Rediscovering the past

According to reports, archaeologists think theymay have found a ‘lost’ monastery where England’s first King, Edgar the Peaceful, was crowned. The story was linked on the Amerika blog where I first saw it.

It seems that archaaeologists were surprised to find this significant site next to the famous Bath Abbey. They noted that the location had what appeared to be Anglo-Saxon architecture in these two structures. As Bath was built by Romans during the time of their dominance in Britain, apparently most of the structures there are Roman in origin, so the presence of Anglo-Saxon style architecture got the attention of the archaeologists.

“After finding the Anglo-Saxon stone structures, archaeologists used a method called radiocarbon dating on charcoal found in some of the plaster of one of these apses. Since scientists know the rate of decay of radioactive carbon, they can use that to infer how long an object has been in the ground.

The charcoal dated to 780-970 and 670-770, Wessex Archaeology found. This time window suggests that the abbey was once part of the Anglo-Saxon monastery where Edgar was coronated, in 973.
[…]
He added that “this, together with the late Saxon stonework and burials found at the Abbey, provides increasingly strong evidence that we have, indeed, found part of Bath’s lost Anglo-Saxon monastery,” where Edgar the Peaceful was coronated.”

The Wessex Archaeology website has more historical information and clarifies some of the information in the other article.

If you go to the Wessex Archaeology page, you can scroll down to the pictures of two stone crosses, or fragments, as it appears. The article describes them as ‘late Saxon crosses’, but if you look at them you will see a familiar style of carving on them. The carving is like the typical ‘Celtic’ interlace style of decoration. I think most of us have been habituated to think this design is indicative of ‘Celtic’ culture when in fact it was found on many artifacts from Scandinavia as well as England. I am not trying to deny credit to the Celtic people for that style; it just seems evident to me that there was a widespread culture which pervaded much of Northern and Northwestern Europe. England was also part of that culture.

Articles like this do remind us that there is still a lot to be discovered from Britain’s past. We are far from knowing everything about that time and place. But it seems ironic to be finding these remains of a distant past when the culture of Britain is now in danger of dissolving.

2 thoughts on “Rediscovering the past

  1. Gildas the Wise is an important historical reference figure.
    We should all read his “De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae” I really want to if I get better. I can’t even focus to take in your posts fully.
    The people do not care about their past even their recent past

    Here is some Spengler

    “The transition from Culture to Civilization was accomplished for the Classical world in the fourth, for the Western in the nineteenth century. Form these periods onward the great intellectual decisions take place, no longer all over the world where not a hamlet is too small to be unimportant, but in three or four world-cities that have absorbed into themselves the whole content of History, while the old wide landscape of the Culture, become merely provincial, served only to feed the cities with what remains of its higher mankind. World-city and province–the two basic ideas of every civilization–bring up a wholly new form-problem of History, the very problem that we are living through today with hardly the remotest conception of its immensity. In place of a world, there is a city, a point, in which the whole life of broad regions is collecting while the rest dries up. In place of a type-true people, born of and grown on the soil, there is new sort of nomad, cohering unstably in fluid masses, the parasitical city dweller, traditionless, utterly matter-of-fact, religionless, clever, unfruitful, deeply contemptuous of the countryman and especially that highest form of countryman, the country gentleman. This is a very great stride towards the inorganic, towards the end–what does it signify?

    The world-city means cosmopolitanism in place of “home” . . . To the world-city belongs not a folk but a mob. Its uncomprehending hostility to all the traditions representative of the culture (nobility, church, privileges, dynasties, convention in art and limits of knowledge in science), the keen and cold intelligence that confounds the wisdom of the peasant, the new- fashioned naturalism that in relation to all matters of sex and society goes back far to quite primitive instincts and conditions, the reappearance of the panem et circenses in the form of wage-disputes and sports stadia–all these things betoken the definite closing down of the Culture and the opening of a quite new phase of human existence–anti-provincial, late, futureless, but quite inevitable.

    This is what has to be viewed, and not with the eyes of the partisan, the ideologue, the up-to-date moralist, not from this or that “standpoint,” but in a high, time-free perspective embracing whole millennia of historical world-forms, if we are really to comprehend the great crisis of the present.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Puritan, thanks for the Spengler excerpt; he obviously describes what is going on in our world today. I have thought about why the Powers That Be want to create a kind of nomadic society, where people wander the globe. As a side note this way of life also seems to be conducive to the spread of various diseases.
      But Spengler’s ideas are very plausible. They make sense. But as Christians we know that God is sovereign and not some kind of inexorable law about the death of societies. If God wills to restore a people or a nation he can and will. So I suppose i waver between hope and skepticism about the possibilities.

      I will have to read from Gildas; I did find a website with some of his writings. Thanks for that.

      Like

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