Saturday, December 11, 2010
Mountains, mountains, and more mountains seemed to form the character of the land. Surrounded by ocean (sea level) on three sides, the land quickly rises to over 600 feet. [see last post] Here billions of years ago, the first limestone, sandstone, and slate were formed. [Known as the Cambrian period which is thought to represent the earliest geologic period.]
The map to the right is my attempt to show the tallest mountain peaks and their geographic locations. The center of the compass is located approximately in the central Beacons. The highest peak is 2097 feet and in 1586 a writer named Camden called the Becons "Arthure's Hill". To the north shows the general distribution of the mountain peaks which slice the land into ridges, hollows, moors, lakes, forest and streams. The highest peak is Yr Wyddfa [Snowdon] which in the Welsh is Eryri meaning "abode of Eagles". Snowdonia refers to the whole group of mountain peaks that form a distinctive ridge which separates this part from the rest of the land. The mountain ridges run various directions, some north to south, some northeast to southwest, some east to west, producing a very narrow coastline and a quilt like pattern of land which could support farming and agriculture. You can certainly understand how the land provided areas that could be settled (family tribal groups) yet separated from one another by mountain ridges rather than by miles. You can also understand how this land might be the last choice in which to settle your family.