Tor cairn

A tor cairn is a prehistoric cult site occurring in the British Isles, especially in Cornwall and Devon but also in Wales. It consists of a circular enclosure of stones or a platform of loose rocks surrounding a natural tor, sometimes encircled by a ditch. The diameter of the roughly 35 tor cairns ranges from 12 to over 30 metres and their height varies from 0.5 to 4.0 metres. There is usually an entrance to the enclosed area and pits in the ground between the rock outcrop (tor) itself and the enclosure.[1]

Finds of flint tools, pottery, gravel, quartz and bronze weapons and jewellery have enabled the sites to be dated to the early 2nd millennium B.C., i.e. the early Bronze Age.[1]

Examples are the tor cairns of: Alex Tor, Catshole Tor, Corndon Tor, Cox Tor,[2] Hameldown Tor, Limsboro Cairn, White Tor (Peter Tavy), Rough Tor, Tolborough Tor, Top Tor, Tregarrick Tor and Yes Tor.

Cox Tor cairn
Cox Tor cairn - a platform of loose stones
Cairn on Yes Tor - geograph.org.uk - 1575621
Yes Tor cairn
Cairn north of Roos Tor - geograph.org.uk - 1468487
Roos Tor cairn

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Darvill, Timothy (2008). Oxford Concise Dictionary of Archaeology, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, p. 464. ISBN 978-0-19-953404-3.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Tor Cairn Forming Part of a Round Cairn Cemetery, and a Stone Hut Circle on the Summit of Cox Tor (1011500)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 June 2017.

Literature

  • Frances Lynch: Megalithic tombs and Long Barrows in Britain. Shire, Princes Risborough 1997, ISBN 0-7478-0341-2 (Shire archaeology 73).
  • Elizabeth Shee Twohig: Irish Megalithic tombs. Shire, Princes Risborough 1990, ISBN 0-7478-0094-4 (Shire archaeology 63).
  • Jürgen E. Walkowitz: Das Megalithsyndrom. Vol. 36 in Beiträge zur Ur- und Frühgeschichte Mitteleuropas, 2003, ISBN 9783930036707.

External links

Alex Tor

Alex Tor is a conical hill, 291 metres (955 ft) high, located in the west of Bodmin Moor in the county of Cornwall, England.At the summit of Alex Tor are granite rock outcrops and a large and intricate tor cairn. There are panoramic views from the summit plateau and other tors visible include: Rough Tor, Brown Willy, Showery Tor, Garrow Tor and Butter's Tor.Parking is possible on the lane running SW to NE past the tor, but not beyond the Private Road sign. From here it is an easy climb of less than 1 kilometre.On the western flank of the hill there are hut circles and the remains of an ancient farmstead.

Bare Island projectile point

The Bare Island projectile point is a stone projectile point of prehistoric indigenous peoples of North America. It was named by Fred Kinsey in 1959 for examples recovered at the Kent-Halley site on Bare Island in Pennsylvania.

British megalith architecture

British megalith architecture is the study of those ancient cultures that built megalithic sites on the British Isles, including the research and documentation of these sites. The classification sometimes used of these cultures based on geological criteria is problematic.

The neolithic sites of Britain are amongst the most varied in the prehistory of Europe. Although (geologically) different from "megalithic" sites, the earthen long barrows in East England are grouped with them from a cultural historical perspective. The Medway tombs and the Derbyshire chamber tombs (Five Wells) occupy a special position as examples of megalithic sites in East England. The north-south boundary between earthen sites and stone sites in England and Scotland is crossed at three points to the east by the seven different types of megalith site types (in the so-called mixed regions).

The activities of megalithic cultures in the region dates back to prehistoric times. There are many parallels between the prehistoric architecture of Ireland and the now British regions of Cornwall (including the Isles of Scilly), the Isle of Man, Wales and Scotland; but there are somewhat greater differences between those and the sites in England and, particularly, the Channel Islands. Although almost all regions have endemic megalith types, but they also usually have unique examples (e.g. the chamber tomb of Glyn) as well as forms that they share with one or two neighbouring regions.

Exemplary in this respect are the "cruciform passage" sites of the Maes Howe type on Orkney (in Ireland e.g. Knowth and Newgrange), whose distribution extends as far as the Scilly Isles and Devonshire in England. In addition to the great wealth of variety in Scotland, favoured by its geography, there are also sites on the Scottish islands with individual characteristics.

Neolithic monuments are an expression of the culture and ideology of Neolithic societies. Their origin and function are considered characteristic of social development.

Celt (tool)

In archaeology, a celt is a long, thin, prehistoric, stone or bronze tool similar to an adze, a hoe or axe-like tool.

Cumberland point

A Cumberland point is a lithic projectile point, attached to a spear and used as a hunting tool. These sturdy points were intended for use as thrusting weapons and employed by various mid-Paleo-Indians (c. 11,000 BP) in the Southeastern US in the killing of large game mammals.

Folsom point

Folsom points are a distinct form of knapped stone projectile points associated with the Folsom tradition of North America. The style of tool-making was named after the Folsom Site located in Folsom, New Mexico, where the first sample was found by George McJunkin within the bone structure of a bison in 1908. The Folsom point was identified as a unique style of projectile point in 1926.

Grattoir de côté

A Grattoir de côté (translates from French as Side Scraper) is an archaeological term for a ridged variety of steep-scrapers distinguished by a working edge on one side. They were found at various archaeological sites in Lebanon including Ain Cheikh and Jdeideh II and are suggested to date to Upper Paleolithic stages three or four (Antelian).

Grinding slab

In archaeology, a grinding slab is a ground stone artifact generally used to grind plant materials into usable size, though some slabs were used to shape other ground stone artifacts. Some grinding stones are portable; others are not and, in fact, may be part of a stone outcropping.

Grinding slabs used for plant processing typically acted as a coarse surface against which plant materials were ground using a portable hand stone, or mano ("hand" in Spanish). Variant grinding slabs are referred to as metates or querns, and have a ground-out bowl. Like all ground stone artifacts, grinding slabs are made of large-grained materials such as granite, basalt, or similar tool stones.

Hookney Tor

Hookney Tor is a tor, situated on Dartmoor in Devon, England.

It lies on the Two Moors Way and remains of Headland Warren farm and Vitifer Mine are also in the valley nearby.

Lamoka projectile point

Lamoka projectile points are stone projectile points manufactured by Native Americans what is now the northeastern United States, generally in the time interval of 3500-2500 B.C. They predate the invention of the bow and arrow, and are therefore not true "arrowheads", but rather atlatl dart points. They derive their name from the specimens found at the Lamoka site in Schuyler County, New York.

Pesse canoe

The Pesse canoe is believed to be the world's oldest known boat, and certainly the oldest known canoe. Carbon dating indicates that the boat was constructed during the early mesolithic period between 8040 BCE and 7510 BCE. It is now in the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands.

Plano point

In archeology, Plano point is flaked stone projectile points and tools created by the various Plano cultures of the North American Great Plains between 9000 BC and 6000 BC for hunting, and possibly to kill other humans.

They are bifacially worked and have been divided into numerous sub-groups based on variations in size, shape and function including Alberta points, Cody points, Frederick points, Eden points and Scottsbluff points. Plano points do not include the hollowing or 'fluting' found in Clovis and Folsom points.

Racloir

In archeology, a racloir, also known as racloirs sur talon (French for scraper on the platform), is a certain type of flint tool made by prehistoric peoples.

It is a type of side scraper distinctive of Mousterian assemblages. It is created from a flint flake and looks like a large scraper. As well as being used for scraping hides and bark, it may also have been used as a knife. Racloirs are most associated with the Neanderthal Mousterian industry. These racloirs are retouched along the ridge between the striking platform and the dorsal face. They have shaped edges and are modified by abrupt flaking from the dorsal face.

Ring cairn

A ring cairn (also correctly termed a ring bank enclosure, but sometimes wrongly described as a ring barrow) is a circular or slightly oval, ring-shaped, low (maximum 0.5 metres high) embankment, several metres wide and from 8 to 20 metres in diameter. It is made of stone and earth and was originally empty in the centre. In several cases the middle of the ring was later used (at Hound Tor, for example, there is a stone cist in the centre). The low profile of these cairns is not always possible to make out without conducting excavations.

Showery Tor

Showery Tor is a rocky outcrop on a ridge-top approximately 0.6 kilometres (0.37 mi) north of the Rough Tor summit, near Camelford on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. It is notable for its rock formations and prehistoric monuments.The Tor is a prominent landmark for a wide area. It consists of a natural outcrop enveloped by a giant man-made ring cairn and was thought to have been a religious focal point. Craig Weatherhill in "Cornovia: Ancient Sites of Cornwall & Scilly" calls it "A natural formation of weathered granite, 5 metres (16 ft) high ...is surrounded by a massive ring cairn of piled stone 30 metres (98 ft) in diameter and up to 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) high. The natural formation was evidently intended as a focal point. No excavations have been recorded at this site, so it is not known how many, if any, burials were associated with this presumably Neolithic or Bronze Age site" Christopher Tilley has estimated the height of the cairn on which the outcrop stands to be 3 metres (9.8 ft). The granite outcrop is reminiscent of the Cheesewring and made of individual blocks on underlying outcrops formed by erosion along horizontal fractures in the granitic mass. Aerial photography has revealed more about the layout of the structures on Showery Tor and it stands out as the only natural formation to have been used in this way by the cairn designers.

Tool stone

In archaeology, a tool stone is a type of stone that is used to manufacture stone tools,

or stones used as the raw material for tools.Generally speaking, tools that require a sharp edge are made using cryptocrystalline materials that fracture in an easily controlled conchoidal manner.

Cryptocrystalline tool stones include flint and chert, which are fine-grained sedimentary materials; rhyolite and felsite, which are igneous flowstones; and obsidian, a form of natural glass created by igneous processes. These materials fracture in a predictable fashion, and are easily resharpened. For more information on this subject, see lithic reduction.

Large-grained materials, such as basalt, granite, and sandstone, may also be used as tool stones, but for a very different purpose: they are ideal for ground stone artifacts. Whereas cryptocrystalline materials are most useful for killing and processing animals, large-grained materials are usually used for processing plant matter. Their rough faces often make excellent surfaces for grinding plant seeds. With much effort, some large-grained stones may be ground down into awls, adzes, and axes.

Tor enclosure

A tor enclosure is a prehistoric monument found in the southwestern part of Great Britain. These monuments emerged around 4000 BC in the early

Neolithic.

Uniface

In archeology, a uniface is a specific type of stone tool that has been flaked on one surface only. There are two general classes of uniface tools: modified flakes—and formalized tools, which display deliberate, systematic modification of the marginal edges, evidently formed for a specific purpose.

Yubetsu technique

The Yubetsu technique (湧別技法, Yūbetsu gihō) is a special technique to make microblades, proposed by Japanese scholar Yoshizaki in 1961, based on his finds in some Upper Palaeolithic sites in Hokkaido, Japan, which date from c. 13,000 bp.

The name comes from the Yūbetsu River (湧別川, Yubetsugawa), on the right bank of which the Shirataki (白滝遺跡, Shirataki Iseki) Palaeolithic sites were discovered.

To make microblades by this technique, a large biface is made into a core which looks like a tall carinated scraper. Then one lateral edge of the bifacial core is removed, producing at first a triangular spall. After, more edge removals will produce ski spalls of parallel surfaces.

This technique was also used from Mongolia to Kamchatka Peninsula during the later Pleistocene.

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