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Our next Tarot Tuesday card is card XII of the Major Arcana, The Hanged Man.

The Hanged Man: “A period of transition, Gaining for a sacrifice, Suspending, Restricting, Discontinued

Our highlighted site this week came into prominence in the media during the mid-1980’s, due to a find made on the site.

The site in question is not scheduled, it is not even a monument in the true sense of the world. It’s a bog.

Lindow Moss in Wilmslow, Cheshire is where the “body in the bog”, Lindow Man ‘Pete Marsh’ was found in 1984.

Photograph by Mike Peel via Wikipedia

All change is a small kind of death, as the old must die to create the new, and it may simply indicate upheaval or change in your future (…) The other interpretation is one of sacrifice, although whether this sacrifice is small or great may not be easily interpreted. 1

As many readers will know, Lindow Man (or more properly ‘Lindow II’2, as a woman’s body was retrieved from the same area in the previous year) was found to have been killed in a particularly grotesque way. His head and neck both displayed heavy blunt instrument trauma, either of which may have killed him, and a possible (Restricting) garotte was found around his neck. It is possible that the killing was ritualistic in nature (Gaining for a sacrifice) which fits neatly with the card interpretation.

1: See Trusted Tarot

2: An article describing the discovery of the bog body can be viewed on JSTOR

Which heritage site would you associate with this card?

Previous articles in this series can be found here.

“This is Stonehenge today, an intriguing stone speck in its vast landscape setting, including the A303.

It needs enhancing? Really?”

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(Thanks for this Stonehenge Alliance. Says it all.)

 

 

Professor David Gill is withering about the recent PAS-organised attack on Dr Sam Hardy’s conclusions (that “laissez faire” doesn’t work and that more than 90% of British recordable detecting finds may be being lost to science) : “Their unconvincing paper made an attempt to dismiss Hardy’s careful research …Deckers et al. will need to revise their confrontational response.” Who can disagree? Those receiving public funds have no right to deliberately downplay the degree of knowledge theft by an unregulated “hobby”.  Here’s just one example:

“It is true that a number of finds go unreported, even under a permissive legislation and with a recording scheme in place. However, his unreported information is not necessarily lost; often [artefact hunters] keep private records of their finds and finds locations […], many […] are open to collaboration and willingly give access to this information when asked by professional archaeologists, even if they ave not reported on their own initiative….”

So the message is that public should relax about the massive knowledge loss caused through 90%+ non-reporting because those who don’t report in the first place are the sort of people who “often” reveal their finds years later. Logic and human nature suggest otherwise. Just how many instances of “often” exist – and if it’s a miniscule proportion of the over 20,000 non-reporters per year Dr Hardy proposes we mere amateurs are entitled to ask why say it and what is the agenda here?

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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The Portable Antiquities Scheme et al have outstripped themselves. For 15 years we’ve begged them to tell farmers the plain truth about the damage metal detecting does. But no…..

When they drafted a letter to landowners detectorists threatened to go on “reporting strike” because they hadn’t been consulted about what it said! When the first metal detecting guide was produced PAS et al made the ludicrous mistake (rectified recently) of allowing detectorists to help – and surprise, surprise the text was virtually castrated and made out metal detecting was a boon to farmers and the nation.

Well, it ain’t. (And if you ask a PAS employee in private in the pub they’ll agree). In the last 15 years up to 9 million recordable artefacts may not have been reported and been lost to science.

So what has been the response? PAS et al are producing a leaflet for landowners called “Metal detecting on your land – know your rights”. That’s fine, albeit 20 years too late, but heaven help Britain they’re doing it in conjunction with The Searcher Magazine! Take a look at that magazine. For conservationists, scientists or archaeologists it ain’t. So you can bet for certain what that leaflet won’t say – and what it will! Mr Landowner, throw open your gates! If a detectorist says he’ll behave according to this booklet, he will! Look at the treasure on the front, yum yum! Metal detecting and metal detectorists are marvellous and do no cultural damage whatsoever.


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PS:

Your rights as a landowner are clear and can be fully expressed in 13 words: “all archaeological finds are YOURS (except the ones classed as Treasure, which aren’t.“) If a quango issues a whole leaflet saying any more than those 13 words you can be sure it is promoting the interests of metal detectorists (who have zero rights to any artefacts ever found, without exception), not yours.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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We were formed on 26 July 2003 (at The Uffington White Horse) …..

 

Since then we’ve featured many hundreds of threatened sites but we felt there was just one we ought to cover on our birthday – Stonehenge. Maybe you’re confused by differing accounts of the short tunnel. But actually it’s very simple, there are just three things you need to know:

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1. The World Heritage Committee has just said: “The construction of four-lane highways in cuttings at either end of the tunnel would adversely and irreversibly impact on the integrity, authenticity and Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the WHS”.
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2. The Government, Highways England, English Heritage, Historic England and The National Trust are ignoring them.
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3. Tom Holland has encapsulated the future consequences:
“I get that people may feel this isn’t very important compared to Trump, Brexit, etc. But I predict that the desecration of the Stonehenge landscape, if we permit it, will echo down the centuries far more loudly than anything in the headlines today.”

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That’s all. If you hear anything to the contrary you should treat it with grave suspicion. It will be to facilitate a road not to protect or enhance the Stonehenge World Heritage landscape. How could it be otherwise?

Our Tarot Tuesday card this week is card XIV of the Major Arcana, Temperance.

Temperance: “Capable, Control, Harmony and balance, Moderation, Self-confidence

An optimistic card, Temperance encourages you to find balance in your life and approach problems with a calm demeanour. It recognizes that opposing forces need not be at war within you. Tread carefully in any major decisions you make, with confidence that good decisions will lead to a good resolution for you.1.

The site type that comes to mind when considering ‘balance‘ and ‘treading carefully‘ is that of a double stone row.

One site which immediately springs to mind which meets this description consists of not one, but two double stone rows: Merrivale on Dartmoor.

Merrivale Stone Row. © AlanS

The two stone rows run roughly parallel, E-W and each consist of pairs of stones. There are blocking stones at the end of the rows, and the southern row is bisected by a cist. A small leat runs between the two rows. The pairs of stones that make up the rows are set 3-4 feet apart allowing a visitor, should one choose, to walk carefully between the stones along each row. If you decide to attempt this, please be careful to not step directly on the stones, which are small and could be easily damaged.

1: Trusted Tarot.

Which heritage site would you associate with this card?

Previous articles in this series can be found here.

Back in 2007, the previous time the Government and its yes bodies planned to cause massive damage at Stonehenge we successfully applied to NASA to have the message Hands off Stonehenge carried into space on the spaceship Dawn.

The Hands off Stonehenge message blasting off from Cape Canaveral on 27 September 2007

Now, 11 years and 3 billion miles later the message  is still needed as another version of the destruction is being pushed by the same suspects (plus the hapless, rudderless National Trust this time). Here’s a recent picture from Dawn, taken during a low pass over the dwarf planet Ceres:.

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A spokesperson for The National Trust (might have) said: “Looks pristine. Let’s keep it that way forever, for everyone – by driving a dual carriageway across it”.

 

Dozens of new sites have appeared in the heatwave, prompting this excited response by The Searcher detecting magazine: “Time to dust off that drone!” But by their nature, newly discovered sites are yet to be scheduled so when The Searcher encourages readers to detect on them surely it is voicing a new variant of the oikish mantra “hurry, it might be damaging, but for now it’s legal, innit!”

Maybe that’s all that can be expected of The Searcher but shouldn’t Historic England et al be shocked at this protection gap? And shouldn’t PAS (which has an article every month in The Searcher despite the fact the front of the magazine carries a clarion call for oikism) now consider whether it has been persistent enough in stressing to the Government that the current laissez faire detecting law all too often means laissez faire la destruction?

., given its readership.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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Last weekend one of us was in Avebury and was sad to see lots of people climbing Silbury and standing on standing stones despite umpteen notices asking them not to. So we think it’s worth re-running an article titled “A word to the Monument Climbers” contributed by one of our founder members, Goffik, on this day exactly 8 years ago….


 

So – where are we? Are we now allowed to go climbing up Silbury and clamber all over Stonehenge? Excellent! Now I can sate my desire to sit and/or stand on things!

Not really. I don’t understand the mentality of the desire to climb things. Is it because you’re not supposed to? Is it like sticking 2 fingers up at the guardians of the site that request that you don’t do it? A sort of “Hey, man – these things belong to *all* of us, therefore I’m going to help myself!”?

“Hey, the stones are everyone’s maaan so I’m entitled!”

If it *were* only one person doing it, once, then the damage would probably be non-existent. But if you multiply that by the amount of visitors to these places each year, then of course “wear and tear” will occur! I use that phrase lightly, but if you look at the visitor numbers for Stonehenge and Silbury, and imagine every single one of those people wanting to climb, I don’t think you need to be *that* clever to work out that it’ll cause damage!

St Catherine’s Hill, in Winchester – a gorgeous hillfort with a mizmaze at the top (and, sadly, the M3 motorway gouged through the adjoining hill, but that’s another thread, I guess!) – has so many visitors that, after decades/centuries, a path was formed by god knows how many people using the same route. The corrosion became so bad that a wooden stairway was constructed up the side! It has the benefit of conserving the rest of the hill, but it’s not really that attractive.

Silbury, with a million (is that a fair estimate? Totally plucked from nowhere so may be well off!) visitors a year, would soon become criss-crossed with paths and worn areas if everyone decided they wanted to climb up! And Stonehenge – although the stones are, as is the nature of stone, quite hard, surely you’ve seen the effect of decades/centuries of wear and tear on stone? Go visit a castle or summat and have a look at any original stairway or other much-used surface area.

So *well done* and a pat on the head to those that *have* climbed the hill/stones. Have a biscuit.

We are now 1/3 through our Tarot Tuesday journey, and the drawn card this week is card V of the Major Arcana, The Hierophant.

The Hierophant: “Approval, Conformity, Consent, Good advice, Marriage or Union

Interpreting the Tarot can be a very conflicting process. An initial response to the drawing of any card can often be the correct one, but then again meditation upon a card may find other, more subtle meanings.

For this card, we are sticking with our initial reaction and taking the Marriage or Union aspect as the one to follow. In Somerset, the village of Stanton Drew is home to a complex of megalithic sites known collectively as The Weddings, which seems an appropriate match for this card.

Aerial photo copyright JJ Evendon (from the Megalithic Portal)

The complex includes the second largest stone circle in England (after Avebury), two further stone circles, an avenue, a cove and the remains of a nearby quoit. We have previously covered many of the folklore stories associated with the Stanton Drew sites here on the Heritage Journal.

Geophysics work in 2004 and 2009 (PDF link) evidenced much more complexity to the site than can be seen at face value. The results demonstrated that the site is a ruin of a much more elaborate and important site than had previously been dreamed of, with a series of nine concentric circles of pits being discovered. Could the concentricity of the circles of pits be considered as the Conformity aspect of the card?

Do you agree with our interpretations so far? Which heritage site would you associate with this card? Leave a message in the comments

Previous articles in this series are listed here.

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