority rules. Why would a genetic defect be more prolific in a place that isnt the origin.

I'll bet you a pound to a penny that most people who have tested positive for it are actually Americans and I'm reasonable sure it didn't originate there ;)


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Heber on October 01, 2012, 06:13:40 AM
The crux at what I was getting at in this thread is how the Celtic pantheon and the myths and functions attached to them differ from standard IE.  It seems to me that Celtic religion and gods do differ from many IE ones and often do not have the simple cognates.  I think there is a different and rather more developed tone in the material that survives.  I have read before that there is in general a contrast in IE myths and dieties as one moves east to west with the western half including more female aspects and being less patriarchal.  The Celts also had a large religous and learned class with specialists in those fields.  In general it seems more developed.  I also think there are a lot of dieties and myths that point towards the importance of crafts and to travel and the sea.  In general it seems to have a clear tone that sets it apart.  I also get the impression that it is a little closer to the Italic scheme than others.  Even the concept of the afterlife seems rather distinctive with its ideas of a pleasant land beyond the western waves.  Very different from some IE religions.  It is possible that this is down to pre-IE influences but it is also possible that it is a relic of the sort of roots that the Celts had being in the rather distinctive mobile, trading orientated society that can be seen earliest in the beaker period.

Alan,

A few comments which I think are relevant.

1) The importance of fertility gods, rites and symbols. This is to be expected in a people with a large demographic explosion.
2) The importance of the bull in Celtic mythology. This is also related to fertility as wealth was counted in cattle. It is reflected in the epic Tain Bo Cuailnge. The first chapter of the Tain is spent with Meabh the Queen of Connaught counting her wealth in cattle.
3) The importance of female goddesses Mebh, and her consorts. The Brehon Laws which governed Gaelic Ireland gave extensive rights to women in marriage and public life.
4) The importance and central role of the Druids and Bards in Celtic society. Genealogy was a core part of their culture. They spent many years memorising the genealogy of their ancestors.  For example a bard or filidh studied from 7-12 years and was expected to know 350 stories (Cunliffe, The Druids).

I have collected some examples here. Warning, not suitable for minors..

http://pinterest.com/gerardcorcoran/celtic-religion-and-mythology/


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: stoneman on October 01, 2012, 10:09:51 AM
Alan
Do you think that the Celts have been around for 5000 years instead of 3000?
We are lucky here in Ireland that we have the Annals .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: razyn on October 01, 2012, 01:50:13 PM
I have collected some examples here. Warning, not suitable for minors..

http://pinterest.com/gerardcorcoran/celtic-religion-and-mythology/

I noticed that one of your illustrated goddesses was Sequana.  Wondered if you saw the photo of a nice Roman-era bronze of her that I posted on another thread here:

http://www.worldfamilies.net/forum/index.php?topic=10552.msg129934#msg129934


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Heber on October 01, 2012, 03:06:06 PM
I have collected some examples here. Warning, not suitable for minors..

http://pinterest.com/gerardcorcoran/celtic-religion-and-mythology/

I noticed that one of your illustrated goddesses was Sequana.  Wondered if you saw the photo of a nice Roman-era bronze of her that I posted on another thread here:

http://www.worldfamilies.net/forum/index.php?topic=10552.msg129934#msg129934

She is beautiful, on her duck boat. Thanks for posting. What does the duck signify?


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Richard Rocca on October 01, 2012, 05:05:56 PM
I have collected some examples here. Warning, not suitable for minors..

http://pinterest.com/gerardcorcoran/celtic-religion-and-mythology/

I noticed that one of your illustrated goddesses was Sequana.  Wondered if you saw the photo of a nice Roman-era bronze of her that I posted on another thread here:

http://www.worldfamilies.net/forum/index.php?topic=10552.msg129934#msg129934

She is beautiful, on her duck boat. Thanks for posting. What does the duck signify?

From what I recall, some Celtic gods could take on the form of a swan and the swan was also used as a chariot for the sun god. The swan starts to appear heavily on artifacts of the Urnfield and Hallstatt periods.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: inver2b1 on October 01, 2012, 05:26:28 PM
They also play a role inThe Children of Lir story.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: OConnor on October 02, 2012, 09:29:58 AM
forgive my ignorance...do people actually know about bell beaker beliefs; if, how, and who they worshipped??

..or is this simply guess work?


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: razyn on October 02, 2012, 11:04:22 AM
She is beautiful, on her duck boat. Thanks for posting. What does the duck signify?

I have the guide book from that museum (of archaeology, in Dijon).  The curators seem reasonably confident that she is Sequana (there is no inscription, but she was found in the remains of a busy Sequana temple at the source of the Seine).  The extensive caption with a good photo of this statue is more concerned with what she might have been holding, the nature of her clothing, and whether the statue actually stood on the pedestal but the boat is a separate artifact (they were found together, but not assembled as one unit).  The shrine also contained close to a thousand ex voto tokens, many representing body parts in need of healing, and coins.  Their period (Gallo-Romain) is stated as 52 BC to 476 AD.

If you want to see some of the material under copyright that I don't want to post, give me an email address via PM and I can zap you photos of it, to study or post as you see fit.  The captioning and discussion is all in French, btw. 


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Heber on October 02, 2012, 11:11:29 AM
She is beautiful, on her duck boat. Thanks for posting. What does the duck signify?

I have the guide book from that museum (of archaeology, in Dijon).  The curators seem reasonably confident that she is Sequana (there is no inscription, but she was found in the remains of a busy Sequana temple at the source of the Seine).  The extensive caption with a good photo of this statue is more concerned with what she might have been holding, the nature of her clothing, and whether the statue actually stood on the pedestal but the boat is a separate artifact (they were found together, but not assembled as one unit).  The shrine also contained close to a thousand ex voto tokens, many representing body parts in need of healing, and coins.  Their period (Gallo-Romain) is stated as 52 BC to 476 AD.

If you want to see some of the material under copyright that I don't want to post, give me an email address via PM and I can zap you photos of it, to study or post as you see fit.  The captioning and discussion is all in French, btw. 

Razyn,
I speak French, so that is not a problem. I will send you a PM.
Thanks,
Gerard


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: stoneman on October 02, 2012, 01:59:00 PM
Heber
Lets say that a plane full of Irishmen lands at JFK. They are all dna tested and the results are 80% R1b, 5% U106 and the other 20% R1a and I. Will the 75 % P312 and subclades say to the others you are not Irish.You arent in the right haplogroup. Some L21 folks write like this on a regular basis.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on October 02, 2012, 02:06:17 PM
Alan
Do you think that the Celts have been around for 5000 years instead of 3000?
We are lucky here in Ireland that we have the Annals .

Obviously I dont know for sure nor does anyone else.  However, I find the idea of Celtic spreading primarily in the La Tene and Hallstatt C/D periods extrememely unlikely.  Even pushing back to urnfield is not useful for some areas.  If I had to guess, the Celtic language may have emerged in the late beaker/immediate post-beaker period in a large zone running from Atlantic France to west-central Europe (and including the isles). Prior to that I suspect the beaker language was some sort of Italo-Celtic ancestral dialect rather than Celtic.  So I would fall nearer to 4000 years in my guess. 

As for the annals, well they didnt even start to form until the 6th century AD and the prehistoric part such as you see in the Annals of the Four Masters is Medieval guessology written by Medieval scribes who far less about the Copper Age (3000 years before they wrote) than we do today.There is a big difference between saying the Ulster Cycle has real echoes of the period it appears to represent (perhaps c. 0BC/AD give or take a century).  It was perhaps first being written down within 500 years of events it represents.  There is a big difference between that and 3000 years.  I think the very oldest grains of truth in the invasion type mythology in Irish literature probably goes back  a few centuries BC but on earlier. 


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: stoneman on October 02, 2012, 05:49:21 PM
After the Celts the Romans ruled the whole of Europe.Did thay all belong in one subclade too? Did only one haplogroup speak latin?
The people who wrote the Annals knew a lot more about things that went on the 2000 years before them than we do. Just like us we know a lot about the last 2000 years. The scribes that wrote them were the learned men of their time not someone who was digging spuds in a field the week before.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Heber on October 02, 2012, 11:15:02 PM
She is beautiful, on her duck boat. Thanks for posting. What does the duck signify?

I have the guide book from that museum (of archaeology, in Dijon).  The curators seem reasonably confident that she is Sequana (there is no inscription, but she was found in the remains of a busy Sequana temple at the source of the Seine).  The extensive caption with a good photo of this statue is more concerned with what she might have been holding, the nature of her clothing, and whether the statue actually stood on the pedestal but the boat is a separate artifact (they were found together, but not assembled as one unit).  The shrine also contained close to a thousand ex voto tokens, many representing body parts in need of healing, and coins.  Their period (Gallo-Romain) is stated as 52 BC to 476 AD.

If you want to see some of the material under copyright that I don't want to post, give me an email address via PM and I can zap you photos of it, to study or post as you see fit.  The captioning and discussion is all in French, btw.  

Razyn,

Here is a nice image and analysis from the University of Lyon.

"In the representation of Sequana, the duck obviously symbolizes the water of the river.1831 Deyts argues that this statue must have been offered by merchants, traders or boatmen, who wanted to honour the protectress and benefactress of water-borne trade on the River Seine."

" Indo-European peoples named major rivers after Danu, Sinann, and other goddesses. The Marne in northern France was named Matrona in the first century BCE. The eastern Gauls built some twenty monuments to the goddess Nantosuelta, whose name meant “winding river.” [Thevenot, 167; Ross, 219-20] Shrines grew up along the shores of the Severn (named after the goddess Sabrina) in Wales and at the source of the Seine, named after the goddess Sequana. [Ross, 22] The Gauls made pilgrimages there to pray to Sequana for healing, casting votive tablets and oaken images of humans, animals, and afflicted body parts into her spring. A bronze from Sequana's temple shows a Romanized goddess standing in a boat, spinning. Her vessel is shaped like a duck with a berry in its bill. "


http://theses.univ-lyon2.fr/documents/getpart.php?id=lyon2.2009.beck_n&part=159219

http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/tag/ducks/

http://tribes.tribe.net/animalguides/photos/7f7226fc-e309-4d13-8598-399a49a18146

http://www.dijon.fr/recherche!0-79/musée+!7-0/musee-archeologique!1-38/




Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: razyn on October 03, 2012, 01:04:42 AM
Razyn,

Here is a nice image and analysis from the University of Lyon.

http://theses.univ-lyon2.fr/documents/getpart.php?id=lyon2.2009.beck_n&part=159219
Heber, you might also compare the last picture on that Lyon site with the more complete seated female river deity, sculpted in oolitic limestone, on p. 34 of the material I sent you.

I wonder if the Sequana statues could be holding some sort of amphora or "Rebekah's jar," and pouring out the healing waters of the Seine.  There is something missing from all of them, but the bronze one is almost intact -- except for whatever she is doing with her hands.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: avalon on October 03, 2012, 05:09:39 AM
I have always been intrigued by the prominence of fairies or the "little people" in Celtic folklore. I will leave Irish mythology to those on this board far better aqainted than I but in the case of Wales (here I go again!) there was a rich, folk narrative tradition. Gerald of Wales wrote about the Welsh belief in fairies in the 12C.

The Welsh oral tradition has plenty of brief, local legends from all parts of Wales, and fairies, usually known in Welsh as Y Tylwyth Teg, feature in many of these stories. The fairies are described as a beautiful and gentle folk, occasionally inclined towards mischief but kind to mortals. Fairy rings are also a common tradition and the little people are said to inhabit an otherworld type place of tranquility and mystery, which leads to the obvious conclusion that the fairies are supernatural beings or spirits of the dead who inhabit the afterlife.

Some people however, have interpreted these stories as ancient memories of an earlier, vanquished people. A fear of iron is a central motif in Welsh fairy tales and their most prized possessions were their animals; dogs, sheep, goats and cattle.

By the 1950s and 1960s, belief in fairies had more or less died out but even then it was still said that some Welsh people were actually descended from the fairies!


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Dubhthach on October 03, 2012, 07:19:34 AM
In an Irish context the Daoine Sí/Aos Sí would be better equated with the Elves of Tolkein's mythos. If anything he did utilised Irish mythology quite abit. Though he did reported that he loathed the Irish language (something to do with finding it difficult to master).

The central premise of course is that in the syncrethic histories as formulated in the 7th-8th century the Tuatha Dé Danann (The People of Goddess Danu) was regarded as a previous race who had magical powers and who were defeated by the sons of the imagined Míl. The agreement reached been that the Irish would take the aboveground and the Tuatha Dé would take the "underworld". As a result they retreated into the Sí (Sidhe) -- burial mounds. Thence to be known in later folklore as the Daoine Sí (People of the Sí). Hence the word Banshee derives from "Bean Sí" -- literally "woman of the Sí"

Of course given that the "histories" were written in Christian times you ended up with Celtic deities such as Lú (Lugh) been "mortalised" as a member of the Tuatha Dé. Likewise the features of the Bean Sí are directly lifted from features of war/death goddess such as the Mórríoghan (the screem, the old hag combing her hair etc.)


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Bren123 on October 03, 2012, 07:22:20 AM
I have always been intrigued by the prominence of fairies or the "little people" in Celtic folklore. I will leave Irish mythology to those on this board far better aqainted than I but in the case of Wales (here I go again!) there was a rich, folk narrative tradition. Gerald of Wales wrote about the Welsh belief in fairies in the 12C.

The Welsh oral tradition has plenty of brief, local legends from all parts of Wales, and fairies, usually known in Welsh as Y Tylwyth Teg, feature in many of these stories. The fairies are described as a beautiful and gentle folk, occasionally inclined towards mischief but kind to mortals. Fairy rings are also a common tradition and the little people are said to inhabit an otherworld type place of tranquility and mystery, which leads to the obvious conclusion that the fairies are supernatural beings or spirits of the dead who inhabit the afterlife.

Some people however, have interpreted these stories as ancient memories of an earlier, vanquished people. A fear of iron is a central motif in Welsh fairy tales and their most prized possessions were their animals; dogs, sheep, goats and cattle.

By the 1950s and 1960s, belief in fairies had more or less died out but even then it was still said that some Welsh people were actually descended from the fairies!

There is a story about a family of doctors from around Merthyr( I think),that were supposed to be descended  from faeries!


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Heber on October 03, 2012, 07:48:20 AM
Razyn,

Here is a nice image and analysis from the University of Lyon.

http://theses.univ-lyon2.fr/documents/getpart.php?id=lyon2.2009.beck_n&part=159219
Heber, you might also compare the last picture on that Lyon site with the more complete seated female river deity, sculpted in oolitic limestone, on p. 34 of the material I sent you.

I wonder if the Sequana statues could be holding some sort of amphora or "Rebekah's jar," and pouring out the healing waters of the Seine.  There is something missing from all of them, but the bronze one is almost intact -- except for whatever she is doing with her hands.

Razyn,

Thanks for the images. Sequana empty hands appear to be holding something, which has not survived. Could it have been a snake. In several images of Celtic healing goddesses you have the image of a snake.
Have a look at this modern interpretation of Sequana in Cambarra. She is associated with an Asklepios type snake. Good to know that she is still appreciated.
Other Celtic healing gods are:

 Airmed, Irish goddess associated with healing and resurrection
 Alaunus, Gaulish god of the sun, healing and prophecy associated with Greek god     Helios-Apollo
 Atepomarus, Gaulish healing god associated with the Greek god Apollo
 Borvo, Celto-Lusitanian healing god associated with bubbling spring water
 Brigid, Irish goddess associated with healing
 Dian Cecht, Irish god of healing
 Glanis, Gaulish god associated with a healing spring at the town of Glanum
 Grannus, Gaulish god associated with spas, healing thermal and mineral springs, and the sun
 Hooded Spirits, hooded deities associated with health and fertility
 Ianuaria, goddess associated with healing
 Iovantucarus, Gaulish healer-god and protector of youth associated with Lenus Mars
 Lenus, Gaulish healing god associated with the Greek god Ares
 Maponos, god of youth, associated with the Greek god Apollo
 Mullo, Gaulish deity associated with the Greek god Ares and said to heal afflictions of the eye
 Nodens, Gallo-Roman and Roman British god associated with healing, the sea, hunting and dogs
 Sirona, Gallo-Roman and Celto-Germanic goddess associated with healing

'The statue of Sirona shows her carrying a bowl of eggs (Green 1986 p. 162) and holding a long snake coiled around her lower arm (a link to the iconography of the Greek healing goddess Hygeia, daughter of Asklepios).'
 
http://www.celtnet.org.uk/gods_s/sirona.html
http://tinyurl.com/8p8dhq4

The Celtic god Pillar of the Boatmen in Paris also wears a snake helmet as does the depiction Cerannos god of the forest.

http://www.manygods.org.uk/articles/essays/Cernunnos.shtml

http://tinyurl.com/99k7ecu

In Ireland Bridget is the Goddess of healing and blacksmithing (metalworking).
She is specifically a patroness to the Druids in her aspects of poetry (Bards), healing and prophecy (Ovates) and blacksmithing.11 (Druids).
Brigit is sometimes referred to as a “Triple Goddess”, having
two sisters, also named Brigit. More commonly, she is
considered a triple aspect deity because she is the patroness of
three primary skills in the Celtic world – poetry, healing and
smithcrafting. In this image, one image carries a pair of
blacksmith tongs and a sword, another image is handling two
healing snakes, and a third image carries a wand with a
crescent moon and a tablet.
The Serpent
One of her symbols is a white snake that spirals
upon a wand. “La Bride breith an earaich, thig an
dearrais as an tom.” (The Day of Bride, the
Birthday of Spring, the Serpent emerges from the
knoll.

http://susa-morgan-black.net/uploads/Files/Articles/Bridgetgwers.pdf





Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: inver2b1 on October 03, 2012, 08:58:47 AM
In an Irish context the Daoine Sí/Aos Sí would be better equated with the Elves of Tolkein's mythos. If anything he did utilised Irish mythology quite abit. Though he did reported that he loathed the Irish language (something to do with finding it difficult to master).

The central premise of course is that in the syncrethic histories as formulated in the 7th-8th century the Tuatha Dé Danann (The People of Goddess Danu) was regarded as a previous race who had magical powers and who were defeated by the sons of the imagined Míl. The agreement reached been that the Irish would take the aboveground and the Tuatha Dé would take the "underworld". As a result they retreated into the Sí (Sidhe) -- burial mounds. Thence to be known in later folklore as the Daoine Sí (People of the Sí). Hence the word Banshee derives from "Bean Sí" -- literally "woman of the Sí"

Of course given that the "histories" were written in Christian times you ended up with Celtic deities such as Lú (Lugh) been "mortalised" as a member of the Tuatha Dé. Likewise the features of the Bean Sí are directly lifted from features of war/death goddess such as the Mórríoghan (the screem, the old hag combing her hair etc.)

They're also associated with hawthorne or blackthorn trees.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on October 03, 2012, 12:38:23 PM
She is beautiful, on her duck boat. Thanks for posting. What does the duck signify?

I have the guide book from that museum (of archaeology, in Dijon).  The curators seem reasonably confident that she is Sequana (there is no inscription, but she was found in the remains of a busy Sequana temple at the source of the Seine).  The extensive caption with a good photo of this statue is more concerned with what she might have been holding, the nature of her clothing, and whether the statue actually stood on the pedestal but the boat is a separate artifact (they were found together, but not assembled as one unit).  The shrine also contained close to a thousand ex voto tokens, many representing body parts in need of healing, and coins.  Their period (Gallo-Romain) is stated as 52 BC to 476 AD.

If you want to see some of the material under copyright that I don't want to post, give me an email address via PM and I can zap you photos of it, to study or post as you see fit.  The captioning and discussion is all in French, btw.  

Razyn,

Here is a nice image and analysis from the University of Lyon.

"In the representation of Sequana, the duck obviously symbolizes the water of the river.1831 Deyts argues that this statue must have been offered by merchants, traders or boatmen, who wanted to honour the protectress and benefactress of water-borne trade on the River Seine."

" Indo-European peoples named major rivers after Danu, Sinann, and other goddesses. The Marne in northern France was named Matrona in the first century BCE. The eastern Gauls built some twenty monuments to the goddess Nantosuelta, whose name meant “winding river.” [Thevenot, 167; Ross, 219-20] Shrines grew up along the shores of the Severn (named after the goddess Sabrina) in Wales and at the source of the Seine, named after the goddess Sequana. [Ross, 22] The Gauls made pilgrimages there to pray to Sequana for healing, casting votive tablets and oaken images of humans, animals, and afflicted body parts into her spring. A bronze from Sequana's temple shows a Romanized goddess standing in a boat, spinning. Her vessel is shaped like a duck with a berry in its bill. "


http://theses.univ-lyon2.fr/documents/getpart.php?id=lyon2.2009.beck_n&part=159219

http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/tag/ducks/

http://tribes.tribe.net/animalguides/photos/7f7226fc-e309-4d13-8598-399a49a18146

http://www.dijon.fr/recherche!0-79/musée+!7-0/musee-archeologique!1-38/




Why are you talking about one subclade etc?  This thread is about Celtic religion. 

Regarding the learned classes of the Celts, yes I am sure they did know more but what had been written down is a garbled fragment and scholars in the field of ancient Irish literature are very aware that by the time the invasion myths were written down they really didnt have much of a clue about 3500 years earlier and were making much of it up.   Same with the Britons with all that Brutus  and Trojan origin guff.  Indeed, the Irish Book of invasions matieraland the Brutus/Trojan stuff relating to the Britons both first appear in the same text of Nennius 'History of the Britons' in the 9th century AD.  Now why do people totally dismiss the Brutus stuff out of hand but give credibility to the Irish book of invasions?  They are basically the same thing and contemporary- Celtic monastic attempts to reconstruct the lost deeper history using classical and Med. references mixed with some native elements.  Scholars (most of them from Ireland) have forensically looked into this over the last few decades and concluded that it has extremely little historical value, bordering on zero once you get past the last couple of centuries BC. 


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: stoneman on October 03, 2012, 12:48:59 PM
What has a Celtic religion got to do with dna?


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on October 03, 2012, 01:00:05 PM
What has a Celtic religion got to do with dna?

Well, indirectly the characteristics of the Celtic pantheon that set it apart from other IE peoples may echo something of the cultural ethnogenesis of the Celts and allow some speculation on whether this fits the proposed origin in the copper and bronze age of western Europe.  If it does then this strengthens the identification with a particular area and culture (in this case the hypothesis is beaker and early post-beaker).  I think there is an elevated focus on crafts and skills and voyaging (especially sea voyaging) in Celtic mythology which may reflect the Copper/Bronze Age golden age when craft and trading were booming in the Atlantic and beyond.  So indirectly this links to the beakers and of course to the one out of one M269XU106 beaker-R1b correlation from ancient DNA (100% lol).  The thread is a bit of a tangent but this site is for a chin wag on anything and everything and not to be taken too seriously.   


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Bren123 on October 04, 2012, 09:21:13 AM

The data is spread around. Alison Sheridan, Towards a fuller, more nuanced narrative of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain 2500-1500 BC (http://www.britishmuseum.org/pdf/BAR1_2008_6_Sheridan_c.pdf), Bronze Age Review, vol. 1 (November 2008), pp. 57-78 covers the Dutch style beakers at Upper Largie, Argyll & Bute. The material at Ross Island (http://www.culturalheritageireland.ie/index.php/irelands-top-100-heritage-discoveries/81-irelands-top-100-heritage-discoveries/151-heritage-discoveries-the-copper-mines-at-ross-island-co-kerry), Country Kerry, by contrast looks more like it came from the Atlantic, maybe Brittany or thereabouts. The Amesbury Archer looks like he came from near the Alps.

One clue is the two main styles of wrist-bracer. The only type found among the Early or Southern Bell Beakers are narrow with two holes. Broader, four-holed types predominate in Central Europe. England and Scotland lean heavily towards elaborate four-hole types, while Ireland has almost exclusively two-holed types. Now two-holed types are also found in Central Europe. But still I think there is a suggestion here of some early BB in Ireland coming up the Atlantic route, though their descendants may have been swamped at some point by those coming up the other route.

Concerning the BB people themselves;were they all of the same physical type?


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: dodelo on October 04, 2012, 01:29:30 PM
@Jean,

As you know, there is a paper regarding isles BB groups in "Bell Beakers Today". However, the paper mostly groups the different local styles and makes almost no attempts to link the isles BB groups to continental regional groups. As such, it has always been difficult for me to quantify N. France BB influences from Rhine BB influences. Do you know of any papers that deal specifically with BB flows from the continent and into the isles?

The data is spread around. Alison Sheridan, Towards a fuller, more nuanced narrative of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain 2500-1500 BC (http://www.britishmuseum.org/pdf/BAR1_2008_6_Sheridan_c.pdf), Bronze Age Review, vol. 1 (November 2008), pp. 57-78 covers the Dutch style beakers at Upper Largie, Argyll & Bute. The material at Ross Island (http://www.culturalheritageireland.ie/index.php/irelands-top-100-heritage-discoveries/81-irelands-top-100-heritage-discoveries/151-heritage-discoveries-the-copper-mines-at-ross-island-co-kerry), Country Kerry, by contrast looks more like it came from the Atlantic, maybe Brittany or thereabouts. The Amesbury Archer looks like he came from near the Alps.


It is worth noting that the  grave at Upper Largie other is twice as big as it's Dutch cousins it also has a cairn rather than more usual low mound and the arrangemnet of ditch and posts also differs however there is another  "Dutch " style  beaker from Scotland , e.g.  Newmill a few miles north of perth .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: OConnor on October 06, 2012, 05:31:10 PM
forgive my ignorance...do people actually know about bell beaker beliefs; if, how, and who they worshipped??

..or is this simply guess work?

nobody attempted to answer my question.
What is "precisely" known about the Bell Beaker religion?


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Jean M on October 06, 2012, 05:53:22 PM
Concerning the BB people themselves;were they all of the same physical type?

No. The Eastern BB were notably broad-headed. The Southern BB were long-headed.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Jean M on October 06, 2012, 05:57:40 PM
What is "precisely" known about the Bell Beaker religion?

They went in for sun worship, though that was common throughout Europe in the fourth millennium BC. Stela No. 1 from Sion actually depicts a rising sun, and thousands of Beaker graves in the East Group place the dead so each one faced eastwards towards the sunrise.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: eochaidh on October 06, 2012, 06:30:35 PM
Concerning the BB people themselves;were they all of the same physical type?

No. The Eastern BB were notably broad-headed. The Southern BB were long-headed.

I'm long-headed (dolichocephalic) like the Southern Bell Beakers. 75% of my family is from Ireland and Scotland and 25% of my family is from France (mostly from the west and northwest).

My mother said my head was shaped like her uncle's head. He was Scots-Irish from Belfast.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Mark Jost on October 06, 2012, 07:46:41 PM
forgive my ignorance...do people actually know about bell beaker beliefs; if, how, and who they worshipped??

..or is this simply guess work?

nobody attempted to answer my question.
What is "precisely" known about the Bell Beaker religion?
Check out

http://piereligion.org/index.html

And this soon to be published book might cover some the subject some.

http://www.equinoxpub.com/equinox/books/showbook.asp?bkid=340

MJost


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: A.D. on October 06, 2012, 10:15:15 PM
An Irish godess holding a snake when there are no snakes in Ireland could surgest the godes was a recent import or close contact with elsewhere or we would see a replacement of the snake. Unless of course the 'druids' were very strict in the preservation of the history.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Heber on October 07, 2012, 04:39:08 AM
An Irish godess holding a snake when there are no snakes in Ireland could surgest the godes was a recent import or close contact with elsewhere or we would see a replacement of the snake. Unless of course the 'druids' were very strict in the preservation of the history.

Perhaps, the story of St Patrick banishing the snakes from Ireland represents early Christianity replacing the old Celtic Pagan religion and icons, eg. snakes, in the country. Christianity converted most of the Celtic holy places and gods to Christian icons. St Bridget replaced the Goddess Bridget and the Celtic holy wells became sites for Christian churches and holy fonts. Halloween became All Saints Day. I suspect that many of the bards, olavs and Druids found roles in the early Church and this may explain the efforts extended to preserve the Celtic oral tradition and put it to writing. In Gaeic culture certain families took on specialist roles of Brehons, Eranaghs, Bards, Eccliastiacs and this may just be a continuity of the Celtic societial structure.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: A.D. on October 07, 2012, 06:30:15 AM
Us Irish have been siad to place more emphasis on Mary and female saints than other countrires. Thats Irish catholics, protestants don't.b I think thats as Herber implied due to the method of Christianization presumably.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 07, 2012, 07:53:16 AM
What is "precisely" known about the Bell Beaker religion?

They went in for sun worship, though that was common throughout Europe in the fourth millennium BC. Stela No. 1 from Sion actually depicts a rising sun, and thousands of Beaker graves in the East Group place the dead so each one faced eastwards towards the sunrise.

What are arguably sun symbols can be found in pre BB monuments like Loughcrew but that doesn't necessarily suggest sun worship . Similarly Christian churches are  oriented in a general eastern direction and we know that is not due to sun worship .In those cases of BB inhumations where the head is to the east it could be argued that they are facing south when on their left side and this might be considerd more important when the great number of heads to the west but on their right side are included .


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: rms2 on October 07, 2012, 08:55:47 AM
Concerning the BB people themselves;were they all of the same physical type?

No. The Eastern BB were notably broad-headed. The Southern BB were long-headed.

True, and the broad-headed (brachycephalic) BBs had a particular type of skull that a scientist, Kurt Gerhardt, who studied a lot of them, labeled Steilkopf (literally, steep head) because of the steep vertical plane at the back of head.

I have noticed posts recently in which connections have been proposed between Neolithic or Mesolithic SE Europeans and BBs because of the presence of brachycephals in both groups without attention to this particular trait.



Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Richard Rocca on October 07, 2012, 09:34:22 AM
Valcamonica rock art depicts figures with raised arms towards the sun during the BB phase. The support for sun worship by the earliest IE people is pretty solid.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 07, 2012, 11:03:06 AM
Valcamonica rock art depicts figures with raised arms towards the sun during the BB phase. The support for sun worship by the earliest IE people is pretty solid.

The upheld arms ,the loaded term is  orant ,  found on rock art sites such as Valcamonica , Bohusaln , Naqada etc can be interpreted many ways and we may still get it wrong .  The lack of a solar symbol does not help the sun worship interpretation and the fact that similar depictions with the all important addition of spears /swords/weaon suggests a stylised emphasis on showing the arms ,and the worship of any type unlikely .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Richard Rocca on October 07, 2012, 11:37:33 AM
Valcamonica rock art depicts figures with raised arms towards the sun during the BB phase. The support for sun worship by the earliest IE people is pretty solid.

The upheld arms ,the loaded term is  orant ,  found on rock art sites such as Valcamonica , Bohusaln , Naqada etc can be interpreted many ways and we may still get it wrong .  The lack of a solar symbol does not help the sun worship interpretation and the fact that similar depictions with the all important addition of spears /swords/weaon suggests a stylised emphasis on showing the arms ,and the worship of any type unlikely .

Like I said, most scholars support the idea of sun worship by IE people. Proof will never be found so its a matter of reading up on it and taking a side.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 07, 2012, 12:04:20 PM
Valcamonica rock art depicts figures with raised arms towards the sun during the BB phase. The support for sun worship by the earliest IE people is pretty solid.

The upheld arms ,the loaded term is  orant ,  found on rock art sites such as Valcamonica , Bohusaln , Naqada etc can be interpreted many ways and we may still get it wrong .  The lack of a solar symbol does not help the sun worship interpretation and the fact that similar depictions with the all important addition of spears /swords/weaon suggests a stylised emphasis on showing the arms ,and the worship of any type unlikely .

Like I said, most scholars support the idea of sun worship by IE people. Proof will never be found so its a matter of reading up on it and taking a side.

 Most scholars avoid making over interpretations  about rock art and the cosmology of BB  peoples , particularly when the evidence is almost non existent  .Those that do like Anati are considered fringe and certainly not mainstream .btw Anati suggests the "Oranti " at Valcamonica predate BB .The "orant "  pose is found in in all depictions of  human figures from all periods and cultures  including those of 20 th C children  , to suggest it represents sun worship is simplistic and  demeans any cosmology which always prove to be much richer than can imagined by outsiders . 


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Richard Rocca on October 07, 2012, 12:09:39 PM
Valcamonica rock art depicts figures with raised arms towards the sun during the BB phase. The support for sun worship by the earliest IE people is pretty solid.

The upheld arms ,the loaded term is  orant ,  found on rock art sites such as Valcamonica , Bohusaln , Naqada etc can be interpreted many ways and we may still get it wrong .  The lack of a solar symbol does not help the sun worship interpretation and the fact that similar depictions with the all important addition of spears /swords/weaon suggests a stylised emphasis on showing the arms ,and the worship of any type unlikely .

Like I said, most scholars support the idea of sun worship by IE people. Proof will never be found so its a matter of reading up on it and taking a side.

 Most scholars avoid making over interpretations  about rock art and the cosmology of BB  peoples , particularly when the evidence is almost non existent  .Those that do like Anati are considered fringe and certainly not mainstream .btw Anati suggests the "Oranti " at Valcamonica predate BB .The "orant "  pose is found in in all depictions of  human figures from all periods and cultures  including those of 20 th C children  , to suggest it represents sun worship is simplistic and  demeans any cosmology which always prove to be much richer than can imagined by outsiders . 

They may avoid over-interpretation, but make interpretations nonetheless. And of course archaeology is all about interpretation. We will never know the truth about any of this unless some aliens have been web-caming us for the last 40000 years. It's the reason why none of these topics we discuss here are set in stone (pardon the pun).


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on October 07, 2012, 12:19:03 PM
Actually there is no doubt at all that some sort of solar element was important in the developed passage tombs like Newgrange, Maes Howe, Knowth etc which clearly had solar solstice/equinox type alignments.  It seems to me that this is becomes much more clear in the later Neolithic but still well pre-beaker in isles terms.   There was a burst of new cermonial ideas in the isles in the pre-beaker late Neolithic including very developed passage tombs, henge enclosures, timber circles, stone circles, grooved ware etc.  A lot of these things have been connected to solar/seasonal aspects.  This all predates beaker.  In fact, it has alwaus struck me that the Germanic peoples seem to reflect this Neolithic solar aspect in their traditions but the Celts seem to have developed a more pastoral calendar (Bronze Age?) and their  festivals which do not link to the traditional solar festivals.  Also starting in the beaker period and continuing through the Bronze Age is a strange move in megaltithic monuments (Wedge tombs, stone circles, stone rows) to a NE-SW axis in which the SW orientation seems to be the important one.  This has been argued by some to indicate a lunar approach to observations (but they do change their minds on this a lot). 


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 07, 2012, 12:37:37 PM
Actually there is no doubt at all that some sort of solar element was important in the developed passage tombs like Newgrange, Maes Howe, Knowth etc which clearly had solar solstice/equinox type alignments.  It seems to me that this is becomes much more clear in the later Neolithic but still well pre-beaker in isles terms.   There was a burst of new cermonial ideas in the isles in the pre-beaker late Neolithic including very developed passage tombs, henge enclosures, timber circles, stone circles, grooved ware etc.  A lot of these things have been connected to solar/seasonal aspects.  This all predates beaker.  In fact, it has alwaus struck me that the Germanic peoples seem to reflect this Neolithic solar aspect in their traditions but the Celts seem to have developed a more pastoral calendar (Bronze Age?) and their  festivals which do not link to the traditional solar festivals.  Also starting in the beaker period and continuing through the Bronze Age is a strange move in megaltithic monuments (Wedge tombs, stone circles, stone rows) to a NE-SW axis in which the SW orientation seems to be the important one.  This has been argued by some to indicate a lunar approach to observations (but they do change their minds on this a lot). 
Neolithic Passage graves like Newgrange , Knowth ,Loughcrew,  are aligned on solar events but the vast majority of similar monuments including their European counterparts are not . This does not indicate "sun worship " and is of course pre BB . When we look at astronomically aligned monumnets from that period we find an obvious lunar interst eg recumben tstone circles which with one exception avoid extreme solar orientations but have a clear interest in orientations on the moon , although this does not imply " moon worship " any more than orientations to soalr extremes or mid points indicate sun worship . The vast majority of stone rows ,stone circles etc are not aligned on either solar or lunar extremes .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 07, 2012, 12:40:59 PM
Valcamonica rock art depicts figures with raised arms towards the sun during the BB phase. The support for sun worship by the earliest IE people is pretty solid.

The upheld arms ,the loaded term is  orant ,  found on rock art sites such as Valcamonica , Bohusaln , Naqada etc can be interpreted many ways and we may still get it wrong .  The lack of a solar symbol does not help the sun worship interpretation and the fact that similar depictions with the all important addition of spears /swords/weaon suggests a stylised emphasis on showing the arms ,and the worship of any type unlikely .

Like I said, most scholars support the idea of sun worship by IE people. Proof will never be found so its a matter of reading up on it and taking a side.

 Most scholars avoid making over interpretations  about rock art and the cosmology of BB  peoples , particularly when the evidence is almost non existent  .Those that do like Anati are considered fringe and certainly not mainstream .btw Anati suggests the "Oranti " at Valcamonica predate BB .The "orant "  pose is found in in all depictions of  human figures from all periods and cultures  including those of 20 th C children  , to suggest it represents sun worship is simplistic and  demeans any cosmology which always prove to be much richer than can imagined by outsiders . 

They may avoid over-interpretation, but make interpretations nonetheless. And of course archaeology is all about interpretation. We will never know the truth about any of this unless some aliens have been web-caming us for the last 40000 years. It's the reason why none of these topics we discuss here are set in stone (pardon the pun).

However  , the days when scholars  suggest "sun worship " for the BB period are happily long gone .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on October 07, 2012, 02:56:06 PM
Actually there is no doubt at all that some sort of solar element was important in the developed passage tombs like Newgrange, Maes Howe, Knowth etc which clearly had solar solstice/equinox type alignments.  It seems to me that this is becomes much more clear in the later Neolithic but still well pre-beaker in isles terms.   There was a burst of new cermonial ideas in the isles in the pre-beaker late Neolithic including very developed passage tombs, henge enclosures, timber circles, stone circles, grooved ware etc.  A lot of these things have been connected to solar/seasonal aspects.  This all predates beaker.  In fact, it has alwaus struck me that the Germanic peoples seem to reflect this Neolithic solar aspect in their traditions but the Celts seem to have developed a more pastoral calendar (Bronze Age?) and their  festivals which do not link to the traditional solar festivals.  Also starting in the beaker period and continuing through the Bronze Age is a strange move in megaltithic monuments (Wedge tombs, stone circles, stone rows) to a NE-SW axis in which the SW orientation seems to be the important one.  This has been argued by some to indicate a lunar approach to observations (but they do change their minds on this a lot). 
Neolithic Passage graves like Newgrange , Knowth ,Loughcrew,  are aligned on solar events but the vast majority of similar monuments including their European counterparts are not . This does not indicate "sun worship " and is of course pre BB . When we look at astronomically aligned monumnets from that period we find an obvious lunar interst eg recumben tstone circles which with one exception avoid extreme solar orientations but have a clear interest in orientations on the moon , although this does not imply " moon worship " any more than orientations to soalr extremes or mid points indicate sun worship . The vast majority of stone rows ,stone circles etc are not aligned on either solar or lunar extremes .

The orientation of Wedge tombs, many Irish stone circles and stone rows (all dated to the copper and Bronze Age) are very different to the Neolithic megalithic orientations and do show some major change in beliefs did happen around the beaker era.  The most recent study I have seen on this suggested that it is clear that they are interested in sunsets (especially those around October/November but also Feb/March and a few at other dates) and also sometimes lunar cycle aspects  Many people see in this the beginnings of what is seen as the Celtic calendar with its biggest event being Samain (what we now call Halloween) but also Imbolg (1st Feb), Beltaine (May day) and Lugnasad (1st August).   This does seem to contrast with the pre-beaker Neolithic alignments where these are clear.  Even when they arent precise it is fair to say that you can see that there is a general strong preference to orientate towards sunrise in Neolithic monuments but sunset in those Irish Bronze Age megalithic monuments (possibly with lunar aspects too).  It seems too much of a coincidence that this change appears earliest in Ireland in Wedge tombs, the most recent analysis of the dating of which is almost perfectly coincidental with the beaker phase in Ireland (although they were reused).  Some sort of change in belief happened in the beaker period in Ireland.  I agree by the way that 'sun worship' is not the way I would put it.  It seems that the IE's religion was well beyond the stage where simple element worship happened. 


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 07, 2012, 05:32:47 PM
Actually there is no doubt at all that some sort of solar element was important in the developed passage tombs like Newgrange, Maes Howe, Knowth etc which clearly had solar solstice/equinox type alignments.  It seems to me that this is becomes much more clear in the later Neolithic but still well pre-beaker in isles terms.   There was a burst of new cermonial ideas in the isles in the pre-beaker late Neolithic including very developed passage tombs, henge enclosures, timber circles, stone circles, grooved ware etc.  A lot of these things have been connected to solar/seasonal aspects.  This all predates beaker.  In fact, it has alwaus struck me that the Germanic peoples seem to reflect this Neolithic solar aspect in their traditions but the Celts seem to have developed a more pastoral calendar (Bronze Age?) and their  festivals which do not link to the traditional solar festivals.  Also starting in the beaker period and continuing through the Bronze Age is a strange move in megaltithic monuments (Wedge tombs, stone circles, stone rows) to a NE-SW axis in which the SW orientation seems to be the important one.  This has been argued by some to indicate a lunar approach to observations (but they do change their minds on this a lot). 
Neolithic Passage graves like Newgrange , Knowth ,Loughcrew,  are aligned on solar events but the vast majority of similar monuments including their European counterparts are not . This does not indicate "sun worship " and is of course pre BB . When we look at astronomically aligned monumnets from that period we find an obvious lunar interst eg recumben tstone circles which with one exception avoid extreme solar orientations but have a clear interest in orientations on the moon , although this does not imply " moon worship " any more than orientations to soalr extremes or mid points indicate sun worship . The vast majority of stone rows ,stone circles etc are not aligned on either solar or lunar extremes .

The orientation of Wedge tombs, many Irish stone circles and stone rows (all dated to the copper and Bronze Age) are very different to the Neolithic megalithic orientations and do show some major change in beliefs did happen around the beaker era.  The most recent study I have seen on this suggested that it is clear that they are interested in sunsets (especially those around October/November but also Feb/March and a few at other dates) and also sometimes lunar cycle aspects  Many people see in this the beginnings of what is seen as the Celtic calendar with its biggest event being Samain (what we now call Halloween) but also Imbolg (1st Feb), Beltaine (May day) and Lugnasad (1st August).   This does seem to contrast with the pre-beaker Neolithic alignments where these are clear.  Even when they arent precise it is fair to say that you can see that there is a general strong preference to orientate towards sunrise in Neolithic monuments but sunset in those Irish Bronze Age megalithic monuments (possibly with lunar aspects too).  It seems too much of a coincidence that this change appears earliest in Ireland in Wedge tombs, the most recent analysis of the dating of which is almost perfectly coincidental with the beaker phase in Ireland (although they were reused).  Some sort of change in belief happened in the beaker period in Ireland.  I agree by the way that 'sun worship' is not the way I would put it.  It seems that the IE's religion was well beyond the stage where simple element worship happened. 

The BA axial stone circles are orientated towards the south -south west but with no obvious 
 preference for  any particular dates and none are aligned on any of the four cross quarter days . None of  the Cork and Kerry stone rows which tend to a SW-NE  alignment stone rows are aligned on the cross quater days  either . I don't have the details of the declinations of the 460 wedge tombs , and would like to see them ,they certainly fit into the  Chalcolithic /BA  period  but what it looks we have in Ireland in the period  are  general orientations to to the west or south west but nothing to suggest anything calendrical . Not only do the monuments not supply the declinations  necessary to suggest this in the west and south west confirmation would be be useful at other orientations e.g. Lughnasa sun rise to the NE  ,Imbolc sun rise to SE  ,  Samhain to the NW etc . Yes “solar worship is simplistic and “ belongs to the “druidical sacrificial altars  “ and “R1b is  Cro Magnon “ bin .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on October 07, 2012, 06:58:12 PM
Actually there is no doubt at all that some sort of solar element was important in the developed passage tombs like Newgrange, Maes Howe, Knowth etc which clearly had solar solstice/equinox type alignments.  It seems to me that this is becomes much more clear in the later Neolithic but still well pre-beaker in isles terms.   There was a burst of new cermonial ideas in the isles in the pre-beaker late Neolithic including very developed passage tombs, henge enclosures, timber circles, stone circles, grooved ware etc.  A lot of these things have been connected to solar/seasonal aspects.  This all predates beaker.  In fact, it has alwaus struck me that the Germanic peoples seem to reflect this Neolithic solar aspect in their traditions but the Celts seem to have developed a more pastoral calendar (Bronze Age?) and their  festivals which do not link to the traditional solar festivals.  Also starting in the beaker period and continuing through the Bronze Age is a strange move in megaltithic monuments (Wedge tombs, stone circles, stone rows) to a NE-SW axis in which the SW orientation seems to be the important one.  This has been argued by some to indicate a lunar approach to observations (but they do change their minds on this a lot). 
Neolithic Passage graves like Newgrange , Knowth ,Loughcrew,  are aligned on solar events but the vast majority of similar monuments including their European counterparts are not . This does not indicate "sun worship " and is of course pre BB . When we look at astronomically aligned monumnets from that period we find an obvious lunar interst eg recumben tstone circles which with one exception avoid extreme solar orientations but have a clear interest in orientations on the moon , although this does not imply " moon worship " any more than orientations to soalr extremes or mid points indicate sun worship . The vast majority of stone rows ,stone circles etc are not aligned on either solar or lunar extremes .

The orientation of Wedge tombs, many Irish stone circles and stone rows (all dated to the copper and Bronze Age) are very different to the Neolithic megalithic orientations and do show some major change in beliefs did happen around the beaker era.  The most recent study I have seen on this suggested that it is clear that they are interested in sunsets (especially those around October/November but also Feb/March and a few at other dates) and also sometimes lunar cycle aspects  Many people see in this the beginnings of what is seen as the Celtic calendar with its biggest event being Samain (what we now call Halloween) but also Imbolg (1st Feb), Beltaine (May day) and Lugnasad (1st August).   This does seem to contrast with the pre-beaker Neolithic alignments where these are clear.  Even when they arent precise it is fair to say that you can see that there is a general strong preference to orientate towards sunrise in Neolithic monuments but sunset in those Irish Bronze Age megalithic monuments (possibly with lunar aspects too).  It seems too much of a coincidence that this change appears earliest in Ireland in Wedge tombs, the most recent analysis of the dating of which is almost perfectly coincidental with the beaker phase in Ireland (although they were reused).  Some sort of change in belief happened in the beaker period in Ireland.  I agree by the way that 'sun worship' is not the way I would put it.  It seems that the IE's religion was well beyond the stage where simple element worship happened. 

The BA axial stone circles are orientated towards the south -south west but with no obvious 
 preference for  any particular dates and none are aligned on any of the four cross quarter days . None of  the Cork and Kerry stone rows which tend to a SW-NE  alignment stone rows are aligned on the cross quater days  either . I don't have the details of the declinations of the 460 wedge tombs , and would like to see them ,they certainly fit into the  Chalcolithic /BA  period  but what it looks we have in Ireland in the period  are  general orientations to to the west or south west but nothing to suggest anything calendrical . Not only do the monuments not supply the declinations  necessary to suggest this in the west and south west confirmation would be be useful at other orientations e.g. Lughnasa sun rise to the NE  ,Imbolc sun rise to SE  ,  Samhain to the NW etc . Yes “solar worship is simplistic and “ belongs to the “druidical sacrificial altars  “ and “R1b is  Cro Magnon “ bin .

That contradicts a fairly recent study that said wedge tombs clearly had a sunset orientations and that there was a strong trend to those of the months around Samhain. 

 http://wings.buffalo.edu/research/anthrogis/JWA/V2N1/springs-art.pdf

This emphasis on autumn sunsets seems to contrast with the previous Neolithic solstice and equinox interest.  In general pre-beaker Neolithic tombs tend to be orientated east to south while in the Bronze Age there is a strong interest in the SW orientation.  I am not really interested in it being of astronomical type accuracy but it does seem to show a general interest in the sunsets in Autumn which does imply a change in ideas and as the paper hints, could be echoing in the main the Samhain festival which was the most important of the Celtic quarter days.  It is interesting that where this orientation is not present imporatant lunar cycle correlations of a fairly consistent type have been noted. 

This is getting a little dippy but it has been suggested old Neolithic idea of a solar solstic or equinox event (usually a sunrise but not always) entering a passage tomb and the light acting as some sort of spirit transporter beam to the other world.  I wonder if the interest in the sunsetting to the west is suggesting a new belief in an afterlife to the west over the sea such as we see in Celtic mythology.  It has often been said that Samhain was a time when the spirit and ordinary world touched.  Regardless of interpretation, in Irish megalithic tombs there was a profound change in orientation that coincided with the beaker period.  I understand too that a number of Scottish Bronze Age momuments also followed this reorientation.   


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 08, 2012, 04:42:42 AM
Actually there is no doubt at all that some sort of solar element was important in the developed passage tombs like Newgrange, Maes Howe, Knowth etc which clearly had solar solstice/equinox type alignments.  It seems to me that this is becomes much more clear in the later Neolithic but still well pre-beaker in isles terms.   There was a burst of new cermonial ideas in the isles in the pre-beaker late Neolithic including very developed passage tombs, henge enclosures, timber circles, stone circles, grooved ware etc.  A lot of these things have been connected to solar/seasonal aspects.  This all predates beaker.  In fact, it has alwaus struck me that the Germanic peoples seem to reflect this Neolithic solar aspect in their traditions but the Celts seem to have developed a more pastoral calendar (Bronze Age?) and their  festivals which do not link to the traditional solar festivals.  Also starting in the beaker period and continuing through the Bronze Age is a strange move in megaltithic monuments (Wedge tombs, stone circles, stone rows) to a NE-SW axis in which the SW orientation seems to be the important one.  This has been argued by some to indicate a lunar approach to observations (but they do change their minds on this a lot). 
Neolithic Passage graves like Newgrange , Knowth ,Loughcrew,  are aligned on solar events but the vast majority of similar monuments including their European counterparts are not . This does not indicate "sun worship " and is of course pre BB . When we look at astronomically aligned monumnets from that period we find an obvious lunar interst eg recumben tstone circles which with one exception avoid extreme solar orientations but have a clear interest in orientations on the moon , although this does not imply " moon worship " any more than orientations to soalr extremes or mid points indicate sun worship . The vast majority of stone rows ,stone circles etc are not aligned on either solar or lunar extremes .

The orientation of Wedge tombs, many Irish stone circles and stone rows (all dated to the copper and Bronze Age) are very different to the Neolithic megalithic orientations and do show some major change in beliefs did happen around the beaker era.  The most recent study I have seen on this suggested that it is clear that they are interested in sunsets (especially those around October/November but also Feb/March and a few at other dates) and also sometimes lunar cycle aspects  Many people see in this the beginnings of what is seen as the Celtic calendar with its biggest event being Samain (what we now call Halloween) but also Imbolg (1st Feb), Beltaine (May day) and Lugnasad (1st August).   This does seem to contrast with the pre-beaker Neolithic alignments where these are clear.  Even when they arent precise it is fair to say that you can see that there is a general strong preference to orientate towards sunrise in Neolithic monuments but sunset in those Irish Bronze Age megalithic monuments (possibly with lunar aspects too).  It seems too much of a coincidence that this change appears earliest in Ireland in Wedge tombs, the most recent analysis of the dating of which is almost perfectly coincidental with the beaker phase in Ireland (although they were reused).  Some sort of change in belief happened in the beaker period in Ireland.  I agree by the way that 'sun worship' is not the way I would put it.  It seems that the IE's religion was well beyond the stage where simple element worship happened. 

The BA axial stone circles are orientated towards the south -south west but with no obvious 
 preference for  any particular dates and none are aligned on any of the four cross quarter days . None of  the Cork and Kerry stone rows which tend to a SW-NE  alignment stone rows are aligned on the cross quater days  either . I don't have the details of the declinations of the 460 wedge tombs , and would like to see them ,they certainly fit into the  Chalcolithic /BA  period  but what it looks we have in Ireland in the period  are  general orientations to to the west or south west but nothing to suggest anything calendrical . Not only do the monuments not supply the declinations  necessary to suggest this in the west and south west confirmation would be be useful at other orientations e.g. Lughnasa sun rise to the NE  ,Imbolc sun rise to SE  ,  Samhain to the NW etc . Yes “solar worship is simplistic and “ belongs to the “druidical sacrificial altars  “ and “R1b is  Cro Magnon “ bin .

That contradicts a fairly recent study that said wedge tombs clearly had a sunset orientations and that there was a strong trend to those of the months around Samhain. 

 http://wings.buffalo.edu/research/anthrogis/JWA/V2N1/springs-art.pdf

This emphasis on autumn sunsets seems to contrast with the previous Neolithic solstice and equinox interest.  In general pre-beaker Neolithic tombs tend to be orientated east to south while in the Bronze Age there is a strong interest in the SW orientation.  I am not really interested in it being of astronomical type accuracy but it does seem to show a general interest in the sunsets in Autumn which does imply a change in ideas and as the paper hints, could be echoing in the main the Samhain festival which was the most important of the Celtic quarter days.  It is interesting that where this orientation is not present imporatant lunar cycle correlations of a fairly consistent type have been noted. 

This is getting a little dippy but it has been suggested old Neolithic idea of a solar solstic or equinox event (usually a sunrise but not always) entering a passage tomb and the light acting as some sort of spirit transporter beam to the other world.  I wonder if the interest in the sunsetting to the west is suggesting a new belief in an afterlife to the west over the sea such as we see in Celtic mythology.  It has often been said that Samhain was a time when the spirit and ordinary world touched.  Regardless of interpretation, in Irish megalithic tombs there was a profound change in orientation that coincided with the beaker period.  I understand too that a number of Scottish Bronze Age momuments also followed this reorientation.   

 An interesting paper ,  as I said I have not seen the details of the declinations of wedge tombs and as it only included 75 of the approx 500 (15%  ) it is a start .
 I pointed out that the both axial stone circles and stones rows were clearly not aligned on any of the cross quarter days .Of the wedge tombs in the study approx 14 % are aligned on the setting sun at Samhain  which in itself is noteworthy but the description of Oct/Nov as used in the paper is quite a bit wider than Samhain itself , some examples e.g. nos 2&58 were three weeks away from the the actual date plus when considered from a lunar perspective two standstill achieve 6% . As the spike in the study is only of one cross quarter day and also only on the setting sun of that day it doesn't strike me that this suggests anything calendrical ,you would expect some of  the other six  rising or setting suns to be included for this to be case .
I pointed out that the both axial stone circles and stones rows were clearly not aligned on any of the cross quarter days and were generally aligned to the west and south west , that does not contradict the findings of  this small study of  a different monument type and actually supports it as seen from the summary  on p190 “there appears to be no definitive time of year the wedge tombs were oriented on ,and the main focus of a wedge tombs (sic) is in autumn ,winter or spring sunsets .”

The recumbent stone circles and other scottish circles , which we now recognise as being BA  ,also have an orientation to the SW but this can be shown to related to summer full moon and rarely anything solar . It is worth mentioning that the Neolithic dolmens of Provence and Languedoc share similar orientations to those of BA Ireland , but there is no doubt as you say that there was a general shift of interest from east in the Neolithic to west in the  BA .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Dubhthach on October 08, 2012, 04:46:39 AM
It has often been said that Samhain was a time when the spirit and ordinary world touched.  Regardless of interpretation, in Irish megalithic tombs there was a profound change in orientation that coincided with the beaker period.  I understand too that a number of Scottish Bronze Age momuments also followed this reorientation.   

Not only "touched" but ruptured. The dead were allowed roam the world of the living for the night. Uaimh na gCat (cave of the cats) part of Cruachán Aí complex is regarded as the entry point between the two worlds.

As for etymology, DIL has the following extract from the Calendar of Óengus (of Tallaght).

Quote
samhain .i. samhfhuin .i. fuin an tsamhraidh; fuin .i. criochnughadh,

Basically his explantation of the word in a 8th century context was that it was combination of Old Irish Samh (Summer) and the word Fuin (with lentition the f becomes silent eg. fh). This would give the meaning of "End of Summer" (Fuin an tsamhraidh)

This is a gloss though so it's good chance it was just a case of Óengus trying to make sense of the word. More modern linguists have pointed towards it having a connection to assembly, which is interesting as two major assemblies are associated with Samhain. From DIL:

Quote
(b) explicitly of the festival of Samhain : co ndernad feiss na Samna la Conchobar i nEmain Macha,  MU² 30 . oc ferthain óenaig na samna,  LU 3224  ( SC 1 ). conid de sin atát na trenae samna sechnón na hErend,  3227  ( SC 1 ). Of the festival held at Tara: do chathim fessi Temrach ar cech samhain,  4210 . fes Temra cecha samna . . . ┐ óenach Tailten cech lúgnasaid,  4211 , cf.   IT iii 198 § 55

(cech = gach eg. every)

One of these assemblies was as Eamhain Mhaca (The "capital of Ulster") the other at Teamhair (Tara)

The last bit of text mentions obvious the Feis at Samhain at Tara and also the Aonach (Óenach) (Assembly/fair) that was held ever Lúnasa (Lughnasa) at Tailteann.


Title: Re: Does Celtic mythology betray the origin of the Celts in the beaker period?
Post by: Bren123 on October 08, 2012, 10:01:25 AM
Concerning the BB people themselves;were they all of the same physical type?

No. The Eastern BB were notably broad-headed. The Southern BB were long-headed.

What was the physical type of the  Amesbury Archer?


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 08, 2012, 04:07:58 PM
Valcamonica rock art depicts figures with raised arms towards the sun during the BB phase. The support for sun worship by the earliest IE people is pretty solid.

The upheld arms ,the loaded term is  orant ,  found on rock art sites such as Valcamonica , Bohusaln , Naqada etc can be interpreted many ways and we may still get it wrong .  The lack of a solar symbol does not help the sun worship interpretation and the fact that similar depictions with the all important addition of spears /swords/weaon suggests a stylised emphasis on showing the arms ,and the worship of any type unlikely .

Like I said, most scholars support the idea of sun worship by IE people. Proof will never be found so its a matter of reading up on it and taking a side.

 Most scholars avoid making over interpretations  about rock art and the cosmology of BB  peoples , particularly when the evidence is almost non existent  .Those that do like Anati are considered fringe and certainly not mainstream .btw Anati suggests the "Oranti " at Valcamonica predate BB .The "orant "  pose is found in in all depictions of  human figures from all periods and cultures  including those of 20 th C children  , to suggest it represents sun worship is simplistic and  demeans any cosmology which always prove to be much richer than can imagined by outsiders . 

They may avoid over-interpretation, but make interpretations nonetheless. And of course archaeology is all about interpretation. We will never know the truth about any of this unless some aliens have been web-caming us for the last 40000 years. It's the reason why none of these topics we discuss here are set in stone (pardon the pun).
Most scholars ? Could you name any contemporary archaeologists/scholars  who would use the term " sun worship " in relation to IE people ?
Most  rock art scholars and studies  these days do not support the sun worship hypothesis and  avoid the excesses of the past being  more concerned with context rather than attempting interpretations of "meaning " .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on October 08, 2012, 05:18:43 PM
Actually there is no doubt at all that some sort of solar element was important in the developed passage tombs like Newgrange, Maes Howe, Knowth etc which clearly had solar solstice/equinox type alignments.  It seems to me that this is becomes much more clear in the later Neolithic but still well pre-beaker in isles terms.   There was a burst of new cermonial ideas in the isles in the pre-beaker late Neolithic including very developed passage tombs, henge enclosures, timber circles, stone circles, grooved ware etc.  A lot of these things have been connected to solar/seasonal aspects.  This all predates beaker.  In fact, it has alwaus struck me that the Germanic peoples seem to reflect this Neolithic solar aspect in their traditions but the Celts seem to have developed a more pastoral calendar (Bronze Age?) and their  festivals which do not link to the traditional solar festivals.  Also starting in the beaker period and continuing through the Bronze Age is a strange move in megaltithic monuments (Wedge tombs, stone circles, stone rows) to a NE-SW axis in which the SW orientation seems to be the important one.  This has been argued by some to indicate a lunar approach to observations (but they do change their minds on this a lot). 
Neolithic Passage graves like Newgrange , Knowth ,Loughcrew,  are aligned on solar events but the vast majority of similar monuments including their European counterparts are not . This does not indicate "sun worship " and is of course pre BB . When we look at astronomically aligned monumnets from that period we find an obvious lunar interst eg recumben tstone circles which with one exception avoid extreme solar orientations but have a clear interest in orientations on the moon , although this does not imply " moon worship " any more than orientations to soalr extremes or mid points indicate sun worship . The vast majority of stone rows ,stone circles etc are not aligned on either solar or lunar extremes .

The orientation of Wedge tombs, many Irish stone circles and stone rows (all dated to the copper and Bronze Age) are very different to the Neolithic megalithic orientations and do show some major change in beliefs did happen around the beaker era.  The most recent study I have seen on this suggested that it is clear that they are interested in sunsets (especially those around October/November but also Feb/March and a few at other dates) and also sometimes lunar cycle aspects  Many people see in this the beginnings of what is seen as the Celtic calendar with its biggest event being Samain (what we now call Halloween) but also Imbolg (1st Feb), Beltaine (May day) and Lugnasad (1st August).   This does seem to contrast with the pre-beaker Neolithic alignments where these are clear.  Even when they arent precise it is fair to say that you can see that there is a general strong preference to orientate towards sunrise in Neolithic monuments but sunset in those Irish Bronze Age megalithic monuments (possibly with lunar aspects too).  It seems too much of a coincidence that this change appears earliest in Ireland in Wedge tombs, the most recent analysis of the dating of which is almost perfectly coincidental with the beaker phase in Ireland (although they were reused).  Some sort of change in belief happened in the beaker period in Ireland.  I agree by the way that 'sun worship' is not the way I would put it.  It seems that the IE's religion was well beyond the stage where simple element worship happened. 

The BA axial stone circles are orientated towards the south -south west but with no obvious 
 preference for  any particular dates and none are aligned on any of the four cross quarter days . None of  the Cork and Kerry stone rows which tend to a SW-NE  alignment stone rows are aligned on the cross quater days  either . I don't have the details of the declinations of the 460 wedge tombs , and would like to see them ,they certainly fit into the  Chalcolithic /BA  period  but what it looks we have in Ireland in the period  are  general orientations to to the west or south west but nothing to suggest anything calendrical . Not only do the monuments not supply the declinations  necessary to suggest this in the west and south west confirmation would be be useful at other orientations e.g. Lughnasa sun rise to the NE  ,Imbolc sun rise to SE  ,  Samhain to the NW etc . Yes “solar worship is simplistic and “ belongs to the “druidical sacrificial altars  “ and “R1b is  Cro Magnon “ bin .

That contradicts a fairly recent study that said wedge tombs clearly had a sunset orientations and that there was a strong trend to those of the months around Samhain. 

 http://wings.buffalo.edu/research/anthrogis/JWA/V2N1/springs-art.pdf

This emphasis on autumn sunsets seems to contrast with the previous Neolithic solstice and equinox interest.  In general pre-beaker Neolithic tombs tend to be orientated east to south while in the Bronze Age there is a strong interest in the SW orientation.  I am not really interested in it being of astronomical type accuracy but it does seem to show a general interest in the sunsets in Autumn which does imply a change in ideas and as the paper hints, could be echoing in the main the Samhain festival which was the most important of the Celtic quarter days.  It is interesting that where this orientation is not present imporatant lunar cycle correlations of a fairly consistent type have been noted. 

This is getting a little dippy but it has been suggested old Neolithic idea of a solar solstic or equinox event (usually a sunrise but not always) entering a passage tomb and the light acting as some sort of spirit transporter beam to the other world.  I wonder if the interest in the sunsetting to the west is suggesting a new belief in an afterlife to the west over the sea such as we see in Celtic mythology.  It has often been said that Samhain was a time when the spirit and ordinary world touched.  Regardless of interpretation, in Irish megalithic tombs there was a profound change in orientation that coincided with the beaker period.  I understand too that a number of Scottish Bronze Age momuments also followed this reorientation.   

 An interesting paper ,  as I said I have not seen the details of the declinations of wedge tombs and as it only included 75 of the approx 500 (15%  ) it is a start .
 I pointed out that the both axial stone circles and stones rows were clearly not aligned on any of the cross quarter days .Of the wedge tombs in the study approx 14 % are aligned on the setting sun at Samhain  which in itself is noteworthy but the description of Oct/Nov as used in the paper is quite a bit wider than Samhain itself , some examples e.g. nos 2&58 were three weeks away from the the actual date plus when considered from a lunar perspective two standstill achieve 6% . As the spike in the study is only of one cross quarter day and also only on the setting sun of that day it doesn't strike me that this suggests anything calendrical ,you would expect some of  the other six  rising or setting suns to be included for this to be case .
I pointed out that the both axial stone circles and stones rows were clearly not aligned on any of the cross quarter days and were generally aligned to the west and south west , that does not contradict the findings of  this small study of  a different monument type and actually supports it as seen from the summary  on p190 “there appears to be no definitive time of year the wedge tombs were oriented on ,and the main focus of a wedge tombs (sic) is in autumn ,winter or spring sunsets .”

The recumbent stone circles and other scottish circles , which we now recognise as being BA  ,also have an orientation to the SW but this can be shown to related to summer full moon and rarely anything solar . It is worth mentioning that the Neolithic dolmens of Provence and Languedoc share similar orientations to those of BA Ireland , but there is no doubt as you say that there was a general shift of interest from east in the Neolithic to west in the  BA .

I do wonder if the notion of an exact day should not be transported back in time to that period.  If for instance the stones were aligned on the sunset of the days when the people moved from their transhumance upland summer homes to the winter lowland main dwellings (which is how an early reference describes Samhain as).then this could have varied from locality to locality depending on local conditions.  This would explain a general focuss on the months either side of 1st November without being spot on a single day. 

Regardless of meaning, the sudden interest in a SW orientation is unexpected given what went before.   The earliest well dated monuments with this seem to be wedge tombs which are beaker date.  Its a radical change in orientation compared to the norm in pre-beaker times.  I notice that in Sion there was an NE-SW axis of sorts in the monument layout.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on October 08, 2012, 05:36:53 PM
Just a thought but if the Wedge tombs had an orientation that coincided with the sunset at the general period of the return from the upland to lowland pasture (which ancient Irish records note was linked to Samhain) then there is a simple explanation for why the it dominates out of the quarter days.  IF Samhain represented the return of families to their specific main winter homesteads then the celebrations would be carried out at a point when they dispersed from the commonly held uplands.  So the festival would have been localised.  Beltaine or May Day appears to represent the opposite end of the cycle when people returned to the uplands.  If that was the case then you would expect Beltaine to have been more of a communal gathering in the uplands and that could be why it does not seem to be the focus for the wedge tomb orientations.  The main orientation of Samhain also appears to double up as an orientaton of the Imbolc period around 1st February which seems to celebrate the (potentially life saving) availability of yews milk towards the end of winter.  As for Lugnasad around the start of August, it does not appear to have a specific pastoral role.  It seems to have some associations with uplands and cairns which is not surprising as that is where people would have been living around the time of that festival in a transhumance system. 


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 08, 2012, 06:36:56 PM
Just a thought but if the Wedge tombs had an orientation that coincided with the sunset at the general period of the return from the upland to lowland pasture (which ancient Irish records note was linked to Samhain) then there is a simple explanation for why the it dominates out of the quarter days.  IF Samhain represented the return of families to their specific main winter homesteads then the celebrations would be carried out at a point when they dispersed from the commonly held uplands.  So the festival would have been localised.  Beltaine or May Day appears to represent the opposite end of the cycle when people returned to the uplands.  If that was the case then you would expect Beltaine to have been more of a communal gathering in the uplands and that could be why it does not seem to be the focus for the wedge tomb orientations.  The main orientation of Samhain also appears to double up as an orientaton of the Imbolc period around 1st February which seems to celebrate the (potentially life saving) availability of yews milk towards the end of winter.  As for Lugnasad around the start of August, it does not appear to have a specific pastoral role.  It seems to have some associations with uplands and cairns which is not surprising as that is where people would have been living around the time of that festival in a transhumance system.  

I think too much is made of orientations , at all periods there are examples of monuments that are relatively accurately aligned on extreme solar and lunar events but the vast majority of monuments are not aligned on these events but  are  oriented towards a part of the horizon where the sun or moon can be seen . In the Neolithic the general direction was towards the east and in the Bronze Age it changed to the west reflecting a possible change in cosmology .However , in both periods monuments are to be found contrary to those norms .
 Transhumance would have been practiced in both periods but it was not necessarily the entire family that would have been involved . In historical cultures in Britain it was the adolescents and old who went to the higher pasture but I can't see these movements resulting in the choice of orientation  of monuments like stones rows ,wedge tombs or stone circles .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Dubhthach on October 08, 2012, 06:55:34 PM
Lúnasa is specifically about Harvest. The word Fómhar which most people just thinks means "Autumn" actually means Harvest in Irish. Lúnasa is after all the name of month of August and the first month of Fómhar


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: Heber on October 09, 2012, 08:58:23 AM
Interesting analysis from a new study which suggests continuity of Bell Beakers in the old Megalithic Sites and its alignment to Winter and Summer solstice. Did the Bell Beakers  take these sites over for their own purposes? The Amsbury Archer was found in close proximity to Stonehenge and other Megalithic sites.

"The first complete 3D laser scan of the stone circle has also revealed tool marks made 4,500 years ago, scores of little axehead graffiti added when the enormous slabs were already 1,000 years old, and damage and graffiti contributed by Georgian and Victorian visitors.
Long after the monument was built, when Bronze Age burial mounds rich in grave goods began to be scattered across the plain around Stonehenge, and the archaeological evidence suggests those who could make or trade in metal goods had an almost shamanic status, people carved little images of daggers and axes, many now invisible to the naked eye, into the stones. Scores more have been revealed by the scan, including 71 new axe heads, bringing the total to 115 – doubling the number ever recorded in Britain.

"It is wonderful to have discovered so many more, but what is fascinating is that they are carved without regard to the importance or the siting of the stones – almost as if the people who carved them could no longer quite remember the significance of the monument and how it worked," Greaney said."

"It also confirms the importance of the prehistoric monument's alignment on the winter and summer solstice. The largest, most uniform and most imposing stones, carefully shaped and dressed through hundreds of hours of work with stone hammers, were set where they would be seen first by people approaching the monument from north-east along the Avenue, a processional way that would have been particularly spectacular at the midwinter sunset."

"Clive Ruggles, emeritus professor of archaeoastronomy at the University of Leicester, said it was already clear that Stonehenge was one of the earliest examples of a monument aligned on the winter and summer solstices."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/oct/09/stonehenge-digital-laser-3d-survey

Also this week in the Guardian an interesting article of the spectacular new Megalithic site in the Orkneys.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/oct/07/archaeological-discovery-drawn-people-of-orkney


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: OConnor on October 09, 2012, 09:45:14 AM
Orkney is thought by some to be a focal point in the Isles.

"5,000 years ago, Orkney was the centre for innovation for the British isles"

"Alexander Thom believed that the Ring of Brodgar was an observatory designed for studying the movement of the Moon"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/oct/06/orkney-temple-centre-ancient-britain?newsfeed=true


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 09, 2012, 10:03:30 AM
Interesting analysis from a new study which suggests continuity of Bell Beakers in the old Megalithic Sites and its alignment to Winter and Summer solstice. Did the Bell Beakers  take these sites over for their own purposes? The Amsbury Archer was found in close proximity to Stonehenge and other Megalithic sites.

"The first complete 3D laser scan of the stone circle has also revealed tool marks made 4,500 years ago, scores of little axehead graffiti added when the enormous slabs were already 1,000 years old, and damage and graffiti contributed by Georgian and Victorian visitors.
Long after the monument was built, when Bronze Age burial mounds rich in grave goods began to be scattered across the plain around Stonehenge, and the archaeological evidence suggests those who could make or trade in metal goods had an almost shamanic status, people carved little images of daggers and axes, many now invisible to the naked eye, into the stones. Scores more have been revealed by the scan, including 71 new axe heads, bringing the total to 115 – doubling the number ever recorded in Britain.

"It is wonderful to have discovered so many more, but what is fascinating is that they are carved without regard to the importance or the siting of the stones – almost as if the people who carved them could no longer quite remember the significance of the monument and how it worked," Greaney said."

"It also confirms the importance of the prehistoric monument's alignment on the winter and summer solstice. The largest, most uniform and most imposing stones, carefully shaped and dressed through hundreds of hours of work with stone hammers, were set where they would be seen first by people approaching the monument from north-east along the Avenue, a processional way that would have been particularly spectacular at the midwinter sunset."

"Clive Ruggles, emeritus professor of archaeoastronomy at the University of Leicester, said it was already clear that Stonehenge was one of the earliest examples of a monument aligned on the winter and summer solstices."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/oct/09/stonehenge-digital-laser-3d-survey

Also this week in the Guardian an interesting article of the spectacular new Megalithic site in the Orkneys.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/oct/07/archaeological-discovery-drawn-people-of-orkney
Re-use  and referencing of Neolithic megalithic sites was not uncommon  in the Bronze Age  eg secondary burials and deposits .The earliest Beaker burials (2500 -2000 BC ) were 1 km from Stonehenge , the goods rich Bush Barrow (2000 -1880 BC)and a cluster of other barrows were closer on the ridge overlooking the monument but the Amesbury Archer was over 4kM from the site . There was an inhumation in the outer ditch at  Stonehenge , young male with a wristguard but no Beaker ,the last prehistoric burial at the site but possibly a sacrifice /murder .
 
 There is a huge amount debitage in the Stonehenge  “layer “ much of it not associated with the standing orthostats but possibly some of the stumps /remains of orthostats , this damage to earlier monuments can be found at other Beaker sites like Mount Pleasant  Aosta and Sion .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on October 09, 2012, 05:55:21 PM
Just a thought but if the Wedge tombs had an orientation that coincided with the sunset at the general period of the return from the upland to lowland pasture (which ancient Irish records note was linked to Samhain) then there is a simple explanation for why the it dominates out of the quarter days.  IF Samhain represented the return of families to their specific main winter homesteads then the celebrations would be carried out at a point when they dispersed from the commonly held uplands.  So the festival would have been localised.  Beltaine or May Day appears to represent the opposite end of the cycle when people returned to the uplands.  If that was the case then you would expect Beltaine to have been more of a communal gathering in the uplands and that could be why it does not seem to be the focus for the wedge tomb orientations.  The main orientation of Samhain also appears to double up as an orientaton of the Imbolc period around 1st February which seems to celebrate the (potentially life saving) availability of yews milk towards the end of winter.  As for Lugnasad around the start of August, it does not appear to have a specific pastoral role.  It seems to have some associations with uplands and cairns which is not surprising as that is where people would have been living around the time of that festival in a transhumance system.  

I think too much is made of orientations , at all periods there are examples of monuments that are relatively accurately aligned on extreme solar and lunar events but the vast majority of monuments are not aligned on these events but  are  oriented towards a part of the horizon where the sun or moon can be seen . In the Neolithic the general direction was towards the east and in the Bronze Age it changed to the west reflecting a possible change in cosmology .However , in both periods monuments are to be found contrary to those norms .
 Transhumance would have been practiced in both periods but it was not necessarily the entire family that would have been involved . In historical cultures in Britain it was the adolescents and old who went to the higher pasture but I can't see these movements resulting in the choice of orientation  of monuments like stones rows ,wedge tombs or stone circles .

I agree that accurate astronomical observation does not seem to be typical at megaliths.  Instread a more rough and ready generalised orientation may be what we are seeing.  However, a near reversal of the most common orientations took place in Ireland and the change is first seen in the Wedge Tombs whose period of contruction is a very close fit to the Irish beaker period.  As you note this may represent a significant change in cosmology/religion.  The fact that , in Ireland anyway, this change occurs at the exact same period as the appearance of beaker c. 2500BC is significant IMO.  It shows that changes greater than pots, archers equiptment and metal did arrive at this time.  What I would be interested in knowing is whether there is anywhere on the continent that similar changes happened earlier.  I believe someone mentioned southern France?  I also mentioned the SW-NE axis in Sion. 


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on October 09, 2012, 06:15:08 PM
Actually there is no doubt at all that some sort of solar element was important in the developed passage tombs like Newgrange, Maes Howe, Knowth etc which clearly had solar solstice/equinox type alignments.  It seems to me that this is becomes much more clear in the later Neolithic but still well pre-beaker in isles terms.   There was a burst of new cermonial ideas in the isles in the pre-beaker late Neolithic including very developed passage tombs, henge enclosures, timber circles, stone circles, grooved ware etc.  A lot of these things have been connected to solar/seasonal aspects.  This all predates beaker.  In fact, it has alwaus struck me that the Germanic peoples seem to reflect this Neolithic solar aspect in their traditions but the Celts seem to have developed a more pastoral calendar (Bronze Age?) and their  festivals which do not link to the traditional solar festivals.  Also starting in the beaker period and continuing through the Bronze Age is a strange move in megaltithic monuments (Wedge tombs, stone circles, stone rows) to a NE-SW axis in which the SW orientation seems to be the important one.  This has been argued by some to indicate a lunar approach to observations (but they do change their minds on this a lot).  
Neolithic Passage graves like Newgrange , Knowth ,Loughcrew,  are aligned on solar events but the vast majority of similar monuments including their European counterparts are not . This does not indicate "sun worship " and is of course pre BB . When we look at astronomically aligned monumnets from that period we find an obvious lunar interst eg recumben tstone circles which with one exception avoid extreme solar orientations but have a clear interest in orientations on the moon , although this does not imply " moon worship " any more than orientations to soalr extremes or mid points indicate sun worship . The vast majority of stone rows ,stone circles etc are not aligned on either solar or lunar extremes .

The orientation of Wedge tombs, many Irish stone circles and stone rows (all dated to the copper and Bronze Age) are very different to the Neolithic megalithic orientations and do show some major change in beliefs did happen around the beaker era.  The most recent study I have seen on this suggested that it is clear that they are interested in sunsets (especially those around October/November but also Feb/March and a few at other dates) and also sometimes lunar cycle aspects  Many people see in this the beginnings of what is seen as the Celtic calendar with its biggest event being Samain (what we now call Halloween) but also Imbolg (1st Feb), Beltaine (May day) and Lugnasad (1st August).   This does seem to contrast with the pre-beaker Neolithic alignments where these are clear.  Even when they arent precise it is fair to say that you can see that there is a general strong preference to orientate towards sunrise in Neolithic monuments but sunset in those Irish Bronze Age megalithic monuments (possibly with lunar aspects too).  It seems too much of a coincidence that this change appears earliest in Ireland in Wedge tombs, the most recent analysis of the dating of which is almost perfectly coincidental with the beaker phase in Ireland (although they were reused).  Some sort of change in belief happened in the beaker period in Ireland.  I agree by the way that 'sun worship' is not the way I would put it.  It seems that the IE's religion was well beyond the stage where simple element worship happened.  

The BA axial stone circles are orientated towards the south -south west but with no obvious  
 preference for  any particular dates and none are aligned on any of the four cross quarter days . None of  the Cork and Kerry stone rows which tend to a SW-NE  alignment stone rows are aligned on the cross quater days  either . I don't have the details of the declinations of the 460 wedge tombs , and would like to see them ,they certainly fit into the  Chalcolithic /BA  period  but what it looks we have in Ireland in the period  are  general orientations to to the west or south west but nothing to suggest anything calendrical . Not only do the monuments not supply the declinations  necessary to suggest this in the west and south west confirmation would be be useful at other orientations e.g. Lughnasa sun rise to the NE  ,Imbolc sun rise to SE  ,  Samhain to the NW etc . Yes “solar worship is simplistic and “ belongs to the “druidical sacrificial altars  “ and “R1b is  Cro Magnon “ bin .

That contradicts a fairly recent study that said wedge tombs clearly had a sunset orientations and that there was a strong trend to those of the months around Samhain.  

 http://wings.buffalo.edu/research/anthrogis/JWA/V2N1/springs-art.pdf

This emphasis on autumn sunsets seems to contrast with the previous Neolithic solstice and equinox interest.  In general pre-beaker Neolithic tombs tend to be orientated east to south while in the Bronze Age there is a strong interest in the SW orientation.  I am not really interested in it being of astronomical type accuracy but it does seem to show a general interest in the sunsets in Autumn which does imply a change in ideas and as the paper hints, could be echoing in the main the Samhain festival which was the most important of the Celtic quarter days.  It is interesting that where this orientation is not present imporatant lunar cycle correlations of a fairly consistent type have been noted.  

This is getting a little dippy but it has been suggested old Neolithic idea of a solar solstic or equinox event (usually a sunrise but not always) entering a passage tomb and the light acting as some sort of spirit transporter beam to the other world.  I wonder if the interest in the sunsetting to the west is suggesting a new belief in an afterlife to the west over the sea such as we see in Celtic mythology.  It has often been said that Samhain was a time when the spirit and ordinary world touched.  Regardless of interpretation, in Irish megalithic tombs there was a profound change in orientation that coincided with the beaker period.  I understand too that a number of Scottish Bronze Age momuments also followed this reorientation.  

 An interesting paper ,  as I said I have not seen the details of the declinations of wedge tombs and as it only included 75 of the approx 500 (15%  ) it is a start .
 I pointed out that the both axial stone circles and stones rows were clearly not aligned on any of the cross quarter days .Of the wedge tombs in the study approx 14 % are aligned on the setting sun at Samhain  which in itself is noteworthy but the description of Oct/Nov as used in the paper is quite a bit wider than Samhain itself , some examples e.g. nos 2&58 were three weeks away from the the actual date plus when considered from a lunar perspective two standstill achieve 6% . As the spike in the study is only of one cross quarter day and also only on the setting sun of that day it doesn't strike me that this suggests anything calendrical ,you would expect some of  the other six  rising or setting suns to be included for this to be case .
I pointed out that the both axial stone circles and stones rows were clearly not aligned on any of the cross quarter days and were generally aligned to the west and south west , that does not contradict the findings of  this small study of  a different monument type and actually supports it as seen from the summary  on p190 “there appears to be no definitive time of year the wedge tombs were oriented on ,and the main focus of a wedge tombs (sic) is in autumn ,winter or spring sunsets .”

The recumbent stone circles and other scottish circles , which we now recognise as being BA  ,also have an orientation to the SW but this can be shown to related to summer full moon and rarely anything solar . It is worth mentioning that the Neolithic dolmens of Provence and Languedoc share similar orientations to those of BA Ireland , but there is no doubt as you say that there was a general shift of interest from east in the Neolithic to west in the  BA .


I found a paper noting that observation.

http://www.academia.edu/325394/Statistical_Analysis_of_Megalithic_Tomb_Orientations_In_the_Iberian_Peninsula_and_Neighbouring_Regions


The most relevant passage was:

The first division separates the group formed by the megaliths in southern France(Languedoc and Provence) together with those in the Balearic Islands (BALE, BRLA,LLAN). It also includes the dolmens in the Golan Heights (GLAN). This situationarises because these are the only groups that include dolmens with a predominantlywest-facing custom; although this could be expected, it is reassuring to find thatour technique seems to work reasonably well. The dolmens of the Golan Heights,in the Levant, have been included in our analysis in order to test the consistency of our results. Since this is a case of a clear geographic outlier in our sample, it shouldprovide information on the robustness of our analysis technique. This cluster of dol-mens presents orientations towards the western part of the horizon (see Figure 2), acustom that is alien to most clusters in the Iberian Peninsula


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: alan trowel hands. on October 09, 2012, 07:52:26 PM
A number of papers note southern France as a place where the unusual sunset facing orientations (such as noted at Irish Wedge Tombs) are known while most other areas of western Europe were sunrise orientated


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 10, 2012, 04:46:35 AM
Just a thought but if the Wedge tombs had an orientation that coincided with the sunset at the general period of the return from the upland to lowland pasture (which ancient Irish records note was linked to Samhain) then there is a simple explanation for why the it dominates out of the quarter days.  IF Samhain represented the return of families to their specific main winter homesteads then the celebrations would be carried out at a point when they dispersed from the commonly held uplands.  So the festival would have been localised.  Beltaine or May Day appears to represent the opposite end of the cycle when people returned to the uplands.  If that was the case then you would expect Beltaine to have been more of a communal gathering in the uplands and that could be why it does not seem to be the focus for the wedge tomb orientations.  The main orientation of Samhain also appears to double up as an orientaton of the Imbolc period around 1st February which seems to celebrate the (potentially life saving) availability of yews milk towards the end of winter.  As for Lugnasad around the start of August, it does not appear to have a specific pastoral role.  It seems to have some associations with uplands and cairns which is not surprising as that is where people would have been living around the time of that festival in a transhumance system.  

I think too much is made of orientations , at all periods there are examples of monuments that are relatively accurately aligned on extreme solar and lunar events but the vast majority of monuments are not aligned on these events but  are  oriented towards a part of the horizon where the sun or moon can be seen . In the Neolithic the general direction was towards the east and in the Bronze Age it changed to the west reflecting a possible change in cosmology .However , in both periods monuments are to be found contrary to those norms .
 Transhumance would have been practiced in both periods but it was not necessarily the entire family that would have been involved . In historical cultures in Britain it was the adolescents and old who went to the higher pasture but I can't see these movements resulting in the choice of orientation  of monuments like stones rows ,wedge tombs or stone circles .

I agree that accurate astronomical observation does not seem to be typical at megaliths.  Instread a more rough and ready generalised orientation may be what we are seeing.  However, a near reversal of the most common orientations took place in Ireland and the change is first seen in the Wedge Tombs whose period of contruction is a very close fit to the Irish beaker period.  As you note this may represent a significant change in cosmology/religion.  The fact that , in Ireland anyway, this change occurs at the exact same period as the appearance of beaker c. 2500BC is significant IMO.  It shows that changes greater than pots, archers equiptment and metal did arrive at this time.  What I would be interested in knowing is whether there is anywhere on the continent that similar changes happened earlier.  I believe someone mentioned southern France?  I also mentioned the SW-NE axis in Sion. 

I mentioned the Provence and Languedoc dolmens , which are anomalous in European orientations  in that they point to the SW but they are pre Beaker . Aosta also has a similar alignment to Sion , but they are  “open “ and it could be argued that the alignment runs SW -NE  there is also the “rising sun” symbol which might suggest the direction is towards the NE . Furthermore other linear cemeteries from the period , and later , tend not to have any particular favoured orientation  but are more concerned with referencing earlier or more prominent contemporary monuments and accepting landscape constraints by keeping to level or gently sloping terraces .
 Orientation of  Beaker inhumations also shows some local homogeneity  but differs throughout the continent and even within Britain .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 10, 2012, 05:04:39 AM
Actually there is no doubt at all that some sort of solar element was important in the developed passage tombs like Newgrange, Maes Howe, Knowth etc which clearly had solar solstice/equinox type alignments.  It seems to me that this is becomes much more clear in the later Neolithic but still well pre-beaker in isles terms.   There was a burst of new cermonial ideas in the isles in the pre-beaker late Neolithic including very developed passage tombs, henge enclosures, timber circles, stone circles, grooved ware etc.  A lot of these things have been connected to solar/seasonal aspects.  This all predates beaker.  In fact, it has alwaus struck me that the Germanic peoples seem to reflect this Neolithic solar aspect in their traditions but the Celts seem to have developed a more pastoral calendar (Bronze Age?) and their  festivals which do not link to the traditional solar festivals.  Also starting in the beaker period and continuing through the Bronze Age is a strange move in megaltithic monuments (Wedge tombs, stone circles, stone rows) to a NE-SW axis in which the SW orientation seems to be the important one.  This has been argued by some to indicate a lunar approach to observations (but they do change their minds on this a lot).  
Neolithic Passage graves like Newgrange , Knowth ,Loughcrew,  are aligned on solar events but the vast majority of similar monuments including their European counterparts are not . This does not indicate "sun worship " and is of course pre BB . When we look at astronomically aligned monumnets from that period we find an obvious lunar interst eg recumben tstone circles which with one exception avoid extreme solar orientations but have a clear interest in orientations on the moon , although this does not imply " moon worship " any more than orientations to soalr extremes or mid points indicate sun worship . The vast majority of stone rows ,stone circles etc are not aligned on either solar or lunar extremes .

The orientation of Wedge tombs, many Irish stone circles and stone rows (all dated to the copper and Bronze Age) are very different to the Neolithic megalithic orientations and do show some major change in beliefs did happen around the beaker era.  The most recent study I have seen on this suggested that it is clear that they are interested in sunsets (especially those around October/November but also Feb/March and a few at other dates) and also sometimes lunar cycle aspects  Many people see in this the beginnings of what is seen as the Celtic calendar with its biggest event being Samain (what we now call Halloween) but also Imbolg (1st Feb), Beltaine (May day) and Lugnasad (1st August).   This does seem to contrast with the pre-beaker Neolithic alignments where these are clear.  Even when they arent precise it is fair to say that you can see that there is a general strong preference to orientate towards sunrise in Neolithic monuments but sunset in those Irish Bronze Age megalithic monuments (possibly with lunar aspects too).  It seems too much of a coincidence that this change appears earliest in Ireland in Wedge tombs, the most recent analysis of the dating of which is almost perfectly coincidental with the beaker phase in Ireland (although they were reused).  Some sort of change in belief happened in the beaker period in Ireland.  I agree by the way that 'sun worship' is not the way I would put it.  It seems that the IE's religion was well beyond the stage where simple element worship happened.  

The BA axial stone circles are orientated towards the south -south west but with no obvious  
 preference for  any particular dates and none are aligned on any of the four cross quarter days . None of  the Cork and Kerry stone rows which tend to a SW-NE  alignment stone rows are aligned on the cross quater days  either . I don't have the details of the declinations of the 460 wedge tombs , and would like to see them ,they certainly fit into the  Chalcolithic /BA  period  but what it looks we have in Ireland in the period  are  general orientations to to the west or south west but nothing to suggest anything calendrical . Not only do the monuments not supply the declinations  necessary to suggest this in the west and south west confirmation would be be useful at other orientations e.g. Lughnasa sun rise to the NE  ,Imbolc sun rise to SE  ,  Samhain to the NW etc . Yes “solar worship is simplistic and “ belongs to the “druidical sacrificial altars  “ and “R1b is  Cro Magnon “ bin .

That contradicts a fairly recent study that said wedge tombs clearly had a sunset orientations and that there was a strong trend to those of the months around Samhain.  

 http://wings.buffalo.edu/research/anthrogis/JWA/V2N1/springs-art.pdf

This emphasis on autumn sunsets seems to contrast with the previous Neolithic solstice and equinox interest.  In general pre-beaker Neolithic tombs tend to be orientated east to south while in the Bronze Age there is a strong interest in the SW orientation.  I am not really interested in it being of astronomical type accuracy but it does seem to show a general interest in the sunsets in Autumn which does imply a change in ideas and as the paper hints, could be echoing in the main the Samhain festival which was the most important of the Celtic quarter days.  It is interesting that where this orientation is not present imporatant lunar cycle correlations of a fairly consistent type have been noted.  

This is getting a little dippy but it has been suggested old Neolithic idea of a solar solstic or equinox event (usually a sunrise but not always) entering a passage tomb and the light acting as some sort of spirit transporter beam to the other world.  I wonder if the interest in the sunsetting to the west is suggesting a new belief in an afterlife to the west over the sea such as we see in Celtic mythology.  It has often been said that Samhain was a time when the spirit and ordinary world touched.  Regardless of interpretation, in Irish megalithic tombs there was a profound change in orientation that coincided with the beaker period.  I understand too that a number of Scottish Bronze Age momuments also followed this reorientation.  

 An interesting paper ,  as I said I have not seen the details of the declinations of wedge tombs and as it only included 75 of the approx 500 (15%  ) it is a start .
 I pointed out that the both axial stone circles and stones rows were clearly not aligned on any of the cross quarter days .Of the wedge tombs in the study approx 14 % are aligned on the setting sun at Samhain  which in itself is noteworthy but the description of Oct/Nov as used in the paper is quite a bit wider than Samhain itself , some examples e.g. nos 2&58 were three weeks away from the the actual date plus when considered from a lunar perspective two standstill achieve 6% . As the spike in the study is only of one cross quarter day and also only on the setting sun of that day it doesn't strike me that this suggests anything calendrical ,you would expect some of  the other six  rising or setting suns to be included for this to be case .
I pointed out that the both axial stone circles and stones rows were clearly not aligned on any of the cross quarter days and were generally aligned to the west and south west , that does not contradict the findings of  this small study of  a different monument type and actually supports it as seen from the summary  on p190 “there appears to be no definitive time of year the wedge tombs were oriented on ,and the main focus of a wedge tombs (sic) is in autumn ,winter or spring sunsets .”

The recumbent stone circles and other scottish circles , which we now recognise as being BA  ,also have an orientation to the SW but this can be shown to related to summer full moon and rarely anything solar . It is worth mentioning that the Neolithic dolmens of Provence and Languedoc share similar orientations to those of BA Ireland , but there is no doubt as you say that there was a general shift of interest from east in the Neolithic to west in the  BA .


I found a paper noting that observation.

http://www.academia.edu/325394/Statistical_Analysis_of_Megalithic_Tomb_Orientations_In_the_Iberian_Peninsula_and_Neighbouring_Regions


The most relevant passage was:

The first division separates the group formed by the megaliths in southern France(Languedoc and Provence) together with those in the Balearic Islands (BALE, BRLA,LLAN). It also includes the dolmens in the Golan Heights (GLAN). This situationarises because these are the only groups that include dolmens with a predominantlywest-facing custom; although this could be expected, it is reassuring to find thatour technique seems to work reasonably well. The dolmens of the Golan Heights,in the Levant, have been included in our analysis in order to test the consistency of our results. Since this is a case of a clear geographic outlier in our sample, it shouldprovide information on the robustness of our analysis technique. This cluster of dol-mens presents orientations towards the western part of the horizon (see Figure 2), acustom that is alien to most clusters in the Iberian Peninsula

 I was unaware of the Golan heights monument orientations , thanks .Hoskin who had covered much of the southern European monuments  didn't cover ther levant as far as I know . Can you suggest how I could download the paper without rejoining facebook ?


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 10, 2012, 05:22:38 AM
Orkney is thought by some to be a focal point in the Isles.

"5,000 years ago, Orkney was the centre for innovation for the British isles"

"Alexander Thom believed that the Ring of Brodgar was an observatory designed for studying the movement of the Moon"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/oct/06/orkney-temple-centre-ancient-britain?newsfeed=true
Thom's archaeoastronomy at Brodgar is underwhelming he found no solar relationship at the monument (strange in itself considering his ability to find  “alignments “ anywhere ) but true to form he did find some lunar “alignments “ to notches one of which is a  relatively prominent  feature at Hellia the rest are featureless hill slopes . Sadly , his calculations were based on a date for the obliquity of the ecliptic that would place the monument midway between the Early - Middle Bronze Age probably out by at least 500 years . No doubt about the importance of the area though .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: A.D. on October 10, 2012, 11:57:04 AM
Theres a lot going on with digs like the Orkney temple complex and Doggerland that could through new light on the subject. Schmidt digging at Gobele tepe surgested that the was a common belief system through meso. Europe and beyond and it came out of the Ice age. Its also been put that some of the 'figures ' at Gobele tepe are in groups of 12 and there maybe conneted with the same idea as the 12 Olympians.
Theres also a load of whacky super-race and alien 'bouvine excrement'.
Another intresting thing is that some Greek myths place the underworld in the far West. So when you died you really did 'head off into the sunset'.


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: OConnor on October 14, 2012, 12:54:49 PM
I noticed some similarity in megaliths in the Urals such as wedge type tomb. Is this coincidental? Or perhaps a wide-spread common practice?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megaliths_in_the_Urals


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: dodelo on October 14, 2012, 01:55:12 PM
I noticed some similarity in megaliths in the Urals such as wedge type tomb. Is this coincidental? Or perhaps a wide-spread common practice?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megaliths_in_the_Urals

Tha familiar dolmen style with variations like holed portals are  found all the way east to at least Korea .


Title: Re: Do the celtic gods and their myths reflect the beaker origins of the Celts?
Post by: jimcarry on April 08, 2013, 05:08:22 AM
She is beautiful, on her duck boat. Thanks for posting. What does the duck signify?

I have the guide book from that museum (of archaeology, in Dijon).  The curators seem reasonably confident that she is Sequana (there is no inscription, but she was found in the remains of a busy Sequana temple at the source of the Seine).  The extensive caption with a good photo of this statue is more concerned with what she might have been holding, the nature of her clothing, and whether the statue actually stood on the pedestal but the boat is a separate artifact (they were found together, but not assembled as one unit).  The shrine also contained close to a thousand ex voto tokens, many representing body parts in need of healing, and coins.  Their period (Gallo-Romain) is stated as 52 BC to 476 AD.

If you want to see some of the material under copyright that I don't want to post, give me an email address via PM and I can zap you photos of it, to study or post as you see fit.  The captioning and discussion is all in French, btw.  

Razyn,

Here is a nice image and analysis from the University of Lyon.

"In the representation of Sequana, the duck obviously symbolizes the water of the river.1831 Deyts argues that this statue must have been offered by merchants, traders or boatmen, who wanted to honour the protectress and benefactress of water-borne trade on the River Seine."

" Indo-European peoples named major rivers after Danu, Sinann, and other goddesses. The Marne in northern France was named Matrona in the first century BCE. The eastern Gauls built some twenty monuments to the goddess Nantosuelta, whose name meant “winding river.” [Thevenot, 167; Ross, 219-20] Shrines grew up along the shores of the Severn (named after the goddess Sabrina) in Wales and at the source of the Seine, named after the goddess Sequana. [Ross, 22] The Gauls made pilgrimages there to pray to Sequana for healing, casting votive tablets and oaken images of humans, animals, and afflicted body parts into her spring. A bronze from Sequana's temple shows a Romanized goddess standing in a boat, spinning. Her vessel is shaped like a duck with a berry in its bill. "


http://theses.univ-lyon2.fr/documents/getpart.php?id=lyon2.2009.beck_n&part=159219

http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/tag/ducks/

http://tribes.tribe.net/animalguides/photos/7f7226fc-e309-4d13-8598-399a49a18146

http://www.dijon.fr/recherche!0-79/musée+!7-0/musee-archeologique!1-38/





It is always good for the city to have this kind of facility and people can choose their right option.