Fourteen tunnels called “fogous after the Cornish word for

The mystery of England’s ancient tunnels

buy canada goose jacket do you like spiders? asked James Gossip, an archaeologist, British prehistory expert and my guide to this subterranean world one, apparently, that already inhabited. I looked at him, blanching uk canada goose outlet slightly. He laughed. I just not point them out? not, I said, peering into the dark tunnel before us. buy canada goose jacket

canada goose clearance sale I come to nearly the very tip of Cornwall, the southwestern peninsula of England, in search of an ancient mystery: the underground passages built here some cheap canada goose 2,400 years ago. canada goose clearance sale

As a casual observer, you never know this part of the country had prehistoric surprises in store. Halliggye Fogou, on Cornwall Lizard Peninsula, is not only off the tourist track it off any beaten track. The largest town within a Canada Goose Coats On Sale 10 mile radius, Helston, has just 12,000 residents. The lush green hills are dotted with cows and itty bitty villages lacking even a post box.

Canada Goose online View image of Just outside Helston (Credit: Credit:Kevin Britland/Alamy) Canada Goose online

Canada Goose Jackets From this picture perfect Cornish countryside, only a trained eye can pick out the complex tapestry canada goose uk shop of mounds, bumps and stones left by 150 generations working the land. you see that, over where the windmills are? Gossip asked me later, pointing to the nearly imperceptible humps on a hill in the distance. covered by Bronze Age barrows. Enclosures those canada goose coats on sale bumpers of land that once surrounded a farm or settlement are everywhere. And the landscape is littered with the remnants of roundhouses, stone circles and ramparts. Canada Goose Jackets

canada goose coats on sale View image of Stone circle on Bodmin Moor (Credit: Credit: Paul Nash/Alamy) canada goose coats on sale

Gossip, though, is most interested in what Canada Goose online people were building underground. Fourteen tunnels called “fogous after the Cornish word for cave have been found in Cornwall. Similar to the souterrains found in Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Normandy, fogous haven been discovered anywhere else in England. Unlike, say, the labyrinthine copper mines tunnelled out 3,800 years ago in Wales, fogous (and souterrains) weren merely dug. canada goose factory sale They were built. To make them, it thought that people opened up deep trenches in the ground, sided them with stone slabs, topped them with capstones and filled in the area above them.

For an Iron Age society, this required canada goose store a serious devotion of time and resources and no canada goose one knows why they would have done so.

canada goose store View image of Halliggye Fogou (Credit: Credit: Amanda Ruggeri) canada goose store

Some of the difficulty is that many of Cornwall fogous may already have been emptied. This may have been done by canada goose clearance sale the people who actually used them. Or it may have occurred far later. of them were excavated by antiquarians, so we don have many good records for what was found, said archaeologist Susan Greaney, head canada goose black friday sale properties historian at English Heritage, who specialises in prehistory. are only a couple that have been excavated in modern times and they don seem to be structures that really easily give up their secrets. Halliggye Fogou, the best preserved fogou in Cornwall. Its first, 1.8m high chamber is large enough to easily move around in. But at the end of the 8.4m passage, it abruptly narrows into another, 4m long tunnel, one just 0.75m tall. something anyone would have to crawl along, Gossip pointed out.

View image of The small tunnel in Halliggye Fogou (Credit: Credit: AlanWrigley/Alamy)

Canada Goose sale Another tunnel branches to the left off the entrance tunnel. At 27m, it three times the length of the first chamber the distance of two double decker buses laid end to end and became progressively darker as we walked further inside. Darkest of all, though, was the final creep, tucked to the left of the end of the passage. Complete with a stone lip jutting up to trip you, the entrance was so narrow and awkward I had to put down my clunky camera in order to clamber through. Canada Goose sale

buy canada goose jacket cheap In other words, none of it seemed designed for easy access a characteristic that as emblematic of fogous canada goose coats as it is perplexing. buy canada goose jacket cheap

canadian goose jacket lot of the discussion around fogous is what they were for, because they really strange, Gossip said. people talk about them as a place to hide. as he switched off his torch, the likelihood of the hypothesis vanished along with the light. Damp, chilly, and the kind of black that modern day humans don’t tend to witness, it seemed a strange sort of hideaway for even the most desperate of times Canada Goose Parka or even with the most reliable of flames. person wouldn have wanted to spend much time in here, he said. canadian goose jacket

View image of Second chamber in Halliggye (Credit: Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

Canada Goose Outlet Meanwhile, although these tunnels seem to us today, they weren necessarily then. Many have lintels that would have been visible from the surface, for example making them an odd hiding place from intruders. Canada Goose Outlet

canada goose Over the years, other hypotheses have surfaced. Canada Goose Outlet Perhaps fogous were uk canada goose burial grounds: when Reverend Richard Polwhele recorded entering the Halliggye Fogou in 1803, he wrote that it urns But the access hole that he made in its roof was used by other enthusiasts in ensuing years, and any urns are now gone. No evidence of burial, whether cremation ashes or bone, has been found in any of the six fogous that have been examined with modern archaeological techniques. canada goose

Were they used for storage? The soil is cheap canada goose uk acidic, which helps explain the lack of organic material, like canada goose uk outlet grain and Canada Goose Jackets bone. Still, it an impractical design for a cold store. As Greaney put it: you going to build an underground fridge, you going to want to be able to step in and out of it. if Canada Goose Online fogous were used for valuables or metals like local tin, perhaps the quirky, yet likely still visible, design is odd; so is the fact that not a single ingot has been found.

canada goose clearance View image of Fogou of Carn Euny (Credit: Credit:QEDimages/Alamy) canada goose clearance

cheap Canada Goose The last prominent theory also seems unsatisfying, if only because it a frequent go to for archaeologists who study a period as little understood as this one: maybe they were mainly ceremonial. Perhaps they were meant to be accessed only by the elite, with the restricted space echoing the restrictions of social class. Or perhaps they were places to commune with the gods. cheap Canada Goose

canada goose black friday sale were lost religions. We don know what people were worshiping, Gossip said. But, he added, since they were often used over hundreds of years, their purpose probably shifted. And perhaps the real answer canada goose uk black friday was all of the above: no reason they couldn have had a ceremonial, spiritual purpose as buy canada goose jacket well as, say, storage. Archaeologists have faced many of the same conundrums there, from the odd shape of the tunnels (in Scotland, Strachan said, they banana shaped, curving around a roundhouse, or in a cruciform) to the cleaned out nature of their interiors. canada goose clearance He agrees they probably had more than one buy canada goose jacket cheap use. canada goose black friday sale

think they multi purpose, Strachan said. seasonal, as well. Maybe you use them for storage, then when you don need them for storage, you use them for ceremony. Like many of the others, the Boden Fogou was found serendipitously a farmer struck a pit while laying pipe in his field in 1991. Five years later, it happened again, his tractor opening up a hole in the ground. Both holes led to tunnels.

View image of Excavation at Boden (Credit: Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

Canada Goose Parka Ensuing excavations, which Gossip has run with volunteers each summer since 2003, have turned canadian goose jacket up not only an S shaped fogou, but roundhouses and enclosures. In fact, every recorded fogou has been found within settlements. Canada Goose Parka

canada goose deals One 3,400 year old roundhouse that the team excavated was abandoned 300 years after its construction. It contained more than 3,000 artefacts, mainly shards of ceramics. In a pattern seen at other roundhouses in Britain, they weren where they would have fallen naturally the shards seem scattered deliberately across the floor. Some came from an enormous, elaborately decorated vessel at least 0.92m high. the largest Bronze Age vessel found in Cornwall, if not in Britain, Gossip said canada goose deals.

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