We continue our series looking at Dr Sandy Gerrard’s research into stone row monuments of the South West. This time the Sharpitor West stone alignment on Dartmoor is examined.

Sharpitor1

The Sharpitor West single stone alignment includes a 132m long line of stones leading south west from a cairn at SX 55058 70749 and incorporates at least 54 stones, some of which are now recumbent. The alignment is situated on the south west facing slope of a pronounced ridge leading west from Sharpitor. Despite being a really rather obvious alignment it is sobering to note that this alignment was first recorded as recently as 1963. This is surprising because the alignment includes a number of large uprights and the terminal pillar stands 1.2m high.

Sea views framed by the land exist, but one particular phenomenon is worth a special mention. There are three arcs of visibility and the western one which is the smallest includes a second triangle formed by the estuary of the River Plym.  The effect is one triangle sitting above another one and for this reason “stacked triangles” seems an appropriate descriptive term. Such an arrangement could have been of special interest or significance to the alignment builders and may have influenced their choice of this site.  Sea-level changes combined with the considerable alterations to the estuary caused by tinworking waste are acknowledged problems and we cannot therefore be entirely confident that the estuary triangle would have appeared as it does today. This said it is probable that a water triangle of some form would have existed at this location perhaps formed by a slow flowing river rather than the estuary we see today.  The changes in the form the Plym estuary make it is impossible to establish the precise character of the original visual treat provided by the juxtaposition of the sea and river triangles but the evidence does strongly suggest that there would have been something which in turn could been acknowledged by this alignment. Individually the visual relationships between the sea and the alignments are simply observations of fact but taken together the repetitive pattern that is emerging points to a link and it is this cumulative weight of albeit circumstantial evidence which provides the backbone to support the contention that the siting and therefore the function of the rows was in some way directly associated with the interface between water, land and sky.

Sharpitor2

The terminal pillar at the south western end of the row. The flattened triangle of water formed by the Plym estuary is visible is a slither of white surrounded by land. When the alignment was erected sea levels were lower and the water may not have been visible from this point. Indeed it may have disappeared at this spot.

Views from the alignment

Two images derived from Google Earth are presented below. Up until now slightly enhanced and labelled images have been used. These views are all about the relationship between sky, water and land and I think that this new style portrays the crucial visual date more clearly. I would welcome your feedback on this change. This series of articles as well as presenting hopefully an interesting and fresh way of looking at this enigmatic form of monument is also intended to provide an insight into the archaeological research process – warts and all – and you are most welcome to contribute.

The first illustration represents the view from the lower south western end of the row and the second one from the top of the alignment.
Sharpitor3

View from the lower (south western) end of the alignment. A view to the sea and a pair of sea triangles are present.  The fourth expanse of water visible from the point is the Plym Estuary and the illusion of one triangle stacked upon another may have been of particular interest to the builders of this alignment.

Sharpitor4

Compared with some sites the difference between the views from the top and bottom of the row is very slight. More of the eastern sea view is visible from the top but otherwise there are apparently no remarkable differences. In reality the alignment may have been focussed on the triangle of estuary water. The sea levels were lower when the alignment was constructed and this may mean that originally the near water would have disappeared as one walked down along the row.

Sharpitor5

Map showing the arcs of visibility from the upper (north-eastern) end of the alignment.  Each sea triangle would have been illuminated in turn by the winter sun and may have added a temporal dimension to the ceremonies. At the mid-winter solstice the “stacked triangle” arc of visibility should form the focus of the setting sun – certainly something worth checking out. 

Sharpitor6

This obvious stone alignment was not discovered until the 1960’s.

Previous articles in this series:

Following on from her extended series of posts in 2013, and a visit last year, once again Sue Brooke has revisited Caerau hillfort in Cardiff, to report upon this year’s activities there with a much more personal view. 

Since 2007 I have been researching the local area around Caerau. You may recall that I discovered what was to be later confirmed as at least an Iron Age hillfort, right over my garden fence. Much to the amusement of family and friends I waxed lyrical about this field full of lumps and bumps, cow poo and bitey insects. Although not exactly ‘preserved in public record’ as they say, this was well hidden and completely forgotten about so I was desperately trying to keep it secret and therefore protected. Of course Time Team later came and showed it in all its wall mounted, 48 inch, HD screen beauty, then went away again.

CAER Heritage Project and Cardiff University have however been periodically running community digs and generally involving the local community in the work they have been carrying out over the last three years or so and local interest has been increased. Their website shows the work that has gone on, not only in the field but in local centres and schools. Now and then local press picks up the story and it even pops up on local news. The really lovely thing about this work is that it involves everyone who is interested. Groups of primary school children through to older people have all taken a real interest in the site and become involved at various levels.

Me? Well, I moved away from the area recently. It was really sad to leave my garden fence behind and I do miss the trees as well as the mystery of what they would tell me if they could speak. But, I’m not that far away so I am still involved in keeping a close eye on what is going on. I go to the community events up at the site and still spend time wandering around with my camera.  I still research the local history there and am still turning up really interesting information about the people who lived in the area and how it links to other sites nearby as well as a little bit further away.

On the 4th of July the project held a Big Picnic. The original idea of this was to replicate the old Christian tradition of the Whitsun Treat which used to be held in the field at Pentecost.  This is still fondly remembered by locals. I’m not sure if this is a Welsh thing but it involved local children being transported to various sites, clutching a spoon with their name taped to the handle and a bag of something that their mum or Nan (very important people are Welsh Nan’s!) had made that they would share.  It was about coming together and having fun.

As well as the Big Picnic there would be a parade today with stalls, face painting, information on finds and tours of the ongoing excavations. Now, my grandson is really ‘into’ history. He has recently visited Castell Henllys in Pembrokeshire and has, I am very proud to say, developed a really impressive (for an 11 year old) knowledge of Welsh early history.  He asks questions, reads real books and takes it all in. He came with us with promises that I’d show him all the ditches and ramparts that had set my own imagination off and started this whole thing going for me in the first place. So, off we went.

A new brown heritage site arrow has appeared – pointing the way to the hill from the main road that runs through Caerau. Just in case you miss it there is another a little further on. This secret triangular shaped field of ‘mine’ is most certainly not such a secret any more.

Caerau Sign

There were quite a few cars parked at the entrance to the site and we were met by two lovely students who welcomed us on our way up. That walk up is getting steeper, I’m sure. I was a little surprised at the cars that were allowed up the lane, meaning I had to ensure we were safely out of the way – I tutted at one point, I admit – but at least it gave me a minute to stand and get my breath back.  The view as you round the final bend never fails to impress me and I’ve been up there many, many times.

Caerau event

The entrance to the field was set up with the promised stalls and it was all very busy with a real sense of community.   CAER’s Olly Davies (beautifully face painted by Glamorgan and Gwent Archaeological Trust artists) and Dave Wyatt were in the middle of it all so it was nice to catch up. We were able to see some of the more recent finds. What is particularly nice is that it’s possible to actually hold these in your hand, rather than peer at them through the glass of a museum case, although that’s probably where they will find a home eventually. At least I hope so, rather than end up in a box on a shelf somewhere.  The extremely knowledgeable and really friendly young women in charge there are able to tell you not just what you are holding but also where they were found, what the significance is and how they have made them look presentable. It was also good in that, for me, the star find from last year (the Neolithic flint arrow head) was also brought back home for the day.

Caerau Flint

A handout was provided to enable understanding of the objectives for this year, entitled ‘Digging Caerau’ – not exactly my most favourite phrase. Nonetheless, five areas of the field are being examined this year – four of which have been previously examined and re-opened for further investigation. One new area is being examined to ‘explore what appears on the geophysics to be a boundary probably dating to the Roman period.’ Guided tours were being given to small groups but we wandered off on our own to see what was going on. Well, it is my field, after all!

My biggest concern prior to the Time Team investigations was that my hillfort would be dug up. Mr Cadw Inspector reassured me that this would not happen. I’ve seen the finds that have come out of the ground, so to speak, and found them fascinating. From my grandsons perspective he was thrilled to wander around and to see postholes within the trench, confirming that this was an area that people had actually lived in. As you may know, for local historians like me the people are as important as the place.  But, the site itself, for me, is losing its special character. It is changing, losing its ‘feel’ underfoot and the magic of the lumps and bumps is fading along with the brown scarring of the excavated trench areas.

Since Welsh Nan’s are very important I had wandered off with the lad to show him how to interpret the various aspects of the site that had really grabbed my attention way back in 2007. But now, whilst the ramparts are still clearly visible one inner rampart now has a ditch cut through it. Please don’t misunderstand; it’s a really painstakingly created section from which the archaeologists are intending to gain dating evidence and environmental samples. But to me it’s a whacking great chunk out of the rampart that really won’t be the same once it’s refilled.

Caerau section

This is really evident in the beautiful ditch that once swept across part of the site. You couldn’t fail to see it and it was really easy to photograph. It looked like something special to me. Trouble is it looked like something special to Time Team and the other diggers too, so now it’s gone. I’ve since looked back over some of my early writing and the phrase ‘it’s quite possible to see ditches and ramparts untouched’ really jumps out. I wanted my grandson to experience that sense of standing in or on something special. Something that made a person curious and excited about what may have been there, who may have built it, why and when.  To me that sense of excitement has gone now as not all of those lumps and bumps are there any more – I feel that is really quite sad.

I completely understand that archaeology is a science. Indeed, my own first degree is a Bachelor of Science (with honours, obviously!) but my science is more social, of ordinary people and of ordinary places.  So whilst the archaeologists are looking  down into mucky holes getting dirt under their fingernails I can be found looking through dusty old books, looking up and out and, quite often across.  Both, whilst different perspectives, should complement each other in being able to tell the story of a place and understand the people who lived within it.  But, and this is a big but, I don’t think digging things up, taking them away and, as a result of this changing the really special characteristics of the site will benefit anyone in the end. Perhaps I just have an emotional attachment to this hillfort but to me it all feels really selfish.

Moving on…

All in all my grandson enjoyed his day. He was able to get an idea of the hillfort from the Lidar images and the visual representations on show, ask questions about how a roof was put on the roundhouses, look into trenches and to see the burial mounds clearly visible on the mountain opposite. He took photos and met with ‘real’ archaeologists. He was (reasonably) impressed with his Nan’s knowledge and perhaps gained a different perspective of the site from that. I just have this nagging feeling that he would have enjoyed it quite a bit more if he could have felt what I did when I first went into that field. It was only eight years ago.

As we left Olly came to chat and asked what I was doing now – I explained I had moved house recently but that I had a found a new site of interest that I felt linked in to the Caerau site. His eyes lit up and he asked where, I told him to b*gger off, there is no way he is digging this one up…

Many thanks to Sue for this report of her day out to revisit an old favourite. Have you recently revisited a favourite site? Or are you planning to do so during this year’s Festival of Archaeology? If so, why not submit a short article and share your visit with others on the Heritage Journal?

Stonehenge a mere 115 years ago was obviously a very different place from what we see today. No fences, no visitor centre, no interpretation signs, no caravans or campers on the by-ways.

The British Film Institute have a new web site, Britain on Film, which allows browsing and searching on a map for old films, from the mid-1800’s (if you’re lucky!) through to the present day. Many are free to view, for others there is a modest cost.

So far, there’s only one film showing Stonehenge, dated from 1900. It shows a brief panorama across the stones, where a solitary self-concious policeman is on ‘guard’ duty for a single visitor.

StonehengeCop

Imagine if that ratio of police to visitors were to be in place today!

of course, the BFI don’t have a monopoly on old films. The British Pathe News web site also has a selection of films showing Stonehenge throughout the last 100 years.

Why not take a look at the BFI and Pathe News sites and see if your favourite Scheduled Ancient Monument is represented by an old film? Let us know what you find!

Back in the heady days of 2004 the metropolitan elite still imagined most detectorists would play ball so the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) was presented as part of The National Grid for Learning, an online educational portal. PAS was, said the Arts Minister, an opportunity for the public “to become involved and learn more about our past and to assist in preserving our heritage for the benefit of future generations“.

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jimmyedwards.

Time told a different tale. PAS’s target audience proved largely resistant to its persuasion and quite recently it has admitted that 70% of detectorists still haven’t adopted Best Practice or been prepared to report all their finds. It’s not possible to see that as “preserving our heritage for the benefit of future generations” and the recent downgrading of PAS suggests the Government may have finally come to that view. PAS’s one-time cheerleader, Ed Vaizey, was pretty dismissive in Parliament this week, offering a tolerable impression of a man dumping a tiresome girlfriend: “I have made no assessment of the impact that the changes in funding arrangements have had on the Scheme as I believe it is right that the British Museum has more freedom to make its own decisions on spending in this area“. The Government has divested itself of PAS in an unceremonious fashion and offloaded the responsibility onto (as Paul Barford has said) “a small sub-department of a museum in Bloomsbury”. What happens next isn’t hard to guess: the BM has hundreds of marvellous projects and highly appreciative audiences. Why would it spend much time or money trying to “teach” the 70% of detectorists who have said “no” for so long?

I think the public is entitled to be bitter – not merely because the bulk of a hobby has cocked an 18 year snook at the rest of us but because The Archaeological Establishment is still not publicly admitting the fact. Meanwhile there’s evidence things are about to get worse: detectorists, including the 70% snook-cockers, are about to be handed another crucial research aid to enable them to target “productive sites” (which means unprotected archaeological sites – who can deny it?). From September 2015 all the Environment Agency’s LIDAR data will become Open Data and everyone will be able to use it (for free. A detectorist writes: “You’ll see 100% discount on the final page, you will have to specify a reason for your request, i put Archaeology / Site Search“). One detectorist has already tried it and his assessment couldn’t be more ominous: “Saw it at the weekend and it is absolutely superb and far,far better than any of that commercially available. Saw at least 3 features that have produced finds in the locality that are invisible on Google Earth/Bluesky etc.” The number of archaeological sites that metal detectorists can target is about to be greatly expanded. Poor silly Bonkers Britain.

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A guest post by Dr Sandy Gerrard.

Our understanding of the past relies on carefully collecting information and piecing together the fragments to provide an insight into what happened in the distant or not too distant past. The process of converting the data from whatever source into explanations is called interpretation.  We all do this countless times every day. We see something and in order to understand what it is we interpret it and react accordingly. Our reactions are likely to be based on experience and so it is with archaeological interpretation. The better one understands a subject the better are the chances of coming to a fully justified explanation which consequently has more chance of being right or at least being close to the mark.

Sometimes there is very little data to go on, whilst on other occasions there may be loads and often it can be contradictory.  Interpreting archaeological data can therefore be very difficult and challenging and at the end of the process one may simply not be able to provide any answers and instead the reward maybe further questions. This I find an appealing aspect of archaeology and relish the opportunity to examine and re-examine ideas, theories and hypothesis.

Fundamental to the proper interpretative process is to embrace all the available evidence and to assess it comprehensively. Often much evidence still remains to be found and some may be hidden out of sight, but it is of paramount importance to ensure that at least the information that is readily available is used and used objectively.

A while back I was asked by Cadw if I would like to meet with them to discuss the situation at Mynydd y Betws. I responded positively saying:

“an on-site meeting would be most appropriate as some of the issues can only be properly considered there and we could then re-convene somewhere indoors to deal with the paperwork issues that are best dealt with out of the elements.” 

Pretty clear I would have thought. Cadw have offered a meeting and I have accepted.  Sadly in the perverse universe inhabited by Cadw, senior management were inexplicably informed that I had been:

offered a face-to-face meeting, which Dr Gerrard has refused”.

Several interpretations of this situation are possible and most of them should concern anyone interested in the management of our past.

SGCairn

Is this a pile of stones or a Bronze Age burial cairn? Clearly sometimes the evidence is far from obvious and mistakes are understandably made. But surely we should expect the guardians of our heritage to understand the difference between Yes and No?

The strength and quality of the case against development within the setting of Old Oswestry hillfort seems to grow day by day. The Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort (Twitter: @OldOswestryFort #HOOOH) Facebook campaign and the powerful recent article in the Guardian suggest that this is no usual fight. It is possible it will be taken into Europe as it is being seen as having relevance on both a local and national level. In the words of Sir Barry Cunliffe: “It is worth making a fuss about this particular issue because it does look like the thin end of the wedge. There would be nothing really to stop developing land right up to the very boundary of some of our major archaeological sites.”

The latest development is a comment by Dr Mike Heyworth, Director of the CBA, about the image below: “The maps showing the location of known archaeological sites and find spots around the hillfort is very powerful. It shows that there is a lot of related archaeology in the area immediately surrounding the hillfort which will be potentially damaged by any development.”

HER Os

All-in-all the campaign is causing the attitude of Shropshire Council to look increasingly unreasonable. Compare and contrast the concerns of both the public and a whole body of senior archaeologists with the recent statement by a Shropshire Council spokesman: The sensitivity of the Old Oswestry Hill Fort and its setting have been recognised by Shropshire council throughout its local plan-making process, which started in 2010. However, Shropshire council does not accept that proposed development would result in substantial harm to the significance of the hill fort.”  Does the Council have concerns about its own national and international reputation? Let us all hope so.

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Oooh, and look …. (Image credit Maggie Rowlands)….

The developers have taken precautions to ensure there are no more “find spots” for archaeologists to talk about!

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find spots

We have written in the past about ways to enhance your field trip visits and what equipment to take with you. But what if you don’t want to be lumbered with all that clutter? Could a simple smartphone come to your rescue?

With the plethora of apps available these days, the answer is invariably ‘yes’. But of course, safety must always be a major consideration on any trip, so standard caveats apply: we would always recommend keeping a good paper map (and other ‘survival aids’ as appropriate) to hand when travelling across open country. Despite the government’s best intentions, signal availability in remote areas is not always optimal, so when looking at available apps, offline working must always be a consideration. Battery power is also important. Most smartphones are notorious for ‘poor’ (8–10 hours at best, much shorter if hunting for a signal) battery performance, so a fully-charged back-up battery pack is a must when considering a phone-based trip.

So, with the above in mind, which apps will be useful for your field trip? Here are some of our recommendations, most of which are available for both iOS and Android:

Planning, information and reference

It’s always useful to be able to find out information about prospective sites, and so most preparation will be done at home, prior to departure. But there are always occasions when plans change and more ‘on the spot’ information is needed. Of course, in these situations a signal is usually essential. There are myriad apps that provide information about various heritage sites but in our experience these are usually quite limited in scope: for instance the National Trust, English Heritage  and CADW all have apps, for Gardens, Stately Homes etc. but the content tends to be quite selective or limited in such apps. We have previously reviewed the Heritage app from Little Polar (IOS only), which appears to be going from strength to strength. Another app which has recently come to our notice is TiCL, which whilst not strictly heritage-related looks quite promising (check out the Trails functionality). Sadly Wikihood, an app which displayed Wikipedia items based upon your location, is no longer available.

Maps and Route Tracking

When it comes to mapping and route recording, the options are quite staggering. But to our minds, the king of the hill is Viewranger. Plan trips, calculate distances, and view elevation profiles. Use maps offline – Premium topographic maps (can get expensive for larger areas!!) and free global maps are available. Use ViewRanger to record your track as you go and create a mapped trace of your trip, complete with stats and photos. There’s also an active community with downloadable routes to try out, and support (when I’ve needed it) has always been first-class.

Photography and Video

Most smartphones come with photo software that ís more than adequate, and will do for most shots, including panoramas once you’re at the site.

For more technical (surveying) images, Theodolite or TheodoliteHD (IOS only) are useful. Theodolite is a multi-function augmented reality app that combines a compass, GPS, map, photo/movie camera, rangefinder, and two-axis inclinometer into one indispensable app. Theodolite overlays real time information about position, altitude, bearing, range, and inclination on the iPhone’s live camera image, like an electronic viewfinder. A possible alternative for Android users is ThÈodolite Droid, but I have no personal experience of this app.

For image editing, SnapSeed is quite useful, and comes in both iOS and Android flavours. But image editing is a very personal thing, so you may have your own favourites. Please let us know in the comments if this is the case.

For video, we’d recommend Horizon. There’s nothing more embarrassing than finding that viewers have to tilt their heads to see your carefully framed (portrait) shot, and Horizon takes care of this for you by automatically keeping the shot horizontal regardless of the orientation of the phone itself.

If 360 degree panoramas are your thing, PhotoSphere from Google for iOS and Android is quite useful, and hooks into Google Maps for sharing the resulting views.

And don’t forget to set your device to backup up your photographs automatically to the cloud (once in signal range)!

Finds Recording

For those lucky enough to stumble upon any interesting finds, the Find Plotter app (iOS only?) may be helpful. The developer’s web site appears to be no longer available, but the iPhone app is still available in the Apple Store. Although aimed mainly at detectorists, it could prove useful for the casual fieldworkers among us to record basic details to pass onto the PAS.

For wider data collection, the Edina Field Trip GB app will be a much better option. This allows collection of data by a group using customised forms (designed via the web), can track GPS points, collect photos and fieldnotes. Data is saved to a DropBox account.

Damage Reporting

As we’ve reported previously, there is a serious gap in the market for an app which would allow for discovery of heritage crime to be reported to the appropriate authorities. We’d still be happy to share our ideas for such an app with any budding developers out there, and if anyone is willing to provide funding (CBA, Rescue, University Research Depts?) for such a project, please contact us!

Field Notes

For writing up your trip after the event, again the choice is almost limitless. Select your favourite text editor, and away you go! But in terms of organisation, ease of searching, syncing across devices, inclusion of photos etc, Evernote is pretty hard to beat.

That finishes our brief roundup of possible apps that could be used before, during and after a field trip. Have we missed out anything crucial, or a better alternative to one of our choices? Let us know in the comments.

A guest post by Dr Sandy Gerrard.

When studying the past one normally tries to collect and examine all the known evidence before reaching a conclusion. Sometimes there is not much to go on and any conclusions are therefore inevitably provisional. On other occasions there is loads of evidence though this does not necessary make it any easier to work out what is going on. In Wales some archaeologists have come up with a solution to this age old problem.

Sites with little or no evidence can be lumped into whatever category takes their fancy on the day. The solution for sites with loads of evidence is even more ingenious. You disregard all the evidence that does not suit your conclusion and hey presto the required result. Magic!

An example of this ground breaking approach to archaeological interpretation is provided by the Archwilio entry for the Bancbryn stone alignment which somehow manages to ignore the archaeological excavations carried out by Cotswold Archaeology, a survey conducted by Cadw and the analysis presented in the Heritage Journal over the past few years. Instead it relies solely on carefully selected sections of a report prepared by Cadw and skilfully manages to present an interpretation that the same Cadw report dismisses as unsubstantiated.

This would be amusing if our heritage was not in these people’s hands.

by Nigel Swift

The educated middle classes have just been scandalised by an article in The Guardian: “Looted in Syria – and sold in London: the British antiques shops dealing in artefacts smuggled by Isis“. Staff posed as antiquities dealers and trolled round outlets in London to demonstrate how looted items from warzones in Syria and Iraq were openly on display. They quote Neil Brodie of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at Glasgow University saying that “in the absence of coordinated strategies and concerted efforts, attempts to tackle the problem have thus far been ineffective” and another expert in the field, Sam Hardy, explaining that “A common practice is to fudge provenance by claiming an antiquity has been in the family for a long time …. The industry runs on trust ….. by not keeping any records, dealers make it easier for buyers to convince themselves there is no evidence of any wrongdoing.”

The irony of it all drives me barmy. Here in Britain for donkey’s years a whole hobby has been harvesting millions of archaeological items, every one of which encapsulates knowledge belonging to all of us – yet most of that hobby’s forums and clubs keep secret sections to discuss finds out of public view… and many rally organisers keep venues secret from the public …. and anyway most detectorists keep their finds secret. And as for British dealers, here are some adverts from the latest editions of The Searcher and Treasure Hunting:

dealers

Discretion? Confidentiality? Pourquoi? Who outside metal detecting (and Britain) would deny that secrecy has absolutely no place in metal detecting or that British artefact dealers are (unwittingly) making it easy for a few British looters and far, far more British legal knowledge thieves to do what they do? Wouldn’t it be nice if Glasgow University and The Guardian got it into their heads that what is happening here in Britain is massive, blatant ongoing theft of British cultural knowledge by thousands of British citizens and that it stinks – and to write some articles telling the educated middle classes about it accordingly?

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Update, 5 July 2015

While I’m here ranting about cultural damage and lack of official action against it: this posted on a detecting forum yesterday, really, really annoyed me. (Why should anyone care what annoys the likes of me? No reason at all except one: I am right, and I’m only expressing what The Archaeological Establishment knows is true but won’t express!).

It vividly illustrates how knowledge loss works and that it is at a far higher level than anyone except a few unofficial complainants bother to work out or fret over. It is a visible manifestation of a simple but universal truth – a damaging all-British algorithm – namely that the more important it is not to metal detect a field, the keener are the unthinking or uncaring history-botherers to detect it. (For the avoidance of doubt, mostly legally – but that’s the shameful thing about Britain). Scale that simple truth up and it implies that the knowledge loss inflicted by the laissez faire hobby is massively greater than a “random” choice of target fields is commonly assumed to produce. In fact, not merely massively greater but almost incalculably greater., utterly tragic for Britain and completely unacknowledged by those who should be loudly condemning it. Ah well, he’s talking unkind talk again, carry on chaps. The depletion is invisible so it’s not worth standing up against it.

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Permission granted Virgin site
by Scorpio197 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:12 pm
Just got permission for 20 or so acres of land in South East Norfolk . It’s never been detected on before , many have asked and been turned down , . The site has been left for wild life since just after the war the owner and his family have lived there for many generations and as the story go a local archeology group wanted to dig some trenches on the land before the war but as yet I can’t find out why . Needless to say they were not given permission also the land owner was asked again in the late seventies but refused . So for the first time I have a reason to go out with my detector that I’ve had for over a year and only played with in my back garden . Let’s hope for something nice to be found , going next Wednesday evening for a couple of hours to get the lay of land . Sorry just had to tell someone …
Scorpio197″

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Courtesy of Old Oswestry Hillfort’s Facebook page!

“Can anyone spot the difference between these four late 18th century A5 toll houses? Clue, three of them are in Wales, the other one is in Shropshire….”

shropshireland

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