The Chispologist’s Guide To Atlantis (i): The Hyksos in America

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Its 2020, a cool-sounding year, & so time for a new & appropriate Chispological Adventure. Well, I thought, lets do Atlantis. There’s no rush, its only February, but I definitely have enough material for a survey which begins with a Chispology chapter I published a couple of years ago concerning the Aryan Invasion, the essence of which saw the following two facts;

1: The culmination on my studies into the origins of Zeus, proving he was in fact a mortal king of the Hyksos. I wrote;

Essentially the Greek god Zeus was also a Hyksos pharaoh call’d Seuserenre Khyan & another historical figure called Sesostris. Where Seuserenre was known as the ‘Embracer of Regions’ Zeus was consider’d to be the, ‘King of the Entire World,’ while Sesostris was also said to have conquered the world; where Zeus attack’d the Titans in Thrace, so Sesostris led armies in the same region; where Seuserenre was succeeded by Apepi, Zeus had a son called Epaphus/Apis. With the babel-chain of Zeus-Seus-Ses adding more support to the case

2: The Hyksos were the force behind the Aryan Invasions of India. I got an interesting comment appertaining to this point, which stated;

The Hyksos as RigVedic gods is detailed by Dr. Liny Srinivasan in her four English books, Dezi language speaks of the past, FromCrete to Egypt, Near Easter Deities in the Rig Veda and Her book on Mandean and Biblical names in Egyptian Coffin texts. She also is. mentioned in Cyrus Gordon’s Ugaritic textbooksnd published with him on this subject. She puts the linguistic and geographical clues together (she is a phd geographer) and her analysis supports much of what you wrote.

So, it seems, I’m on the right track somewhere! I definitely lean towards the euhemeristic approach to history, I’ve had too many hits not to. But the ideal place of study is somewhere in the middle as opposed to what  Palaephatus opined, in the preface to his On Incredible Tales; ‘some men, from want of instruction, believe all the current narratives, while others, more searching & cautious, disbelieve them altogether.’ Through my studies I have identified that myths are more often founded on truth but heavily embossed with extra-analogical features – it takes some pretty skillful chispology to disconnect the two… & with Atlantis its gonna take an incredible amount of untangling!

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IN THE TIME OF CRONOS

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We begin our search for Atlantis with a passage in Plutarch’s, ‘On the Face appearing in the Orb Of the Moon‘ which describes contact between North America & Europe.

The great mainland, by which the great ocean is encircled, while not so far from the other islands, is about five thousand stades from Ogygia, the voyage being made by oar, for the main is slow to traverse and muddy as a result of the multitude of streams. The streams are discharged by the great land-mass and produce alluvial deposits, thus giving density and earthiness to the sea, which has been thought actually to be congealed. On the coast of the mainland Greeks dwell about a gulf which is not smaller than the Maeotis and the mouth of which lies roughly on the same parallel as the mouth of the Caspian sea. These people consider and call themselves continentals and the inhabitants of this land because the sea flows around it on all sides; and they believe that with the peoples of Cronus there mingled at a later time those who arrived in the train of Heracles and were left behind by him and that these latter so to speak rekindled again to a strong, high flame the Hellenic spark there which was already being quenched and overcome by the tongue, the laws, and the manners of the barbarians. Therefore Heracles has the highest honours and Cronus the second.

The key passage here reads, ‘with the peoples of Cronus there mingled at a later time those who arrived in the train of Heracles. In my Aryan Invasion post I established the presence of Heracles in the Hyksos royal family, several generations after Zeus. if we now focus on Cronos & allow him to be real, then he would have been the father of Seuserenre. According to Egyptology, the previous king to Seuserenre  was a certain Sakir-Har, mentioned on an excavated doorjamb from Tell el-Dab’a, which reads;

[Horus who… …], The possessor of the Wadjet and Nekhbet diadems who subdues the bow people. The Golden Falcon who establishes his boundary. The heka-khawaset, Sakir-Har.

It is interesting to see the KR of Kronos/Cronos embedded in Sakir, & also the name of Zeus’ mother, Rhea, in the ‘r-har’ ending. Whether Sakir-Har is Kronos or not, the euhemeristic father of Zeus would have been active c.1600 BC. That Cronos was living then means this era would be remembered as the Greek ‘Golden Age’ celebrated since at least Hesiod. In this age of peace & harmony,  humans were said to live among the gods, and freely mingled with them, a metaphor one would expects when mortals liked Seuserenre  was ruling the world.

By tying what we know about Zeus & his supposed father, to Plutarch’s ‘Orb of the Moon‘ account, we come to a natural conclusion that a first wave of immigrant Greeks had settled in the New World c.1600 BC – a whole three thousand years befor Colombus. This leads us quite neatly to the…

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OLMEC CIVILIZATION

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The first major civilization of Mesoamerica, the “mother culture” of the Mayans & the Aztec, were known as the Olmeks. Historians have remarked on how a complete & quite sophisticated civilization of artists, engineers & astronomers just seemed to spring up out of nowhere. From deposits  at the El Manati shrine (near San Lorenzo) the earliest date for the Olmeks has been given as 1600 BC. That very narrow time-band fits perfectly to a group of Hyksosean colonists pitching up in the New World. Case solved, but lets see if it’ll stand up in court.

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The negroid facial features of the collossal Olmec statue heads indicate a connection to Africa.

As seen from the image above, the Olmecs reflected truly global influences, which makes them being a part of a Hyksos empire a sound prospect. In his book Exodus Lost Stephen Compton identified a Hyksos colony in Mesoamerica. Comparing contemporaneous art & architecture, he tells us ‘all of these features exist(ed) among the Hyksos before they suddenly appeared at San Lorenzo.’ Compton also highlights Tlillan-Tlapallan – “the land of black and red, of wisdom” –  & shows it as a literal translation of the ancient Egyptian name for Egypt, Kemet Deshret.

The Olmecs built the first pyramid in America, reflecting their Egyptian origins. A joint expedition of Russian and Uzbek archaeologists has discovered several ancient pyramids in Uzbekistan. According to the scientists, these 15-metre high constructions may be at least 2,700 years old & have a flat surface, resembling those found in Central America. These pyramids, then are leaves of the same anthrotree, whose root lies in Hyksosean Egypt, & whose branches spread across the Atlantic & into India c.1600 BC.

There is even epigraphical evidence, of sorts. The inheritors to the Olmec hegemony in Mexico, the Aztecs, have a foundation tale which places their original homelands were a place called Chicomoztoc, from which play they & six other tribes settled “near” a place, a pardise island in a lake, called Aztlán. This is an obvious match for the Atlantis of Plato, which we’ll look deeper into next post, but for now lets simply record the name Chicomoztoca, which means ‘place of the seven caves’ in Nahuatl, the language of the early Aztecs.

Atzlan
The Aztecs leaving Atzlan

According to the Codex Aubin, the Aztecs were subject to a tyrannical elite called the Azteca Chicomoztoca. Now, where everyone else believes the myth, a trained chispologist sees something else in the name, & I’ll just show you exactly what with a babel-chain. To all extents & purposes you’re simply changing the ‘m’ phonetic to a ‘kh.’

Chicomoztoca
Cheqa-mozt
heqa mast-
heqa masut
heqa khasut
All babel-chains need support, & heqa khasut, just so happens to be the Egyptian name for the Hyksos, another tyrannical elite which would explain how the Atlantis story travelled across the Atlantic in the first place, via the Hyksos empire.

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LINEAR A

In 1600 BC the Hyksos were the defacto controllers of the Mediterranean. Archeology tells us that at the time Seuserenre Khyan, our Hyksos emporer, was sending gifts to brother kings, including one to the Minoan leadership at Knossos on Crete. This gives us a definitive cultural link to the Minoaon script, Linear A, & it now seems evident why it shares so many similarities to that of the Olmecs.

Capture

Capture 2

Capture 3

Those very visible tallies cannot easily ignored, & should open up fresh investigations into the Hykso-Minoan relations, perhaps even finding the language of Linear A is related somehow to a Mesoamerican language.

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YOGA

If we see Scythia is the homelands & main trunk of the Hyksos anthrotree, & India being one of its branches, then if the Olmec civilisation is another branch, that civilization should share some of the same cultural foliage. Yoga is a clear tally, as recorded on numeorus Olmec figurines & statues, as a simple peruse of the asanas below will show.

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Note the Egyptian head-dress in the top left image

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MORE OLMEC-HINDU LINKS

The Olmecs established in Mesoamerica the ritual use of conch-shell trumpets to announce the presence of the gods – a practice still followed in Hindu and Buddhist religious ceremonies. The Olmeks also had a diety with an elephant’s head which tallies with the famous Ganesh of India, & also some of the earliest depictions of the Egyptian god, Horus. There is an Egyptian relief, for example, which shows Apap swallowing the water & the light of the world, & Horus – depicted as ane elephant god – fighting him to make him disgorge what he had swallowed.

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At the Museum of Anthropology in Jalapa, Mexico, one can see an Olmec altar supported by a pair of dwarves with upraised hands. In India, on both Hindu & Buddhist temples, these dwarf figures called “ganas.” There is also a similar dwarf icon in ancient Egypt known as Bes, the protector of the household and of childbirth. He is depicted below a cornice at the Denderah Temple complex, which suggests that he played a similar function of supporting the temple in Egypt.

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The dwarf deity Bes depicted below a cornice in the Denderah Temple complex. ©Olaf Tausch
The dwarf deity Bes depicted below a cornice in the Denderah Temple complex. ©Olaf Tausch

There is also a depiction of the Hindu-Buddhist Kalamukha, a monster face which hangs over shrines & temples, with foliage being sculptured either side of the entrance. The lower jaw of the monster is absent, which creates the impression of being devoured by the Kalamukha as one enters.

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 NAHUATL & SANSKRIT

Since the 1900s, Mexican scholars have noted that the Nahuatl language is derived from Sanskrit. Even the word Nahua derives from the Sanskrit word for “sailor:” Nava or Navaja. I’ll just give you a few extracts from the excellevt essat ‘On Nahuatl & Sanskrit’ by Juan Miguel de Mor.

One of those intellectuals, the foremost in this regard, established interest-ing comparisons between Sanskrit and the language spoken througout the Aztec Empire before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors and which is still spoken in various parts of Mexico : Nahuatl. This student of the language of Kãlidãsa was Doctor Gumersindo Mendoza… and in 1878 published his Estudio Comparativo entre el Sánscrito y el Náguatl (Comparative study between Sanskrit and Nahuatl ) in Mexico –  In eight tables or charts, Mendoza compares one hundred and seventeen Sanskrit words with an equal number of words in Nahuatl… Mendoza states in his study – suffices to be able to see clealy that the two languages recognize the same basis the same stem of the human species : the first – he refers to Sanskrit – carried to the highest degree of perfection from time immemorial; the second, when the conquerors reached this land, was still in a state called by philologists the state of agglutination or that of semi-flexion.

Mendoza begins with ap which, according to Monier-Williams, Benfey, Renou, Stchoupak and others, means ” water, air, waters personified ” in Sanskrit and which lie compares with the Nahuatl a pantli which is ” current, canal, irrigation channel Similarly apano is, in Nahuatl, •« to cross a current of water “,

Kuharat in Sanskrit, is the name of a serpent. It is compared by Mendoza to koatl or kohuatl , ” snake ” in Nahua

 Ikshana, “a look, view, aspect, sight” (MW) in Sanskrit ; ixco-ixtth 11 face, countenance, by extent ion : eye ” i

Mekala , the name of the river Narma-dã ( Nerbudda ) in India, is compared to Mexcala , the Nahuatl name of a river in the state of Guerrero in Mexico

Makha, ” a sacrifice, sacrificial oblation ” ( MW ) ; tlamacazki ” priest, minister of the cult, from the root maka ” in Nah

 Toya, ” water ” ( MW ) in Sanskrit ; toyaua , ” to spill, the spreading of water ” in Nahuatl.

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 THE NAME OF MEXICO

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So we’re off. Atlantis is out there somewhere & its connections with the New World are evident. Before we move on I would just like to show what I believe to be the very first ever mention of Mexico, 2000 years before the panish conquistadors besieged the Aztec capital,  México-Tenochtitlan, in 1521. Before then no-one really knows its origin, although the Codex Aubin says that after leaving Aztlan, on the road their god Huitzilopochtli forbade them to call themselves Azteca, telling them that they should be known as Mexica. Reading the myth with a chispological eye  indicates that the Aztecs were simply moving to Mexico where they would have to be called, well, Mexicans.

In the Asiatic Society Researches, Volume 11, published in 1808, Major F. Wilford states in his paper ‘An Essay on the Sacred Isles in the West’, “….various etymologies are given of the name of the city of Mexico, the true pronunciation of which is Machico.’ This leads us  to Claudius Aelianus, or Aelian, who about 200 AD related a discourse recorded six centuries earlier by Theopompus, between Midas the Phrygian, and Silenus. It reads;

Amongst other things, Silenus told Midas that Europe, Asia and Africk were Islands surrounded by the Ocean : That there was but one Continent onely, which was beyond this world, and that as to magnitude it was infinite : That in it were bred, besides other very great Creatures, Men twice as big as those here, and they lived double our age : That many great Cities are there, and peculiar manners of life ; and that they have Laws wholly different from those amongst us : That there are two Cities farre greater then the rest, nothing to like each other ; one named Machimus, Warlike, the other Eusebes, Pious : That the Pious people live in peace, abounding in wealth, & reap the fruits of the Earth without Ploughs or Oxen, having no need of tillage or sowing. They live, as he said, free from sickness, and die laughing, and with great pleasure : They are so exactly Just, that the Gods many times vouchsafe to converse with them. The Inhabitants of the City Machimus are very Warlike, continually armed and fighting : They subdue their Neighbours, and this one City predominates over many. The Inhabitants are not fewer then two hundred Myriads : they die sometimes of sickness, but this happens very rarely, for most commonly they are kill’d in the Wars by Stones or Wood, for they are invulnerable by Steel. They have vast plenty of Gold and Silver, insomuch that Gold is of less value with them then Iron with us.

So one simply has to ask oneself, does the 4th century BC city of Machimus anything to do with Machico? The Olmek were definitely still a prominent force in that period. That they were ‘very Warlike, continually armed and fighting : They subdue their Neighbours, and this one City predominates over many,’ finds a tally in Olmec art. In the book ‘The Olmec World,’ Ignacio Bernal writes, ‘on Altar 4 of La Venta a human figure bound by a cord suggests a captive. Monument C at Tres Zapotes shows scenes of war & combat. A trophy head is probably represented on Stela A from Tres Zapotes & on Stela D a kneeling figure also suggests that he is a victim of conquest.’ The representation of an obsidian-edged sword would indicate the same, while from stelae A & D of Tres Zapotes we know that the Olmecs possessed lances & knives. For me Machico & Machimus are the same…

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THE CHISPOLOGIST’S GUIDE TO ATLANTIS

Chapter 1: The Hyksos in America

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chisp coverCHISPOLOGY

Chapter 1: The Exodus
Chapter 2: The Aryan Invasion
Chapter 3: The Mahabharata
Chapter 4: Agastya
Chapter 5: The Picts
Chapter 6: Brunanburh
Chapter 7: The Young Shakespeare
Chapter 8: Shakespeare’s Blossom
Chapter 9: The Badon Babel Tree
Chapter 10: The Saxon Advent

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THE CHISPER EFFECT

chisper_effectChapter 1: Chispology 
Chapter 2: Princess Scota
Chapter 3: The Ithica Frage
Chapter 4: The Jesus Jigsaw
Chapter 5: Asvaghosha
Chapter 6: Dux Bellorum
Chapter 7: Dux Pictorum
Chapter 8: The Holy Grail
Chapter 9: The Mandylion
Chapter 10: Shakespeare’s Grand Tour
Chapter 11: The Dark Lady
Chapter 12: The Ripper Gang

The Twelve Pillars of the Pictish Arthur

Its Boxing Day morning & so I thought I’d work on a wee belated Christmas gift to the world. This is the assimilation of all my research on the Pictish King Arthur & presentation in a singular place, basically to stymie any deflection of what is emerging as a very real truth. Each piece of research I am constructing as a metaphysical pillar on which my theory shall stand. There’s plenty of them, & I believe that any antiarthurians out there must demolish at least half of them to ensure my theory’s demise. This, however, is never gonna happen because, & without further ado, of the following…

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1: The Name Garthnach

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A historical figure called Garthnach son of Gygurn certainly sounds like Arthur son of Igerne, with the latter being the traditional famous mother of King Arthur. Evidence for the Arthur-Garthnach  philochisp comes in the form of  Artúr mac Aedan, King of Dalriada – ie the Irish Scots of Kintyre. Where Artúr is named as Aedan’s son in Adomnan’s Life of Columba, elsewhere The History of the Men of Scotland records: ‘Aedan had seven sons – two Eochaids, Eocho Bude, and Eochaid Find, Tuthal, Bran, Baithíne, Conaing, and Gartnait.‘ There’s no Arthur in the latter list, but there is a Gartnait, & we may presume they are the one & same person.

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2:  The Dates Fit

The following wee chronicle contains an extract from the Pictish King List – names & reign lengths – found in the 14th century Poppleton Manuscript, anchored on & intertwined with historical notices in very old chronicles. In the Poppleton, Gygyrnus appears as Girom, which would have thrown many scholars off the scent, but it is clear from other recensions of the PKL that Girom & Gygurnus are the same. My concluding interpretation of the data is that Arthur/Garthnach became king of the Picts in 529 & gave it up in 536, a year before dying in battle Camlann.

 449: Drust McErb, King of Pictland, died (Annals of Clonmacnoise)

(449) Talore son of Aniel – 4
(453) Necton Morbet son of Erip – 24
(477) Drest Gurthinmoch – 30
(507) Galalan Erilich – 12

516: The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ for three days and three nights on his shoulders and the Britons were the victors. (Annales Cambraie)

(519) Two Drests – son of Girom
son of Uudrost
5 together / 5 Drest son of Girom on own
(529) Garthnach son of Girom – 7
(536) Cailtram son of Girom – 1

537: The battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell. (Annales Cambraie)

(537) Talorg son of Muircholaich – 11
(548) Drest son of Muniat – 1
(549) Galam Cennaleph – 1
(550) Galam Cennaleph and Briduo together – 1
(551) Bridei son of Mailcon – 30

581: The death of Bruide son of Maelchú, king of the Picts. (Annals of Tigernach)

(581)  Gartnart son of Bomelch

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3: Pictish Matrinlineal Succession

The last king in the above list, Gartnart, was the same man as Arthur son of Aedan, showing that Bomelch was his mother. The Pictish succession of kings was matrilineally focussed, with the Venerable Bede recording in the early 8th century;

Now the Picts had no wives, and asked them of the Scots; who would not consent to grant them upon any other terms, than that when any difficulty should arise, they should choose a king from the female royal race rather than from the male: which custom, as is well known, has been observed among the Picts to this day.

Such a matrilineal regal-flow begins with Cunedda, who appears in the PKL as Canutulahina. Nennius places Cunedda in Scotland, in Manau Gododdin, whose successor, Ceretic, transchisowrs into the PKL’s Wradech.  Between them & Arthur/Garthnach, the list is as follows;

Canutulahina
Wradech uecla
Gartnaich-diuberr
Talorc son of Achivir
Drust son of Erp
Talorc son of Aniel
Necton morbet son of Erip
Drest Gurthinmoch
Galanan erilich
Drest son of Gygurnus
Drest son of Uudrost
Garthnach son of Gygurnus

According to Jesus College genealogy number seven, Cunedda Wledig had two daughters, Tegid and Gwen. The latter then marries a certain Amlawdd Wledig, so the matrinlineal Pictish royal line should flow through their children. Another genealogy in Peniarth MS 177 shows their daughter to be a certain Eigr, otherwise known as Eigyr, Igraine or Ygerne. This woman, of course, is the father of King Arthur, & the only conclusion we can make now is that Cunedda was King Arthur’s great grandfather.

Cunedda Wledig / Canutalahina
Gwen = Amlawdd Wledig
Eigr / Gygurnus
Arthur / Garthnach

The PKL gives even more confirmation. The St Andrews version of the Gurthinmoch is Gormot. This name philochisps into a certain, ‘Gormant,’ who the medieval Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen describes as ‘Gormant son of Rica (brother to Arthur on his mother’s side, his father the chief elder of Cornwall),’ where again we see another Igerne-linked figure connected to the Pictish throne.

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4: The Dux Pictorum

If Arthur was a Pictish king, then surely somebody would have  mentioned it somewhere. Luckily someone did, even before Big Geoff. His name was Lambert of Saint-Omer, who in his early 12th century Liber Floridus  states not only that Arthur was a Dux Pictorum, but that he also has a palace in Pictavia. It was this clue that me logically look for Arthur in the Pictish King List in the first place, using the old open a phone book method which shines with effervescent simplicity!

Arthur, Dux Pictorum, ruling realms of the interior of Britain, resolute in his strength, a very fierce warrior, seeing that England was being assaulted from all sides, and that property was being stolen away, and many people taken hostage and redeemed, and expelled from their inherited lands, attacks the Saxons in a ferocious onslaught along with the kings of Britain, and rushing upon them, fought valiantly, coming forward as leader in twelve battles

There is a palace, in Britain in the Picts’ land, of Arthur the soldier, built with wondrous art and variety, in which may be seen sculpted all his acts both of construction and in battle.

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5: Rhynie

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The Royal Pictish centre being excavated in recent years at Rhynie, Aberdeenshire, is given as Penrhionyd in one the Welsh Triads.

Three Tribal Thrones of the Island of Prydain: Arthur the Chief Lord at Menevia, and David the chief bishop, and Maelgwyn Gwyned the chief elder. Arthur the chief lord at Kelliwic in Cornwall, and Bishop Betwini the chief bishop, and Caradawg Vreichvras the chief elder. Arthur the chief lord in Penrhionyd in the north, and Cyndeyrn Garthwys the chief bishop, and Gurthmwl Guledic the chief elder

In the Welsh language, ‘Pen’ means ‘summit or peak,’ which renders Penrhionyd as meaning ‘Peak of Rhionyd.’ Above Rhynie towers the far-seen Tap o’ Noth, Scotland’s second highest hillfort, complete with impressive triple-ringed defense-works. A definitive Arthurian connection to Rhynie comes through Tintagelware, which had fanned out throughout Britain to a series of high-status sites such as South Cadbury in Somerset & also Longbury Bank in the Dyfed parish of Penally, situated within another of Arthur’s ‘Tribal Thrones.’ Just as Cadbury was home to a grand timber feasting hall; & just as at the ‘high-status’ Longbury Bank in Dyfed Ewan Campbell & Alan Lane suggest ‘there is tenuous evidence for at least one large timber building;’ so have archeaologists uncovered the post-holes & plank slots of a timber feasting hall at Rhynie.

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6: Uther Pendragon

That a Pictish name, Drust or Dustan, was found on a 6th century memorial stone is Cornwall has always puzzled scholars. Yet, by placing a Pictish Arthur in the same locality clears things up a touch. We do so by the following famous passage…

Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, was there, with his wife Igerne, that in beauty did surpass all the other dames of the whole of Britain. And when the King espied her amidst the others, he did suddenly wax so fain of her love that, paying no heed unto none of the others, he turned all his attention only upon her… At last, committing the siege into charge of his familiars, he did entrust himself unto the arts and medicaments of Merlin, and was transformed into the semblance of Gorlois… They then went their way toward Tintagel, and at dusk hour arrived at the castle. The porter, weening that the Duke had arrived, swiftly unmade the doors, and the three were admitted. For what other than Gorlois could it be, seeing that in all things it seemed as if Gorlois himself were there? So the King lay that night with Igerne.

This story, as told by Big Geoff, is the nearest thing we have to Arthur’s birth certificate. Big Geoff’s history is essentially a collection of facts, or almost facts with a chisper or two, about which are composed tales of aventure & exciting battles to please a twelfth century audience. In this case he knew that Arthur was born in Tintagel of Igerne & Uther, but Arthur’s father was also known as Gorlois. To reconcile the two truths he created a magical phantasy which no doubt went down well in the early medieval feasting halls, that Merlin turn’d Uther into Duke Gorlois. The evidence comes in a poem by Taleisin called the Death Song of Uther Pendragon, in which Uther declares himself to be called Gorlasser, a philochisp of Gorlois. The poem is set in North Britain and begins;

Am I not with hosts making a din?
I would not cease, between two hosts, without gore.
Am I not he that is called Gorlassar?
Have I not been accustomed to blood about the wrathful,
A sword-stroke daring against the sons of Cawrnur?
I shared my shelter,
a ninth share in Arthur’s valour

To this mix we must add the figure of Hydrossig/Uudrost, who appears in the PKL right before Garthnach as the parent of one of the two Drests, with the other parent being Gygurn. Uther to Uudro is an easy chisper to spot and we may conclude definitively that Uudrost and Gygurnus are the Pictish philochisps of Uther and Igerne.

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7: Scottish Battles

There are plenty of traces of Arthur in the topography of Scotland, & we can also link several sites to the ‘Battle-List’ of the Historia Brittonum, with the clearest one being, ‘The seventh battle was in the forest of Celidon, which the Britons call Cat Coit Celidon.’ This ‘cat,’ or wood, was situated all across the Scottish borders, between Hadrian’s Wall & the Firth of Forth. Arthur’s eighth battle, ‘near the fortress of Guinnion,’  is given a precise site by the Vatican rescension of the Historia, Stow-on Wedale in the Scottish Borders.

For Arthur proceeded to Jerusalem, and there made a cross to the size of the Saviour’s cross, and there it was consecrated, and for three successive days he fasted, watched, and prayed, before the Lord’s cross, that the Lord would give him the victory, by this sign, over the heathen; which also took place, and he took with him the image of St. Mary, the fragments of which are still preserved in great veneration at Wedale, in English Wodale, in Latin Vallis-doloris. Wodale is a village in the province of Lodonesia, but now of the jurisdiction of the bishop of St. Andrew’s, of Scotland, six miles on the west of that heretofore noble and eminent monastery of Meilros.

Arthur’s eleventh & twelfth battles were fought in the Lothians. ‘The eleventh battle was fought on the mountain which is called Agnet,refers to Edinburgh. The locality of Mount Agned is given by Big Geoff, who chips in with, ‘Ebrauc also built the town of Alclud & the settlement of Mount Agned which is now called the castle of the Virgins & the Hill of Sorrows (Montem Dolosorum), facing Albany.‘ That Edinburgh was known as the Castle of Maidens back in Geoff’s day is proven in a papal bull of 1237, which names Holyrood as the ‘Monastery of the Holy Rood of the Castle of the Maidens.’ This battle is also mentioned by the Pa Gur poem which describes

On the heights of Eidyn
He fought with cynocephali
By the hundreds they fell
To Bedwyr’s four-pronged spear

The mention of the ‘heights of Eidyn’ in Pa Gur suggest a battle was fought all across Edinburgh’s seven hills. Arthur’s fighting in the Edinburgh area is remembered in quite a distinctive way. On approaching the city, the happy traveller will first notice from afar the wild & gigantic ruin of an ancient volcano. This compact & heathy wilderness is known as Holyrood Park, whose chief height is a soaring 800-foot high, lion-like edifice called Arthur’s Seat. As we have already seen, an Arthur’s Seat in an area could well be attributed to a siege conducted by Arthur himself. In the half-French, half-German, Latin-loving dialect known as Middle-English the word ‘sege’ possessed two very different meanings, the latter of which opens the case wide open; A chair or throne / A  siege. Thus Arthur’s Seat could well be a memorial of King Arthur beseiging Edinburgh rock!

The final battle, Badon, is sited in the county of East Lothian, to the East of Edinburgh. Its modern day name is Lammer Law, after which the Lammermuir Hills are named. It lies only a few miles from Traprain Law, which has been firmly connected to King Loth, one of Arthur’s kindred in the older traditions. On the lower slopes of Lammer Law there are three hillforts; The Witches Knowe, Kidlaw & The Castles. Flowing around the latter goes the Dambadam Burn, which transchispers into Dun Badon, & also the ‘the siege of Mount Badamor’ variant of the battle’s name as given by the medieval Scottish chronicler, John of Fordun. This system of defences guarding Lammer Law does come alive in the mind when reading the phrase, ‘Arthur penetrated to the hill of Badon.’

From Badon we come to Bothan, the ancient name of the parish of Yester, which the Lammer Law forms a part. In the Transactions of the Antiquarian & Field Naturalists’ Society (1963/v.IX), James Bulloch writes of Yester church’s chispering dedication to Saint Bathan;

In the course of the centuries this church acquired a spurious dedication because of the similarity of its name to St. Bathans on the southern slope of the Lammermuirs. Even in the late Middle Ages the name Bothans became transformed into St Bothans but there is clear evidence that the original dedication was to Saint Cuthbert. It is told in the Lanercost Chronicle that in 1282 the woodwork of the choir of the church of Bothans in Lothian was being carved at the expense of the rector, ‘in honour of Saint Cuthbert, whose church it is.’

From Bothon/Bodon we come to Boderia (also Bodotria), which is the name given by Ptolemy for the Forth estuary. With Lammer Law being the largest ‘mountain’ in East Lothian, & that it overlooks the Forth, then it should well have been called Mount Boderia in the 2nd century AD, transchispering to Badon by the Arthurian era. Also relevant is the name ‘Mur nGuidan’ given to the Forth by the ‘Irish Tractate on the Mothers of Saints.’ So just as the Gododdin derided from an earlier Bodotria, so the name Guidan would have evolved out of Buidan.

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8: Sir Kay

In 536, Arthur was replaced on the Pictish throne by his brother, Cailtram son of Girom.,  who would rule only for a single year, succeeded by Talorg son of Muircholaich . The name Cailtram immediately resonates with ‘Keidyaw,’ who succeeded Arthwys in one of the lineages in the Descent of the Men of the North, which reads;

Gwendoleu & Nud & Cof, sons of Keidyaw, son of Arthwys

With Talorg’s entry into the Pictish pantheon, we gain confirmation to Arthwys of the Descent of the Men of the North as being King Arthur. To do so, we must compare the names of three of the Descent’s consecutive kings to three consecutive kings given by the Pictish lists;

ARTH-wys – GARTH-nach

CEI-dyaw – CAI-ltram

Gwen-DDOLEU – TALOR-g

It would seem that Cailtram/Keidyaw was the man behind the later Sir Kay of medieval Sir Kay of Arthurian romance.  Nah then, is it only a fabulous coincidence that Big Geoff describes Arthur leaving Britain in the year before Camlann, ie 536 AD? is it only a coincidence that Hector Boece  describes a certain noble leader called Caimus as dying at Camlann?

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9: The Battle of Camlann

A positive connection to the Dunnichen area being the site of the fatal Battle of Camlann is  given in the Second Statistical Account of Scotland’s account, which records a ‘confused tradition prevails of a great battle having been fought on the East Mains of Dunnichen, between Lothus, King of the Picts, or his son Modred, and Arthur King of the Britons, in which that hero of romance was slain.’ This correlates with the Annales Cambraie’s ‘537: The Strife of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell.

 

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There is the definite Cam like’ ‘Carmyllie,’ which Dunnichen parish neighbours. The name has a clear resonance with the ‘Carmellie’ battle given in the Old Welsh tale, The Dream of Rhonabwy, in which a certain Iddawg places the battle near the Pictavian ‘Prydyn.’

I was one of the missionaries in the Camellian battle between Arthur and Medrawd his nephew… I was named in Iddawg Cordd Britain. And because of this the ranks of the troops were distributed at Machman. But, however, three nights before the end of the Camell battle I drove them out and I came to Lech Las in Prydyn to eat.

In late antiquity, the Welsh word Llan and its variants (Breton: lan; Cornish: lann; Pictish: lhan) was applied to the sanctified land occupied by communities of Christian converts. The typical llan was defended by a circular or oval embankment with a protective stockade. An Iron age llan can be found in the parish of Dunnichen, Angus, on a hillfort called Dumbarrow, confirmed by the Statistical Account of Forfarshire’s, ‘this Fort seems to have been built of dry stone in a circular form.’ Dumbarrow has clear Arthurian connections, with the Old Statistical Account of Scotland (1791) describing ‘a rock on its north side is still called Arthur’s Seat,’ while Alexander Warden in the third volume of Angus or Forfarshire, tells us, ‘The Hill of Dumbarrow (anciently Dunberach), in the parish, disputes with the Hill of Barry, near Alyth, the honour of having been the prison of Arthur’s frail Queen, Guanora.’

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Archaeology has proven that a substantial conflict had been fought in the locality. A Pictish stone was dug up on East Mains, of which instance Headrick observes in 1833’s Statistical Account that, ‘a good many years ago, there was turned up with the plough a large flat stone, on which is cut a rude outline of an armed warrior’s head and shoulders; and not many years ago, the plough also uncovered some graves in another part of the same farm. These graves consisted of flat stones on all sides. They were filled with human bones, and urns of red clay with rude ornaments upon them ; the urns being filled with whitish ashes. By exposure to the air, the bones and urns mouldered to dust.’ To this information, Andrew Jervise adds (PSAS II, 1854–7), ‘on the lands of Lownie also, (the original property of the Auchterlonies) & in the King’s muir adjoining, a variety of ancient graves have been now and then discovered.’

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At Dunnichen was found one of the most remarkable symbol-stones in the Pictish pantheon. It had been dug up in 1811 in a field named ‘Chasel’ (Castle) park at East Mains, & moved to the church yard at Aberlemno. Its now in Dundee, actually, its a replica that stands at Aberlemno – but its still pretty cool. One side of this wonderfully carved stone shows a battle in full swing, presumably between the long-haired Picts & what appears to be helmet-wearing Saxons. Camlann was fought on an international scale, a great civil war in which Mordred obtained military assistance from the Saxons, with the Triads telling us;

The three disgraceful traitors who enabled the Saxons to take the crown of the Isle of Britain from the Cambrians… The second was Medrod, who with his men united with the Saxons, that he might secure the kingdom to himself, against Arthur; and in consequence of that treachery many of the Lloegrians became as Saxons.

The parish saint of Dunnichen is Constantine, & alongside the church dedicated to him, there was also a ‘St Causnan’s Well,’ whose pure fine spring was renamed as the Camperdown Well to commemorate the battle of Camperdown. According to Big Geoff, Constantine succeeded to the high kingship of Britain after the Battle of Camlann, & on its very field, Arthur; ‘gave up the crown of Britain unto his kinsman Constantine.’

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10: Avalon

The Welsh Triads tell us, ‘there took place the Battle of Camlan between Arthur and Medrawd, and was himself wounded to death. And from that wound he died, and was buried in a hall on the Island of Afallach.‘ The name Afallach translates as ‘apples’, & with Camlann being fought at Dunnichen, common sense tells us we are looking for an island with orchards somewhere in the vicinity. For as long as anyone can remember a rich & fertile tract of land in Perthshire called the Carse of Gowrie has flourished with that Fruit of Eve, the apple. The Carse still retains the pleasant moniker of ‘the Garden of Scotland,’ whose once sprawling historic orchards have dwindled to only five wee woods in the modern age; Bogmiln, Inchyra Farm, Muirhouses, Newbigging & Templehall.

Fifteen centuries ago, the alluvial flood plain on which the Carse is situated was a patchwork of many islands, including Inchyra, whose phonetic ‘inch’ stems from the Gaelic name for ‘small island.’ Inchyra House is a place of great significance to our investigation. A Pictish grave, disturbed by ploughing in 1945, was discovered 100 meters south of the house. The remains were covered by a large decorated flat slab lying flat over a cairn of forty-nine water-rolled stones. This seems to be Arthur’s, for the Triads say he was buried in, ‘a hall on the Island of Afallach.’ The skeletal remains, which included the upper part of a skull, an arm bone and shoulder socket, were later respectfully re-buried without a closer examination.

Arthur's Tomb, Inchyra
Arthur’s Tomb, Inchyra

On analysing a 1959 paper on the Inchyra Stone, by Robert Stevenson, the Ogham inscriptions leapt out at my mind like striking panthers. Transliterated by FT Wainwright, of their academic accuracy, Stevenson wrote; ‘Professor K.H.Jackson, who examined the stone along with us, is in general agreements.’ The first inscription reads, ‘INEHHETESTIE.’ We can here see the word Anoeth, as in the babel-chain, ‘Anoeth-Inohhet-Inehhet.’ The true meaning of the name Anoeth is not yet understood to satisfaction, but it is given by the poem’ The Stanzas of the Graves’ as the actual burial site of Arthur.

Another inscription on one of the stone’s edges gives us the winning ticket;

UHTU-O-AGED

In the Welsh tradition, Igerne is given the name Eigr, & thus in the Ogham inscription above we can quite positively see the names of Arthur’s legendary parents;

UHTU —- AGE

Uther — Eigr

That the philochisps of Arthur’s burial site at Anoeth & the names of both of his parents appear on a single stone help us to paint Inchyra as the original Avalon. This means simply that King Arthur was – & still is – buried in the grounds.

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11: Gleissiar of the North

 We have previously connected Uther Pendragon with a certain Gorlasser, another reference to whom is found in the Welsh Triads

 Three Brave Men of the Island of Britain: Gruddnei, and Henben, and Edenawg. They would not return from battle except on their biers. And those were three sons of Gleissiar of the North, by Haearnwedd the Wily their mother.

Here Igerne or Ig-Haearn, appears as ‘Haearnwedd the Wily.’ It comes as no surprise to see how the Triads’, ‘Gruddnei’  philochisps into Gartnait, a common alternate name for Garthnach as given in the lists. Conjecturally, this suggests that Gleissiar’s other sons, Henben & Edenawg, are the two Pictish Drests who ruled before Garthnach/Arthur.

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12: Camelot

dun 7

It makes sens that the fortress of Camelot was situated near the immortal battlefield of Camlann. The ‘elot’ afifx is found only a few miles to the south of Dunbarrow, where the River Elot – Elliot these days – rises in a moss called Diltymoss, and, after a course of about eight miles, falls into the North Sea at Arbirlot. Hard by its headwaters stands Dunhead, a fortification covered by dense deciduous woodland, situated on a steepsided promontory at a confluence of the Elliot Water, between two ravines, one of which contains the Black Den & the other the Den of Guynd. In 1754, Melville made a rough sketch-plan of the site, describing it as ‘the entrenchment on Down Head Hill near Arbilot.’

dun 6
Camelot is the ‘earthwork’ on the map

The First Statistical Account refers to the recent demolition of a “druidical temple” in the parish, & the finding of a “Pictish crown” at Black Den, a forested ravine linked to the Guynd Den.

A few years ago the remains of a religious house in the parish, whose ruins had been revered for ages, were taken down. And though we cannot say at what time, or by what person, it was built, yet from the accounts given of it, we have reason to believe that it had been a druidical temple. It is reported, with much confidence, that a crown of one of the kings of the Picts, was found in the Black-den of this Parish, by a quarryman, about the beginning of the present century

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CONCLUSION

I’ve left a lot of cool stuff out with this write up, but I wanted to be as clear & concise as possible. As I’ve studied the Pictish Arthur over the years, its been amazing to see & erect each solid proof on which to support the theory. To me, on Boxing Day 2019, its a no brainer, a series of coincidences so uncanny that they just have to be the truth. I mean, there’s a guy in the Pictish King Lists whose name sounds like Arthur & whose mother’s name sounds like Arthur’s mother. Not only that, he gives up his throne a year before Camlann – 536 – just like Arthur, & the guy who succeeds him – Cailtram – rules for a single year suggesting he was the Caimus who died at Camlann. Another incredible coincidence is that Arthur ruled in the north at a place called Pen Rhionyd, & there is a dark age Pictish fortress at Rhynie… it just goes on & on…

King Arthur & the Pictish Matrilineal Succession

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In recent months I found myself being astonished by the presence of Cunedda in the Pictish King List. He’s not the first famous Dark Age figure I found there, for King Arthur himself appears as Garthnach son of Gygurnus. To allay scepticism I thought I’d do a bit more research, & if I am correct then all of a sudden we have the solid evidence for the Pictish matrilineal succession as stated by Bede, who tells us;

Now the Picts had no wives, and asked them of the Scots; who would not consent to grant them upon any other terms, than that when any difficulty should arise, they should choose a king from the female royal race rather than from the male: which custom, as is well known, has been observed among the Picts to this day.

Here’s the list between Cunedda, who appears as Canutulahina, & Arthur, who appears as Garthnach.

Canutulahina
Wradech uecla
Gartnaich-diuberr
Talorc son of Achivir
Drust son of Erp
Talorc son of Aniel
Necton morbet son of Erip
Drest Gurthinmoch
Galanan erilich
Drest son of Gygurnus
Drest son of Uudrost
Garthnach son of Gygurnus

Cunedda’s rough dates can be ascertained by a passage in Nennius, who stated, ‘Cunedag… had come previously from the northern part… one hundred and forty-six years before Maelgwn reigned’. According to the Annales Cambraie, Maelgwyn Gwynned died in 547, which means Cunedda must have left Scotland at some point before 401. He & his sons went to & settled in Wales, bringing them into contact with the royal houses there.

According to Jesus College genealogy 7, Cunedda Wledig had two daughters, Tegid and Gwen. The latter then marries a certain Amlawdd Wledig, so the matrinlineal Pictish royal line should flow through their children. Another genealogy in Peniarth MS 177 shows their daughter to be a certain Eigr, otherwise known as Eigyr, Igraine or Ygerne. This woman, of course, is the father of King Arthur & appears in the Pictish king list as Gygurnus mother of Garthnach.

Cunedda Wledig / Canutalahina
Gwen = Amlawdd Wledig
Eigr / Gygurnus
Arthur / Garthnach

The only conclusion we can make now is that Cunedda was King Arthur’s great grandfather. Inbetween them in the lineage is Amlawdd Wledig, who appears in Saxo Grammaticus as Amleth. Now this guy marries a Scottish queen Saxo gives the name of Hermuthruda. If she was called Gwen, or a variant, then boom! everything fits together. Even so, we’re half way there at least via the Scottish, ie, Pictish connection, so lets just equate for chispers having occured in the transmission of information between the Welsh genealogies & the Scandinavian sagas, & continue. I’ll be soon putting up some posts in which aspects of Arthur’s Scandinavian ancestry & activities will be unearthed, but before then I’d like to offer one last nugget unearthed from the secrets of the Pictish King List.

A genealogy known as Bonedd yr Arwr states that Gwen was the mother of a certain Cynwal Garnhwch. This man then appears in Cuhlwych & Olwen as Kynwal Canhwch, the father of Gwen Alarch. Both these guys seem to appear in the PKL, where CYNWAL GARNARCH is Gartnaich-diuberr & GWEN ALARCH may be Talorc son of Achivir or Talorc son of Aniel. In the latter case, Gwen Alarch becomes Gwenddoleu & thus Talorc, a pattern repeated a century later when the Garthnach-Cailtram-Talorg succession mirrors the Descent of the Men of the North, where we see an Arthwys-Ceidyaw & Gwenddoleu succesion.

To finish, let us look at the King List, compare it to the lineage of Cunedda & just realise how feffin cool the whole thing is!

Canutulahina ——————————————- Cunedda
Wradech uecla (Ceretic son of Cunedda) ————- Gwen
Gartnaich-diuberr ————————- Cynwal Garnarch
Talorc son of Achivir ————————————————-
Drust son of Erp ——————————————————
Talorc son of Aniel ——————————–  Gwen Alarch
Necton morbet son of Erip —-————————————
Drest Gurthinmoch ————————————————–
Galanan erilich ——————————————————-
Drest son of Gygurnus ———————————— Igerne
Drest son of Uudrost  ———————————————– 
Garthnach son of Gygurnus——————————– Arthur

Captain Kidd’s Treasure

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Following on the Treasure Hunting theme from the last post, I thought I’d reveal my work on the fabled buried hoard of the famous old 17th century privateer, Captain Kidd. He basically captured a ship he shouldn’t have done off the SW coast of India, then sold most the goods at Fort Cochin. The gold & booty was then shared among the crew, some got a single share, some a half, & Kidd a whopping 40 shares. Lots of gold bars were suddenly in his possession. Kidd then sailed to Madgascar & roll on a few more months he’s caught in New York & sent to trial. The trial notes tells us;

Out of the goods that were taken, some were sold in the Country there, the produce of them was so much money, it is proved, that the money was divided, & pursuant of the articles set up, you were to have forty shares & the rest of the men whole, or half shares, as they deserved… One witness speaks positively of the distribution of the Goods that remained unsold, that they were divided according to the same porportions as the articles mentioned,  every one of the prisoners had his share. There belonged 40 shares to Capt Kid, & shares & half shares to the rest.

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The gold & his share of the booty were never found. The following 1701 broadside song “Captain Kid’s Farewell to the Seas, or, the Famous Pirate’s Lament (to the tune of Coming Down)” lists, “Two hundred bars of gold, and rix dollars manifold, we seized uncontrolled.”

Upon the ocean seas while we sailed, [while we sailed],
Upon the ocean seas while we sailed,
Upon the ocean seas
A warlike Portuguese
In sport did us displease, while we sailed.

At famous Malabar when we sailed, [when we sailed],
At famous Malabar when we sailed,
At famous Malabar
We went ashore, each tar,
And robbed the natives there, when we sailed.

Then after this we chased, while we sailed, [while we sailed],
Then after this we chased, while we sailed,
Then after this we chased
A rich Armenian, graced
With wealth, which we embraced, while we sailed.

Many Moorish ships we took while we sailed, [while we sailed],
Many Moorish ships we took while we sailed,
Many Moorish ships we took;
We did still for plunder look;
All conscience we forsook while we sailed.

I, Captain Culliford, while I sailed, [while I sailed],
I Captain Culliford, while I sailed,
I, Captain Culliford,
Did many merchants board,
Which did much wealth afford, while we sailed.

Two hundred bars of gold, while we sail’d, [while we sail’d],
Two hundred bars of gold, while we sail’d,
Two hundred bars of gold
And rix dollars manifold
We seized uncontrolled, while we sailed.

St. John, a ship of fame, when we sailed, [when we sailed],
St. John, a ship of fame, when we sailed,
St. John, a ship of fame
We plundered when she came,
With more than I could name, when we sailed.

The question is, did Kidd bury the treasure somewhere between Cochin & New York? In the early 20th century, four treasure maps were found in various false-bottom’d bureaus & workboxes by Kidd-memorobilia hunters Guy and Hubert Palmer which point to the treasure’s location on an un-named island. Looking at the evidence, there is a logical train of thought which points to a Minicoy island, part of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. For a start, its the first port of call more or less on the way to Madagascar, 250 miles out of Cochin.

Capture

Kidd certainly knew the area. In 1697 Kidd and his crew brought their ship, the Adventure Galley, to the Laccadive Islands, to the north of Minicoy. The undisciplined crew chopped up the local boats for firewood, and raped the local women. When the men retaliated by killing the ship’s cooper, the pirates attacked the village and beat up the people who lived there.

ianmap1

The above map is revealing. When it says ‘China Sea’ we must understand that in 16-17th century maps of the Indian Ocean, it appears as the “Ocean Oriental”. If we read the longitude as 73.30 – the first number is obscurely written – we gain a place only 40 miles to the north of Minicoy, as shown below.

Capture

Capture

Minicoy & – minus its sandbar – certainly looks like the island on the map. As for the written information reveal’d on the map, Minicoy has a lagoon, a reef fringe, its a turtle breeding area, & its quite famous for shipwrecks when, ‘prior to 1865 most of the wrecks occurred on the northern islands and reefs of Minicoy.’ I mean, its quite a contender is wee Minicoy.The only problem is the mention of hills. There are slightly elevated areas on minicoy, but nothing like a hill as we know them. Still, with a chisper or two here & there, it is very possible that the so-called hills are exaggerations. If I am correct – & I usually am – then the treasure will be somewhere about the red cross on the bottom map.

PK1x

Beautiful-Minicoy-Island

Capture

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure: 2019 Update

 

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If I was standing where the treasure chest is, I’d see trees, I’d see mountains, I’d see animals. I’d smell wonderful smells of pine needles, or pinyon nuts, sagebrush—and I know the treasure chest is wet.

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cv 4

A few years ago, a certain octogenarian, Forrest Fenn, hid a treasure chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of America. Since then, many a puzzle-solver has attempted to crack the poem which contains clues to the treasure’s location. It reads;

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.

From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.

The poem is contained in an autobiographical sketch called the Thrill of the Chase, of which Fenn says, ‘ The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search.’

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A couple of days ago, the UK press ran a story about a guy in the US suing Forrest Fenn for misleading him with clues that point to Arizona. Absolute craziness, especially when the clues clearly point to Wyoming. In a case of x marks the spot, there are two crosses on the treasure map – one should be a decoy & one help to hone in on the treasure. The peak marked with a cross in Wyoming is Garret Peak, its the most central cross, so on a hunch we’ll begin our search there.

Fenn announced the treasure in 2010, & a few months earlier, in the September of 2009, he attending the Black Bow Tie event in Cody, Wyoming, in his capacity as a board member of the Buffalo Bill Society. He was definitely in the right area at the right time.

cv 3

Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down

This is a reference to fishing on the Green River, which flows through a canyon & becomes too warm for the fish in the summer. In Fenn’s book his love of fishing, especially fly-fishing, is everywhere.

Put in below the home of Brown

‘Put in’ is a term for launching a small boat – this is a reference to sailing on Green River Lake, which sits underneath Osborn Mountain.  Henry Fairfield Osborn was the man who assisted Barnum Brown’s search for dinosaurs in Wyoming – the first Tyrannosaurus was found by them – & the bones were displayed in the American Natural History Museum Paleolithic section founded by Osborn – thus Osborn is the home of Barnum Brown’s finds. In Fenn’s book, his love of artifact-hunting & deep history permeates everywhere.

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At the south east corner of the lake, Clear Creek begins. There is a trail to follow which leads to Clear Creek Falls, as described in Fenn’s third stanza;

From there it’s no place for the meek 

… The meek inherit the earth, thus we need to follow water…

The end is ever drawing nigh

… A line evocative of a waterfall’s edge & the eternal movement of the water as it approaches the drop…

There’ll be no paddle up your creek

… You cant paddle a waterfall & the movement is, of course, upwards…

Just heavy loads and water high.

Water high is pretty obvious, thus this stanza is basically saying follow Clear Creek beyond its Waterfall.

clearckmap4

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

This is a fun stanza. In 1988 – the same year Fenn was diagnosed with cancer (not so fun) – the forest around Clear Creek beyond the waterfall was charred by a blaze caused by lightning (Hiking Wyoming’s Wind River Range).

Tarry scant with marvel is an allusion to Hemingway sending a copy of a short story (tarry scant) to Mcleish who wrote a poem to Andrew Marvell in the style of His Coy Mistress. In a letter to Mcleish, Hemingway calls Mcleish ‘Andy Marvell’ (Selected Letters 1917-1961, p.326) & in the Thrill of the Chase there is a glaring error made by Fenn concerning Hemingway, which I believe was one of the subtle clues made to draw one’s attention to Hemingway.

The short story was called ‘Wine of Wyoming’ in which we read; 

‘Labour day we all went to Clear Creek.. Madame said. 
The wood struck by lightning is at the bottom centre of the photo
The wood struck by lightning is at the bottom centre of the photo
The wood is described on a web page which reads, ‘about a half mile from the Slide Creek junction, our trail cuts across the northwest edge of the meadow through an open grassy area filled with wildflowers. You can find blue harebells, cinquefoil, yarrow, subalpine daisy and a variety of other colourful flowers. Beyond here, the trail enters the charred burns of an old lightning burn from 1988. These old snags provide wildlife habitat for many wildlife species including a variety of woodpeckers and cavity-nesting birds.’
vc1
The treasure is somewhere here...
The treasure is somewhere here…

When Fenn declares,’ ‘If I was standing where the treasure chest is, I’d see trees, I’d see mountains and I know the treasure chest is wet,’ the treasure should be somewhere in the wood, in or by Clear Creek. I think it will be hidden under a log because of these two Fennean passages;

I hope parents will take their children camping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. I hope they will fish, look for fossils, turn rotten logs over to see what’s under them, and look for my treasure

One of my earliest recollections as a boy was to turn over a rotting log in the forest and watch as a hundred little critters scurried around trying to decide what to do. It’s nature in its rawest moment. I find solace in the solitude of the trees.

It is significant that the creek is within 200 feet of the trail, which connects with Fenn saying that a few participants in the hunt unwittingly ventured within 200 feet (61 meters) of the chest.

Some have thought the treasure cant be in Wyoming as Pinion Pines don’t grow that far north – but Fenn himself revealed the info is not relevant, stating, ‘I just watched that New Mexico Tourism video again and must say that I didn’t say what I was thinking. You cannot smell a pinon nut, but those who pick them know that in doing so you get pine pitch all over your hands, and pine pitch smells about the same no matter what kind of pine tree you are talking about. Looking back I think I wanted to say I could smell pine needles, not pinon nuts. Sorry I kicked a hornet’s nest with that comment. There is no clue there. Incidentally, when I get pine pitch on my hands I rub butter on the spots and that solves the problem. Of course then I have trouble getting the butter off.’ 

The other hints Fenn has given us can check off one by one;

There’s no need digging in the old outhouses, the treasures’ not associated with any structure. CHECK

It is not in Nevada. CHECK

The treasure is not in a grave yard. CHECK

The treasure is higher than 5,000 feet above sea level. CHECK

If you had the coordinates, you would be able to find the treasure. CHECK 

The treasure is not hidden in Idaho or Utah. CHECK

The treasure is not in a mine. CHECK

It is at least 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe. CHECK

The treasure is hidden below 10,200 feet. CHECK 

It is more than 300 miles west of Toledo. CHECK

I never said it was buried, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t. CHECK

It is not possible to find chest without leaving computer & google earth – CHECK

There isn’t a human trail in very close proximity to where I hid the treasure.”  CHECK

Not associated with a structure……CHECK

I would like to know if the blaze can be found during the day without a flashlight. “I would say yes. – CHECK

I made two trips from my car to the hiding place and it was done in one afternoon.”CHECK

The Burial Mound of Olaf Guthfrithsson

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 On Hacking out the Gododdin Heritage Trail

O for a walk along a printed line!
Remove the vagueries of random paths,
For when we from the city disincline,
Soul-peace in reach away from public baths!

There’s so much pleasure in a trodden route
That stays unhidden in the memory
Of generations, perrennial fruit
Ripens afresh, ever-exemplary.

With each footstep a sort of hypnosis
Descends like manna on the pacing host
That enters into cute symbiosis
With nature, rills & forest, hills & coast,

And history! The ghosts go with us too,
Enacting deeds, phantasma in the dew.

———–

I quite like that sonnet – my most recent composition. It concerns my 2019 mission to create a heritage trail around the centre of East Lothian, which I am currently serialising in my Walking East Lothian blog. Not so long ago I found myself in an area called Papple, whose steading is currently being renovated as a historical site. As I was passing thro’ Papple, I couldn’t help but notice what could well be a Viking ship burial in a field to the west. Its one thing to say that looks like a Viking ship burial, but before we start digging or hiring georadar technology, it is prudent to examine the why.

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1: They’ve done it before.

The Vikings sited a boat burial at Ardnamurchan, West Highlands, thought to be more than 1,000 years old. Artefacts buried alongside the Viking in his boat suggest he was a high-ranking warrior. Others have been excavated at sites on Orkney.

IMG_20191129_134036

2: Papple was a Viking centre

A study of the immediate area around Papple proves it was definitely settled by Vikings. The oldest form of Stenton was Steinton, after the Norse word for stone, ‘stein.’ Just outside Stenton, we find Meiklerig Wood, from the Norse, Mikill = ‘great, tall, large size’, & hryggr, meaning ‘ridge’. In Timothy Pont’s 16th. c. map can be seen a place in Pressmennan Wood named Fattlipps XE “Fattlipps”, with Fatt being Norse for ‘upturned or bent backwards.’ lipps, may come from Old Scots lippie, ‘flax or corn seed measure’. A bit above Pressmennan is Rammer Wood, from the Norse, Ram(m)r, ‘strong, mighty’. Others include the two Hailes – Nether & Over – evolved from Neðar = ‘lower’ & ofarr = over, & Hedderwick near Dunbar, which derives from Heðarvík = ‘heather or moorland bay’.

3: Papple was a religious centre

The name Papple is similar to the ‘Papil’ of West Burra, in the Shetlands. This site was a pre-norse Christian centre, with the name Papil coming from ‘papar’ – a Nordic word for priests. Papple farmhouse & steading are connected to a very old site called the ‘Convent.’ All that now remains is a small part of the walls, covered with ivy and now forming the SE end of a cow house in Papple farmyard. Though both the Cistercian nuns of Haddington and the nuns of St Bothan’s of the same order held lands in ‘Popil’, there is no evidence to support the existence of a convent here.

4: Papple connected to Viking royalty

Papple, or rather Whittinghame of which it neighbours, was the home of king Guthred before he was crowned king of Viking Northumbria in 883. His path to power is unusual, as given by Symeon of Durham in two sources.  In his History of the Kings, Symeon simply states, “Guthred, from a slave, was made king”, but in his History of the Church of Durham he gives a longer account.

During this time the Viking army, and such of the inhabitants as survived, being without a king, were insecure; whereupon the blessed Cuthbert himself appeared in a vision to abbot Eadred… & addressed him in the following words:—”Go to the army of the Danes,” he said, “and announce to them that you are come as my messenger; and ask where you can find a lad named Guthred, the son of Hardacnut, whom they sold to a certain widow at Whittinghame. Having found him, and paid the widow the price of his liberty, let him be brought forward before the whole aforesaid army; and my will and pleasure is, that he be elected and appointed king at Oswiesdune, and let the bracelet be placed upon his right arm.

The mention of a widow is interesting, for regal widows in those days were prone to join or set up religious houses, which provides the perfect background for a convent at Papple.

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IMG_20191129_134130The mound at Papple certainly feels like a Viking Boat – its the right shape, the right length, it looks out to the sea & Norway. Its got a cool little causeway too, its great. That Papple has Vikingly religious & regal connections suggest that if the mound is a burial ship, then its gonna be a king inside it, but who? Well, it just so happens that a significant Viking ruler’s last known movements were just a few miles away from Papple.

During my chispological studies I’ve come across Olaf Guthfrithsson of the Uí Ímar dynasty before – the famous ‘Analf’ of the Brunanburh campaign. Tho’ defeated, once Athelstan died, Analf was back in Jorvik as the Viking king of Northumbria. Then crucially, soon after after attacking Auldhame & bearby Tyninghame in East Lothian,  in 941, he died. The written evidence tells us;

941: Olaf, having plundered the church of St Balthere [i.e. St Baldred] and burnt Tyninghame, soon perished Symeon of Durham

941: Amlaíb son of Gothfrith, king of the fair foreigners and the dark foreigners, died Chronicon Scotorum

Capture

In 2005, a 10th century Viking skeleton was discovered at Auldhame cemetary on an archaeological dig. He was buried with a number of items indicating his high rank, & some folk have concluded this was Analf. ‘Whilst there is no way to prove the identity of the young man buried at Auldhame,’ says Alex Woolf, ‘the date of the burial and the equipment make it very likely that this death was connected with Olaf’s attack.’ For me, I am sure Analf would have had a cooler burial site, something as impressive as his ego.

CRW_3666
Auldhame

————-

Conclusion

So, Analf dies, no-one knows where he’s buried. So where to look. Well, a ships-shaped mound at a Viking religio-regal centre is not a bad start. What confirms it for me is two slight depressions in the mound, under which lie broken stones (see below). It is as if  the roof of the ship burial has caved in somewhat…

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Fortriu & Grandtully’s Nechtansmere

A few years ago, Alex Woolf promoted a theory that the Pictish region known as Fortriu/Fortrenn was up near Moray & that the Battle of Dun Necthan was fought up there as well.  It was all very well done & ultimately wrong, as an almost too easy piece of Chispology has just helped me to hone in Fortriu, which re-opened the search for the Battle of Dun Necthan / Nechtansmere – which I have also solved.

First things first, Fortriu means river of the Fort, clearly the River Forth which starts out in the western belt of Scotland, meanders by Stirling & empties into the North Sea via the Firth of Forth, at whose mouth lies the island of Fidra. ‘Riu’ means ‘river’ in Old Occitan, a language spoken in southern France, including the region of Aquitaine.  Quite unsurprisingly there is a record of the Picts COMING from Aquitaine, & at a fell stroke we can now see at least one of the lingual roots of Pictish.  While Big Geoff describes a certain Goffar the Pict as  a king of Aquitaine c.1000 BC, Walter Bower’s Scotichronicon tells us;

After a long time had passed in which the Scots had lived in peaceful & quiet prosperity, a certain unknown people, later called the Picts, appeared from the lands of Aquitania & landed on the Irish shores

Among the Pictish King List’s names for the seven Pictish regions in their deepest antiquity, the name ‘Fidach,’ immediately resonates with Aquitane & Languedoc. We can also link the ‘renn’ variant to a river, for ‘renne’ means flow, or run, in Old Norwegian & I have covered the Scandinavian influence on the Picts elsewhere. We’ll come back to Fortriu at the end of this post, but lets have a pop at finding Nechtansmere for now.

battle_dunnichen

The Battle of Dun Necthan / Nechtansmere between Egrid of the Angles & the Pictish King, Brude son of Beli  was one of the most important of the British Dark Ages. It bloodied the nose of the Angles & halted their drive north, in essence preserving the Picto-Scottish union which would develop over the next few centuries & crystallize as the nation of Scotland. The locating of its site has been controversial, but my Chispology these days is going thro’ the roof, & I believe that Nechtansmere was fought by the village of Grandtully, a small Tayside village in Perthshire, about 3 miles from Pitlochry.

In essence there are seven bullet points which we can use to hone in on the battle site. Looking at them in 2019 means most of the evidence needs to be altered in order to compensation for 14 centuries of factual & philological distortion. These clues are garnered from several brief accounts we have of the battle as contained in antique & written sources.

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In the year 685, Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians rashly led his army to ravage the province of the Picts… the enemy made a feigned retreat, and the king was drawn into a narrow pass among remote mountains, and slain, with the greater part of the forces he had led thither.
Bede

The battle of Dún Nechtain was fought on Saturday, May 20th, and Egfrid son of Oswy, king of the Saxons, who had completed the 15th year of his reign, was slain therein with a great body of his soldiers
Annals of Ulster

Egfrid is he who made war against his cousin Brudei, king of the Picts, and he fell therein with all the strength of his army and the Picts with their king gained the victory; and the Saxons never again reduced the Picts so as to exact tribute from them. Since the time of this war it is called Gueith Lin Garan.
Historia Brittonum

In the very year that he had Cuthbert ordained bishop & in fulfillment of his father’s prophecy, King Ecgfrith was killed with most of the forces he was leading to lay waste the land of the Picts at a place called Nechtansmere (that is Nechtan’s water) on 20 May in the fifteenth year of his reign, & his body was buried on Iona, the island of Columba.
Symeon of Durham

The battle of Dún Nechtain was carried out on the twentieth day of the month of May, a Sunday, in which Ecfrith son of Osu, king of the Saxons, in the 15th year of his rule completed, with magna caterua of his soldiers was killed by Bruide son of Bile king of Fortriu.
Annals of Tigernach

Today Bridei gives battle
Over the land (inheritance) of his grandfather
Unless it is the wish of the son of God
That restitution be made.
Today the son of Oswig was slain
In battle against iron swords;
Even though he did penance,
It was penance too late.
Today the son of Oswig was slain,
Who was wont to have our dark drinks;
Christ heard our prayer
That Bredei would avenge Brega
(A poem found in a single MS in the Fragmentary Annals of Ireland,
attributed to Riaguil of Bangor)

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THE INVESTIGATION

Clue 1: Bredei would avenge Brega.

The mention of Brega suggests that the Nechtansmere campaign was linked to the attacks on the Celtic church in Ireland the previous year.

AU 684: A great storm. An earthquake in the Island. The Saxons wasted Magh-Bregh (in Ireland), and several churches, in the month of June.

ACL 684: This year Everth sent an army against the Scots, under the command of his alderman, Bright (Brecht), who lamentably plundered and burned the churches of God.

Everth is a philochisp of Egrid, whose motive was some form of Dark Age jihad, a bout of holy warfare over the date of Easter. In 664, the great Northumbrian King Oswiu had overseen a synod at Whitby, where the date for Easter was high on the agenda. The Roman Catholic Church had come up with a different date from the Celtic church, who obstinately refused to alter their traditional dates. Twenty years later, King Ecgfrith attacked the Celtic Church in Ireland. The mention of MAGH-BREGH by the AU is highly significant, for it was a centre of Easter worship in Ulster, as confirmed by the Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick;

When the solemnity of Easter approached, Patrick considered that there was no place more suitable to celebrate the high solemnity of the year than in Magh-Bregh, the place where the head of the idolatry and druidism of Erinn was… as the people of Tara were thus, they saw the consecrated Easter fire at a distance which Patrick had lighted. It illuminated all Magh-Bregh.

The Picts also worshipped in the Celtic way, & in the very next year it seems Ecgfrith was personally leading this ‘body of persuasion,’ but where? By the 7th century, only two Christian centres were named in Pictavia. The earlier site is at Abernethy, Fife, established about 500 AD, when in the Pictish King List we read; ‘Nectonius the Great, Wirp’s son, the king of all the provinces of the Picts, offered to Saint Brigid, to the day of judgement, Abernethy, with its territories.’

Dunkeld
Dunkeld

The slightly later site is at Dunkeld, by the River Tay.  Hector Boece describes the 6th century Columba meeting Saint Kentigern at a monastery at Dunkeld, where they spent 6 months together in spiritual cohabitation. Elsewhere, the poem Amra Coluimb Chille ‘Elegy of Colum Cille’, compiled soon after Columba’s death in 597, states that Columba was ‘the teacher who would teach to the peoples of the Tay’ and ‘subdued with a blessing’ the ‘arrogant ones who surrounded the great king of the Tay.’ The Life of Saint Cuthbert also places Columba at Dunkeld, but with an embedded factochisp. The vita tells that about the year 640; ‘Saint Columba, first bishop in Dunkeld, took Cuthbert when a boy, & kept & educated him for some time.’ Personally I think that Boece is correct – he generally is – & the Saint Cuthbert reference is down to the young boy being educated at the monastery established by Columba, & not the saint himself.

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Clue 2: The enemy made a feigned retreat, and the king was drawn into a narrow pass among remote/impassable mountains

Assuming that the point of contact was the defence of a Christian settlement, the feigned retreat into mountain passes tells us that the campaign was conducted around Dunkeld, a region heavily mountain’d as opposed to the much lower lying hills of Fife. Dunkeld lies on the verge of a great mountain barrier, at the southern end of a narrow valley of the Tay, with an opening towards verdant plains. The many hills of great height & diversified form in the locality resonate with the mention of remote/impassable mountains.

———

dn 1

Clue 3: Dún Nechtain / A place called Nechtansmere (that is Nechtan’s water)

Focussing our investigation on the mountain passes, straths and slens to the north of Dunkeld, we find a transchisper of Dun Necthan at Balnaguard. The Bal element of this name derives from the Gaelic ‘bhaile,’ which means ‘place, homestead, town, city.’ This leaves us with Naguard, which soon transchispers into Nechtan

Na-guar-d
Ne-guar-t (an)
Ne-ch-tan

dn 4
Just to the west of Balnaguard there is a clear contender for the dun of Dun Nechtan. I found it via the brilliant Oxford digital hillfort map of Britain, as the screen shot shows. The full text of the description reads;

Haughbrae of Grandtully:  A large and complex fortification is revealed by parchmarks on a promontory formed where a stream gully cuts down through the escarpment known as Haughbrae of Grandtully, which falls away steeply on the NE down to the W bank of the River Tay some 25m below. The defences almost certainly represent several phases of construction, comprising an inner series of ditches cutting off the tip of the promontory, which was already partly isolated by a natural hollow that bites into the escarpment on the NE flank, and an outer pair of ditches with two concentric internal palisade trenches. The two innermost ditches, which are both about 4m in breadth, are set roughly parallel behind the natural hollow, cutting off a triangular area measuring about 50m in length from NW to SE by a maximum of 35m transversely (0.09ha); although the parchmark of the outer peters out, the inner terminates abruptly a short distance from the SW margin of the promontory and almost certainly indicates the position of an entrance leading out towards the SE. Further complexities in the arrangement of the ditches at the entrance are probably masked by the natural hollow, which can be seen in the parchmarks extending in an arc across the entrance and into the stream gully on the SW; it may well hide another ditch, and outside its line there is another dark mark lying parallel to it on the edge of the stream gully, though if this is yet another ditch it does not seem to extend any further across the neck of the promontory. The outer defences lie some 30m beyond the natural hollow and cut off a much larger area measuring in the order of 100m in length from NW to SE by a maximum of 75m transversely (0.41ha). The two ditches lie roughly parallel 5m apart, though neither can be traced all the way to the edge of the escarpment on the NE. There is a clearly defined entrance towards this side, and while a short segment of the inner can be seen between the entrance and the lip of the escarpment, the outer apparently terminates on the SW side of the entrance, turning inwards slightly on this side of the causeway. Immediately within the line of the inner ditch, there are traces of two concentric palisade trenches set about 4m apart, both of which are also broken at the entrance causeway and turn inwards slightly to either side of the gap. While these outer elements are all concentric, it is unclear whether they all relate to a single scheme of defence, or whether the palisades indicate an earlier timber phase.

———

dn 9

Clue 4: Gueith Lin Garan

The ‘Garan’ element is found embedded in the village of Grandtully. The ‘Tully’ element is founded on the Irish ‘Tullach,’ meaning a ‘little hill’ that was a landmark, or a meeting place perhaps, where fairs were held. The ‘Lin’ element is found embedded in the name ‘Ballinluig,’ just to the south of Grandtully, which translates into Gaelic as ‘town of the hollow lake.’ This suggests that there was once a lake in the vicinity. The Tay at this point does flow through a low & level flood plain both sides of the Haughbrae of Grandtully, so its no stretch of the imagination to see it as a living lake 14 centuries ago.

———

dn 8

Clue 5: The Haugh of Grandtully Stone

In the floodplain at Gradntully there stands a mysterious stone, a memorial, perhaps to some unknown event. 1.4m tall by 1.0m wide by up to 0.5m thick, with thick veins of sparkly white quartz running through it, the stone was one of a pair, with Fred Coles being told in 1908 by “two aged residents in the immediate vicinity” that there used to be a second stone close by this stone. Aerial reconnaissance has recorded the cropmarks of two ring-ditches to the west of the stone, & also one to the north, which seem to be burial barrows, measuring between 10-15m in diameter with central pits. They could be Bronze Age, but they could also be markers of the battle of Nechtansmere…

dn 5

The barrows
The barrows

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Clue 6: Today Bridei gives battle over the land (inheritance) of his grandfather

The home glen of the Clan Macnaughton is basically Balnaguard & Strathtay, the village neighbouring Grandtully. Their name derives from Nechtan, & indeed the Balnaguard members of the clan claim descent from Nechtan the Great. We must also remember that  ‘Elegy of Colum Cille’, places Columba as subduing the ‘arrogant ones who surrounded the great king of the Tay.’

dn 2

 

FORTRIU

It is now time to analyze the Annals of Tigernach definition of Bruide as a  ‘king of Fortriu.’ The title essentially means the king of a united realm of Pictavia whose core was the River Forth, rather like Prussia would unite the disparate German principalities under one flag. In the 1st century, Tacitus described a number of tribes in Pictavia, but by Columba’s time, they were now down to two power blocks, North & South. Bede tells us;

There came from Ireland to Britain a priest and abbot named Columba, a true monk in life no less than in habit, to preach the word of God in the lands of the Northern Picts, these are by steep and rugged mountain separated from their southern regions. The Southern Picts, who have their own seats within those same mountains, a long time before, they say, had abandoned the errors of idolatry and accepted the true faith through the preaching of the Word by bishop Nynia…

These two power blocks were given names. Cassius Dio (3rd century) calls them the Maiatai & Kaledonioi, while Ammianus Marcellinnius (4th century) calls them the Verturians & Dincaledonus. The idea we get is that he Maiatai/Verturians were to be found near the Antonine wall, ie near the Central Belt & the Forth River / Fort-Riu. The major Pictish capital of Forteviot would herald from this time

In Britain there are two very large (free) nations, the Caledonians and the Maetae, and the names of the others have become included in these. The Maetae live by the wall which divides the country into two halves and the Caledonians beyond them; and they both inhabit wild and waterless mountains and lonely and swampy plains, without walls, cities, or cultivated land Cassius Dio

At that time the Picts, divided into two tribes, called Dicalydones and Verturiones, as well as the Attacotti, a warlike race of men, and the Scots, were ranging widely and causing great devastation  Ammianus Marcellinus

That the Meatae & the Verturiones originated from the same place – ie the  Forth river system, is supported by the summit of Dumyat hill in the Ochils, overlooking Stirling, where the remains of a n iron-age fort can be found. There is also a Myot Hill near Falkirk.

After the 4th century, is seems that the southern Picts would become the dominant Pictish force, for accounts continuously class the Picts as a whole as ‘Fortrenese’ as in the following accounts;

1: The AU entry for 866, gives us; ‘Amlaib & Ausisle went into Fortriu with the Gaill of Ireland & Britain & plundered the whole Pictish people & took hostages.’ If Fortenn was only a small part of Pictavia, then how could their entire nation be plundered & taken hostage?

2: The Irish recension of the Historia Brittonum describes, ‘Chuithnechan, the son of Lochit, son of Ingri, went over from the sons of Mileadh to the Britons of Fortenn to fight against the Saxons; & he defended the country for them, & he himself remained with them… so that the chiefs of the Cruithneach (the picts) have been the men of Erin from that time ever since.’  Here, the ‘Britons of Fortrenn’ were named the ‘Cruithneach’ after their leader, Cruithnechan. The name Cruithin was used by the Irish to denote the Picts.

3: The Tripartite Life of saint Patrick gives us this, in relation to Fergus of Dalriada; ‘From thee the kings of this territory shall ever descend, & in Fortrenn. And this was fulfilled by Aedan, son of Gabran, who took Alban by force.’ Once again giving Scotland two halves – the Scots of Dalriada & the Pictavia of Fortrenn.

4: Analyzing two accounts of the same event shows how the ‘men of Scotland/Foirtriu’were in action as far south as Newcastle

The foreigners of Loch dá Chaech, i.e. Ragnall, king of the dark foreigners, and the two jarls, Oitir and Gragabai, forsook Ireland and proceeded afterwards against the men of Scotland. The men of Scotland, moreover, moved against them and they met on the bank of the Tyne in northern Saxonland… The Scotsmen routed the three battalions which they saw, and made a very great slaughter of the heathens, including Oitir and Gragabai
Annals of Ulster

Almost at the same time the men of Foirtriu and the Norwegians fought a battle. The men of Alba fought this battle steadfastly… and many of the Norwegians were killed after their defeat, and their king was killed there, namely Oittir son of Iarngna
The Fragmentary Annals of Ireland

5: Where Ailred highlights, ‘when William conqueror of England penetrated Lothian, Calatria and Scotland as far as Abernethy,’ we can clearly see how the obscure Calatros was sited below Perth/Abernethy. This leads to the Annals of Ulster’s account for 736, when was fought, ‘the battle of Cnoc Coirpre in Calathros at Etar Linddu between Dál Riata and Fortriu.’

6: The Annals of Ulster also record, ‘768: A battle in Fortriu between Aed and Ciniod.’ The “Laws of Áed Eochaid’s son” are mentioned by the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, & very much place, “Áed Eochaid’s son, in Forteviot.”

THE PLAINS OF FORTRENN

In the ninth century, the Christian centre of Dunkeld seems to be in spiritual command of the whole of Fortriu. The Annals of Ulster tells us that for the year 865, ‘Conmal, steward of Tamlacht, and Tuathal son of Artgus, chief bishop of Foirtriu and abbot of Dún Caillen, fell asleep.’ By the early tenth century, an area known as The Plains of Fortrenn / Wertermorum’ was being mentioned. This was, in essence, the breadbasket of the Picts in the fertile lowlands in Aberdeenshire & Moray.  In his account of Aethalstan’s invasion of Scotland, Symeon of Durham tells us, ‘he then subdued his enemies, laid waste to Scotland as far as Dunfoeder & Wertermorum with a land force, & ravaged with a naval force as far as Caithness & in a great measure depopulated it.’ The mention of Dunfoeder is interesting – this is Dunottar, on the east coast near Aberdeen, & its conquest by our very own  ‘Bruide… king of Fortriu,’ alongside other Pictish conquests north, south & west, seems to indicate the moment when the realm of Fortriu conquered the whole of Pictavia. The Annals of Ulster tells us;

AU681: The siege of Dún Foither
AU682: The Orkneys were destroyed by Bruide
AU683: The siege of Dún At and the siege of Dún Duirn

Woolf’s theory of a Moray Fortrui is based upon stanza 166 of the Prophecy of Berchan

One of the kings goes on a useless expedition
across the Mounth to the plain of Fortrenn;
though he may have gone, he does not return,
Dub of the three dark secrets will fall.

Elsewhere The Scottish King lists (Marjorie Anderson divided X-group 1980) states that King Dub was slain at Forres on the Moray Firth, which lies north of the Mounth mountain range & firmly in the Wertermorum breadbasket we have described. Just as Carlisle on the Scottish border belongs to the same country as faraway Hastings by the ENGLISH Channel, ‘The Plains of Fortrenn’ should be understood as the plains belonging to Fortrenn, & not the naive ‘Fortrenn is only plains.’ 

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OTHER CLUES (so far)

1: There is a loch near Aberfeldy called Loch Holi, which could be named after Bridei’s sister or daughter, Der-Eli. Her son was Dagart, who is reported as dying violently (the Latin word iugulation is used) by the Annals of Tigernach in the same year as Nechtansmere.

Capture

2: Not far from Dunkeld is Dalguise, whose name appears embedded in the Segais’  of the Annals of Tigernach in conjunction with a pre-Nechtansmere ‘Nechtain.’

637: The battle of Segais in which fell Lochene son of Nechtán Longhead and Cumascach son of Aongus. At Dalguise, on the east banks of the Tay, a cairn once stood about thirty feet in diameter, supporting a battle was fougth there.

CLatchard Craig: The Orrea of the Venicones

Clatchard_Craig_1932

In North Fife, a couple of miles from the coastal town of Newburgh, there once stood an impressive Iron Age fortress called Clatchart Craig. Before it was quarried out of existence, it cannot be denied that Clatchard Craig was an impressive elite-level fortress. The fort was first mentioned in the 17th century by Sir James Balfour of Denmilne and Kinnaird, who wrote; ‘. . . thair a great rock on the tope of the w(hi)che stuid thair a strange castell double trinshed leueiled with the ground by Martius Comander of the Thracian Choorts under the emperour Commodus, the ruine of thes Trinches may to this day be perceiued’.

So here we have a folk memory of an agressive late 2nd century Roman incursion into Fife, but why would Martius take such pains to level the defences, The answer is, I believe, that Clatchart Craig was once the capital of the Venicones, & that the campaign of Martius dragged them under the Roman yoke, so to speak. The supporting evidence is as follows.

THE NAME CHANGE

Clatchard Craig took its Gaelic name (clach – stone, ard – high, creag – rock) from a prominent geographical feature, a projecting pillar of rock some 90 ft (27 m) high and 25 ft (7-60 m) wide, known as the High Post, which ‘rose in one columnar mass from the base to the summit of the craig’, closely adjoining the precipice. This pillar was blown-up with dynamite in 1846 – Edinburgh and Northern Railway. With ‘Clatchard’ being a Gaelic name, & the iron-age hillfort that once stood there being dated before the Irish Scots ‘conquer’d’ northern Britain, then logic tells us that it would have been previously known by a different name.

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ARCHEOLOGY

Clatchard is/was a quite complicated site to study; the ramparts are late iron age, while a pre-Roman Iron-Age occupation is attested by pottery dated fourth century
BC to the first century AD, Two small metal finds also suggest occupation in the
second century AD, which leads us through a certain soundness of natural thought to support that Clatchard was once the capital of the Venicones tribe, Orrea.

NEAR THE RIVER EDEN

This Iron-Age site’s singular mention in the annals comes in Ptolemy’s geography, dated to about 150 AD. It reads; The Venicones, whose town is Orrea  (24*00/58°4). Ptolemy sites the ‘mouth of the Tina river,’ at 24*00, 58°30, i.e. very close to Orrea. With the mouth of the Tina being sited between the Forth & the Tay, the river is clearly the River Eden (E-Tina) which flows east through Fife to the North Sea.

Lindores Abbey
Lindores Abbey

LINDORES: THE GROVE OF ORREA

That Clatchard Craig was Orrea comes in its clear proximity to Lindores, which chispology renders as;

Lind-Ore-s

Lind-Orre-a

Lindores is a very sacred site – an abbey was established there – while the wee church of Abdie is of high antiquity. In 1300, Abdie was referred to as Ebedyn, a modem descendent of an old ecclesiastical term denoting a ‘shrine’ connected with an abbey or monastery. As Abdie was known to have existed before Lindores Abbey was built the shrine would have  bore some relationship to pre-Christian spiritual practices. Lindores was given in 1178 as ‘Lundors,’ & if we see this as deriving from the Old Norse lundr (“grove, tree”) we gain a possible translation of ‘Grove of Orrea.’ Groves were sacred spaces in pre-Christian Europe, upon which sites were built many churches of the new faith. That Vikings were naming places in the very area is supported by nearby Tayside Wormit, whose name can be traced back to Danish, and means place of worm or serpent.

OTHER ORREA SITES

On the NE shore of Lindores Loch is a small mote-hill called Inchrye, at one time surrounded by lochs of which only Lindores Loch remains. This could mean island (inch) of Orrea, for the -Rrea element pleasantly transchispers into Rye. An even better match comes with Inchyra, on the north bancks of the Tay, while at Carpow, near Perth, where a Roman fort was built that was called “Horrea Classis” or “Poreo Classis”, with the latter name influencing the ‘Pow’ of Carpow.

CUNEDDA

Cunedda has been a bit of a theme recently, & its nice to chuck him into the equasion. Just to the north of Lindores rises Kinnaird Hill, on whose summit aerial photographs have identified a possible fort on the summit of Kinnaird Hill. The name reflects Cunedda, who in recent posts I have shown was a Pictish King called Canutalahina.  With Fife being a Pictish centre, it would make sense that he had a fortress there, & of course the ‘Cune’ of Cunedda reflects the ‘Cone’ of Venicones. That Cunedda settl’d & named Venedotia / Gwynned in North Wales, strongly supports his place among the Venicones. Nennius tells us that Cunedda migrated from ‘Manau Gododdin,’ with modern scholarship identifying it with the Clackmannan region near Stirling at the head of the Forth estuary. This area is about 20 miles to the SW of Clatchart Craig, suggesting that Manau Gododdin may have stretched as far as the Tay.

Ptolemaic_Scotland
Orrea & the Tina estuary are to be found above the word OCEANUS

 

The Site of Camelot

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Before we begin this investigation, we must make allowance for one supposition, the hyper of the hyperbasis on which I shall build my case. This will be the reasoning that the two famous Arthurian places – the fortress of Camelot & the immortal battlefield of Camlann, being joined by the Cam prffix, existed in topographical proximity.

There is nowhere in Britain where a Camelot & a Camlann are sited near each other, but there does exist an area where, if we scrape away the linguistic topsoil, we may logically create a closely-linked Camlann & Camelot. The true inclination of this post is to prove the site of Camelot via weight of evidence & common sense, in order to point the way to a future excavation of the site. This, I have determined, is the iron-age hill fort at Dunhead, in Angus.

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LINGUISTIC EVIDENCE: THE LANN

In late antiquity, the Welsh word Llan and its variants (Breton: lan; Cornish: lann; Pictish: lhan) was applied to the sanctified land occupied by communities of Christian converts. The typical llan was defended by a circular or oval embankment with a protective stockade. An Iron age llan can be found in the parish of Dunnichen, Angus, on a hillfort called Dumbarrow, confirmed by the Statistical Account of Forfarshire’s, ‘this Fort seems to have been built of dry stone in a circular form.’ Dumbarrow has clear Arthurian connections, with the Old Statistical Account of Scotland (1791) describing ‘a rock on its north side is still called Arthur’s Seat,’ while Alexander Warden in the third volume of Angus or Forfarshire, tells us, ‘The Hill of Dumbarrow (anciently Dunberach), in the parish, disputes with the Hill of Barry, near Alyth, the honour of having been the prison of Arthur’s frail Queen, Guanora.’

Dunbarrow in the distance
Dunbarrow in the distance

Dumbarrow is about 4 kilometres from Dunnichen, near which is a place (and a stone) called Arthurstone and a farm once named Arthur’s Fold. A positive connection to the Battle of Camlann is  given in the Second Statistical Account of Scotland’s account that a, ‘confused tradition prevails of a great battle having been fought on the East Mains of Dunnichen, between Lothus, King of the Picts, or his son Modred, and Arthur King of the Britons, in which that hero of romance was slain.’ This correlates with the Annales Cambraie’s ‘537: The Strife of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell.

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It is possible, & indeed likely if you think about its similarity to the llan of Dumbarrow,  that Camlann actually derives from the fortification at a certain Castle Hill, by Dunnichen itself. The wonderful atlas of hillforts (which you can look at here) has the following information on Castle Hill;

A drystone enclosure likened to the small fortification on Dumbarrow Hill (Atlas no. 3076) was first noted in the late 18th century on Castle-Hill (Stat Acct, i, 1791, 419), which is the hillock forming a low spur at the foot of the S flank of Dunnichen Hill to the W of the village. Its destruction by quarrying before 1833 revealed evidence of occupation: ‘on its floor was found a thick bed of wood ashes, mixed with numerous bones (NSA, xi, Forfar, 146). Its site was noted with a cross and the annotation ‘Site of Tower’ on the 1st edition OS 25-inch map (Forfar 1865, sheet 34.9).

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LINGUISTIC EVIDENCE: THE ELOT

The ‘elot’ of Camelot is found only a few miles to the south of Dunbarrow, where the River Elot – Elliot these days – rises in a moss called Diltymoss, and, after a course of about eight miles, falls into the North Sea at Arbirlot. Hard by its headwaters stands Dunhead, a fortification covered by dense deciduous woodland, situated on a steepsided promontory at a confluence of the Elliot Water, between two ravines, one of which contains the Black Den & the other the Den of Guynd. In 1754, Melville made a rough sketch-plan of the site, describing it as ‘the entrenchment on Down Head Hill near Arbilot.’

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Camelot is the ‘earthwork’ on the map

Dunhead is triangular in form, precipitous on two sides & defended by a ditch & a rough wall & dyke on the other. A visit by the RCAHMS in 1956 found on the SE a bank up to 5.8m in thickness by 1.5m in height cutting across the neck of the promontory. An OS surveyor in 1958 thought he could detect a kerb and a scatter of stones belonging to an inner rampart, a second surveyor in 1966 could see no trace of these. No fieldwork has been conducted since, while an archeaological dig has never been conducted. When they do, I am sure they will discover Arthur’s Camelot. I mean, lets just look at the traces of the name in the immediate area. The ‘Guyn’ of Guynd transchispers to Cam, the ‘Lot’ element is found in Arbirlot.

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LINGUISTIC EVIDENCE: THE CAM

ans_carmyllie

There is no Cam in the vicinity of Dunhead & Dunbarrow, but there is the definite ‘Carm’ of Carmyllie, in which Dunhead stands & the Dunnichen parish neighbours. The sparsely populated parish of Carmyllie has a clear resonation with the ‘Camellian’ battle given in the Old Welsh tale, The Dream of Rhonabwy, in which a certain Iddawg places the battle near the Pictavian ‘Prydyn.’

I was one of the missionaries in the Camellian battle between Arthur and Medrawd his nephew… I was named in Iddawg Cordd Britain. And because of this the ranks of the troops were distributed at Machman. But, however, three nights before the end of the Camell battle I drove them out and I came to Lech Las in Prydyn to eat.

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ARTHUR THE PICT

Dux Pictorum: There is a swelling body of evidence that shows how Arthur was at one point a Pictish king. The early 12th century Liber Floridus of Lambert of St Omer desrcibes ‘Arthur the leader of the Picts, directing kingdoms inland in Britain.’ He then adds ‘there is a palace, in Britain in the Picts’ land, of Arthur the soldier, built with wondrous art and variety, in which may be seen sculpted all his acts both of construction and in battle.’ This  palace, I believe, awaits excavation at Dunhead.

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Garthnach: Arthur son of Igerne & Uthere appears as Garthnach son of Gygurnus & Uudrost in the Pictish King Lists. By analyzing the reign-lengths given in Poppleton recension, we can see how Arthur was the Pictish king between the years 529 & 536. His ‘abdication’ in the year before Camlann for Cailtram son of Gygurnus – Arthur’s brother it seems – totally fits with account by Big Geoff of Arthur marching through Europe towards, then turning round at the Alps in the Winter & marching back to Britain to fight Camlann the next year.

Rhynie: The Royal Pictish centre being excavated in recent years at Rhynie, Aberdeenshire, is given as Penrhionyd in one the Welsh Triads.

Three Tribal Thrones of the Island of Prydain: Arthur the Chief Lord at Menevia, and David the chief bishop, and Maelgwyn Gwyned the chief elder. Arthur the chief lord at Kelliwic in Cornwall, and Bishop Betwini the chief bishop, and Caradawg Vreichvras the chief elder. Arthur the chief lord in Penrhionyd in the north, and Cyndeyrn Garthwys the chief bishop, and Gurthmwl Guledic the chief elder

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In the Welsh language, ‘Pen’ means ‘summit or peak,’ which renders Penrhionyd as meaning ‘Peak of Rhionyd.’ Above Rhynie towers the far-seen Tap o’ Noth, Scotland’s second highest hillfort, complete with impressive triple-ringed defense-works. A definitive Arthurian connection to Rhynie comes through Tintagelware, which had fanned out throughout Britain to a series of high-status sites such as South Cadbury in Somerset & also Longbury Bank in the Dyfed parish of Penally, situated within another of Arthur’s ‘Tribal Thrones.’ Just as Cadbury was home to a grand timber feasting hall; & just as at the ‘high-status’ Longbury Bank in Dyfed Ewan Campbell & Alan Lane suggest ‘there is tenuous evidence for at least one large timber building;’ so have archeologists uncovered the post-holes & plank slots of a timber feasting hall at Rhynie.

Drest Gurthinmoch: More support for a Pictish Arthur begins with a glance at the King List, where we encounter a certain ‘Drest Gurthinmoch’ as ruling the Picts between 477 & 507. We can now identify the Triad’s ‘Gurthmwl’ with Gurthinmoc, for it makes perfect sense that when Arthur – the chief lord – became the King in 529, Gurthmwl/Gurthinmoc would have been described as a ‘chief elder.

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SUPPORTING LOCAL EVIDENCE

So we now have a Pictish Arthur & a possible Camlann at Dunnichen. It is time to analyze more of the local evidence in an effort to prove the battle was indeed fought at East Mains.

Guinevere’s Captivity: In the following extract from Hector Boece we learn how that after the Battle of Camlann, Guinevere was taken to ‘the Pictish district of Horestia, to Dunbar.’ The hillfort of ‘Dunbarr‘ is in fact situated at  at Alyth, a few miles from Dunnichen. It is possible that Boece is getting mixed up with Dunbarrow/Dunberach, but either way the locality remains more or less the same.

On the following day, the British camp was ransacked. In it were discovered Arthur’s consort Queen Guanora, and no few men and women of noble blood. Furthermore, ample spoils were collected and shared out among the victors in the traditional way. The Scots were allotted wagons decorated with precious British ornamentation, horses of noble appearance and speed, arms, and the captive nobles, while Queen Guanora, illustrious men and women, and the rest fell to the Picts. These were led to the Pictish district of Horestia, to Dunbar, which was then a very stoutly fortified stronghold (in our days, the name of the place endures, although nothing of the fort save some traces). There they were detained and spent the rest of their lives in wretched servitude.

East Mains: Archaeology has proven that a substantial conflict had been fought in the locality. A Pictish stone was dug up on East Mains, of which instance Headrick observes in 1833’s Statistical Account that, ‘a good many years ago, there was turned up with the plough a large flat stone, on which is cut a rude outline of an armed warrior’s head and shoulders; and not many years ago, the plough also uncovered some graves in another part of the same farm. These graves consisted of flat stones on all sides. They were filled with human bones, and urns of red clay with rude ornaments upon them ; the urns being filled with whitish ashes. By exposure to the air, the bones and urns mouldered to dust.’ To this information, Andrew Jervise adds (PSAS II, 1854–7), ‘on the lands of Lownie also, (the original property of the Auchterlonies) & in the King’s muir adjoining, a variety of ancient graves have been now and then discovered.’

Saint Constantine:  The parish saint of Dunnichen is Constantine, & alongside the church dedicated to him, there was also a ‘St Causnan’s Well,’ whose pure fine spring was renamed as the Camperdown Well to commemorate the battle of Camperdown. According to Big Geoff, Constantine succeeded to the high kingship of Britain after the Battle of Camlann, & on its very field, Arthur; ‘gave up the crown of Britain unto his kinsman Constantine.’

Battle Stuff:  Hector Boece describes ‘twenty thousand Scots and Picts,’ fighting at Camlann, suggesting a northern location far from the River Cam in Cornwall. According to the King List, Cailtram ruled the Picts for only a year, ending his short stint on the throne in the Camlan year of 537.  Among the Camellian casualties listed by Hector Boece, we read of a certain ‘Caimus,’  a clear philochisp of Cailtram, the Pictish King who ruled for a year after Arthur/Garthnach & died in the year of Camlann. Another northern king to die in 537 was Comgall, king of the Scots, as given by the Annals of Tigernach, who, “fell in the 35th year of his reign.” By this use of the word ‘fell’ we may come with some confidence to the conclusion that Comgall died in battle. The ‘gall’ element of his name also philochisps into Gwalinus, another of Boece’s eminent casualties, & one cannot help but feel that when Boece places Caimus & Gwalinus side-by-side in death, he is referring to them as the kings of the Picts & the Scots.

Morded’s Sons: In 537 a new dynasty seems to take control of the Pictish Kingship. No longer are the sons of Gygurnus on the throne, with ‘Talorg son of Mordeleg,’ coming to the throne. The ‘Muir’ element of this name could well derive from Mordred, & the fact that after Camlann Guinever was held in captivity supports a Mordredian victory. Big Geoff himself describes, ‘when Constantine was crowned King, the Saxons and the two sons of Mordred raised an insurrection.’ A variant name for Mordred, given in the Scalacronica, was Mendelgh, as in Talorg Mendelgh. Next in this succession was Drust son of Menech, & little Chispology confirms they were brothers.

aberk1

Aberlemno 2: At Dunnichen was found one of the most remarkable symbol-stones in the Pictish pantheon. It had been dug up in 1811 in a field named ‘Chasel’ (Castle) park at East Mains, & moved to the church yard at Aberlemno. Its now in Dundee, actually, its a replica that stands at Aberlemno – but its still pretty cool. One side of this wonderfully carved stone shows a battle in full swing, presumably between the long-haired Picts & what appears to be helmet-wearing Saxons. Camlann was fought on an international scale, a great civil war in which Mordred obtained military assistance from the Saxons, with the Triads telling us;

The three disgraceful traitors who enabled the Saxons to take the crown of the Isle of Britain from the Cambrians… The second was Medrod, who with his men united with the Saxons, that he might secure the kingdom to himself, against Arthur; and in consequence of that treachery many of the Lloegrians became as Saxons.

Inchyra: The Welsh Triads tell us, ‘there took place the Battle of Camlan between Arthur and Medrawd, and was himself wounded to death. And from that wound he died, and was buried in a hall on the Island of Afallach.‘ The name Afallach translates as ‘apples’, & with Camlann being fought at Dunnichen, common sense tells us we are looking for an island with orchards somewhere in the vicinity. For as long as anyone can remember a rich & fertile tract of land in Perthshire called the Carse of Gowrie has flourished with that Fruit of Eve, the apple. The Carse still retains the pleasant moniker of ‘the Garden of Scotland,’ whose once sprawling historic orchards have dwindled to only five wee woods in the modern age; Bogmiln, Inchyra Farm, Muirhouses, Newbigging & Templehall.

Fifteen centuries ago, the alluvial flood plain on which the Carse is situated was a patchwork of many islands, including Inchyra, whose phonetic ‘inch’ stems from the Gaelic name for ‘small island.’ Inchyra House is a place of great significance to our investigation. A Pictish grave, disturbed by ploughing in 1945, was discovered 100 meters south of the house. The remains were covered by a large decorated flat slab lying flat over a cairn of forty-nine water-rolled stones. This seems to be Arthur’s, for the Triads say he was buried in, ‘a hall on the Island of Afallach.’ The skeletal remains, which included the upper part of a skull, an arm bone and shoulder socket, were later respectfully re-buried without a closer examination.

Arthur's Tomb, Inchyra
Arthur’s Tomb, Inchyra

On analysing a 1959 paper on the Inchyra Stone, by Robert Stevenson, the Ogham inscriptions leapt out at my mind like striking panthers. Transliterated by FT Wainwright, of their academic accuracy, Stevenson wrote; ‘Professor K.H.Jackson, who examined the stone along with us, is in general agreements.’ The first inscription reads, ‘INEHHETESTIE.’ We can here see the word Anoeth, as in the babel-chain, ‘Anoeth-Inohhet-Inehhet.’ The true meaning of the name Anoeth is not yet understood to satisfaction, but it is given by the poem’ The Stanzas of the Graves’ as the actual burial site of Arthur.
Another inscription on one of the stone’s edges gives us the winning ticket;
UHTU-O-AGED

In the Welsh tradition, Igerne is given the name Eigr, & thus in the Ogham inscription above we can quite positively see the names of Arthur’s legendary parents;

UHTU —- AGE

Uther — Eigr

That the philochisps of Arthur’s burial site at Anoeth & the names of both of his parents appear on a single stone help us to paint Inchyra as the original Avalon. This means simply that King Arthur was – & still is – buried in the grounds.

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We have now come to a wonderful possibility. Thus far we have established that Arthur was a Pictish king & there is a good chance that Dunhead in Arbirlot was Camelot. Its now time to focus our historical eyes on the local area, & see what turns up. The results are startling;

1: The First Statistical Account refers to the recent demolition of a “druidical temple” in the parish, & the finding of a “Pictish crown” at Black Den, a forested ravine linked to the Guynd Den.

A few years ago the remains of a religious house in the parish, whose ruins had been revered for ages, were taken down. And though we cannot say at what time, or by what person, it was built, yet from the accounts given of it, we have reason to believe that it had been a druidical temple.

It is reported, with much confidence, that a crown of one of the kings of the Picts, was found in the Black-den of this Parish, by a quarryman, about the beginning of the present century, who sold part of it in the neighbourhood, for 20L. Scotch; & sent the remainder to London , with a view to procure its real value. But by some unforessn occurence, he & his family were prevented from reaping that advantage, which might have been expected from so valuable a curiosity

King Arthur’s Pictish crown dissapearing in 18th London, perhaps?

Arbirlot Stone,  recovered from the foundation of the old church of Arbirlot
Arbirlot Stone, recovered from the foundation of the old church of Arbirlot

There’s also time for one last spin through the haze, for there is both a weird stone found at Arbirlot, & a Castle Kelly whose origins are lost in the mists of time. Big Geoff called Excalibur ‘Caliburnus’ (from Kelly?), while the faint grooves running down the middle of the Arbirlot stone may have been intended to depict a sword, with a horizontal feature to the right of and adjacent to the lower book possibly representing the sword guard. Was this the source site of the Sword in the Stone legend….

The New Divan: Electrocardigam / The Great Axe

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I’ve had a bit of a brain-carousel recently, diverting a tad from The New Divan. The other day was glorious, tho’ proper fine weather for transcreation, so I took the books & Daisy outfor a walk at the Hopes in East Lothian, coming back with two new poems for The New Divan; Fatemeh Shams ‘Electrocardiogram‘ & Jaan Kaplinski’s ‘The Great Axe.’

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Fatemeh Shams
Fatemeh Shams

ELECTROCARDIGRAM

My back she aches again today,
Three months ago they mov’d my heart
& ledg’d my vital spine apart,
Then wedg’d it in the vertebrae,
Now each musk-fragrant breath depends
On one thin vein that empties blood,
From darkness to new heart’s blood wends
My idiotic bruise of vein.
My wanton whore of heart, the pain
My back endures nobody should.
My ECG supplies, these days,
My news, headlines from past suck’d out –
A woman used to laugh about
Her love for one man & his ways,
When lavish hearts love’s healths endow,
Form windows facing long exile,
These bunch’d red muscles bled servile,
I wish it were a mirror, now!

The medic team with smiles aflock
Chirps “We had to move it a bit,
& from today we must admit
By beating hearts please set your clock,”
Alarmic systems rotten grown,
My lover new has ask’d last night
“Are all our words & movements known?”
I thought he quizz’d me for to see
How paranoid & how crazy
I was, my shadows hid from sight,
For years my shadow’s eyes did hide
In dresses – cities far & wide,
The final shadow ran its part
& in his fist a bleeding heart –
The doctors are the shadow’s foes
& paranoia diagnose
Expertly well, & for exile
Prescibe a perfect potion’s phial,
Moving the heart to think & feel
In times when no heart’s scar could heal.

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Jaan Kaplinski
Jaan Kaplinski

THE GREAT AXE

Knew everybody since childhood,
He’d dreamt he was a shaft of wood
By axehead topp’d, his foes to fight
To chop off heads & branches smite!
He grew & chopp’d & splinters flew,
Heads fell & everybody knew
He was the sharpest one of all,
Most pitiless of axeheads’ fall,
Him from the toughest shell was cast
The special spirit naught could rust,
Let no-one ken the truth display’d,
He was just normal, iron-made,
Of brittle rust was he afraid,
Standing alone before mirror
He would check, those new red stains were
Upon his blade? He tried to wash
Away the rust stains with blood fresh
From wounds, but not enough to hide,
Until his peace one day defied,
Smashing the mirror angrily,
He fell inside some phantasie
Beyond the Looking Glass’s ledge,
Near marshes large by forest edge,
& realised his place was there,
In that swamp’s pool, & full aware
He transformed could be back into
A fist of mud-brown bog ore goo!

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THE STORY OF THE NEW DIVAN

1: Edinburgh Book Festival: The Divan Session

2: The New Divan: Genesis

3: Greenshoots

4: Final Greenshoots

5: The Song of the One Who Pours the Wine

6: Paradise on Earth / Ephesus Ghazal

7: Knowingly Willingly

8: Smoke

9: Electrocardigam / The Great Axe