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History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings
news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site.
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historical fiction writer I am fascinated by news stories featuring the
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Druid Grave Unearthed in U.K.?
Feb. 11, 2008 -- Historical records tell of a mystical, priestly and learned class of elite individuals called Druids among Celtic societies in Britain, but there has been no archaeological evidence of their existence. Until, perhaps, now.
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, the journal's editor and an archaeologist, authored the piece. Pitts 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.
"Druids, he says, were prestigious ritual specialists who performed human sacrifices, acted as judges in disputes, were excused action in battle and taught the transmigration of souls -- when you die, your soul is passed on to another living being," Pitts told Discovery News.
Other historians link the Druids to soothsaying and healing practices.
Within the wooden, chambered burial site, researchers have excavated a wine warmer, cremated human remains, a cloak pinned with brooches, a jet bead, divining rods (for fortune-telling), a series of surgical instruments, a strainer bowl last used to brew Artemisia-containing tea, a board game carefully laid out with pieces in play, as well as other objects.