Druids: the archaeological evidence

Since the late 1920s, it became the archeology major source of new information about the Druids. Over the past years, new excavations and interpretations have greatly expanded our knowledge of the history of Europe, and although the gaps are still abysmally high and constantly remind myself, and the depth of our ignorance in many areas is infinite, even the most pessimistic historian will have to admit is now an opportunity to create a kind of coherent and consistent scheme. However, before we proceed to consider the archaeological evidence to critically survey that is already on the subject, first in general terms, and then in the context of our case study.

At one time there was a discussion about the nature of archaeological past. However, for many abstract reflections on the origin and nature of science, which they do, seemed not only serious, but embarrassing and even unnecessary. So among professional archaeologists "That question has not received the attention it deserves, and the general public do not see this as a problem. Mo is a fundamental question, especially as we will see later, when it comes to the Druids.

We basically shared a "Druids were known as" us from the "Druids, as we would like them to be," that is "desirable druids." On the one hand, the picture based on logical conclusions, on the other — was tailored to fit the given idea. Recently, historians began to worry about the nature of the "fact in history." Many scientists feel the erroneous view that the "historical facts" exist independently of historians and their interpretations. Even more misleading become familiar historical labels, such as, for example, "The French Revolution" used as if it were some independent agent capable of acting on their own, "she awoke and made the" this or that. Archaeologists must treat warily to such problems, and remember that the scientific description of "facts" is "monitoring data related to past or present."

"Raw materials are not human history, but things" — has formulated a scientific approach Atkinson. Archaeological evidence by itself is objects incidental and surviving remnants of human culture. They become an archaeological fact after archeologists have seen and identified them as such. From these facts it is possible to make direct conclusions to be valid if, as called for by Margaret Smith, "all the evidence can be verified empirically, and to them nothing has been added," that is, the findings have "a paraphrase of empirical observations." This occurs when using only archaeological evidence that the Hawks called a "free text" situation, as opposed to "support the text." In the study of the Druids we relate to the situation, "to support the text," and therefore, working with the archaeological evidence, should not use them logically incorrect. As we shall see, to establish a correlation between the druids and archaeological findings, which can be attributed to them, the findings do not want to, and thinking the.

Using strictly archaeological, "free text" evidence in an effort to give them the usual term describing human activity, we need to realize that the valuable information contained in them is strictly limited. Hawks offered a four-scale ascending and descending the reliability problems of archaeological interpretation, since the technology on which to base sound conclusions, and further more complex real economy, which still can be estimated with reasonable reliability. The next step — the findings of the social structure of the past — is even more complex and uncertain: a large separate building on the plan of the primitive settlement called housing chief, although it with equal success can be considered a sanctuary for the general meetings of the hut, barn, or neither one nor the other, and no third. Below, in the pages of this book, we will be faced with this problem.

And what you can say with certainty when it comes to religion and spiritual life of the people but a vague phrases that do not have a special meaning? As Wheeler said: "The archaeologist is able to find a barrel, but the view of Diogenes." Margaret Smith commented on this observation and the problem of "cabin leader" as follows: "Wait on the archaeologist, so he made the logical progression from the hut to the leader and the barrel of Diogenes, that still require it logical alchemy … we must admit that there is no reasonable logical connection between certain aspects of human activity and evidence left for the archaeologists. " And least of all, we have to add, it can be expected in this case, because we are dealing with religion, priests, beliefs and rituals.

But should we take a completely defeatist view on the archaeological evidence of religious rites societies that had no written language? An abundance of articles and books on primitive religions proves that many strongly disagree. However, it is forcing other skeptical check and recheck our knowledge base. A closer look reveals that the statements of several works originate not in the scientific findings and speculations, which, of course, they are not counted. For example, with respect to the Paleolithic write: "The modern historian of this period begins with a description of the assumptions that are well aware of it cares and concerns of people of the Paleolithic hunting, magic, totemism, and the like. From this point of view, he interprets the art of the Paleolithic, involving ethnographic parallels … not only systematically … but on very different from each other tribes. " Because of these frequent non-confirmed assumptions that represent us as the findings of the archaeological evidence, we have to be very careful.

"Archaeology can not deal with the myths — wrote Fox, alarmed this problem — but it can … to find, analyze and evaluate the ritual. " (If a ritual to understand "the prescribed procedure for religious or other solemn services.") "This should be clear — he writes further — that only some of the actions associated with these services, leave material traces." In other words, among the traces of human activity appears to us in archeology, there are some that can be isolated and characterized as irrational and have no practical application: it is the acts associated with religion. Many archaeological evidence of rituals on Fox, associated with burials, but religion does not usually distinguish between places of burial and the sanctuary. Architecture, in the broad sense, all buildings, no matter how temporary and primitive as they are, there is more or less three-dimensional structure for a long-lasting forms of human activity, static or mobile. And in the number of human activities, as we have already pointed out, slightly blowing on and ritual ceremonies. They require a specially-organized sites of the planned formal structure, the spatial elements of which are connected to a specific song. Sanctuary, temples, burial and sacred enclosure must be distinguishable in the archaeological evidence, sometimes explicitly, sometimes at reasonable analogies and assumptions, but honestly and impartially, without trying to "logical alchemy."

If we can identify these structures with archaeological associations, chronological and geographical spread of provision of appropriate places of Celtic material culture, it is reasonable to assume — at least to avoid unnecessary multiplication of hypotheses — that they are an integral part of Celtic life. We can link this sanctuary named deity, if there is some evidence in the form of epigraphic inscriptions giving the archaeological find textual support. However, because so far not found any pre-Christian inscriptions, which featured the word "druid" any connection between them and with the archaeological site can only unconfirmed assumption at the present level of our knowledge.

So, we have a number of textual uncorroborated testimony of Celtic places of worship and our conclusion. What the evidence really refer to the Celts, is supported by documents. Fortunately, this culture and this period in archeology are partially confirming their written sources. Sometimes we can actually say something about how and when to use certain passages ceremonies. But we must always remember that all archaeological questions beginning with the word "Why? ..", There is a short, simple, and absolutely correct answer: "We do not know and probably will never know." But to say this is also true Atkinson reminds us that we have no right "to take refuge in self-satisfied ignorance, calling for strict canons of the archaeological evidence, when put in front of them are legitimate questions of this kind." We must declare with the utmost clarity that by attempting to answer these questions, "betrays the argument about the subject, about which there is no way to know anything for sure"

Category: Mystery stories

Like this post? Please share to your friends: