Tuesday 13 January 2015

How Archaeology is Treated in the UK?

West Dorset District Council has shocked and appalled archaeologists by insisting that the controversial Charles Street development be allowed to go ahead without an adequate archaeological investigation prior to the bulldozers moving in. [...] Instead of a thorough investigation of what remains below ground level, the site is to be destroyed and removed for landfill, after a mere cursory examination. The Council employed consultants to provide a report which assessed the site as being of only ‘medium’ importance, despite the fact that it is bounded on one side by the remains of Dorchester’s Roman bath-house, and on another by a unique and internationally important Neolithic henge monument. This report contains many factual errors and omissions, and its ‘fitness for purpose’ has been questioned by an internationally renowned and respected archaeologist. By their own admission the consultants’ assessment was ‘refined in order to reduce expenditure and maintain the economic viability of the development scheme’. Hardly the statement one might expect of detached, unbiased professionals!
I do not personally know the ins and outs of this case (a "four week" investigation took part on part of this site), but that assessment report sounds pretty alarming. There is a 38 degrees petition here for those who want to make the council aware that people are watching them, it only has 2000 signatures which does not give much of a message. Metal detectorists are probably not signing, they want to know where that landfill is going to be.

UPDATE 21.1.15
Update here


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