Scotland

Roman bullets tell story of 1,800-year-old attack on Scottish fort

A bloody assault by Roman legions on a hill fort in Scotland around 1,800 years ago is being pieced together using the remains of Roman missile weapons that were used in the attack. The excavations at Burnswark Hill, in the Dumfries region of southwest Scotland, have unearthed the largest cache of Roman lead sling bullets yet discovered — part of the huge arsenal of missile ammunition used by the attacking legions to subdue the native defenders of the hilltop fort. So many sling bullets and other Roman missiles have now been found at Burnswark Hill that archaeologists think the raid was staged as a warning to anyone who resisted Roman rule: an act of “exemplary violence” designed to terrorize the Scottish tribes into submission, the researchers said. “You’ve got a relatively small hill fort [under attack by] a relatively large Roman force, using a relatively large amount of missile material,” John Reid, an archaeologist with the Trimontium Trust, the Scottish historical society directing the investigation at the Burnswark Hill site, told Live Science. “Exemplary violence is nothing new, and it’s certainly not unique to the Romans — but the Romans did it on a grand scale.” The researchers estimate that up to 5,000 Roman soldiers took part in the attack, based on the size of two Roman army camps that were built to the north and south of the hilltop fort. The number of people in the hill fort is not known, but judging by the size of the force used to attack them it may have been between 1,000 and 2,000 armed defenders, Reid said, as well as their families and other non-combatants who had taken refuge there from the Romans.

Very cool!!  To see photos, and read the rest of the article, click on the text above.    🙂

5,000-year-old swirling rock art in Scotland remains a mystery

Archaeologists in Glasgow, Scotland, briefly excavated and then reburied a 5,000-year-old slab of stone that contains incised swirling geometric decorations. The Cochno Stone, which measures 43 feet by 26 feet, contains swirling decorations, also called “cup and ring marks.” The stone and its decorations have been known to people in the area since at least the 19th century. Decorations similar to these swirls have been found at other prehistoric sites around the world; however, the examples incised in the Cochno Stone are considered to comprise “one of the best examples” of such art in Europe, according to a statement by the University of Glasgow, which led the new study. The stone slab was fully unearthed in West Dunbartonshire by Rev. James Harvey in 1887. By 1965, the stone had been vandalized with graffiti and damaged by the elements, so a team of archaeologists buried it beneath the dirt in order to protect the artwork . This summer’s two-week re-excavation allowed archaeologists to use modern-day surveying and photography techniques to better record the artwork. For instance, digital-scanning and mapping experts from the Factum Foundation used cutting-edge 3D-imaging technology to make a detailed digital record of the site, according to the university statement. The re-excavation also revealed 19th- and 20th-century graffiti etched alongside the swirls, as well as painted lines intentionally made by an archaeologist named Ludovic Maclellan Mann, who worked at the site in 1937. Mann painted lines on the Cochno Stone to help measure the prehistoric artwork and see if there was a link to astronomical phenomena, such as eclipses. Mann “was trying to prove that the symbols could predict eclipses and were marking movements of the sun and moon in prehistory,” said Kenny Brophy, an archaeologist and senior lecturer at the University of Glasgow, in a video released by the university. He said that Mann’s own data ended up disproving the archeologist’s theory. The meaning of the artwork is still unknown, said Brophy, adding that the vast amount of data gathered this summer may, in time, allow archaeologists to better understand the artifact. He said that the graffiti is also of interest and will help archaeologists better understand what people who lived in the local area thought of the artwork during the 19th and 20th centuries and how they incorporated it into their lives. While archaeologists had to rebury the swirling prehistoric artwork in order to protect it, Brophy said he hopes that one day it will be possible to create an area where the rock art can be permanently revealed for both tourists and people in the local area to see. Funding will have to be obtained to build a protective area and visitors centre so that people can view the prehistoric artwork without damaging it. “It is emotional when you have worked on a project such as this, touched it, walked on it and closely examined it, to then rebury it. But for now, that is what we have to do to protect it from the elements,” Brophy said in the statement. “Perhaps in the future, this site could be turned into a major tourist attraction in Scotland, with a visitor center — who knows?”

Very cool!!  Although, how sad they had to re-bury it so idiots wouldn’t damage it.  This thing was 3000 yrs BC.  Just think…that’s over 5000 years old!  Thanks to the folks at LiveScience for bringing us this story.  To see a photo of it, click on the text above.

Rare collection of Shakespeare plays turns up in Scottish mansion

William Shakespeare’s First Folio —the Bard of Avon’s first collected edition of 38 plays, published in 1623, shortly after his death —is among the world’s rarest and most valued books. Without it, we might not have ever known “Macbeth.” Now, a previously unknown copy has turned up in a Gothic mansion. The folio was discovered in the collection of the Mount Stuart house, on Scotland’s Isle of Bute, and ithas been authenticated by Emma Smith, a professor of Shakespeare at the University of Oxford. At the time of Shakespeare’s death, at age 52 in 1616, only about half of his plays had been published. They typically appeared in quartos, which were small stand-alone editions that could be printed cheaply. Then in 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell —who were part of the King’s Men acting troupe —collected Shakespeare’s comedies, histories and tragedies for a large-format folio edition. Had the First Folio never been published, more than half of Shakespeare’s plays might have been lost to history. “Julius Caesar,” “Twelfth Night,” “The Taming of the Shrew” and 15 other plays all appear in print for the first time in this collected edition. The First Folio also includes as its frontispiece the Martin Droeshout portrait of Shakespeare, which is considered one of the rare reliable likenesses of the great playwright, as it was approved and published by his friends. Scholars think that, at most, 750 copies of the First Folio were printed, according to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. Of those, 234 are known to have survived, including the newly authenticated version.

Fun!!  🙂

University Student Hit with ‘Safe Space Complaint’ for Raising Her Hand

A student at Edinburgh University in Scotland is claiming that she was hit with a “safe space complaint” because she raised her hand to disagree with something during a student-council meeting. Imogen Wilson, vice president for academic affairs at the school’s student association, claims that she was also threatened with removal from the meeting over the hand gesture, but ultimately allowed to stay. (Phew!) According to an article in the Washington Times, Wilson had risen her hand to express disagreement with another student’s resolution proposing a boycott of Israel — which was a problem because the school’s official “Safe Space Policy” forbids “hand gestures which denote disagreement or in any other way indicating disagreement with a point or points being made.” Yes, seriously. And it gets worse: The hand-raising was not the only thing that got Wilson in trouble during the meeting. Apparently, she also made the mistake of shaking her head disapprovingly — an offense so serious that she was threatened with yet another violation because of it. Seeing as we are talking about adults here, all of this is obviously insane. Fortunately, however, it turns out that not all of these students are so completely cuckoo. In fact, the incident prompted one of Wilson’s classmates, Charlie Peters, to launch a petition against the policy: “I believe an institution which upholds the principles of free speech and diversity is superior to a Students’ Association that patronises its own students by insinuating that they cannot handle opinions that differ from their own,” the petition states. “We are adults, we do not need condescension or safeguarding.” At the time of publication, Peters’s petition had nearly 1,200 signatures.

You really can’t make this stuff up, folks..   Millenial reporter Katherine “Kat” Timpf is the author of that eye-rolling piece.  Kat reports on the crazy, political correctness plaguing our institutions of (alleged) higher learning.  She is a frequent guest on Greg Gutfeld’s weekend show on the Fox News channel.

Floods leave 450-year-old Scottish castle on the brink of collapse

A 16th century castle in Scotland is teetering on the brink of collapse after flooding washed away a riverbank at the site. Sky News reports that Abergeldie castle in Aberdeenshire is close to collapsing into the swollen river. The precarious situation follows weekend floods that swept away about 60 feet of land between the property and the river, according to the report. The floods forced the Baron of Abergeldie and his wife to evacuate their tower house on Sunday. The Telegraph reports that a team of engineers was expected to arrive Tuesday to see if they could secure the 450-year-old building. Abergeldie castle is next to the Queen’s famous Balmoral estate.

Let’s hope they figure how save this great piece of history!  To see photos of Abergeldie, click on the text above.

Rare ‘sofa shark’ stuns scientists

Marine biologists landed an unusual catch off the coast of Scotland recently – a so-called ‘sofa shark’ or false catshark. Experts were stunned by the rare shark, which was discovered during a recent deep sea survey by scientists from Marine Scotland. “This is not a species that has previously been found in Scottish waters,” explained the Scottish Shark Tagging Programme, in a statement. The elusive creatures can grow up to 10 feet long, but this one was around 6 feet, according to media reports. The strange-looking shark has drawn unfavorable comparisons to the blobfish, which was dubbed the world’s ugliest animal in 2013.

And this one definitely is pretty ugly! To see a photo of this thing, click on the text above. 🙂

Scotland referendum: Scots reject independence in historic vote

Scotland voters decided to remain part of the United Kingdom on Friday, rejecting independence in a historic referendum.

This was the expected outcome.. Its the smart move for both Scotland, the UK, NATO, and our relationship with the UK. Its a also a huge bullet dodge for PM David Cameron. Anyway, seems like the majority of Scots, especially older/wiser ones, pulled back and decided that they were stronger as part of the UK (which they’ve been for over 3 centuries; longer than our country has even existed!), than as a separate nation.