A view of the ruins of Tintagel castle, built in the 13th century by English royals eager to strengthen their ties to legendary King Arthur, who was said to be conceived at the site. Luxury goods unearthed at royal stronghold show that Celtic rulers thrived at the legendary site of Tintagel.
A recent discovery in southwest England is making headlines for its association with King Arthur, but archaeologists are hailing it as an incredibly important find regardless of any connection with Britain’s greatest legendary ruler.
Excavations at Tintagel, a rocky promontory on the coast of Cornwall, have revealed evidence of massive stone fortifications and luxury goods imported from as far away as modern-day Turkey, all dating to a poorly understood period in British history that began with the collapse of Roman rule on the island around 400 A.D.
The earliest mentions of a leader named Arthur in the historical record are tied to events that occurred between roughly 400 and 600 A.D., the period in which archaeologists believe the fortifications at Tintagel were built. According to an account written centuries later, the legendary king was conceived at Tintagel.
Luxury Trade During the So-called “Dark Ages”
Over the summer, archaeologists at Tintagel have found evidence for more than a hundred buildings that most likely date from the fifth to seventh centuries A.D., a period when the site is believed to have been an important royal stronghold of the Celtic kingdom of Dumnonia.
Initial evidence for the Celtic stronghold was first revealed during excavations in the 1930s. Unfortunately, the home of C.A. Raleigh Radford, lead archaeologist on the project, was bombed during World War II and the scientific results were never properly published. In the 1990s, archaeologists reopened Radford’s trenches at Tintagel and discovered fine ceramics and glassware from all over the Mediterranean world.
More than two decades later, researchers have returned to Tintagel for the beginning of a five-year project funded by the charity English Heritage to better understand what was happening at the site during a time erroneously referred to by some historians as the “Dark Ages,” and by others as “Sub-Roman” or “Post-Roman.”
Along with numerous nomadic tribespeople, two main indigenous groups existed in Argentina before the European arrival. In the northwest, near Bolivia and the Andes, was a people known as the Diaguita, while further south and to the east were the Guarani. Together the Diaguita and the Guarani constitute the origins of permanent agricultural civilization in Argentina, both developing the cultivation of maize. The Diaguita are also remembered for having successfully prevented the powerful Inca from expanding their empire into Argentina from what is now Bolivia.
It was perhaps a legacy of this successful resistance that enabled the native peoples of Argentina to carry on a prolonged campaign against colonization and rule by the Spanish. The first Spaniard to land in Argentina, Juan de Solis, was killed in 1516, and several attempts to found Buenos Aires were stymied by the local inhabitants. Inland cities were more successful, and it wasn’t until the late 16th century that Buenos Aires was securely established.
Despite its military success, indigenous resistance was inexorably weakened by the introduction of diseases from Europe. Even after the native threat became minimal, however, Argentina was still mostly neglected by Spain, which was more interested in developing Lima and the riches of Peru. Buenos Aires was forbidden to trade with foreign countries, and the city became a smuggler’s haunt. The restrictive trade policy probably did little to endear Spain to the colonists. The British attacked Buenos Aires in 1806 and 1807, as Spain’s had come under the control of Napoleonic France. The colony managed to repulse Britain’s attacks without any assistance from their mother country, an act of strength that no doubt helped to foster the region’s growing sense of independence.
When the French captured Spain’s King Ferdinand VII, Argentina fell completely under the rule of the local viceroyalty, which was highly unpopular. The locals rebelled against the viceroyalty and declared their allegiance to the captive king. By 1816, the deep division between Argentina and its mother country had become quite apparent, and a party of separatists decided to declare the country’s independence. One of the new patriots, Jose de San Martin, crossed the Andes and captured Lima. Along with Simon Bolivar, Martin is credited with breaking the shackle of Spanish rule in South America … read more —> http://www.geographia.com/argentina