Ancient (pre BCE)

  • Eclipses- Historical Harbingers

    If you’ve been anywhere near the news, you would have seen that a solar eclipse happened in the continental United States yesterday.  I have to admit it was a pretty amazing experience as I was lucky enough to be in the path of totality.  As the sky went dark and the crickets started chirping, I thought about what it must have been like for those in the past.  They didn’t have the benefit of NASA and other scientists telling us that this was normal, the Sun would come back and to wear protective glasses.  How did people through the ages deal with eclipses? One of the first references we have…

  • Clava Cairns

    The main attraction in the area around Inverness is the site of the Battle of Culloden.  However, there is another site nearby that is also an important part of Scotland’s past.  One mile southeast of the battlefield set on a terrace above the River Nairn are the Clava Cairns also called the Balnuaran of Clava.  These are three cairns and a number of free standing stones which date from the late Neolithic period.  Although it is thought by scholars that there may have been at least two additional structures, the three that are left have been designated the Northeast Cairn, Central Cairn and Southwest Cairn.  These site is thought to…

  • Eostre 

    She is the Germanic Goddess of Spring. She is attested solely by Bede in his 8th-century work The Reckoning of Time, where he states that during Ēosturmōnaþ (the equivalent of April), pagan Anglo-Saxons had held feasts in Ēostre’s honor called Eosturmonath. However, Bede is our only source for the historical Eostre. There are no other mentions of the goddess prior to that. There are theories that Eostre is derived from the same Indo European goddess of the dawn like that of the Greek Goddess Eos. Another theory is Eostre is a local goddess worshiped in Southeastern England. The latest theory by Philip Shaw is that she is linked to a…

  • The Great Serpent Mound

    In a previous post, we discussed the Mississippians and their mound city at Cahokia (http://www.historynaked.com/the-mississippians/)  Another similar system of mounds were made in Ohio, although much earlier than the Cahokia mounds.  The Great Serpent Mound is found in Adams County, Ohio near the town of Peeples.  Millions of years ago, a large meteor crashed into the area creating a five mile wide crater and surrounding plateau.  The mound was built on this plateau in the shape of a large snake with a curled tail.  It is the largest serpent effigy in the world, measuring approximately 1,300 feet in length and one to three feet high.  The head is oriented to…

  • New Grange

    Built as a part of a complex of monuments along the River Boyne in Ireland, New Grange is a passage tomb dating from circa 3200 BCE. Along with Knowth and Dowth, these are called Brú na Bóinne. New Grange is the largest of as many as 35 so called passage tombs in the region. Passage tombs have, as the name suggests, a long passage leading to a chamber where the remains of the dead are placed. These remains were usually cremated. The passage and the chamber were then covered over by a large mound of stones and earth. New Grange is a large kidney shaped mound, which covers over an…