Gunnar Heinsohn: Finding Bede’s Missing Metropolis – Part One

Londinium and Lundenwic – Side By Side in Space and Time

Beda Venerabilis (672-735 AD), in his Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation (II. 3), provided us with a description of Londinium in 604 AD:

“Their metropolis is the city of London [Lundonium in the original], which is situated on the banks of the aforesaid river, and is the mart of many nations resorting to it by sea and land.”

Bede gives no indication that London would have looked less magnificent in his own time, a century later.

In the London area there are only two settlements that can be investigated for the description of Bede: Londinium of Imperial Antiquity (1st-3rd century AD) and Lundenwic of the Early Middle Ages (8th-10th century AD).

Londinium, which within the 3.5 km long wall (enclosing 135 ha) could accommodate 60,000 people, would fit best the global flair invoked by Bede. Public buildings of Londinium would fit Bede’s report perfectly, too.

After all, Tacitus has already described the city in a very similar way:

“Londinium… though undistinguished by the name of ‘colony’, was much frequented by a number of merchants and trading vessels” Annals XIV, § 33.

However, Roman Londinium is surprising in that the ideal space on the western side of the river Fleet supposedly was not used to build a typical Roman vicus to serve that Roman metropolis.

However, neither around 600 AD nor around 700 AD residential buildings, latrines, palaces, harbours, roads or water pipes were built in the London area.

So no one knows which metropolis Bede might have thought of.

Parts of Londinium “were already covered by a horizon of dark silts (often described as `dark earth’).

[…] Land was converted to arable and pastoral use or abandoned entirely.
The dark earth may have started forming in the 3rd century
(Schofield 1999).

Such immense destruction was not limited to Londinium:

“Many [British] building sequences appear to terminate in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. […]

The latest Roman levels are sealed by deposits of dark-coloured loam, commonly called the ‘dark earth’ (formerly ‘black earth’).

In the London area the ‘dark earth’ generally appears as a dark grey, rather silty loam with various inclusions, especially building material.

The deposit is usually without stratification and homogeneous in appearance, it can be one meter ore more in thickness. […]

The evidence suggests that truncation of late Roman stratification is linked to the process of ‘dark earth’ formation”
(Yule 1990, 620).

At the same time, the economic heart of London stopped beating:

“The whole port begins to collapse … by the third century”
(Milne 2016).

Roman residential districts, administrative buildings, temples, latrines, streets or quais will never again be built on this layer of dark earth.

Strangely though, the splendid wall — 3 m wide at the base, more than 6 m high, and guarded by six large gates — was well preserved in the time of Bede.

The 1st/2nd century streets leading to Londinium were intact, too.

Even during the 8th and 9th century AD they were in full use.

Nobody knows who kept the wall and streets in such a good condition.

The desperation about not being able to find in Londinium, Roman Britain’s largest city, what Bede, Britain’s wisest man, had written about the London Metropolis, ended in 1984, when Lundenwic was discovered by Alan Vince (1952-2009; 1984) and Martin Biddle (*1937; 1984).

That modest agrarian settlement was located about 1.5 km to the west, in today’s London’s Covent Garden area.

But the joy was premature.

Despite Bede’s description of London in 604 AD, there are no houses in Anglo-Saxon Lundenwic at that time.

However, stunningly well-preserved Roman roads of the 1st/2nd century led through the area of Lundenwic.

In the 8th or 9th century, small roads within Lundenwic could be very precisely linked to the 700-year-old roads without noticeable differences in height.

However, embarrassing for Bede, there was no settlement before 700 AD.

Most of the small finds before 700 AD are limited to pottery shards and pieces of broken glass:

“Amongst the earliest features recorded in Lundenwic are a number of burials, which, where dateable, appear to be 7th century.

This suggests that the origin of Lundenwic is likely to be of 7th century date, although a recently excavated 5th to 6th century quarry pit at 15 – 17 Long Acre may indicate a greater antiquity.

This, however, could also be interpreted as part of an early Anglo-Saxon rural predecessor, linked to Lundenwic by its location only”
(Leary 2004a, 21).

What about Lundenwic in Bede’s own time, the late 7th /early 8th century?

At the beginning of Britains’s Early Middle Ages LundenWIC (c. 60 ha) was built like a planned unfortified Roman VICus of the 1st century.

Roman products (even millefiori glass) were used by a supposedly post-Roman population that even in the 9th century did not exceed 7,000.

The archaeologists, though restricted to very few accessible sites, have excavated

“Roman pottery” (Leary 2004a, 18),
“Roman copper coin” (Brown/Rackham 2004, 47; 60),
“Roman Samian” bowls (Leary/Woolbridge 2004, 74; 80), and
“Roman tiles” (Leary/Woolbridge 2004, 75).

Village roads, “organised as a single development, presumably by a central authority” (Leary 2004b, 141), were neatly connected to the 700 year old and still intact Roman streets to Londinium that are now leading to Lundonium (Londinium):

“The line of a [1st/2nd century] Roman road (presently known as the Strand and Fleet Street) was apparently retained throughout the Saxon era [8th/9th century], and delineated the higher and dry ground from the riverside beach or strand.

A second Roman road (presently known as Oxford Street, New Oxford Street and High Holborn) was also retained and passed to the north of Lundenwic”
(Leary 2004a, 20).

The despair over the failure to find urban structures for 700 years between Imperial Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages leads — not only in Londinium, but also in many continental cities (Aachen, Spoleto etc.) –– to even more radical conclusions.

For Turicum (Zürich/Switerzland), e.g., it is claimed:

“Due to the archaeological findings, a destruction of the settlement structures in Zurich can be ruled out. The Roman settlement [of the 2nd century] probably hasn’t changed much until the early Middle Ages [of the 9th century]. Roman roads, buildings and infrastructure continued to be used” 700 years later 1
(Kaiser 1995, 152).

1 Aufgrund der archäologischen Befunde kann eine Zerstörung der Siedlungsstrukturen in Zürich ausgeschlossen werden. Die römische Siedlung [des 2. Jhs.] hat sich wohl bis ins Frühmittelalter [des 9. Jhs.] kaum verändert. Römische Straßen, Gebäude und Infrastruktur wurden weiterbenutzt

Respect must be paid to the Zürich excavators for being straightforward about the absence of building activities for 700 years.

So far, it is not understood why the 8th/9th century Anglo-Saxons of Lundenwic did not settle within the marvellously preserved late 2nd century walls of Londinium (Bede’s Lundonium).

Moreover, why did the Saxons not reinforce their houses with the well-cut stones from the fallow Lundonium=Londinium easily reached by Roman roads, but built houses resembling typical Roman vicus huts from 700 years before?

Although Alfred the Great (871-899) is said to have renovated the walls of Londinium from 886 AD, there are no traces of it.

Also for the idea that at that time the Lundenwicer finally sought protection behind these walls and gave up the village idyll, material hints are missing:

“The ‘negative’ [Anglo-Saxon] archaeological evidence recovered from the City of London [Londinium], remains a significant problem”
(Leary 2004a, 20 f.).

The dream of finally having found proof of the truth of Bede’s hymn on London Metropolis in Lundenwic ends in bitter disappointment:

“Bede’s description that ‘… the city of London, which stands on the banks of the Thames … is a trading centre for many nations who visit it by land and sea‘ […] suggests to us that Lundenwic was a trading place (emporium) in continuous contact with the Continent and other parts of England.

However, […] the archaeological evidence from Lundenwic does not clearly reflect either trade or production on a larger scale.

Taken as a whole the evidence for trade is far less than one would expect from a ‘trading centre’.

A similar situation is reflected in the Middle Saxon coins, with only some 20 recovered”
(Leary 2004a, 21 / Leary 2004b, 144).

The most amazing thing about Lundenwic is that, like Londinium, but 700 years later, it terminates under dark earth:

“Dark earth layers sealed the stratigraphy recorded at James Street, Maiden Lane and the National Portrait Gallery […]

The dark earth from all three sites produced pottery, mostly of 9th century date”
(Leary 2004b, 145).

It is also astonishing that in Lundenwic the dark earth layers from Londinium‘s 3rd century cannot be found, while in Londinium the dark earth layers of Lundenwic from the early 10th century left no traces.

If our textbook chronology did not forbid it, then the earliest Lundenwic Anglo-Saxons of the Early Middle Ages (8th-10th century) could have lived at the same time as the Romans of Imperial Antiquity (1st-3rd century.).

But that would mean that Romans and Anglo-Saxons had fought simultaneously and in competition with each other for control of Celtic Britain.

Such an idea is considered completely unacceptable.

But it would, inter alia, explain why even agricultural activities of Anglo-Saxons in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages have yet to be found:

“Whatever the discussion about the plough in Roman Britain, at least it is a discussion based on surviving models and parts of ploughs, whereas virtually no such evidence exists for the Period A.D. 500-900 in England. […]

In contrast to the field system of the 500 years or so on either side of the beginning of our era, little evidence has survived in the ground for the next half millennium”
(Fowler 2002, 28).

“The Saxons tended to avoid Roman sites possibly because they used different [as yet unknown] farming methods”
(Southern 2013, 361).

It is true, however, that our chronology stands in the way of such considerations.

On the following page, the results of our chronological dogma for Lundenwic and Londinium are presented side by side.

The coloration should make the similarities of the two sites, supposedly separated by 700 years, easier to recognize.

Yet the story of the first millennium has not been played as absurd theatre.

The bizarre inconsistencies from the Londinium-Lundenwic comparison are solely due to our chronology, but not to people from the past.

If the stratigraphic and archaeological findings are allowed to speak, the evidence is clear: Lundenwic and Londinium grow up simultaneously.

This insight is so hard to swallow because the material evidence makes the Roman Imperial period (and everything that preceded it) begin about 700 years later than we have learned to believe for almost 1000 years, i.e. since Michael Psellos (1018-1078).

The immovable facts in the earth force a stratigraphically-based chronology.

With the help of stratigraphy we can replace our previous belief in absurd behaviour or miraculous events and interactions with reasonable historical narratives.

How could the Venerable Bede get London so wrong?

Generations of British scholars have asked that question.

Did he lie or fantasize wildly?

Was he out of his mind?

Or is there a major mistake in mainstream history of the first millennium that forces us to present the wisest thinkers of that time as confused?

Our scholars have been trained for centuries to respect traditional chronology –– which is not understood by anyone –– more than the archaeological findings in the earth.

But the more precise the excavations become, the clearer they show that Imperial Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages are only different segments of the same epoch of the 8th to 10th century, which, after an enormous catastrophe, regressed into the primitive High Middle Ages around 930 AD.

This assumption does not claim a pure 1:1 parallelism in which events reported for the year 100 AD could simply be supplemented with information for the year 800 AD.

The sequence from Augustus to Alexander Severus, which was handed down for Imperial Antiquity (1-230s AD), is most reliable, because it was reported already during Imperial Antiquity.

On the other hand, the events dated from 284 onwards (Late Antiquity) and from 700 onwards (Early Middle Ages) contain so many dating shifts and arbitrarily combined fragments that it is always necessary to examine on a case-by-case basis what belongs to when in the 2nd century, which, e.g., is currently dated to the middle of the 9th century AD.

Also the exact dates for Bede (as well as the texts under his name) or his Gregory-Pope have yet to be found.

This will be difficult.

Similar to the fate of lost Anglo-Saxon agriculture, most original papal graves are missing from Simplicius (468-483 AD) to John XVth (985-996 AD) because they were either lost or — as it is taught — surgically erased by the Vatican. From Bedes Gregory one still can admire his third tomb (dated 1607) (Kirchengeschichte 2018).

Nothing in the archaeological history of Londinium or the rest of the world would be missing if 700 fictitious years were to be removed from the first millennium.

Thus, no actual history would be lost, only emptiness.

But, for the first time, meaningful historiography would become possible.

The port of Londinium, with its massive quay facilities, has always been the “mart of many nations resorting to it by sea and land” in Bede’s metropolis.

He may have also known the primitive beach harbour of Lundenwic, but he did not consider it worth mentioning.

The scholars always had Bede’s international port before their eyes, but they could not see it because chronological dogma had made them blind to the evidence.

London provides only one of many thousands of examples of the obstruction of evidence-based historiography by mainstream‘s chronological dogma (for further examples see http://www.q-mag.org/the-1st-millennium-a-d-chronology-controversy.html).

The following table, using important cities as examples, shows the respective chronological placements of the approximately 230 years, which have indisputable settlement substance (housing, temples, streets, ports, breakwaters etc.) between 1 and 930 AD.

Anglo-Saxons and Romans Conquer the British Isles Simultaneously

Because archaeologists cannot find 4th/5th-10th century Anglo-Saxon building layers on the ruins of 1st-3rd century Roman cities anywhere in Britain, outsiders might feel encouraged to simply deny the existence of Anglo-Saxons before the 2nd millennium.

Historians who reconstruct Anglo-Saxon history from texts and small finds –– especially coins –– are thus increasingly under pressure.

Especially in the area of Anglo-Saxon agriculture, without which the existence of the Germanic conquerors is hard to imagine, material evidence is missing.

Recently, researchers no longer complain only about the lack of Anglo-Saxon ploughs (Fowler 2002, 28), but even about the absence of useful plants and farm animals.

Robin Fleing (2016), e.g., could show

“that Roman conquerors introduced many — perhaps as many as 50 — new and valuable food plants and animals (such as the donkey) to its province of Britannia, where these crops were successfully cultivated for some 300 years.

Among the foodstuffs that Roman civilization brought to Britain are walnuts, carrots, broad beans, grapes, beets, cabbage, leeks, turnips, parsnips, cucumbers, cherries, plums, peaches, almonds, chestnuts, pears, lettuce, celery, white mustard, mint, einkorn, millet, and many more.

These valuable plants took root in Britain and so did Roman horticulture. British gardens produced a bounty of tasty and nourishing foods. […]

Following the collapse of Roman rule after 400 AD, almost all of these food plants vanished from Britain, as did Roman horticulture itself. Post-Roman Britons […] suddenly went from gardening to foraging.

Even Roman water mills vanished from British streams.

But similar mills came back in large numbers in the 10th and 11th centuries, along with Roman food plants and farming techniques”
(Whelton 2016).

Researchers are at a loss to explain why Germanic invaders would rather live in the woods or in caves under constant threat from savage beasts rather than make themselves comfortable in existing Roman structures, well shielded by massive walls.

Of course, there were itinerant royal courts.

But even kings and princes had to stop at some point.

And yet for all the Anglo-Saxon kings between the early 5th and early 10th centuries not a single palace, not even a villa has been found to this day.

In addition, the people must have migrated with their lords, and survived by hunting and gathering, too, because in the neighbourhood of the few villages considered to be Anglo-Saxon there are no corresponding palatinates.

Nevertheless, historians are right to defend –– cum grano salis — the written sources.

They can’t all be fantasies and lies.

But it is precisely the textual sources that characterise the Anglo-Saxons as members of a culture that has an overwhelming Roman influence.

Their life is not spent in the wilderness of dense forests, but in an international-classical milieu as superbly summarized by Kate Wiles:

“Anglo-Saxon England was peopled with learned men and women, highly educated in Latin and [Old] English, who circulated and read Classical texts as well as composing their own. […]

There survives a large corpus of literature showing a deep understanding of the physical and the metaphysical […].

Charters show that laws, administration and learning were not just for an educated elite.

Laypeople were involved in the ceremonies and had documents created for them: land grants, wills, dispute settlements. […]

The coinage across the period shows an elaborate and controlled economy.

This was a well-managed society not given to lawlessness and chaos. […]

They drew influence from Classical art and developed their own distinct artistic styles. […]

They had trade routes stretching across the known world and were familiar with and able to buy spices, pigments and cloth from thousands of miles away (many manuscripts use a blue pigment made from lapis lazuli, brought from Afghanistan. […]

The English church was in close contact with Rome, with correspondence travelling back and forth; new bishops would be sent to Rome to collect the pallium; and King Alfred visited the city as a young boy”
(Wiles 2016).

She could have added that the Latin of kings and courtiers of the 8th/9th century would also fit perfectly into the 1st/2nd century (Stroh 2007).

Though Bede’s native language was Old-English, features of his “Latin that appear to be deviations from classical usage are, in fact, attested elsewhere in classical Latin outside the works of Cicero and Caesar.

As Druhan [1938] concludes, ‘Bede’s Latinity is almost classical‘” (DCC).

It is known to be one of the miracles of the first millennium that Hebrew, Greek and Latin suffered an evolutionary standstill of some 700 years.

A less supernatural explanation, however, is provided by the stratigraphy, which finds building layers of Imperial Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages in the same horizon and must therefore postulate their simultaneity.

Thus, Alcuin of York (Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus; 735 – 804 AD) was certainly highly gifted, but not a magician, when, in the early Middle Ages, he not only wrote the classical Latin of Imperial Antiquity (1st-3rd century) but brought it back to life at the court of Charlemagne after many dark centuries.

The Anglo-Saxon use of the symbols of power of Roman rulers also shows that they must have been in very close contact with them.

Because their Roman iconography is difficult to reconcile with our chronology (but not stratigraphy), the Germanic kings are considered fashion freaks.

After all, as late as the 9th century CE Anglo-Saxon coins show Anglo-Saxon rulers in strikingly Roman attire.

How could foragers have issued coins?

Who would have counseled these impoverished people to use Roman imagery to ennoble their currency?

After all, Alfred the Great (871-899) as well as other Anglo-Saxon rulers take pride in wearing a Roman diadem and/or a Roman chlamys.

Offa of Mercia (757-796), e.g., issued a coin that shows him “in the style of a Roman emperor with an imperial diadem in his hair” (Historytrails 2014).

Of course, researchers are aware of that chronologically confusing evidence, but they dismiss it by calling the coins a kind of royal showmanship: “This classical imagery greatly appealed to early medieval kings” (Historytrails 2014).

As Carolingian authors wrote in the early Middle Ages in the Latin style of Imperial Antiquity, Carolingian architects erected buildings and water pipes in the early Middle Ages that were similar in form and technology to those of Imperial Antiquity. i.e. similar also to 2nd century Londinium.

At Carolingian Ingelheim, e.g., “the general layout is typified by a semicircular building and a royal hall built on the model of antique basilicas. […] A 7-kilometre-long water channel [is] built in the Roman style served to supply the water and also whether the main gate of the Pfalz buildings was at the apex of the semicircular building” (Kaiserpfalz 2018).

The reason Alfred the Great’s buildings cannot (thus far) be found anywhere in England is because people look into the earth from a chronological-dogmatic point of view, but not from a stratigraphic one.

Alfred belonged to the later period of Imperial Antiquity, whose stratigraphic date belongs to the late 9th, but not to the late 2nd century of our textbooks.

Alfred’s existence may also be called into question because his capital, Winchester (Venta Belgarum), does not have houses or latrines that are dated to the 9th/10th century AD.

Yet, it is regarded as “the premier city of the West Saxon kingdom” (Cubbit 2009, 399).

It is believed that this metropolis has remained without buildings because the court was itinerant in Alfred‘s epoch.

But “by the early years of the third century AD, excavations reveal that Venta’s richer citizens were living in considerable comfort.

Two such dwellings lay under today’s Brooks Shopping Centre and faced onto the Roman road, now under Middle Brook Street.

They had been built by AD 100 of timber with mortar floors. By AD 150 they had been replaced by a house on flint foundations.

By AD 200 many houses were reconstructed in flint and stone, often with underfloor hypocaust heating in one or two rooms” (Clancy 2017).

Even in the High Middle Ages, Winchester’s streets were still laid out in a rectangular pattern, thus continuing the Roman grid.

If one chronologically believes that Roman Winchester was wiped out by Late Antiquity, such a continuation is hardly imaginable.

But because strata of Imperial Antiquity are contingent with the 10th century, i.e. without intervening Anglo-Saxon layers, Winchester’s urban splendour strtaigraphically belongs to Alfred’s time of the late 9th century.

Since no one claims these Roman villas and houses of the 9th century strata (in mainstream chronlogy dated 700 years too early to the 2nd c.) they can be handed over to Alfred and his courtiers, whose consciously Roman culture is so richly documented in textual sources (see already Heinsohn 2014).

In Londinium, Alfred probably came to power after the Marcus-Aurelius crisis (160s-192 AD) with plague, Antonine Fires, barbarian invasions and the burning of the Tabularium in Rome when “nearly all the State records were destroyed” (Cassius Dio LXXII: 24).

Roman centralized power, thus, had been weakened, but not yet annihilated.

This only happened in the 230s under Alexander Severus (222-235).

The time of this Alexander’s termination is –– as we will see in chapter III –– connected with dark earth layers in Rome.

If one wants to find Anglo-Saxon buildings in London during the time before 930 AD (end of the Early Middle Ages), one must search under the dark earth, not over it.

The earlier, much less severe, destructions during the Marcus Aurelius crisis reduced the size of cities in many regions of the Empire.

Whole quarters (clearly visible, e.g. in Ephesus [Heinsohn 2016a]) were abandoned.

They were cut off by new walls, which were reinforced by spoliae taken from the abandoned buildings.

During these operations, Roman-educated but indigenous elites took over –– similar to Alfred with his own law book (domboc) –– local positions of power throughout the empire.

In Roman Britain, as in the other non-Italian provinces, ethnic Italians (or Greeks) were always a small minority.

The Imperium Romanum was, thus, similar to the British Empire in that very small English minorities spread their culture and language in massive foreign populations.

The invasions of Italy and other parts of the empire during the Marcus Aurelius crisis are so strikingly similar to invasions of the 5th and 9th centuries, because stratigraphically we always deal with the same events, which were chronologically divided into three different processes.

In none of the affected cities, however, there are archaeological traces for three invasion-induced destructions stratigraphically above each other (see in greater detail Heinsohn 2018, 20-33).

This is because Imperial Antiquity, Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages are aspects of the same period of the 8th-10th century (see in greater detail Heinsohn 2018, 20-33).

In the Middle East, Arabs took positions of power in the weakened empire in a similar way as in the Northwest Germans.

This is why Arab buildings of the 8th and 9th centuries stand directly on Hellenistic ruins of the 1st century BC/AD without any evidence for the approximately 700 years in between.

This was recently shown for Tel Bet Yerah (Israel; Greenberg/Tal/Da’adli 2017).

Arab history is still filled with confusion because it was cut off from its origins in the same way as Anglo-Saxon (or Irish) history from its own by some 700 fictitious years (see Heinsohn 2013b; 2018).

However, Arabs, Irish, and Anglo-Saxons cannot be made chronologically older to solve these problems because their strata are contigent with high medieval strata of the 10th/11th century AD.

On the contrary, the dating of Rome‘s Roman Imperial Antiquity must follow stratigraphy, i.e. move some 700 years closer to the present.

Late Antiquity, a duplication of Imperial Antiquity, must correspondingly be moved some 400 years closer to the present.

Archaeologically, this duplication can be illustrated by buildings from the time of Constantine the Great conventionally dated to the early 4th century.

On Rome’s Via Appia, e.g., buildings from the time before 50 AD are cut into the outer face of walls of Constantine’s Foe Maxentius, which according to textbook chronology are dated into the early 4th century AD.

The fact that the wall from the early 4th century is even used as a back wall for two of the mausoleums from the early 1st century is further proof that the Constantinian/Maxentian structures belong to the time before 50 AD, too.

Stratigraphically we are in the early 8th century AD.

It is this time in which Constantine –– well ahead of Alfred but, as Diocletian before him, already facing Saxons (eager for the same booty) –– makes politics in the British Isles.

It’s about the 90 years between Julius Caesar and Emperor Claudius, which are mysteriously poor in Roman matters (see already Heinsohn 2014).

The Lundenwic coin by Constantius, dated 20 years after Constantin, also belongs there.

Diocletian, important border emperor (with only one visit to Rome), is today considered a reckless or even insane general because he built his English castra against the Saxons in a fortification style that had been obsolete for 300 years:

“The gates of Portus Adurni are of particular interest, they are indented inwards, so as to trap the enemy in an area exposed to walls on three sides, this technique became widely used from the Augustinian Age”
(Portus 2018).

Rutupiae/Richborough is just as surprising.

It was built in the 290s as a fortress but was surrounded by “Ziegeldurchschuss” walls (layers of natural stone alternating with bricks), which have been obsolete for 300 years.

In stratigraphic terms, however, Diocletian was not crazy.

Rather, modern researchers are caught in a chronological straitjacket from which they are forced to twist history into bizarre narratives.

Those who prefer to date Constantine the Great (or Diocletian) with criteria of art history rather than archaeologically also come to the conclusion that he must have lived in the early 1st and not in the early 4th century.

His ceiling paintings from Trier, dated between 315 and 326 AD, captivate with their

“classicistic forms. […]

One can, generally, only point to the early imperial period [of the 1st c AD].

Already the art of painting of the 2nd century no longer knows how to produce similarly animated groups. […]

The striving for spatial development is particularly evident in the complicated groups of the dancing Erots [from Trier].

The [1st century] classicistic character of these paintings is therefore unmistakable” 2
(Mielsch, 2001, 129).

2 klassizistischen Formen. […] Man kann nur ganz allgemein die frühe Kaiserzeit nennen. Schon das 2. Jahrhundert kennt ähnlich bewegte Gruppen in der Malerei nicht mehr. […] Das Bestreben nach räumlicher Entfaltung zeigt sich besonders bei den komplizierten Gruppen der [Trierer] tanzenden Eroten. Der klassizistische Charakter [1. Jh.; GH] dieser Malereien ist also unverkennbar.

Since the obvious simultaneity of paintings (dated to the 1st century) with paintings (dated to the 4th century) contradicts our chronological dogma, the miracle of a swan song coming 300 years too late is invoked.

Constantine‘s “cupids recall many similar groups in the painting of earlier centuries. […]

These Constantinian paintings represent the swan song of the Graeco-Roman illusionistic style in its pure form”
(Ling 1991, 196).

Back to the Anglo-Saxons!

It may well be true that the repairs to Londinium’s walls, dated around 886 AD, were carried out under Alfred.

In textbook chronology, one would be in the 190s AD, which are dated (against stratigraphy), however, 700 years too early.

This does not mean that Alfred led Saxons into a city that had been empty for many centuries, he merely replaced the genuinely Roman rulers in a city whose population was mostly Germanic and Celtic anyway.

Only in the 230s (stratigraphic 930s) all these cultures, whatever their textbook dates, fell together.

After the global cataclysm behind this fall (Heinsohn 2017a), it will take about 150 years (1085 AD) until merely one fifth (12,000) of Londinium’s former population of some 60,000 is reached again.

Of course, it cannot be proven in which Londinium building Alfred resided.

But the so-called Governors Palace would suit him well.

Between 187 and 197 AD, Rome’s governors of Britain are either unknown or far away to become emperor in Rome (Albinus).

This power vacuum was followed by the Severan Division of Britain.

Just as Alfred in his capital Winchester must have used the Roman splendour of the late 2nd century if he did not run an untraceable itinerant court or even lived in caves, he must also remain without trace in Londinium if the buildings of the 2nd/3rd century remain closed to him.

Since, stratigraphically, Saxons lived under Alfred in Londinium of the 2nd century (stratigraphic 9th c.), they must have arrived in England even earlier.

Saxons and Romans, the author claims since half a decade (Heinsohn 2013a; 2014), have been competing for England since the Roman invasions (55 BC; 54 BC) under Julius Casear (100-44 BCE).

That’s why one cannot find 4th-10th century Saxon cities stratigraphically super-imposed on 1st-3rd Roman ruins.

Once Saxons and Roman had settled side by side –– very much like Romans had shared France (Gallia) with Celts or the Rhineland (Germania superioris and inferioris) with Germanic tribes –– they also defended their common turf against common enemies.

Archaeologically, this thesis is supported by the fact that the earliest pottery, which is considered Anglo-Saxon, belongs to the style of the Late Latène period of the 1st century BC, i.e. the time of Julius Caesa with his attacks on the British Isles of 55 BC and 54 BC.

That Latène looking Saxon pottery, however, is dated to the 4th/5th century.

Therefore, it is seen as a renaissance of a style out of fashion for some 400 years:

“Astonishingly La Tène art styles re-emerge as dominant in the northern and western zone” (Hines 1996, 260).

Nobody understands why Late La Tène pottery of the 1st century BC (also called Late Iron Age pottery) disappeared, only to return four centuries later?

What would have been so magnificent about this primitive ceramic that a renaissance was set in motion in honour of it?

“This article considers two variations of the rosette motif (A 5) and their fortunes from the late Iron Age to the Early Saxon period. […]

The La Tène ring stamps [which end in the 1st century BC; GH] are found in a range of designs, from the simple negative ring (= AASPS Classification A 1bi) to four concentric negative rings (= AASPS A 2di).

These motifs are also found in the early Roman period [1st century AD; GH]. […]
The ‘dot rosettes’ (= AASPS A 9di) on bowls from the [Late Latène] Hunsbury hill-fort (Fell 1937) use the same sort of technique as the dimple decoration on 4th-century ‘Romano-Saxon‘ wares”
(Briscoe 2016).

However, among the sites with Late Latène pottery of the 4th/5th century AD there are never deeper layers with original Late Latène pottery of the 1st century BCE.

The idea of two Late Latène periods some 400 years apart results solely from an erroneous chronology for the Germanic invasion of the British Isles.

Stratigraphically, there is only one layer of Late Latène pottery per site.

It is quite possible that even the deepest layers of the Anglo-Saxon Lundenwic –– “an early Anglo-Saxon rural predecessor, linked to Lundenwic by its location only” (Leary 2004a, 21) –– still belong to the Late Latène period, i.e. chronologically into the 1st century BC, but stratigraphically into the 7th century AD.

This would result in the following stratigraphic sequence for Lundenwic.

The mysterious transition directly from Late Latène to the Early Middle Ages also amazes England’s western neighbour.

Indirectly, but clearly, the absence of 700 years in the first millennium is admitted for Ireland.

One wonders about the lack of Late Latène Celtic art of the 1st century BC.

In addition to this surprise, one is shocked by the “downturn” of Ireland into some black hole during “the apogee of Roman power in the Mediterranaen world, ca. 200 B.C. -A.D. 300”
(Charles-Edwards 2000 [145] in Ó Cróinín 2008, lx).

Afterwards one wonders that art in Ireland’s 7th/8th century AD revives art from the 700 years earlier Latène period (1st century BC):

“Examples from Iron Age Ireland of La Tène style [1st c. BC: …] are very few, to a ‘puzzling‘ [Ó Cróinín 2008, lx] extent. […]

Despite this it was in Ireland that the style seemed to revive in the [7th c. AD] Early Christian period, to form the insular art of the Book of Kells and other well-known masterpieces, perhaps under influence from Late Roman and post-Roman Romano-British styles”
(Prehistoric Ireland 2018).

Although “Roman objects and Roman-inspired objects” (Johnston 2017, 111) were found in Ireland, Late Antique settlements or even towns or cities, from where they could have originated, are sought in vain.

No one knows where, for 700 years, people lived who preserved the typical Celtic triskele art of the Late Latène period and then brought it back to life unchanged from the 7th century onwards.

Whoever is caught in the straitjacket of mainstream chronology must judge this achievement as a miracle.

The stratigraphic method, however, shows the simple non-existence of these 700 years.

This will finally allow Ireland’s history to be written correctly.

The Irish were by no means primitive and retarded.

They weren’t petrified for 700 years.

Scholars, on the other hand, have not been able to do them historical justice for much longer than 700 years.

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13 Responses to Gunnar Heinsohn: Finding Bede’s Missing Metropolis – Part One

  1. johnm33 says:

    Great read, I’m warming to this chronology, it looks a little like we have the sanitised histories of both parties to a struggle set in sequence[s] instead of merged.
    London is where it is because the tower was, moving upstream, the first place a fort could command the river, london bridge is the first place a bridge could be built [A2,A3], and westminster/lambeth palace the first place you could walk across at low tide[A5].[iirc]

  2. Olga says:

    What would be the possible motive(s) to create these centuries from whole cloth?

    • John Miller says:

      A Bible Fundamentalist view of Life, the Universe and Everything.

      These people honestly believed that the Table Of Nations in Genesis is accurate. Where the Bible says that [x] lived to be 950 years old, or that [y] lived to be 930 years old, they believed it.

      Likewise, they believe in the Significance of Numbers. So, Stephen of Hungary gets baptised exactly on 1 January 1001 AD. Or exactly 666 years are said to have elapsed between the introduction of the Julian Calendar in 45 BC(later used by Christians), and the beginning of Islam in 622 AD.

      Once the “Sacred Chronology’ has been set, then ‘secular records’ had to be made to agree with the Sacred Chronology. And, as they clearly did not, they were then “spaced out” across History. And anything TOO troublesome found its way onto the Index of Forbidden Books, and into the fires.

      This is true of both “BC” and “AD” eras. And in fact the very names should be a dead giveaway as to who created the Chronology, and what their line of ‘reasoning’ was for creating it the way that they did.

    • Gunnar Heinsohn says:

      Dear Olga!

      That’s a two-part question. (1) What need is satisfied by having a new YEAR ONE (1000 AD) one millennium after Christ? (2) Why is there a chronological sequence of (A) Western Rome (Imperial Antiquity), (B) Eastern Rome (Late Antiquity), and (C) Periphery (Early Middle Ages) to fill the first Millennium AD?

      I have nothing but speculation. The 1000 years may come from REVELATION 20: “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven. He had in his hand a key to the hole without a bottom. He also had a strong chain. He took hold of the dragon, that old snake, who is the Devil, or Satan, and chained him for 1,000 years. The angel threw the devil into the hole without a bottom. He shut it and locked him in it. He could not fool the nations anymore until the 1,000 years were completed. After this he must be free for awhile.“

      The annihilation cataclysm that destroyed not only the nations of Roman civilization (in the 10th century stratigraphically) may have been interpreted by some of the few survivors as the return of “Satan“. This could explain why whole peoples were now converting to Christianity. Its holy book (foremost the Jewish apocalyptic writings included in it) had made a correct prediction. Of course, there were also Christians before the cataclysm. So the survivors knew that they lived in a time a f t e r Christ.

      The Western Roman heyday may have been put at the beginning (Imperial Antiquity), because in Rome the most important Jewish martyrs were killed: Shimon (Saint Peter) and Shaoul (Saint Paul). Rome’s post-disaster significance is based, to this very day, solely on these two founding heroes. For Constantinople, this only, but unquestionably, left the second place (Late Antiquity), although the Greek part of the empire was Christianized earlier and more numerously than the West (see Pliny’s letter to Trajan: http://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/texts/pliny.html). The Germanic (including the Anglo-Saxon) and Arabic kingdoms, then, must have been content with the Early Middle Ages.

      It is interesting that the contents of the fictitious centuries are not simply freely invented. They are flawed and contain many rounding compositions, but one feels an anchoring in real history. There seems to have been an effort to lie as little as possible when filling an erroneous chronology.

      As I said, these speculations may merely provide possible clues for more convincing answers.
      Gunnar Heinsohn

      PS
      I would like to add that our German-speaking email circle (active since 2011) much more sophisticated (mostly religion-theory based) answers to the two questions are discussed.

  3. Olga says:

    Thank you both for sharing your theories. I have been following this blog for a few years now and this helps put things into perspective.

    Now I will share with my “non-catastrophist” geologist son that it’s really probably the 13th century. ; )

    Unfortunately I only speak English … and a little southern red-neck if the liquor is flowing.

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  9. johnm33 says:

    I’m with Olga, it’s 13hundred and something. According to the locals the true cross is buried in a cave just outside Nevern in Wales, it was adorned and blessed and stored for safe-keeping by Helen mother of Constantine after she had paraded it around. It’s route still marked by place names with cross in them where the cross stopped overnight, or for a ceremony. Apparently she and her bodyguard were a bit rough on the Jerusalem clergy during negotiations. Her home was nearby castle henllys.
    Another legend they have is that Joseph brought a great treasure out of Jerusalem which was kept at St. Davids where a choir sang until a cave on Dinas head was prepared, once the treasure was secured Fishguard was established to keep a watch on the site, in ‘welsh’ the name is more age of pisces than fish. Joseph was given land by Llandwit major where he established the first celtic christian church in britain. His family came with him and they and their descendants are the source of all those otherwise unheard of ‘welsh’ saints. Helen was one of these descendants.The ‘welsh’ chronology springs from these times. Until 1830 the ‘welsh’ kept their ancestry as part of their names many traced back to these times.
    Alan Wilson has two Arthurs the first was the son of Magnus Maximus and he places him around 346-400 some of his story has come down to us in the tales of Guy of Warwick, I find it very hard to square him with your history, so far. The second Arthur was the son of a king Meurig, lived at Caer Mellow [sulphur springs] north Cardiff, and is placed from 503-579 which lands him squarely [+700] in the time the Norman knights were pursueing the conquest of south wales. More or less contemporaneus with Le Morte de Arthur.
    What I’m beggining to suspect is that the London/SE celts invited the Romans then the Saxons and finally the Normans to assist them in the internicine wars between the Celts. The Saxons merely replaced the Celtic warrior aristocracy, why would they farm? Then of course they developed the same independent attitude as their predeccesors and were replaced in turn.

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