Vitrified Forts – Science and Superstition

Science and Superstition

A unifying thread in the mainstream Vitrified Hill Fort theories of battle damage, wall strengthening and ritual vitrification is that they all assume the vitrification process was initiated by humans.

The possibility that a natural disaster could have vitrified an unoccupied hill fort [centuries after the occupants were dead and buried] is a concept that doesn’t register on their mental radar.

This blind spot means the results of thermoluminescence dating are always interpreted to indicate a period of human occupation at a Vitrified Hill Fort.

Thermoluminescence (TL) dating is the determination, by means of measuring the accumulated radiation dose, of the time elapsed since material containing crystalline minerals was either heated (lava, ceramics) or exposed to sunlight (sediments).

As a crystalline material is heated during measurements the process of thermoluminescence starts.

Thermoluminescence emits a weak light signal that is proportional to the radiation dose absorbed by the material. It is a type of luminescence dating.

This has some advantages because the limitations of thermoluminescence provides the mainstream with plenty of opportunities for speculation and further investigations.

Feldspar inclusion techniques were therefore used to obtain TL dates from the sites of Finavon (Angus), Tap O’Noth (Grampian), Craig Phadrig (Inverness), Knockfarrel (Dingwall), Langwell Dun (Strathoykel) and Dun Lagaidh (Loch Broom).

The results range from the late 3rd millenium BC to the late 1st millenium AD, extending the timespan over which vitrified forts occur, and suggesting that these monuments cannot be ascribed to a single archaeological period.

TL dating therefore appears to be well suited to establishing the relationship between site morphology and chronology for this class of monuments.

Scottish Vitrified Forts: TL Results From Six Study Sites
D.C.W. Sanderson, F. Placido, J.O. Tate
International Journal of Radiation Applications and Instrumentation.
Part D. Nuclear Tracks and Radiation Measurements
Volume 14, Issues 1–2, 1988, Pages 307-316

Vitrified Rocks - Borrodale

On the other hand: thermoluminescence dating makes the mainstream very uncomfortable when the results don’t agree with radiocarbon dating because it indicates the vitrification occurred when the Vitrified Hill Fort was unoccupied.

This isn’t a problem for Catastrophists.

But for the Gradualist mainstream it’s a disaster.

And thermoluminescence is demonstrably a disaster area for the Gradualists .

TL-dates vs 14C dates

Furthermore, thermoluminescence indicates that the period between 450 AD and 950 AD was particularly disastrous for the Vitrified Hill Forts in Europe.

TL-Dating of Vitrified Material

Unsurprisingly, these “peculiar results” triggered further investigations.

While dating the vitrified ramparts of various hill-forts in Sweden, and other parts of Europe, by thermoluminescence (TL) techniques (Kresten and Goedicke, 1996), some peculiar results were obtained. Similar results were also found in the literature.

TL-Dating of Vitrified Material
Peter Kresten, Christian Goedicke and Ana Manzano
Journal on Methods and Applications of Absolute Chronology
Geochronometria Vol. 22, pp 9-14, 2003

The investigations included a re-analysed of samples taken from the vitrified inner ramparts of Broborg hill fort [near Uppsala, Sweden] and the results indicated thermoluminescence is influenced by the “firing temperature” of the sample.

The results, (Fig. 4) show that samples that were heated to temperatures below 550°C yield ages that are (far) too old.

Between 600 and 900°C, TL-dates that are comparable to (calibrated) 14C age determinations (UA3065, 3066) are obtained.

Above the latter temperature, samples become apparently younger with increased firing temperature (Fig. 4).

TL-Dating of Vitrified Material
Peter Kresten, Christian Goedicke and Ana Manzano
Journal on Methods and Applications of Absolute Chronology
Geochronometria Vol. 22, pp 9-14, 2003

This discovery potentially eliminated the mainstream “peculiar results” issue by establishing a methodology whereby “TL-dates and 14C-dates would be equivalent”.

The inner rampart at Broborg has been regarded as an example of constructive vitrification (Kresten and Ambrosiani, 1992; Kresten et al., 1993), i.e., the date of construction would be the date of firing.

Therefore, TL-dates and 14C-dates would be equivalent, taking the biological age of the timber into account.

TL-Dating of Vitrified Material
Peter Kresten, Christian Goedicke and Ana Manzano
Journal on Methods and Applications of Absolute Chronology
Geochronometria Vol. 22, pp 9-14, 2003

However, this reconciliation methodology has some peculiar aspects.

Firstly, it relies upon the concept of “constructive vitrification” which was discredited in the 1980s.

Experimental firing of a full-scale model of a pine-laced wall provoked limited localized vitrification of the hearting.

The results may be added to previously-garnered evidence to refute the suggestion that vitrification was constructional in intent.

The Yorkshire Television vitrified wall experiment at East Tullos, City of Aberdeen District
Ian Ralston – Proc SocAntiq Scot, 116 (1986), 17-40

Some antiquarians have argued that it was done to strengthen the wall, but the heating actually weakens the structure.

Secondly, the vitrified ramparts at Broborg are peculiar because they consist of rocks embedded within a sheet of vitrified material.

Broborg hillfort

Vitrified Forts as Anthropogenic Analogues for Assessment of Long-Term Stability of Vitrified Waste in Natural Environments – R. Sjöblom, H. Ecke & E. Brännvall

Typically, European Vitrified Hill Forts are “consolidated by the fusion of the rocks of which they are built”.

No lime or cement has been found in any of these structures, all of them presenting the peculiarity of being more or less consolidated by the fusion of the rocks of which they are built.

This fusion, which has been caused by the application of intense heat, is not equally complete in the various forts, or even in the walls of the same fort.

In some cases the stones are only partially melted and calcined; in others their adjoining edges are fused so that they are firmly cemented together; in many instances pieces of rock are enveloped in a glassy enamel-like coating which binds them into a uniform whole; and at times, though rarely, the entire length of the wall presents one solid mass of vitreous substance.

Fused Rock

Thirdly, the re-analysed of Broborg hill fort is based upon samples of “black biotite”, “golden biotite” and “molten biotite” taken from the sheet of vitrified material with embedded rocks.

Biotite is a common phyllosilicate mineral within the mica group, with the approximate chemical formula K(Mg,Fe)3AlSi3O10(OH)2.

Biotite is a sheet silicate.

Iron, magnesium, aluminium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen form sheets that are weakly bound together by potassium ions.

It is sometimes called “iron mica” because it is more iron-rich than phlogopite.

It is also sometimes called “black mica” as opposed to “white mica” (muscovite) – both form in some rocks, and in some instances side-by-side.

Nearly all are below the temperature of decomposition of biotite, about 850°, and that of common hornblende, about 750°.

The Temperatures of Magmas – Esper S. Larsen, Harvard University
American Mineralogist – Volume 14, pages 81-94, 1929
Mineralogical Society of America

What is the melting point of biotite? 812-975 degress celcius

But the “TL-dates that are comparable to (calibrated) 14C age” were only [consistently] found in the “golden biotite” samples with “firing temperatures” between “600 and 900°C”.

In other words;

The compatible TL-dates from the Vitrified Hill Fort at Broborg are only found in the “golden biotite” samples which [apparently] didn’t become “molten” because their “firing temperatures” were too low.

Therefore, unless IKEA are selling flat pack hill forts with prefabricated sheets of “golden biotite” [embedded rocks included], it seems far more likely that the “golden biotite” is the vitrified residue of some unspecified precursor material that became molten well above 900°C.

A final twist in this tale of “peculiar results” is provided by the Frösunda Burg hill fort which introduced “uncertainty” into the thermoluminescence dating procedure because some of the “burnt stones” samples had “exceptionally large uranium contents”.

Frosundra 1988

A Survey of Archaeological Samples Dated in 1988 – V Mejdahl
Technical University of Denmark – Risø-M; No. 2807

These elevated levels of uranium encountered in the Frösunda Burg samples may simply reflect:
i) a natural variability in rock samples
ii) atmospheric nuclear fallout
iii) contamination from a military source
iv) contamination from a civilian facility.

Alternatively, these elevated uranium levels may be associated with the natural disaster/s that thermoluminescence dating strongly suggests [after an allowance is made for high and low “firing temperatures”] occurred sometime between 450 and 950 AD.

TL-Dating of Vitrified Material - Adjusted

Gallery | This entry was posted in Astrophysics, Catastrophism, Geology, Gunnar Heinsohn, History, Uniformitarianism, Vitrified Hill Forts. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Vitrified Forts – Science and Superstition

  1. THX1138 says:

    All of “science’s” clocks and calendars are broken. All are based on assumptions (beliefs) that are not true. Even today’s atomic clocks are broken, and are not reliable beyond certain limitations.

    14C clocks are based on certain assumptions:
    1. The rate of decay of carbon-14 has remained constant over the ages.
    2. The proportion of carbon-14 in the atmosphere has either remained constant, or if it has varied, then the causes and amount of that variance are known.
    3. Once an organism dies, nothing alters the proportion of carbon-14 to carbon-12 other than radioactive decay.

    1. It has been shown that radioactive decay is variable, and can be changed by chemical means, exposure to strong electrical effects, and other causes unknown, but measured in sidereal and diurnal changes over long period experiments. The radioactivity of Cobalt and Americium has been almost eliminated by exposure to the flame of Brown’s Gas, a simple mixture of elemental Hydrogen and Oxygen.

    2. It has been shown that transmutation of elements happens within electrical discharge events, high temperature welding activities (transmuting N2 in the presence of Iron into C and O, forming Carbon Monoxide, which poisoned welding workers), and even within biological systems (such as chickens and crabs, see Biological Transmutations by C.Louis Kervran). So, we have no way of knowing how much 14C has been created over time, or when. Catastrophic electrical events in Earth’s past, which we know took place (see Thunderbolts of the Gods by Wal Thornhill and David Talbot), has most likely created huge quantities of radioactive elements, and made these fundamental beliefs untenable. Uranium can also be created in situ by high powered celestial electrical interactions between planetary bodies.

    3. A dead organism (which is composed of trillions of alive organisms), is not only subject to outside influences which could alter the rate of radioactive decay, but the organisms themselves can mutate to treat radioactive elements differently. There are bacteria which eat radioactive elements, and transmute them into other elements, living off the energy they thus glean. Some of these bacteria can be found living inside nuclear reactor chambers.

    Electrical interactions with our celestial surroundings is a perfectly tenable explanation of the vitrification of these rock samples. Many of these electrical interactions are documented in petroglyphs around the world.

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