You are currently browsing the daily archive for 07/12/2012.

A turbine that safeguards archaeology!
An interesting statement by the Inspector at a wind turbine appeal at Lifton, Devon:
“There may be unknown assets within the site but a condition requiring a programme of archaeological work prior to any development would safeguard any archaeology on the site.”
That’s OK then. It must mean that if they come across a prehistoric enclosure they’ll stop digging and cancel the project!

Stonehenge not like Avebury
According to the latest draft minutes of Avebury Parish Council, “Members commented that damage done to the sports field at Solstice had been compounded by Avebury Rocks. Some money should have been put aside from the proceeds of the event to cover the costs of repairing the damage.” An interesting view as Avebury is part of the same World Heritage Site as Stonehenge where the cost of security, policing and clearing up after solstice events is met by the taxpayer. So which arrangement is right?

A coded rant?
PAS’s head man, Roger Bland, has just been quoted in the press as follows [our translations into plain English in brackets]:

“Metal detecting rallies, where hundreds of people congregate on a site at the same time, create a major challenge. There’s no law against it but archeologically it’s very, very difficult to respond to the biggest events where there might be 1,000 people in one area over two or three days and our resources are very limited” [They're lawful but awful] “Even if five of our people are able to go there for that weekend, we can never be confident that we’ve seen everything that’s been found” [Despite 15 years of outreach we suspect a lot of people don't get it that not reporting finds is wrong - and can't even be bothered to queue]. “In an ideal world, we would have more regulation of these events.” [Big rallies are awful and shouldn't be lawful].

It’s a bit rich talking of an ideal world though. Every archaeologist and quite a few detectorists think such events are vandalistic and if only someone, Mr Bland, would lead them in telling the public the uncoded truth and called upon the Government to sort it then perhaps it would be. Not doing so is quite insulting to landowners actually. It implies landowners who agree to holding massive rallies are uncaring about heritage protection whereas many of them may care quite a lot but only get information from rally organisers, not from Mr Bland!

If PAS (or any other archaeological body) doesn’t like big rallies let them take out a quarter page ad in the Farmers Weekly saying precisely why, in plain English. Job done. If they’re embarrassed or frit of the reaction of artefact hunters let them send us the money – we’ll do it!

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