In attempting to establish something of a December tradition here on the Heritage Journal, we once again take a look back at the past year. Once again, the year has had it’s ebbs and flows in what has been a very bad year generally for the heritage sector, with budget cuts very much the order of the day, and seemingly still ongoing.

2013over

So what did we highlight, month by month?

January

It wouldn’t be a new year without resolutions, so we listed some of ours which others may have liked to follow. But we began the year by discussing two prominent threats to buried archaeology: deep-seeking detectors (a theme we were to return to throughout the year) and bracken control.

A holiday in Cornwall allowed us to catch up with goings on down there, with updates on an archaeology experiment, and the need for education. We also started a series which was to continue throughout the year, of ‘Postcards from a World Heritage Site‘,  focussing on stories from Stonehenge and Avebury.

January also saw the start of another regular feature, Diary Dates, which started on a geographic basis but soon morphed into a monthly feature highlighting events and exhibitions around the country.

February

Our popular ‘Inside the Mind‘ features continued sporadically throughout the year, but an attempt at a similar series showing the work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officers sadly came to naught.

We began celebrating the birthdays of various antiquarians throughout the year, starting with William Borlase. We also gave a (very brief) history of archaeology in Britain, and a guest post showed how one county is tackling the regular inspection of its ancient monuments.

The damage caused by metal detectorists is never far from our thoughts, and a TV series glorifying finds was particularly upsetting. Another guest post showed the desecration of a wedge tomb in Ireland being used as an outhouse!

Meanwhile in Wales, the ongoing story of the archaeological issues at the Mynydd y Betws windfarm continued. And we began a look at the Caerau hillfort, subject of a Time Team program, from the viewpoint of one of our newer members, Sue Brooke.

March

Many of the stories above continued throughout March, with bracken control, Caerau hillfort and Mynydd y Betws all receiving ongoing updates. Referring to the situation at Mynydd y Betws, we reflected on similar monumental settings on Dartmoor and showed that the battle for preservation of ‘setting’ is far from over.

We took exception to a statement in an article in the respected Post Hole student journal, and our Artefact Counter appeared to be backed up by the CBA.

On a brighter note, we covered the events at the Current Archaeology Live conference,  held in London. An enjoyable event which we’ll be returning to in 2014.

April

Who says we don’t have an effect, no matter how small? April started by pointing out an outrageous rule on a metal detecting club’s website, a rule that was suddenly changed (for the better) the very next day!

The Caerau story continued through the month, as did the examination of the Dyfed Archaeological Trust’s response on Mynydd y Betws.

There were four more WHS Postcards through the month, and another visit to Cornwall to see several old and much loved friends.

We finished off the month with a peek ‘Inside the Mind’ of Sue Greaney, of English Heritage.

Plus of course, all our usual news, views and diary dates were included!

To be continued in Part 2, tomorrow…