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Tintagel and Arthurian Legend

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Location: Tintagel, Cornwall, England, United Kingdommap
Surnames/tags: England Cornwall Tintagel
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Possible evidence of the existence of Arthur, the legendary warrior king, has been found at Tintagel in Cornwall. A Cornish slate with sixth-century engravings was found in July on the eastern terraces of Tintagel on the edge of a cliff overlooking the place traditionally known as Merlin's Cave. It was discovered under broken pottery and glass from the late sixth or seventh centuries during the re-excavations of an area last dug in the 1930s.

The 8 inch by 14 inch slate bears two inscriptions. The older, upper letters have been broken off and cannot be deciphered. The lower inscription, translated by Charles Thomas of the University of Glasgow, reads Pater Coliavi ficit Artognov/--Artognou, father of a descendant of Coll, has had this built. The inscription is basically in Latin, perhaps with some primitive Irish and British elements, according to Thomas. The British name represented by the Latin /Atrognov/ is Arthnou.

Geoffrey Wainwright of English Heritage says that the name is close enough to refer to Arthur, the legendary king and warrior. Thomas, however, believes that we must dismiss ideas that the name is associated with King Arthur. Christopher Morris, professor of archaeology at the University of Glasgow and the director of the excavations, feels that the script does not necessarily refer to Arthur, because King Arthur first entered the historical domain in the twelfth century.

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Categories: Tintagel, Cornwall