Greetings and welcome to Mountains of Meaning. This blog examines mountain environments from the perspective of landscape archaeology; what people did on and around mountains and how this can inform us about how ancient and not so ancient people used, perceived and interacted with these places. My native Cumbria has extensive prehistoric upland archaeology as well as the more well known lowland sites such as Castlerigg, Mayburgh Henges and Long Meg not to forget her Daughters; I also consider how the archaeology here relates to other sites across the British and Irish Isles, and more distant lands around the world.
Many mountains across the world are still regarded as sacred by modern societies and here I wish to explore how this attribute relates to mountains at home in the Cumbrian Fells in England; where we know prehistoric people were living and working. In doing this I will be looking at any relevant ethnographic comparisons and how we may gain an insight into the spiritual beliefs that may have been held by prehistoric societies and how high places may fit into their world view. Contemporary beliefs in a highly technological fast-moving age have, in some cases, returned to more elemental roots; in particular the potential overlap of how people currently interact spiritually with natural places and prehistoric sites and whether these beliefs have any connection with more ancient cosmologies.
I have been researching the prehistoric archaeology of Cumbria for many years now, spent some time in academic study and now continue as an independent researcher. I live in the Cumbrian Fells and consequently have a strong affinity with the landscape; where, in an environment more closely walked than any other in the country, it is perhaps surprising that it is still possible to discover new prehistoric sites.