c. 5000 - New Stone Age, or Neolithic, means farming and animal domestication replaced hunting and gathering. This fundamental change in acquiring food allowed more free time for innovation. Stone axes, combs of
antlers and pottery were common. By this time weaving became relatively advanced, and remnants from this
time indicate extensive use of brightly colored dyes for textiles. The arrival of Celts from Spain ??? (see "A United Celtic Nation after all" below)
c. 4000 - Raised wooden walkways to help travel over boggy/swampy area are constructed near Glastonbury
(Somerset Levels). Around Devon and Hembury the earliest communities appear.
c. 3900-3000 - Farming cultures migrated into Ireland via Scotland. They settled in the uplands, because the
forest was not as thick thus easier to clear. Unfortunately the land couldn't support this type of agricultural
community and the lands eventually became peat bogs. Please click here to learn more about Neolithic
c. 3500-3000 - This is when long barrows and chambered tombs become prevalent. At Dorset, corpse
exposure, which is exactly what it sounds like, is still practiced in lieu of burials. Click here is you want to learn
more about megaliths.
c. 3000-2500 - One of the earliest of the stone circles, Castlerigg in Cumbria, is started. The classic chamber
tomb Pentre Ifan, Dyfed, was built. Bryn Celli Ddu, a passage tomb in Anglesey, was built. To see Castlerigg
from inside the circle , there is video on it from YouTube
Fill the form to take fast cash money loans for your car.
As farming becomes the main way to support oneself and one's family, farmsteads begin to appear. In Scotland,
they typically held one to two families. Sometimes small communities would sprout up around them. An
excellent example of a Neolithic settlement is Skara Brae in Orkney (see below).
Other types of settlements included houses with attached field areas.
Sometimes homes were made of wood, while some were made of stone.
Neolithic farming included domesticating sheep, goats, pigs and cattle. Dogs were also domesticated during
A United Celtic Nation after all?
September 2006 - A research team at Oxford, led
by Professor Bryan Sykes, has produced research
indicating that a majority of Britons are
descended from Celts from Spain who came
over about 5000 BC. This confirms the origin
story (some say myth) of ancient Scotland which
states that the Scottish people lived in Spain before
settling Scotland. This was stated in The
Declaration of Arbroath of 1320, following the
Scottish War of independence against England.
Now I have some questions with this research. Dr.
Sykes is absolutely renowned in his field, but he
also has a theory which he recently released that
the last of the British Neolithic peoples dies in the
1980's, instead of 10,000 years ago.
However, He makes his data available to the public
and I am the first to admit I am completely
unqualified to analyse the data myself. Here is the
link to his site to read for yourself:
Prof Sykes divided the population into several
- Oisin = Celts
- Wodan = Anglo-Saxons and Danish Vikings
- Sigurd = Norse Vikings
- Eshu =genetic links with the Berbers of North
- Re =a farming people from the Middle East
A storm in 1850 revealed this Neolithic settlement located in Orkney. Skara
Brae was a farming community. They domesticated cattle and sheep and
also grew basic cereal grains. Their diet was supplemented by hunting red
deer and fishing.
The community's artisans were proficient working with bone, stone and
making pottery. Most instruments, and even the walls of the houses were
richly decorated. Small containers of red ochre were found, implying that
the people of Skara Brae also decorated their bodies.
The layout of the village was a cluster of rectangular small homes with
interconnecting passages. The walls are made of sandstone slabs which
are layered. Only one house had a window. Most of the houses were laid
out similarly. Facing the entrance door was a stone "dresser" (see below).
At the center of every hut was a hearth outlined with kerbstones. On the
side walls of the houses are stones to create boxes to support beds. Above
the beds were recesses in the wall for either display or storage.
Beyond these connected huts, but still in the village, was an open, paved
area and an unfurnished hut.
Not tonight honey, I have a headache...
The lives of Neolithic peoples seem to be even more brutal than most
originally thought. Early Neolithic inhabitants of England had a one in 20
chance of suffering a skull fracture at the hands of someone else and a one
in 50 chance of dying from their injuries. This was revealed in early 2006 at
a meeting of the Society for American Archaeology and reported in New
Scientist magazine. The majority of the injuries were from blunt instruments
which may have included clubs. A handful of fractures look like they have
been caused by flint arrowheads and spear points. One of the females in
the sample seems to have been the victim of a vicious attack with a stone
axe. There was another skull with a suspected projectile fracture, which
appeared to have had the ears slashed off - a possible instance of
Call me Ishmael
So even more genetic evidence has been brought to light
- and the bottom line from this data states clearly that the
British and Irish are one people, genetically. According
to an article in the International Herald Tribune on March
5, 2007 both Britain and Ireland have been inhabited for
thousands of years by a single people that have
remained in the majority, with only minor additions from
later invaders like Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons,
The main ancestors of today's British and Irish
populations arrived from Spain about 16,000 years ago,
speaking a language related to Basque. The British Isles
were unpopulated at the time of the migration. They had
been cleared of humans by glaciers that had smothered
Northern Europe for about 4,000 years and forced the
former inhabitants into refuges in Spain and Italy. When
the climate warmed and the glaciers retreated, people
moved back north. The returning population to the British
Isles found a completely uninhabited land, which they
could have reached just by walking along the Atlantic
since the English Channel and the Irish Sea were still
The returning population, were hunters and gatherers
and survived a severe cold era called the Younger Dryas
that lasted from 12,300 to 11,000 years ago. Much later,
some 6,000 years ago, agriculture finally reached the
British Isles from its birthplace in the Near East.
Agriculture may have been introduced by people
speaking Celtic, iand though the Celtic immigrants may
have been few in number, they spread their farming
techniques and their language throughout Ireland and
the western coast of Britain.
Around 3/4 of the ancestors of today's British and Irish
populations arrived 15,000 to 7,500 years ago, when
rising sea levels split Britain and Ireland from Continental
Europe and from each other. There is a new book by the
main researcher on this, Stephen Oppenheimer, called The Origins of the
British: A Genetic Detective Story.
Who thought charcoal pits could be so interesting?
In an area south-west of Aberdeen, Scotland a new twist has
been observed to a Neolithic site. At the site there is a row of
12 pits of charcoal with a north-east/south-west alignment (like
many stone circles and rows).
What were thought to be Neolithic pits dating to around 3600
BC, ended up being Mesolithic pits from around 8000 BC which
had been reused by the local neolithic peoples.
This means that some permanent sites which were originally
thought to have been first founded by Neolithic peoples, may
have actually had Mesolithic roots. To add evidence to this
thought are 4 pits located near Stonehenge. 3 of them have
evidence of pine charcoal as well as evidence for posts, all
dating to around 8500 BC. It was previously thought that
Mesolithic people did not build significant structures. This
theory is being re-evaluated.