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February 28, 2008

He's definitely an ex-druid

The first archaeological evidence for the druids may have been unearthed near Colchester (hat tip to a Celtic Warrior Queen).

A series of graves found in a gravel quarry at Stanway near Colchester, Essex, have been dated to 40-60 A.D. At least one of the burials, it appears, may have been that of a Druid, according to a report published in British Archaeology.

Mike Pitts is the journal's editor and an archaeologist. He studied classical Greek and Roman texts that mention the Druids in early France and Britain. The most detailed description, Pitts found, dates to 55 B.C. and comes from Roman military and political leader Julius Caesar.

Related in popular consciousness if not in history: Stonehenge replicas and derivatives. Spiegel has more images from the grave site and some archaeology humour which is entirely à propos.

There's a joke among archaeologists: Two of their kind, in the future, find a present-day public toilet. "We've discovered a holy site!" cries one. "Look, it has two separate entrances," says the other. "This here," he says, pointing to the door with a pictogram of a woman, "was for priests. This is evident by the figure wearing a long garment."

They really do think like this. No joke.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 28, 2008 06:41 AM


When I was in high school (sometime last Century) I recall seeing a "book from the future" about a dig of "Late 20th Century Artifacts." The story was modeled on Schliemann's work at Troy. The sole image I can still dredge out of my gin & whisky-sodden memory was a drawing of the future-archaeologist's wife (i.e., Sophie) wearing a toilet seat on her head and with toothbrushes dangling from her ears, "worn as the priests of that time did."

Posted by: Clayton Barnett [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 28, 2008 08:18 AM

That would be David Macaulay's Motel of the Mysteries. It is quite brilliant.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 28, 2008 08:27 AM