BUILT THE MEGALITHIC STRUCTURES?
poem written 1,000 years ago by an Irishman named Flain, based
even then on 200 generations of folklore, recalled an invasion
of Ireland by a magical people, and posed the question:
Were they demons or were they men?
near Cambridge, is one of at least 900 stone and earth circles
constructed in the British Isles during prehistoric times, and
retired energetic geologist Tim OBrien has now assumed
the role of super-detective to establish who built them. Legends
and stories like Mr Flains poem are fingerprints in this
most ancient whodunit.
is certain there was no indigenous culture in Britain nearly
5,000 years ago capable of building Stonehenge, Avebury, and
other monuments. So who did build them?
thinks it is reasonable to speculate that Wandlebury observatory
and contemporary monuments were designed by the same group of
people. Men who laboured on them would have held their children
on their knees and told them stories about the work.
like monsters, grow with the telling; big men become giants,
midgets become goblins, and wild animals become dragons. All
over Britain legends about giant remain, and in some places
huge effigies were cut into the chalk hillsides. Earlier this
century, Thomas Lethbridge, author of Gogmagog The
Buried Gods, found such a giant carved into the chalk in
the Gogmagog Hills where Wandlebury stands.
stories about the ancient builders continued through the ages,
and in remote parts of Ireland the tales flourish still. In
England, for some reason, they died out. People living in Irish
crofts still attribute the building of the stone circles to
a people they call Tuatha De Danann. Translated, this means
people of the god Danu (or Anu). This, says OBrien, is
a vital clue to discovering where the builders came from.
research into old Irish writing has lead OBrien to conclusions
which now involve him in translating ancient Sumerian documents.
He is convinced that the Tuatha were a real people, who really
did travel to Ireland, and then moved to England.
writings divide the Tuatha into two groups: a smaller group
of leader and intellectuals, said to be godlike, and the workers,
mostly craftsmen, who helped the scientists.
significant to the study of Wandlebury is one called Ogma, the
Champion. In some writings he was also called Ogma, the Sun
Sage. His name crops up in many place names in Britain, particularly
at Wandlebury which is built on the Gogmagog Hills. The first
G was often dropped in old English, so a translation of the
name is likely to be Ogma-gog, which means Ogma of the
one of the best-known Irish folktales, Ogma was said to have
hurled a massive stone into the centre of Tara, a village. The
stone was so big, the story goes, that 80 oxen would have been
needed to move it.
ancient documents say the Tuatha came from Achaia, and that
they were driven from there by a Syrian invasion. If, as some
scholars believe, Achaia was Greece, OBriens quest
is at a dead end, for there is no evidence of such an invasion
in the third millennium BC.
detective, at this point, asks to be allowed one leap
in the dark. He says: There are records of incursions
by the Amorites from the Syrian highlands into Accad; if for
Achaia we read Accad the picture becomes so much clearer.
leap in the dark land him on terra firma. The northern province
of Sumer was known as Accad, and a ruling group of scientists,
just like that which arrived in Britain, were known to have
taught people living in the so-called fertile crescent.
are many similarities between the two groups. Both worshipped
the god Anu, and both had a two-tiered social structure of elite
scientists and skilled craftsmen. Even some individuals are
common to both. The people driven from Sumeria, known as the
Annanage, included a man named Shamash, described as learned
in the signs of the sun.
the similarities between the two peoples are so remarkable that
OBrien, a most exacting and pedantic scientist, is prepared
to pronounce with confidence that Shamash and his group of learned
colleagues did journey from Sumer via Scandinavia, Scotland
and Ireland to England, where they built our astronomical
of OBriens theories have been disregarded. Historians
hate having to re-write their books. OBrien has stumbled
on evidence which, he says, will confound them all, and a second
paper is already in preparation which, he hopes, will be greeted
by rival experts with munificent acceptance.
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