Away in a Manger - Part Four

The Stations of the Cross stood on the domes of the rocks. Wed 15 June 2022

Elevated 'tombs' at Necrópole de São Gens, Celorico da Beira, Portugal. Source

'Rock tombs' were carved in slightly higher rock. Their troughs are usually just a little higher than ground level.

The rock is almost always shaped as a shallow dome:

Sepultra da Cova da Moira, Carregal do Sal, Portugal.

A few hundred metres away from Carregal do Sal's Sepultra da Cova da Moira rock tomb are the three 'Sepulturas da Cova da Moira'. They are splayed out on the lower of two rock domes:

Edge of lower rock dome visible at left. Edge of upper dome visible top right.

One dome is stacked on the other.

The upper dome at Sepultras da Cova da Moira rises to about 60cm (2ft) above the lower dome.

We see the same shallow domes elsewhere.

For example, the two lesser known tombs at St Patrick's chapel, Heysham, England:

Infant tomb, adult tomb and cross socket. Source: Phil Platt/Google Maps

Visible along the back edge is the gentle rise of the rock above grass level.

One variable between rock tombs is the steepness of the dome of the rock:

Not IP65 compliant at Fornos de Algodre, Portugal.

As the last photo shows, rock tombs were not elevated to keep water out.

Although some rock tombs once had recesses - perhaps for cover-slabs - many don't. And whether they had cover-slabs or not, no cover-slab could have kept water out of these 'tombs'.

They weren't built to keep fluids out. They were built to keep fluids in:

Women's hair was often longer than their legs. Source: Camille Sourget catalogue, 2020

We see a raised stone bath with a column to one side.

According to the Camille Sourget catalogue, this image is from a 16th century 'Book of Hours'. The catalogue says the book was painted on highest quality, white vellum.

Note the image is framed by tassels of long hair.

Several interpretations of this image are possible:

  1. The book is a souvenir of a 'pilgrimage' to an exotic, AI-populated pleasure garden. A medieval Westworld.
  2. Alternatively, perhaps earlier attempts to explain away 'rock tombs' tried to depict them as medieval bathing. Or even baptism. These explanations are no more ludicrous than modern narratives of 'rock tombs for children' and 'tombs for elite relics'.
  3. More likely, hair and skin harvesting were normal aspects of the culling of humans. And the image shows preparation for harvest.

The effort invested in building the rural infrastructure of rock tombs is only enigmatic to us because our modern minds fail to appreciate the amount of waste product created by mass slaughter:

Litterbug pilgrims preyed for sustenance and souvenirs. Source: Significant Other

When culling at scale, a well thought out mise-en-place reduces waste management and contamination problems.

All staff at abattoirs, butchers, hotels and restaurants know this.

Even more can be learned by analysing the techniques used to make rock tombs.

The tombs seem to have been carved into dollops of semi-soft rock. In this respect, they resemble Europe's enigmatic 'cart-ruts':

'Cart-ruts' in solid rock, Malta. Source: Malta’s Cart Ruts

Rock tombs, like cart-ruts, tend to be found near quarries. The rock tombs arrayed between Vila Mea and Carregal do Sal in Portugal lie near the top of the clearly quarried Mondego river valley.

One mystery about cart-ruts is that many seem to have been carved in rock that was soft.

Perhaps rock tombs were also carved - or cast - in soft rock. Into dollops of artificial rock mix like Coade Stone:

You can't crack the Coade. Source: Ewaranon - 3 - LHFE 2 - 05 - Annex 1

Coade Stone would explain the 'freshly poured concrete' look of the rock tombs at St Patrick's chapel, Heysham:

St Patrick's chapel rock tombs circa 1820. Source: Robert Hall Prints.

In Heysham's case, various clues suggest they are more recent than convention claims. Coade and costume suggest the rock tombs at St Patricks' chapel are a late 18th or early 19th century production.

Locations discussed in this evidence collection

© All rights reserved. The original author retains ownership and rights.

More in category: Misunderstood Technology
More by tag: #human meat, #human fat, #manimal farm, #geology