Category Archives: Jersey

Human Burial Chamber and Artwork: Million Years Of ‘Culture’

I was delighted to find the Hougue Bie burial chamber on what is now called ‘Jersey’. It reminded me of the Maeshowe one on what is now called ‘Orkney’ in what is now called ‘Scotland’ that I’d seen on television. Maeshowe is another fine example of early greenYgrey architecture:

Maeshowe Connection?Picture Sigurd Towrie

Reading about it again on the orkneyjar website I saw that it is different to Hougue Bie in that its alignment is for the midwinter sunrise to reach its back wall, similar to Newgrange in what is now known as ‘Ireland’, with Hougue Bie said to be structured for the equinoxes.

British and European Burial Chambers and Artwork

Britain’s stone circles and burial chambers date from about 6,000 years ago; before the great pyramids of Egypt, and thousands of years before ‘monotheism’ emerged in the Middle-East, and God and Devil, Heaven and Hell, took the place of reverence for nature and the cosmos.

Although that seems a long time ago, it is quite ‘recent’ compared to artwork, with cave paintings in modern Europe dated to 30,000 – 32,000 years ago.

That’s right, 30,000 years before Christ was born and the Romans invaded ‘Britain’; that’s 15 times the amount of time we’ve got any written recorded history for northern Europe, and 30 times modern history started in Britain after the Norman invasion; our ancestors were creating artwork like this:

Cave painting found in Indonesia dating to 35,000 – 40,000 years ago are now thought to be the oldest found:

Cave of Pettakere, Bantimurung district (kecamatan), South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Hand stencils estimated between 35,000 and 40,000 years old

Above knowledge refreshed on Wikipedia.

African Burial Chamber Million Years Old

Funnily enough, I watched a documentary this week about what is thought to be the oldest burial chamber yet found; that doesn’t mean it’s the oldest, just the oldest found. There’s an article about it on BBC news.

It’s deep underground in modern ‘South Africa’, and needed thin archaeologists to access it and recover the remains of fifteen of our ancestors. It resulted in a team of intrepid non-claustrophobic researchers, backed by greenYgrey:

The team of scientists who were small enough to squeeze through the cave's narrow underground tunnels and into the cave system.

They’ve been dated to a million years old; yes, that’s right, 1,000,000 years compared to the 2,000 since Christianity, 500,000 times as much human life we know very little about as that we do; except that if our ancestors were conducting ritual burial at the start of it, then there is likely to have been a lot of ‘culture’ and ‘cosmology’ going on long before the cave paintings of 30,000 – 40,000 years ago, and the stone circles and burial chambers of 6,000 years ago.

One of the XaW Files subtitle Beyond Humanity’s meanings is this knowledge beyond humanity, either in the past or the distance of space for the human species, and the mind for individual humans.

Living in a narrow band of troposhere atmosphere on a planet circling a star that is one of billions in our Milky Way galaxy; a galaxy that is one of billions in the known universe (which may be one of many, millions or billions?)…

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… which sometimes looks greenygrey/gYgPOP…

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… in a very short period of recorded history, compared to how long we’ve been walking the Earth and looking to the stars, we try and make sense of our place in existence.

We even make it hard for ourselves by shutting down knowledge because it doesn’t fit in with ‘beliefs’, or cloud history by raising religious, geographical or cultural bias over scientific paradigms and investigative research.

 

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La Hougue Bie, Jersey, Underground Place for Me… Pagan Statue of Liberty!

On my first journey around Europe in 1987/88 I visited some of the biggest tourist sites, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Colisseum in Rome and Acropolis in Athens. It’s a tradition I kept up on my 25th anniversary tour, visiting Mont Saint Michel near Saint Malo; the Naeroyfjord near Bergen; Gamla Stan in Stockholm and the Nou Camp in Barcelona (should probably have been La Sagrada Familiar, but did visit other Gaudi sites!).

In Latvia last year I visited Turaida Museum in the Gauja Valley, a day-trip from Riga to Sigulda; the Open-Air museum on the edge of Tallinn in Estonia and Suomenlinna fort guarding Helsinki’s harbour in Finland.

Jersey has some very impressive castles, such as Elizabeth, guarding Saint Helier harbour…

… and Gorey (Mont Orgueil) on the east coast…

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… as well as several interesting museums, but when I found out about the 6,000 years old Neolithic burial chamber of La Hougue Bie it was the place for me to be.

The original Neolithic burial chamber, with the entrance positioned facing east so sunrise reached the back wall on the equinoxes, had a mound built over it originally, making it look very greenygrey (remembering my decade-old Blighty dominant landscape concept):

In Medieval times a church was built on top, adding another layer of grey; and it’s greenYgrey inside too!:

I entered the burial chamber three times, without intending to originally. The first time was to have a look; the second was after remembering the torch on my phone to light it up better, and the third after I’d visited the museum and found out more about it. The first photo here is looking inside, and the second out:

You may be wondering if I felt a connection to the ancestors? I don’t know really, maybe I did, or maybe it was just me wanting to, creating it more in my mind.

Making the Most of Life: Life is for the Living

I think I’ve felt more of a connection to the living creatures I’ve met the last year, decade and life. I felt more of a ‘magical connection’ this week, with an unplanned stop in the last place of sunshine before returning to ‘civilisaton’, at first just planning to get ten more minutes of hot sunshine for a Vitamin D boost, storing it up for the coming autumn.

Staring for a few minutes into lush vegetation, a tree I’ve probably passed hundreds or thousands of times began to take shape in my mind. A few trees away, two squirrels ran around the trunk, looking as if they were playing; making the most of the morning sunshine. Then water fell from one branch, looking like a waterfall; and big flying insects landing on leaves reminded me of the Avatar movie.

Standing there, with a bag of blackberries in one hand, and my t-shirt covering my front in the other (sun on my back), I knew I must have looked odd to any ‘normal’ people who saw me; but later thought I may have also resembled the Statue of Liberty (in a pagan kind of greenYgrey way!):

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‘Jersey Boy’ Latham v ‘Sunny’ Latham: United 50 Years Later

Jersey Joe Walcott was the heavyweight boxing champion in 1951/52. It was before my time, and I don’t know much about him. I think I saw a little about him in some old boxing documentary, or documentaries.

Jersey Born and Bred (for a little while)

However, I was born in Jersey in 1965, and left a year or two later. So when I joked about having a ‘boxing nickname’, long after I wanted to be a boxer or had much interest in it, I thought of ‘Jersey Boy’ Latham.

That’s an example of how a little bit of my lifetime knowledge becomes a big thing in my writing. My greenYgrey writing is full of such people and places. Hopefully I helped publicise some of the good ones, as well as putting some places on the map.

greenYgreyologists analysing my writing would probably think that Jersey Joe Walcott was a big favourite of mine, but in reality he’s just a name I remembered, with relevance to my life; I couldn’t remember any of his history until looking it up just now.

I also joked using a renowned idiom: you can take the boy out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey out of the boy!

Disclaimer: If those who heard my above creations are reading, you were the just the audience, and I was the creator. I might not have thought them up if I hadn’t been talking to you, but that doesn’t give you a share of their copyright! As I don’t ask for a share of anything you gained during our time together!!

Sunny Jersey for my Return

Another boxing name that sounded relevant was Charles L. ‘Sonny’ Liston, but that’s because I like the weather sunny, rather than liking being a son; not that I’d rather be a daughter!

I’ve thought I might have developed my love of sunshine and beaches in my first year or two on Jersey. I don’t know if I did, if it was nature or nurture, but I do know that after a wet day before, and overcast voyage, the clouds cleared a couple of hours before arriving on Jersey, and so the island looked lovely as I returned after 50 years; and especially the south approaching my birthplace of Saint Helier.

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Unfortunately, the clear sky didn’t last, and my return voyage was cancelled due to wet weather! Apparently a common occurrence with the fast ferry service.

However, I still enjoyed my last day in my birthplace, thanks to golden reflections of the sun that welcomed me ‘home’.