> Do you not think that this indicates that the builders of Maeshowe
> were Celtic in religion if not in language too? And if the
> former, why not also the latter? Would not the importance of
> Imbolc and Samhain at Maeshow indicate a possibly Celtic speaking
> populace when this site was constructed, approximately 3,000 B.C.?
I posted the following study which places the origins of the Celtic languages to
around this very time:
No one came back with any comments, and I cannot claim enough knowledge of these
topics to be even able to make a guess as to whether the study is valid.
There is this criticism of the study:
By the late Larry Trask, and some responses to his post here:
http://linguistlist.org/issues/14/14-2012.html#2 (including one from one of its
Generally speaking, the culture of Maeshowe (which appears to be the focus of a huge
and widespread religious movement) is of the beaker culture. There was a previous
Megalithic culture there which appears to have been far more peaceful and
egalitarian and appears to have a had a rather different and important psychology
with regard to the function of stone circles (Skara Brae being one of their sites).
Presumably, no alignments to what became later Celtic festivals have been noted for
this earlier culture. A couple of years ago I wrote a novel about this culture, but
have yet to publish it. I "reconstructed" the religious beliefs of that culture
(writing a couple of their myths) and contrasted them with what came after (beaker)
in order to explain the primary cause of warfare. I call the novel "War".
The current belief seems to be that the Celtic culture and language has its origins
in the Urnfield culture, which would be about 1200 B.C. If the language does date
only to that time, then what are being called the Celtic festivals of Samhain,
Imbolc, etc. are really Celtic adoptions of Beaker festivals.
Of course, all religions change over long periods -- even while remaining
essentially the same in their world-view or philosophy. Practices and rites are
extremely changeable and are thus the poorest markers of the basic world-view.
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