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Mr Mike Pitts has previously taken potshots at opponents of the A303 Stonehenge tunnel scheme, sniping at Dan Snow and Tom Holland in addition to accusing The Stonehenge Alliance of acting like the archaeological wing of Donald Trump’s social media campaign.
Now it’s the turn of the Druids, who have been opposing the tunnel at the recent hearings. He’s free to do so, but perhaps not by using his position as editor of British Archaeology, the magazine of the CBA, in order to publish this cartoon:



Obviously the crass distortion of several historical facts and timelines is undesirable in itself, but we wonder how a crude and offensive joke about a senior Druid being beheaded at Stonehenge as a solution to opposition to the tunnel came to be published in the CBA’s magazine? Perhaps CBA Director Mike Heyworth will step in.

News comes from the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) that they are working closely with other (unspecified) organisations to find out if archaeological sites and monuments in our towns, cities and countryside are being carefully managed within the planning process. They are looking for good and bad examples of cases where archaeology has been (or should have been) considered as part of a development. They are particularly keen to hear about developers that have ‘gone the extra mile’ in helping local communities understand their heritage through excavation or conservation and those developers who seem disinterested.

Dealing sensitively with archaeology through the planning process is a standard requirement of developers and the local planning authority. The National Planning Policy Framework (recently revised) sets out clear requirements for Local Planning Authorities to follow. As a rule, damage or destruction of archaeological sites should be avoided. Where this is not possible, there is usually a requirement to ensure that archaeology is recorded, and the results made publicly available.

The CBA is working with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) on a project that will collect information on how the current planning system is – or isn’t working – for archaeology, and they’d like to hear from you.

  • Have you ever felt frustrated or angry that your local heritage has been treated poorly?
  • Have you ever benefited from increased knowledge of your heritage because of development?
  • Have you ever felt that no one is listening, and your community’s views have been ignored?
  • Have you ever felt the opposite?

If you have any examples with a story to tell, then please get in touch with them with outline details and they’ll get back to you.

You can find more information on the CIfA website together with a link to a survey that you can use to submit detailed information if you have been or are closely involved with the planning system.

Alternatively, contact the CBA directly with your story by 21 September 2018.


The 26th Festival of Archaeology, which runs between the 16 – 31 July 2016, is rapidly approaching, so it’s time to make plans, take a look and see what’s on  in your area!

Co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology, the Festival offers hundreds of events nationwide, organised by museums, heritage organisations, national and country parks, universities, local societies, and community archaeologists.


Now obviously we can’t listeverything that’s of interest to our readers here, but the random selection below gives a flavour of the range of prehistoric events (many aimed at families) available across the country – other time periods are available. If you’re looking for a great day out you could do much worse than search the list on the festival web site to see what’s happening in your area.

Many of the events in the festival will incur a charge and/or require prior booking, but many are also free, so please check before setting out for an event.

Enjoy the Festival!!

by Nigel Swift

Irish family.

Recently a nice family in Ireland did it right“The find proved a great historical lesson not only for Charles’ children but also for their classmates …..Charles then handed the stone hammer into the county museum”Irish law said he had to but you just know he would have anyway. It took me back to Shropshire, circa 1955. We kids found stuff several times and would process with it in triumph to the schoolmaster or vicar “to take to the museum”. For us, like that Irish family, “finders-keepers” didn’t apply, the finds were beyond question “everyone’s”.

Many still feel that way and The Council for British Archaeology’s logo proclaims it: “Archae-ology for All”. Trouble is, some say “all” includes “me” so it’s “mine”. Two such people searched the field right next to where we used to find artefacts and soon after they argued in front of a coroner about which of them had found something: I don’t care what he says, I swear on the Holy Bible I found it.” Same parish, six decades later, and a whole lot uglier.

The CBA’s logo was re-branded in 2012. It split the first word, archae-ology, to stress that it wasn’t the physical remains but the study of archaeology (the “ology”) which was for all, hence preventing misuse of the sentiment (or in Mike Heyworth’s far politer comment to us: “these are subtleties which inevitably are lost on many people”.) We thought it worked at the time but no, it’s still being seen as a CBA charter for personal entitlement. Maybe it’s time to make it clearer: “Archaeology for all, not just one”. It wouldn’t have the force of law but at least it couldn’t be wilfully misinterpreted. Today the present one will be. Extensively. That’s surely not what the CBA intended?




The Council for British Archaeology’s Local Heritage Engagement Network are holding an event in London on 20th June, entitled ‘Activism, Advocacy and Supporting your Heritage’. The event is designed to help attendees gain skills and confidence to begin to engage in local advocacy and activism to support their local historic environment, or to increase the impact of their present advocacy work.

Speakers will provide up to date background information to threats facing local authority archaeology and heritage services. They will discuss what can be done to protect and advocate for these services, as well as present examples of best practice from community groups currently engaged in campaigns. The programme also includes workshops which will allow for discussion of attendee’s present work and how it could be adapted or used for advocacy impact and will provide information on how to get in the media, and get your message across to members of the public and decision makers.

Anyone is welcome to attend this event – you do not need any previous experience of heritage advocacy. There is a small cost to attendees (£5), to cover refreshments during the break and speakers travel expenses.

Bookings can be made via the Eventbrite web site, but be quick! Tickets are going fast!


June 2023

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