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Tony Grist

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Seasonal [Dec. 8th, 2005|12:18 pm]
Tony Grist

Here's something I got from Channel 4's Time Team.

Durrington Walls is the largest prehistoric henge in Britain.

Archaeologists digging at Durrington Walls have found rubbish pits full of pig bones.

Pigs farrow in the spring. These pigs had been slaughtered at nine months old. Ergo the people at Durrington Walls were in the habit of enjoying a slap-up pork dinner at the Winter Solstice.

"Jesus is the reason for the season"? Only if you accept that "Jesus" is just another name for the Sun.

linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: sorenr
2005-12-08 04:37 am (UTC)
Hardly surprising. Evidence of Norsee Yule celebrations go way beyond the time of the arrival of Christianity in the North, and in Scandinavia the name of the season remains "jul" rather than anything referring to Christ. "Jul" is of the same root as "hjul", meaning wheel, further emphasising the holiday's close afiliation with the circular view of the year that is ecchoed in most solstice and equinox celebrations throughout the world...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-08 06:22 am (UTC)
It's obvious when you think about it that "Christmas" must be at least as old as agriculture.

Within the last few decades it's been pretty well established that most prehistoric monuments are aligned on the Winter Solstice, but I think this evidence from Durrington Walls may be the first from the period that links calendrical observance with feasting.
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2005-12-08 06:28 am (UTC)
How old were the finds? 3-4000 years or so? (My pre-historic history is all rather fuxxy in my head...)

But yes, that would certainly predate any evidence I've ever seen about Yule-tide fests. Still; we celebrate Christmas in denmark with roast pork, so I suppose some things never change. (Even if Leviticus expressly forbids pork-eating; I love the idea of celebrating a Christian holiday with a feast that's forbidden in the Bible... That ought to teach those hard-core Bible-thumbers!!! Add a shrimp-cocktail and some sodomy, and that's what I call a party! Erh...)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-08 08:26 am (UTC)
4,000 sounds about right, but, like you, I'm hopeless with dates. Durrington Walls is the same age as Stonehenge (if that helps.)

Ailz was just asking me what I fancied for my Christmas lunch and I couldn't think of anything. I'm a vegetarian, so all the trad things are out.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-10 09:52 am (UTC)
Mmm, sounds good.

I love olives. So does Joe. He eats them by the bowl-full
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2005-12-11 04:39 am (UTC)
It is good, and in my humble opinion a pie can look every bit as festive as a roast! Also, while it does take a lot of chopping-action etc. the filling and the pastry can easily be made the day before so you avoid having to spend the entire morning cooking the Christmas lunch! (I know it's more or less an English tradition that the housewife get's up at six to get the turkey in the oven, but really; if you're going to have christmas in the morning then why not make it so that one person isn't stuck in the kitchen for the duration of it?)
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From: minnesattva
2005-12-08 06:44 am (UTC)
I like this, as far as explaining The Reason for the Season goes.
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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2005-12-08 08:09 am (UTC)
Hehe! Thanks for the link - excellent!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-08 08:27 am (UTC)
Yes, nicely succinct.
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