On a cold winter afternoon in 1797 two rabbit hunters were busy trailing their quarry on the Mendip Hills when they made a macabre discovery. They found the remains of Mesolithic hunters in a ravine. This is now known as Aveline`s hole. The bodies were buried with relics which suggested that they were laid to rest with full ceremonial rites. Votive objects like shells and ammonites were interred alongside them. There were also animal remains, mostly bears, deer and wolves.
Forensic examinations later revealed that they died from the effects of chronic malnutrition. This was a major archaeological event in British history and a poignant reminder of the harsh existence faced by our ancestors. The author Robert MacFarlane observed,
“We are often more tender to the dead than the living, though it is the living who need our tenderness the most”.
However in contemporary British society there is very little tenderness shown towards the living descendants of these ancient warriors, especially on the Left. A malign sentiment has imbued the culture. Also a blatant attempt has been made to erase the history of the people of this island who have existed since the end of the Ice Age when the European continent broke away from our shores.
Such sneering contempt is often excused as a progressive viewpoint but this is not a valid excuse because from the Left`s perspective every other country is allowed to celebrate its unique culture and history. The people of this island were subjected to armed invasions that began with the Romans and ended with the Normans. The Norman elites suppressed the vernacular language but the people who were placed under the colonial yoke preserved the folk tales which have been subject to reinvention.
Tomorrow we celebrate St George`s Day which is ostensibly a Roman Christian legend. However stories about heroes and dragons are a fundamental part of Celtic myth. We should feel proud of our history and rich cultural heritage and never feel ashamed of our identity.