It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


The Mesolithic Motorway Service Station on Britain’s 10,000 year old Road

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in

+7 more 
posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 05:12 AM
Archaeologists excavating the A1 road in the UK were surprised to discover that the road may have been in use for 10 000 years.
The A1 runs from London to Edinburgh, and it was previously thought that the northern routes were built by the Romans as they pressed forwards towards Scotland.

Archaeologists were carrying out excavations of a known Roman settlement along the road, ahead of plans to upgrade the junctions from 51 to 56 to motorway status, when they discovered a number of flint tools that date back to between 6,000 and 8,000 BC. They also found a small Mesolithic structure that resembled a type of shelter where they were making the flint tools. The site, near Catterick in North Yorkshire, is believed to have been used by people travelling north and south as an overnight shelter, similar to today’s motorway service stations.

“It was fascinating to find one of those was a Mesolithic site, a further 8,000 years into the past beyond the Romans,” said archaeologist Steve Sherlock. “This was a place that people knew of – a place they could return to on many occasions to stay overnight during their travels. There is evidence of people using the route and moving through the area over periods of time. It is also adding to our knowledge of the early Mesolithic period, a time we don’t know very much about.

Ancient Origins

The Express

This is exciting news, as it adds weight to another piece of work from last year by Graham Robb, biographer and historian. He suggests that the so-called Roman roads in Britain and Europe were actually built by the Celts between the 4th-1st centuries BC.

“It has often been wondered how the Romans managed to build the Fosse Way, which goes from Exeter to Lincoln. They must have known what the finishing point would be, but they didn't conquer that part of Britain until decades later. How did they manage to do that if they didn’t follow the Celtic road?”
Mr Robb, former fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, first came up with the theory when he planned to cycle the Via Heraklea, an ancient route that runs a thousand miles in a straight line from the tip of the Iberian Peninsula to the Alps, and realised that it was plotted along the solstice lines through several Celtic settlements.

Telegraph article

A truly remarkable discovery, which can add another piece to the puzzle as we try to understand our history in the absence of written records.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 06:15 AM
a reply to: beansidhe

Great find Bean!

These kind of things are such a great look into the past. How people lived. There are some who believe the mesolithic peoples lived in an egalitarian civilization that covered europe, asia, and africa.

This find adds a little piece to the puzzle, making that argument a little more possible. Of course some guy could have owned it and required a toll.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 07:43 AM
a reply to: zardust

Even at 5000BC, the entire population of the UK was 60,000. That's about 10,000 families. Supposing each was grouped into towns of 150 homes, there would have just been 100 such communities.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 09:54 AM
a reply to: stormcell

Could you explain what you mean by that? Are you affirming or denying what I said?


posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 10:09 AM
a reply to: beansidhe
Hi there Beansidhe,
That's fascinating stuff,
That would be a long soggy walk in those earliest days, having a dry place to spend the night would be nice.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 10:29 AM
a reply to: beansidhe

On a programme about the ancient people who used Stone Henge they told us that people drove their cattle down once a yhear from Scotland to Stone Henge and everyone turned up and they had a huge festival. Then people drfove what they had bought back to Scotland again . Now if there were no roads, then this would have been improbable, so I suspect it was never the romans who built the original wide tracks and roads. It wasn't till C lauds came here that they even had enough troops to manage the country and build roads. A legion could march merrily along most tracks but to drive cattle took a wide road. Life existed in Britain well before the Romans and churc h arrived.

Veyr interesting post though.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 10:43 AM
a reply to: beansidhe

Excellent Thread, There are more and more astounding find's being made concerning the Gaul or celtic tribes and just how advanced they were which is contrary to the Roman propeganda after there conquest.
We now know that many Gaul or celt city's and settlements were connected with wooden roadways over boggy ground and of course though the Roman culture is essentially a mongral based on the etruscan culture and mingled with almost everything else they came into contact with that they did indeed borrow very heavily from the celt's.
In some way's the celtic culture was superior and woman were not limited by there gender as they were in the Roman society and indeed were greatly respected as much as any man in celtic culture despite there ruling elite being a warrior cast.
The celtic culture also ruled an area from Ireland in the west to as far to the east as northern turkey where celtic sites have been discovered in the anatolia region, once a celtic army moved north of ancient greece and the greek's mobilized there army in terror of the renowned celt's many of whom stood over six feet which was large for the time and remember a celtic tribe took Rome but accepted an anual tribute and a ransom for the city form it's residents whom his in it's largest temple, this humiliation is the reason the Romans whom averaged about 5'4" compared to the 6' gauls established there legions, there training included marching in full gear twenty Roman miles per day, establishing a fortified camp then demolishing it the following day and it was the Roman discipline and training to work as a single machine that made them one of the most fearsome fighting forced in history, there woman has a saying "Come back with your sheild (Victorious) Or on it" and Romans whom lost in battle were shamed so often took there own lives.
The celt's by comparison were an individualist society and each warrior would try to out do his comrades with more enemy kill's and greater feat's of courage, of course throwing yourselves individually against a shield wall is not good tactics.
When rome finally fell it was to a tribe whom had served as Roman auxilliarys and whom knew the Roman tactic's, also the Roman legions had been reduced by years of soft living compared to the Imperial legions of the outer provinces but the empire had already fragmented when the city was finally sacked.
It is interesting to not that when Quintus Varus lost the three legions in the Tutaborg forrest he did so to an enemy called armenius whom was a german that had served in the legion and was a roman citizen but thought he could unify the germanic tribes and establish his own personal empire so in essence Rome caused it's own weakening and it's own downfall.
Because Ireland was never conquered until the time of the normans it retained it's Celtic identity even with the advent of christianity but each celtic region had unique traits and it would be poor example to project them as the same as the european celt's whom the romans fought.

There is no doubt that both the Romans and the celt's used pre existant trade route's but where the romans supplanted or suppressed the original regional culture the celt's simply conquered it and became the ruling class but that class was open to the locals so long as they could proved there vigor in battle as the celt's had a ruling warrior elite.
Celts also regarded a woman whom had shown she could bear children and more desirable than a virgin whose fertility was unknown.

But of the people whom lived her before the beaker people we know nothing but at ten thousand years old that is one of the oldest sites in the country so let's hope they slap a preservation order on it and fast.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 10:57 AM
a reply to: punkinworks10

Hi punkinworks!
It makes me wonder about the frequency of travel up and down the road too, who they were, what they spoke about.. I love finds like this!

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 11:00 AM
a reply to: Shiloh7

I'm with you Shiloh, I think the Romans get credit for many things that they either improved or adapted.
It amazed me to think of roads built thousands of years before Stonehenge was even dreamed of.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 11:13 AM
a reply to: LABTECH767

Thank you, yes all of these finds help a little more in gaining a clearer picture.
Of celtic women there is a great (alleged) quote from the wife of a Pictish chief, retorting to the wife of Septimus Severus who had criticised the morals of the clan.

""We fulfill the demands of nature in a much better way than do you Roman women; for we consort openly with the best men, whereas you let yourselves be debauched in secret by the vilest".

Cattiness must be ancient! But, yes I think the Celts were more than capable of holding their own.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 01:18 PM
a reply to: beansidhe

He suggests that the so-called Roman roads in Britain and Europe were actually built by the Celts between the 4th-1st centuries BC.

Wow truely interesting! I had never heard this.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 01:48 PM
a reply to: Char-Lee

Hi Char-Lee, it interested me too. His book only came out recently and I was very excited when I read about it last year. The discovery on the A1 backs up his findings -albeit predating his estimates by around 4000 years - but still, a fascinating premise

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 03:12 PM
At 10k years the trail would have predated cattle by a few thousand years.
I wonder what resources the original travellers were after, and was it from north to south or visa versa.
The place itself may have been the destination, if it was near a source for flint nodules the it's likely it was the destination. In most stone useing cultures a majority of the prep work for tools is done near the source, as to lighten the load. IMO, the quest for stone is what kickstarted inter-group trade, and trade routes.
During the same period, native Americans sourcing stone from hundreds of miles away, in fact a point made from stone from baffin island turned up in Delaware.
There was so much trading goin on that you could walk from the Mississippi river all the way to california, oregon and Washington
all the way to the pacific.
I could see the entire Roman road network being based on previous trails.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 03:21 PM
Aye, many now think the "Roman" roads existed long before the Romans invaded Albion/Alba ( renamed Britain in the south, though in the far north, unconquered, they kept the old name, leading to the modern incorrect use of Alba to mean just the north of Albion/Britain) in order to secure food supplies for Rome .....

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 03:34 PM
a reply to: beansidhe

I think its reasonable to assume, I hate assuming anything but...., most of the old Roman roads followed existing trails.
And I also think its reasonable to believe that they maintained shelters for general use on the most common of these trails.

As many of us are already aware the pre-Roman population of the UK were cultured and inventive people and I think we are just beginning to scratch beneath the surface and gain an understanding of the world they lived in and their various complex social interactions etc.

Catterick is quite close to where I live and I'm sure I have a mate who is working on this site at present.
I'll get in touch with him and see what he has to say.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 03:48 PM
a reply to: beansidhe

Yeah, the Romans rarely wasted time reinventing the wheel and would have followed the 'path of least resistance' as they moved through the British Isles. The inhabitants that pre-dated them would have likewise followed the landscape that afforded them the quickest or least difficult progress.

It'd be absolutely wonderful to see a satellite view of Northern Europe from either the mesolithic or neolithic periods. I think we'd see well-trodden trade and migration routes scarred into the landscape from Ireland to the Mediterranean.

The Romans would have followed them as surely as their predecessors and as much as we still do to this day.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 04:00 PM
a reply to: Freeborn

Hey Freeborn!
It certainly wouldn't be an unreasonable assumption, I think. Is this your neck of the woods? Like punkinworks said, is this a well known area for flint?
It would be amazing if your friend was on this dig and you could bring us some first-hand information on this site, that would be just excellent

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 04:10 PM
a reply to: Kandinsky

It'd be absolutely wonderful to see a satellite view of Northern Europe from either the mesolithic or neolithic periods. I think we'd see well-trodden trade and migration routes scarred into the landscape from Ireland to the Mediterranean.

Hi there!
Aaah wouldn't that be wonderful? A complete bird's eye view of the natural terrain.
And with Doggerland still above water, we could learn so much about trade routes, fishing waters, migration paths. There is some speculation that many migrants came in through Orkney and headed south as so much more of Orkney would have been above water then - it would be fantastic to see where the roads led, ended, forked. We could have a real sense of who came from where, where the busiest places were - yes, it would be wonderful!

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 04:14 PM
a reply to: beansidhe

Catterick is about 13 miles south from where I live - its in North Yorkshire whereas I live in The Land Of The Prince Bishops, County Durham.

Not sure if its well known for flint etc but I do know that there are other Roman roads, settlements etc nearby and many other sites of interest that pre-date the Romans.

My mate works as some sort of surveyor and I know he is working in Catterick at present.
I'll give him a ring tomorrow and see if he can shed any light.

Hope all is good with you and yours.

posted on Jun, 18 2014 @ 04:26 PM
a reply to: beansidhe

Doggerland? That'd be something to see

On the subject of trade routes, have you listened to the BBC's History of the World in a 100 Objects?

There's a great show on a jade hand axe that was traded from the Alps to southern England. Or right click to save here (14 minutes long).

It's a great series and the axe episode inspires a lot of questions.

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in