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My World: A comparatively young house

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
My family comes from Western France. Apparently, the area has been populated for quite a while, as it is full with megalithic constructions, mainly tumuli. Tumuli are basically large to gigantic piles of rocks covered by soil.

Because tumuli are a bit old (they were built around 5000-4500 years before Christ), they are usually overgrown with trees and therefore impossible to photograph.

This year, however, there were archeological excavations next to the largest tumulus of the region (and of Europe, actually). Electromagnetic measurements in fields next to the tumuli showed promising "anomalies" and scientists found the places where the piles of smaller rocks were dug from to construct the tumulus.

The excavations also found a comparatively young house, dated to the middle ages (around 800 after Christ). Here it is viewed directly from above:


and this is an oblique view of the 3 excavation sites. The house is on the front, the tumulus hidden in the right-hand forest:

 
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Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Jerome,

My family comes from Western France. Apparently, the area has been populated for quite a while, as it is full with megalithic constructions, mainly tumuli. Tumuli are basically large to gigantic piles of rocks covered by soil.

Because tumuli are a bit old (they were built around 5000-4500 years before Christ), they are usually overgrown with trees and therefore impossible to photograph.
Fascinating. Thanks so much for that interesting info.

What do we know about the object of building tumuli?

So, when the Universe was formed 5000 years ago (as I've heard), was this a helluva shock to the people then living in western France among the tumuli?

Best regards,

Doug
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi, Jerome,



Fascinating. Thanks so much for that interesting info.

What do we know about the object of building tumuli?

So, when the Universe was formed 5000 years ago (as I've heard), was this a helluva shock to the people then living in western France among the tumuli?

Best regards,

Doug

It was tumultuous!

? ?
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
What do we know about the object of building tumuli?
Basically: nothing.

Archaeologists used to believe they were tombs. Problems: only a handful of people were buried in these huge constructions and we are not sure they were buried at the time the tumuli were built

Then: megaliths (tumuli and other structures) were almost always built on elevated grounds, so as to be seen from afar. We thus believe they were landmarks built for display. But we don't know what display was intended. In more recent times, in Madagascar, people built megalith as well. The times are so recent that we can ask the builders or people who new them. More than 100 different reasons were compiled by ethnologists.


So, when the Universe was formed 5000 years ago (as I've heard), was this a helluva shock to the people then living in western France among the tumuli?
Opinions differ.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Doug.

Let’s make it 6000 years ago. We don’t need to upset anyone.

Best.

Well, biblical "years" could be epochal not man references solar years!

I actually have come to think that my ancestors were not ALL slaves in Egypt, the God of the Israelites likely has a wife, "Ashera" as did the gods of Moab and other places.

Only in retrospective writing after the return under Ezra, did the One God get permeated backwards to all the stories!

Yes, there was a kingdom of Judea 3,000 years ago with Jerusalem and a separate Kingdom of Israel to the North.

The history backwards, however to the earlier parts of the bible and the creation have little archaeological evidence.

It doesn't bother me at all. Likewise there is zero written evidence of a real Jesus of Nazareth, born, preaching or anything else until over a century later from Rome, where the "Mary-istic" beliefs of "virgin birth, (from a Roman goddess), were affixed on to a cultural derivative of watered down reformed Judaism, popular in parts of the Roman Empire .

The figure of Jesus is still noble and a lesson for us.

God doesn't need all the stories to be accurate!

Just that we treasure each others children. The rest is decorative and beautiful tradition.

So I have no problem with 300,000 year old bones or 10 million year old fossils.

What is, is!








Including pre-iron age 7,000 year old giant "tumulus" mounds!

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Coming back to the excavations, this is a photography of one of the quarries out of where the smaller stones for the tumulus were extracted. We see a relatively homogenous stone bank deposited in parallel layers. We also see a series of smaller holes which were filed by rubble and are now empty. The excavation dug out the rubble, looking for datable artefacts.


Digging out the rubble took weeks, because the position of everything needs to be carefully referenced. Why and how shall be discussed in a later post.
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
After the visit of the excavations, we were invited to see a series of small videos showing the 3D reconstruction of megaliths in their original form. Here is an image showing one of the reconstructed dolmens, which was excavated in 2016-2017.






A click on that picture will bring you to youtube where you can watch the video (with French text), with more of the reconstruction.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Jerome, the archaeological work, (that your fabulous reconstruction link shows), is as formidable as the amazing structure itself.

The tumult reminds me of both the fortifications City of Troy in Ancient Greece, (now part of Western Turkey) and also the much smaller but equally impressive and similarly circular structures of the Zimbabwe Ruins in central Africa. In the later case, an ingenious technology of wood fires excavated the rock quarry to provide the building blocks!

Like Stonehenge on Wiltshire, U.K., our ancient ancestors put incredible thought, determination and resources to almost do the impossible starting with a vision.

In ancient Troy we know the stonework was for military defense. The narrow outer passage between two massively tall circular perimeter walls meant one soldier could hold back any number of enemy who penetrated the gate away to tgecextetior.

Similarly it seems in Zimbabwe.

But what was the purpose of the equally impressive more ancient mounds in France? Since there are many, perhaps these are a series holy places, burial monuments or high ground lookout places that are defendable from marauders. Excavation nearby might discover much more in caves or burial sites or the charcoal and food remnants.

The soil removed will yield data on pollens and ancient plants and fragments of bones of animals and eventually some artifacts like a carved stone with a figure of some anciebt deity.

Fortunately, France has all the skill, scholarship and technology to respect and study this important site.

I do not expect findings like the Scythian Gold treasures from the plains of Eastern Europe, but this far older site will shed light on organized human activity in Europe closer perhaps even before the “Epoch” of the people of Stonehenge!

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
But what was the purpose of the equally impressive more ancient mounds in France? Since there are many, perhaps these are a series holy places, burial monuments or high ground lookout places that are defendable from marauders. Excavation nearby might discover much more in caves or burial sites or the charcoal and food remnants.
We don't know what the tumuli were used for. Same for stone circles as the one in Stonehenge, which date about the same era (a bit younger).

Archaeologists used to believe they were tombs. Problems: only a handful of people were buried in these huge constructions and we are not sure they were buried at the time the tumuli were built

Also: megaliths (tumuli and other structures) were almost always built on elevated grounds, so as to be seen from afar. We thus believe they were landmarks built for display. But we don't know what display was intended. In more recent times, in Madagascar, people built megaliths as well. The times are so recent that we can ask the builders or people who new them. More than 100 different reasons were compiled by ethnologists.
 
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Jerome Marot

Well-known member
On the following picture, taken from the ground, the difference in structure between the original stone beds and the rubble is more obvious. A strip of rubble was left in place.


Excavating the rubble took a long time. Each stone needs to be examined and the position of eventual artefacts needs to be recorded. There was a geometer with a theodolith nearby.

If one wants to build 3D models of the structure as was shown in the videos discussed earlier, a different method was used: photogrammetry. Strips of pictures were taken and software is used to reconstruct a 3D model from the pictures.

There is a small marker at the bottom of the pit. I understand it was used as a reference for photogrammetry.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
On the following picture, taken from the ground, the difference in structure between the original stone beds and the rubble is more obvious. A strip of rubble was left in place.


Excavating the rubble took a long time. Each stone needs to be examined and the position of eventual artefacts needs to be recorded. There was a geometer with a theodolith nearby.

If one wants to build 3D models of the structure as was shown in the videos discussed earlier, a different method was used: photogrammetry. Strips of pictures were taken and software is used to reconstruct a 3D model from the pictures.

There is a small marker at the bottom of the pit. I understand it was used as a reference for photogrammetry.

I so appreciate you going into this detail. Photoprogrametry is a very clever and fascinating way of building a superb 3D model on incredible detail, fit for critical scientific study. (I imagine, by now these archaeologists can add multispectral shots to actually get an additional rich layer of information of chemical composition as well, if they do wish, as the French are particularly advanced in research capabilities. A search for multispectral photoprogrammetry in Architecture, here, yields rich use of such techniques.

The only software I know and have tested is Agisoft and they use similar markers as in this pit.

Am so impressed!

Thanks for sharing this fabulous find.

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
It is actually Agisoft that they were using. There is a special license for scientific uses.

The capabilities of Agisoft are mind-boggling. What did you use it for?
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
It is actually Agisoft that they were using. There is a special license for scientific uses.

The capabilities of Agisoft are mind-boggling. What did you use it for?
Jerome,

I am just a beginner! I try to use the photoprogrammetry for mapping out building sites to determine whether or not the exact engineering and architectural plans are being used or to make a 3D model of existing architecture in a giant city hall where the original architectural plans are not made available for security reasons, but I am designing a massive complex tubular sculpture that has to fit in that space artistically as if it belongs there.

So far, my 2013 Mac Pro runs very slow and I didn’t use those fiduciary black and white reference markers. So in the end I made 3D models using either a Faro Laser Scanner, (very accurate and expensive) and a Matterport Scanner, beautiful images, (but low resolution underlying polygons). I made the latter accurate by correcting it with actual measurements of floor dimensions and elevations to build my final model. I built a scale model of the City Hall and the sculpture in place! I scanned that very accurately with a laser scanner. That I transferred to Revit to join the architecture plans I had made from the Matterport scan and hand drawings and measurements......and then to Solidworks.

The result of one such project was previously shown in OPF, here.

So I am clumsy and have to work so hard to relate diverse, non-matching and expensive systems. When I master Agisoft sufficiently, I can then scan a public sculpture destination and my 3D model with the same system and don’t need to rent expensive laser scanners.

I plan to update my computer or get an Akito Thunderbolt accessory for my Mac to hold an exceptional capable Graphics card, as that, besides markers, is what Agisoft needs!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Jerome,

Probably the safest places for early hominids were the mountains and caves. Early man it seems tried to emulate these features by mastering the rocks themselves and working out how to crack, loosen them and remove them. Then manage to transport them over long distances, to be able to stack them in progressively more ambitious structures and finally to be able to carve them with their cultural symbols.

I wonder whether they have figured out how this collective skill, (beyond flint-chipping and axe and arrow-making), occurred on the scale of massive stone buildings and fortifications.

Did these early communities spread a common knowledge or did isolated groups conevup with different approaches. To what extent did that latter enable different humans to outcompete others?

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
This superbly rich thread needs to be updated. Much more work has been done in Wiltshire and more information comes from adjacent field digs than from the megalith sites thenselves.

So, Jerome, an updates from France?

...and now I am actually using Agisoft on my original 2013 Mac Pro grey cylinder, just 16 GB RAM, without any need for a daughter eGPU monster graphic card as I had feared all this time!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I have designed and carved a wooden sculpture to be made into steel 6 stories high.

Today, I have been trying to build a 3D model from 219 camera positions using Agisoft. It’s still working after some 10 hours and there is another 12 hours to go to complete just the shape of model.

Then we have to compute the “skin”, LOL!

But it is way cheaper than $1,000 to $2,000 for a service bureau to scan and make an accurate 3D model I need for making machine drawings!

I am thrilled to be able to use my Fuji GFX for this challenge. Hopefully my brave 2013 computer will complete the rendering in the next day!

Photogrammetry is such a wonderful tool and it looks like I can do it!

Asher
 
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