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Brochs

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posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 09:49 PM
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Brochs are an ancient type of structure that's unique to Scotland. They are concentrated, as the file shows, in the northernmost parts of the country - with significant numbers down the western isles and west coast, with a few examples in the lowlands.

The word broch is derived from Old Norse borg meaning "fort". Various other English language derivatives have also been used including brough, borough and borve. A precise definition has proven to be elusive as they are the most spectacular of a complex class of roundhouse buildings found throughout "Atlantic Scotland".


Brochs tend to date from around 400 BC to 400 AD, although individual ones usually went through many cycles of habitation and abandonment. Even when they stopped being used as brochs, many were inhabited for centuries after that period - often with the installation of a new, lower roof and often with small village like collections of buildings alongside (even touching) it. There are even reports of some being used as refuges in the Medieval period.

They are hotly debated, and the most contested thing these days is probably function - what were they for? To simplify it, there are two schools of thought.

They were defensive structures. This argument is based largely on their distribution and setting. Many of them are surrounded by ditches and earthworks, which are often still impressive 2000 years after they were built. Many of them are in what could be called strategic locations, seemingly placed to observe key waterways and sections of coast.

They were domestic buildings. Most of them are not located in defensible spots, with much safer locations nearby - in the floor of a glen, rather than on the safety of the surrounding hillside for example. Judging by the way the inner and outer walls converge with height, access to the roof was not likely to have been possible - which, coupled with the lack of any windows and only one way in/out, limits their potential use as watchtowers. Mousa broch, in Shetland and the largest surviving broch, defies this - the stair carries on right to the roof, and excellent views of the coastal area are obtained. Many of them are on arable land, with good access to fresh water - either by being near a river or even sometimes containing an internal well or stone water tank. They also often contain quern stones (for grinding crops), personal items and various other signs of habitation.

Brochs vary from 5 to 15 metres

The above information from this post on Bad Astronomy

So what were they for?






posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 10:18 PM
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You said it yourself when you said brochs-forts. They were used for defense.



posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 10:34 PM
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Hi.

I have actually visisted the Dun Carloway broch,(your first picture) on the Isle Of Lewis.
Along with the stone circle at Callanish,it is a highly impressive structure,and my impression was that it was for defensive purposes.
Apparently, the whole village population was moved inside the broch in times of danger.



posted on Jul, 20 2008 @ 11:33 PM
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Originally posted by HansluneThe word broch is derived from Old Norse borg meaning "fort". Various other English language derivatives have also been used including brough, borough and borve. A precise definition has proven to be elusive as they are the most spectacular of a complex class of roundhouse buildings found throughout "Atlantic Scotland".

Well you only have to look at the word to understand it. Its very hard to translate the term "borg" because it *does not* necessarily mean a fort in the English sense, it doesnt have to be of direct military application. "Borg" is used to name various types of fortifications, from the small wooden tower to the large and massive stone fortress with walls and whatnot. They could be used as guard towers too, lighting fires to warn other towers in sight (think Lord Of The Rings, hehe).

Main point is however, I'm not so sure they are really that "unique" nor a "complex class" of buildings.






These two are examples from a certain type of Swedish borgs called "kastal" (essentially just the tower part of a castle, obvious word similarity) used to protect churches on Gotland.

[edit on 20-7-2008 by merka]

[edit on 20-7-2008 by merka]



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 01:23 AM
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Fascinating.

There was one in the hills near Gelnhausen, Germany, when I was a young girl. It was in a spooky old pine forest and the door was sealed by iron bars. Some of the children said it was a "witches' tower" where those suspected of being witches were thrown off and killed.

Thinking about it now, I'm not sure it would be terribly effective for that. I would love to go back and find it again and see what's known about it in the town. I'm sure there's something in a library there.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 01:35 AM
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The mystery is that some of them are in poor defensive positions. I like the double wall construction - I wonder if it was previously filled with dirt/fill that has been washed out?

These were probably the ancestor to the martelo towers.

[edit on 21/7/08 by Hanslune]



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 01:49 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


I really find your posts interesting!
Thanks!



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 01:57 AM
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Thanks Clearskies

Oh and I'm mistaken about the Martelo towers. I was thinking of something else.

Martelos were Corsican defenses that were so tough that the British copied them all over the world.

There is another type of tower that is similar to the Brochs.........



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 02:06 AM
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Well obviously they were built by Atlanteans! They moved from the Azores and wanted buildings that reminded them of the rocky islands they left behind.
Anyway, fascinating read, Hanslune. It's reminding me of why I got interested in archaeology in the first place.
I think that they were probably used as a bit of both domestic and defensive structures, Maybe they were bilt by towns that grew large enough to have something to fear from raiders, or some kind of reguar attacks. And despite their location it became common to build the structures.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 02:11 AM
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Interesting thread, I have heard of these buildings before, perhaps they were used as some kind of storage, with double walls possibly filed with earth when in use it might keep them cool in summer and warm in winter no?



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 05:44 AM
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Originally posted by Hanslune
The mystery is that some of them are in poor defensive positions.

Then more than likely they werent just for defensive purposes. As you stated in your original post: Many of them are in what could be called strategic locations, seemingly placed to observe key waterways and sections of coast. . That there makes many of them lookout towers: little mystery in that. Further, the "borg" can easily be used as storage, retreat for villagers, lookouts, home to some lord, etc and whatever. In fact it can just be a fortified house.

So I still dont see the mystery, unless you insist that they are military forts by English definition.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 06:07 AM
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Chechen-VAİNAKH Watch Towers and Irish Round Towers




www.kafkasyagrubu.org...

.................................................................................................................................................

Chechen-VAİNAKH Watch Towers and Irish Round Towers




by Ass. Prof. Erol YILDIR (ENGANOY)


Opposed to the general assumptions, man's interest in high buildings is a fairly old tendency. These kind of buildings built by men have been the ones of the first architecture examples since the first periods of history. However, these first architecture examples were built by using wooden materials. In Çatalhöyük dated back to 6000 B.C., tower drawings made of wood and used in death rituals were seen. In accordance with the developments in wall construction techniques in world architecture, those towers have changed in time.


By looking at the remnants that have reached today we can understand that the construction of high buildings for defense started since the antique eras in which city-states were founded. In many regions of the world, tower construction was commonly implemented in different eras with different purposes. However, only a small portion of those buildings have reached our day. Some of the towers that reflect the architectural knowledge and the life characteristics in which they were built are located in Caucasia.


There are hundreds of these kind of towers in Daryal Strait and on mountainous Ingus-Chencen lands in Caucasia. We can also see these kind of towers on Ireland island which is very far from Caucasia. In scientific literature, John F. Baddeley drew attention to this similarity in 1940. In his work "The ! Rugged Flanks of Caucaus", except from this similarity Baddeley shows the similarities between the remnants of the building in Edisa region which is located near Kalvat village in Osetya and the Tihuanaka buildings that are located near the Titicaca river coast on the borderline between Peru and Bolivya. According to the academician Melitsev Bekov, these buildings have been inherited from "Kelts". However, Baddeley claims that those buildings have something to do with the societies mentioned in Nart epic poems.

Our study on Vainakh Towers that are a part of Caucasian Towers having similar features with Irish Towers was published some years ago. The topic of this paper is the similarities that are also mentioned briefly in that study. Besides, these similarities were brought to the agenda in Marje cyber medium in the last months and presented to the attention of the members. What can be the reason for these similarities between some arctitectural buildings that are many kilometers far from each other and that are located in two different parts of Europe? Under the light of which technical or traditional knowledge could the ancient Irish and Caucasian tower masters reach the common results and similar styles in their architectural works? Can this similarity lead us to the conclusion that Irish me! n (or Kelts) are Caucasian-origined in their historical roots? To what extent is the claim of Melitsev Bekov that the buildings in Osetya have been inherited from Kelts true? When we look at the similarities, it is possible to ask more questions about this topic.

However, in this paper we are not going to seek answers to these questions but are going to compare the Irish Towers to Vainakh Towers in Caucasia in terms of style, function and technique. Technically speaking, these comparisons have come to existence as a result of the various sources written on Irish Towers (L.Barrow, P. Callahan, various web sites etc.) and the information we obtained from our own observations in Caucasia supported by different sources (Aziyev-Çahkiyev, M. Mujuhoyev etc.) However, the reader should take our observations about the towers in both countries as only a situation evaluation and should understand that we do not have a claim to seek for a similar root between Irish men and Causasians by looking at our focus on those similarities.

Irish Round Towers and Vainakh Watch Towers are not only identical in their style but also in function, technique and materials used. Before listing these similarities, it is necessary to dwell upon the most obvious difference between the two tower types. This fundemental diffrence is that whereas Irish Towers were constructed in cylindrical structure and circular plan, Vainakh Towers were constructed in square plan and edged form. Here some features worth remembering should be noticed. In accordance with the plain geographical structure and the steep slopes of the island, Irish Towers were constructed in cylindrical structure in order to provide better defense against the invasive destruction attacks. In case of an attack from all sides of the tower, the circular plan was more functional than the square plan. There was no such a requirement! for Vainakh Towers that were constructed on mountainous and high regions.

Furthermore, the tower construction of the circular plan was a difficult technique required more effort and care when compared to the square-plan towers. Another reason for Vainakh Towers made of square plan was that this kind of plan carried a more functional characteristic in multi purpose buildings. In buildings constructed only for defense, circular plan and cylindrical structure carried a more functional feature. For that reason, diffrent from the Irish Towers that are constructed only for defense, multi purpose Vainakh Towers were not built in circular plan because it was unnecessary to do so. In fact, some Caucasian construction masters implemented this kind of circular plans in some of their works. For instance, Krugliy grave monuments in Vovninski Bing in Chechenya and in Muhal region of Kabarday Balkarya were constructed in circular plans and had the same stone work and the sharp semi domes with the Irish Towers. Similarly, the Irish construction masters knew how to build square-plan towers. For example, the remnants of the buildings in Glendalough-Trinity are of this kind.

The scientists who searched the Irish Towers claimed that Irish tower masters constructed these buildings for defense by having inspiration from Byzantines. This reflection about the roots of Irish Towers has some true aspects but can lacks some information. In fact, the tradition of tower architecture was commonly seen both in almost all the regions of Caucasia .......



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 06:12 AM
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Chechen , Circassian , Abhazian , Ubuiqh tribes of Caucasia , have built towers such as these since antiquity .

Maikop Culture dates back to 3500 - 4000 years .


2cents

[edit on 21-7-2008 by 23432]



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 01:39 PM
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Howdy 23432

Your link didn't go to anything about towers just a turkish site, can you clear up what you were trying to show?



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 03:22 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Fascinating post. I think defensive and maybe protection against the weather is a possibility.



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by Hanslune
Howdy 23432

Your link didn't go to anything about towers just a turkish site, can you clear up what you were trying to show?



Howdy Hanslune

Sorry about that , here is the original article - longer - on a Chechen site :

www.chechen.org...


Among Caucasian tribes , there are those who were there since the beginning of time .
Caucasus mythology or Caucasian Languages have the obvious clues to a forgotton past of humanity .


In the antiquity , my family was horse breeder , weapon maker , dancer & drinker .




posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by kidflash2008
reply to post by Hanslune
 


Fascinating post. I think defensive and maybe protection against the weather is a possibility.





In this youtube video , one can hear an Adyge language , music and see some of those towers .

The video explains the Hatti history .










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