On Mon, 11 Dec 2006 23:35:10 +0100, "Peter Alaca"
>Eric Stevens <eric.stevens@xxxxxxxxx > wrote:
>> On Mon, 11 Dec 2006 11:14:51 GMT, "Alan Crozier"
>> <name1.name2@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> "Peter Alaca" <p.alaca@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
>>>> I uploaded some material about early medieval Frisia,
>>>> in the first place on the Dutch terp region and the
>>>> important excavation of the terp Wijnaldum-Tjitsma,
>>>> and in the second place about the role of the Frisians
>>>> in the NW-European trade.
>>>> Three of the documents are (to my knowledge) not
>>>> available elsewhere on the web.
>>> Thanks Peter,
>>> One of the nice things about coming back after a few days' absence
>>> is that, alongside the seemingly endless supply of new kooks, you
>>> have been finding useful stuff on the net.
>>> There was a Swedish scholar, Elis Wadstein, in the 1920 who was very
>>> interested in the period when Frisians dominated trade with
>>> pre-Viking Scandinavia. He had a theory that Birka originally had
>>> nothing to do with "Birch Island" but meant a merchant town with its
>>> own jurisdiction. He cited other trading centres in Norway and the
>>> Baltic with similar names (Biarkøy and Berkerøn in Norway, Björkö on
>>> Göta Älv, Björk, and two places called Birkö on the east coast of
>>> Sweden, Birkala and Berkö in Finland). He traced these names back to
>>> a Frisian word "berek, birek".
>>> His hypotheses were never accepted but he argued them very well and
>>> he certainly wasn't a kook. There may have been a reluctance among
>>> Swedish scholars to accept the idea of so much Frisian influence.
>> He would have encountered no opposition from Jurgen Spanuth who
>> argued that in times past the Frisian islands were both larger and
>> more densely populated than was generally credited (in the 1950s).
>We talked about the Frisian islands before.
>Both the modern islands and the ancient
>'islands' were not larger than today and certainly
>not more habitable.
>And with 'ancient' I do mean, lets say, 0-500 AD.
The following is regretably long quote from Spanuth's 'Atlantis of the
North', Van Nostrand English translation, commencing at page 55:
Amazingly, the assertion has been made that the area between
Heligoland and Eiderstedt has been under the sea for 6000 years; and
that consequently the island Abalus/Basileia/Farria/Fositesland could
never have lain there (Gripp 1953). This is contradicted by the
researches of all genuine experts in the geology and oceanography ol
this area, whose results may now be summarized.
The Kiel geologist E. Wasmund placed the amber island 'off the coast
of Eiderstedt, where tertiary clays overlay amber- and carbon-bearing
sands' (1937, p. 36). The geologists W. Wolff and H.C. Reck, also from
Kiel, wrote: 'One may well accept that somewhere between Heligoland
and Eiderstedt lies the ancient amber land ... so it is also probable
that in this area lies the island Abalus of the ancients' (1922, p.
360). O. Pratje, one of the greatest experts on the geology of
Heligoland, wrote: 'But Heligoland remained joined on the east side to
the mainland, from which it projected as a peninsula. Its submersion
did not occur all at once, but piecemeal; this can be seen from the
series of underwater terraces, the remains of former shorelines. . .
The Stone Age and Bronze Age people, whose remains have been found on
Heligoland, must have reached here dryshod, without having to cross
any wide sea inlets. For at that time the island was joined to the
mainland'. (1953, p. 57f.) C. Delf, an outstanding expert on the
history of North Frisia, wrote that the island of Abalus/Basileia lay
'east of Heligoland, but 15-20 km west of St Peter' (1936, p. 126).
R. Hennig looked for the island, on the evidence of the ancient
authors, 'halfway between Heligoland and the mainland' (1941, p. 955).
Finally, the prehistorian C. Ahrens has stated on the evidence of many
geological, oceanolographic and archaeological investigations: 'At all
events some particularly high-standing parts of the south ridge must
have remained as islands, whose traces can still be recognized on the
Steingrund, the 'Loreley bank', and near Oldenswort - today part of
the mainland of Eiderstedt.' He further stated that, 'This chain of
islands resisted the attacks "of the sea for a considerable time, in
places perhaps to the frontier of historic times' (1966, p. 38-9).
But there is more. There is reliable evidence to show that this island
was still inhabited up to medieval times. I have already described
how, after the catastrophic flooding of 1220 BC, the island
re-surfaced when the sea retreated during the Iron Age. It will be
shown below (page 250) that it was visited by Pytheas of Massilia in
about 350 BG and its position precisely described. I have also
described the reports of the early Christian missionaries, and of Adam
In papal documents from the period 1065-1158, 'Farria' is mentioned as
a bishop's see (Carstens 1965, p. 52ff.). Eilbert, for example, is
described as 'Farriensis Episcopus'. In the year 1065, Pope Alexander
wrote to the bishops of Denmark, mentioning that Archbishop Adalbert
of Hamburg had complained of Bishop Eilbertus, 'Farriensis Episcopus',
who had failed to appear at synods for three years and had committed
various offences. At the same time Adalbert wrote to King Sweyn (or
Svein) II of Denmark, to ask him to break off all communication with
Eilbert of Farria and to take over the collection of church revenues
(Diplomatarium Danicum, 1963, No. 5).
The island of Farria is also mentioned later. About 1193, a Bishop Orm
'Faroensis' is named next to Bishop Hermann of Schleswig
(Diplomatarium Danicum, 1963, No. 77). The Emperor Frederick
Bar-barossa declared in a deed of 1158 that the privileges which were
accorded to the bishop of Hamburg were to be extended and Hamburg was
to be the metropolitan see for Farria also. In the documents of the
time, 'Farria' and 'Frisia' alternate.
Laur has given it as his opinion that 'Farria' is to be understood as
the Faeroes (1951, p. 416ff.). But this is impossible. The Faeroes do
not lie 'in the mouth of the Elbe', 'across from Hadeln', as Adam of
Bremen described the site of Farria. They have never been inhabited by
Frisians, nor are they 'on the boundary between the Frisians and the
Danes', nor (as the scholiast stated) 'visible from an island at the
mouth of the Eider'. Besides, the history of the bishops of the
Faeroes is perfectly well known. The first one was called Gudemund; he
died in 1116; his successor Matthew in 1157. And the missionaries
Wulfram, Willibrord and Liudger were never on the Faeroes.
So we have evidence from Papal and Imperial documents from the
eleventh and twelfth centuries that the island of Farria/Heiligland
existed at that time and had by no means sunk into the sea 6000 years
It is most probable that Heimreich used older documents now lost for
his North Frisian Chronicle of 1666 when, in the passage I have
already quoted (page 47), he stated that on 'Siidstrand' or
'Heilig-land' (which he elsewhere calls 'Heiligland or Farria insula')
there were nine parishes 'anno 1030', but that after the great floods
of 1202 and 1216 'but two churches remained'. According to Heimreich
these last two churches finally disappeared after the 'great deluge'
of 1362. It appears from a letter of indulgence of the Council of
Basle in the year 1442, that during the preceding period on the west
coast of Schleswig no fewer than sixty churches had been flooded over
(Peters 1929, p. 542). At that time (1362) according to the Dithmarsch
chronicler Neocorus, who was preacher in Biisum from 1590 to 1624,
'between flood and ebbtide 200,000 folk were drowned' (1.313).
On the oldest extant map of Heligoland, we find written to the east of
it, 'Here is a stone-work that stretches one and a half miles into the
sea, where in past time, they say, seven churches stood. They can
still be seen at low water.' The 'mile' here is the Danish mile of
7.42km. So in 1570 ruins could still be seen at low water 11-12 km
east of Heligoland. W. Stephe, who studied this map (1930, p. 96)
remarked that the tradition of the seven churches is found also'in
Rantzau and other sixteenth-century writers. Caspar Danckwerth, the
learned doctor and Burgomaster of Husum, whose work describing the
country was 'unequalled in its time for scope and accuracy' (Hedemann
1926, p. 878) confirmed these reports, and said that even at high
water one could walk eastwards from Heligoland 'for a mile [7.42km] on
In King Waldemar II's 'Earth Book' of 1231, we find: 'Eydersteth and
Lundebiarghaereth, whence the King is used to cross over to Utland'.
So Utland, or Siidstrand, between Eiderstedt and Heligoland, must have
been large enough in 1231 for King Waldemar to find accommodation
there for a whole army.
In the Eiderstedt Chronicle, which records many events from the period
between 1103 and 1547, we read under the year 1338: 'Here began Utland
first to break in two, and all the dykes to break up' (Peters 1929, p.
581). There is an old map which must have been drawn before 1634
because it shows the island of 'Strand' which was destroyed in that
On it is written: ' Universa haec regio Frisica Septentrionalis
olimfuit terra . . . in tot partes disrupta ('This whole region of
North Frisia was once land, but has been broken up into many parts').
Johannes Petrejus, 'whose notes are fully confirmed by documents in
the Royal Archives at Copenhagen' (Panten 1976), reported in the year
1597 that in an old missal of the church of St Peter, the island was
'called Siiderstrand', but that it had 'now disappeared'. These and
many other pieces of evidence show that in the early Middle Ages, an
island or a chain of islands still lay between Heligoland and
Eiderstedt, 'of which part was of old called Utland or Siiderstrand,
that once reached as far as Heligoland' (Heimrefch 166b, 80).
The last remains of these islands must, as Heimreich says, have sunk
in the 'great deluge' of 1362, which is mentioned not only by Neocorus
but by the Eiderstedt Chronicle: 'Anno 1362 at midnight there came the
greatest of floods; then were drowned most of the folk of Utland'
(Peters 1929, p. 581).
A fatal ignorance of these and many other historical and geological
researches is shown in Gripp's assertion that the 'Area around
Heligoland sank slowly into the sea about 5000 BC. The Neolithic
remains that have been found on Heligoland are simply the remains of
hunting expeditions, for it was only visited from time to time by
hunters. A Bronze Age settlement there is not indicated.' In answer I
refer him to the many Bronze Age finds, and the thirteen Bronze Age
grave-mounds, which 'show the existence of a considerable settlement
on Heligoland up to the period 1550-1300 BC' (Zylman 1952, p. 39;
Ahrens 1966, p. 244).
Equally imbecile - in the face of the many catastrophic floods of
which we have not only documentary evidence but traces in the shape of
finds from drowned woods and settlements - are Wetzel's assertion that
'our geological evidence indicates gradual, on the whole
disturbance-free, processes', and his talk of'Spanuth's outdated
catastrophe-theory'; and the appeals to 'special researches' whose
results are not available and which in spite of repeated invitations
he cannot produce.
These two gentlemen know nothing of the 'Steingrund', about which they
asked, and nothing about the undersea ridge between Heligoland and
Eiderstedt, which was formerly known as the 'Suderstrand'. This
underwater ridge is still clearly visible on the isobath chart of the
sea between Heligoland and Eiderstedt.
He does appear to have a documented case.