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Thornborough "debate"
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Venutius

So Hay and Lacay and past experience within meters of the current site don't matter.

By the way, can you thank Tarmac for excavating those two wells on Nosterfield Quarry.

Unfortunately every site of this scale has to prove it's own value, and it would be unwise to assume that archaeology preserved in one area continues into it, especially if there is a lot of truncation by farming. Also, there is currently no descicion on the planning application, so it can still be refused, something that this work is designed to inform. They can still even ask for further archaeological investigations.
As for the Nosterfield Quarry, PPG16 was still in nappies at that point, and significant archaeology was not really expected.
I fully agree with Hugh, as it would appear do English Heritage.

As mongoose pointed out, in terms of area evaluated the total now stands at 6%, 2% in the FAS evaluations and a further 4% in the current work. The current investigation has confirmed the results of the previous evaluation, and even pushed further southwards the proposed zone of prehistoric activity. If more trenches were excavated this would potentially destroy more archaeology with very little reward. The farmer will have to subsoil the areas that have been looked at before cultivating them again, and even those 5 dated pits supposed to be of national significance will get destroyed in the process of ploughsoil reinstatement.

In terms of the current trench positions, I believe their locations were agreed between English Heritage, NYCC ang MG&A.
So Venutius

this is the level of debate. If someone disagrees with something that you are saying you imply that they work for Tarmac! You should give the profession more credit - and you still havent answered my points.
Hi Mongoose,

Firstly sorry for the double post - I did not notice page 2.

If my assumption is incorrect then I'm sorry, I really meant that we are grateful for this and no insinuation was meant to be implied.

Save the Thornborough Henge Complex -
Hi Hugh,

Thanks for pointing that out. This is exactly why we said only Neolithic Archaeology was being looked for. Which I believe was an issue levelled against us.

I believe in trying to predict the archaeological potential of a site, evidence from archaeological work in the surrounding area should be taken into account.

On Nosterfield Quarry, there was found Late BA and Late IA archaeology, the evidence being that the area continued in ritual use long after the Neolithic period.

I suggest that it should be assumed that similar remains are likely to exist on Ladybridge and that these could easily be further north than the Neolithic settlement as there appears to be some relationship with the lake edge. I also suggest that a 2% survey has already been shown to be insufficient to locate features at a location just meters away and that the only major piece of research has also suggested that 2% is insufficient. A point made by English Heritage, but now apparently conceded.

The 75% of the site to the north of the "transition zone" is not receiving any further archaeological attention. Therefore this area remains as being evaluated by 2%. It is this that concerns us - why not confirm that there is no archaeology by revisiting this area?

My understanding is that even the Quarry Products Association code of practice says 2% is a minimum. This is a special site, part of a complex of monuments that up until today I have heard few archaeologists arguing that 2% is sufficient.

Save the Thornborough Henge Complex -
I don't know what these "wells" are, but there is loads of stuff on the Thornborough area work, and I have enough reading for my own job. If you want to learn more about the site there is an interim report at http://www.archaeologicalplanningconsult...t_pdf.html
I presume a similar long term watching brief will be followed for the ladybridge site, along with possible exclusion areas.
I'm glad that some other professionals out there feel that the article was unfair.

Venutius, you can say 2% till you are blue in the face, but it looks like that battle was won long ago. Well done. Whether it is now 6% or 10% the new evaluation areas look vast. More evaluation is always going to improve the chances of strengthening your case, assuming the remains survive. (That is a big if, judging by the ploughing experiment.) Why therefore are you seemingly attacking every conceivable aspect of the methodology and those conducting the work?

I'm happy to report that my original post has now appeared on the Thornborough Henges discussion board.Smile

My other post regarding the newly discovered Milfield site is still MIA however.
Venutius, in answer to some of the objections made by Timewatch on their website, and by yourself on this message board regarding the Ladybridge Methodology:

?Does not satisfy the 8-10% sample required by the campaign groups and English Heritage.

The area sampled may not satisfy the requirements of campaign groups, but English Heritage have now agreed that the 6% investigated to date has successfully characterised the archaeology of Ladybridge. Increasing the sample area, as I suggested before, is pointless if EH have agreed the archaeology has been characterised, and would simply result in further destruction.

?Focuses on a tiny portion of the site and as such risks damaging an area of known archaeological importance.

This is true, the work has focussed on what was thought to be the very edge of the transition zone; further south and it may have resulted in the unnecessary destruction of more potential features, further north and it would probably not have added anything to our current knowledge. The area of the current trenches was not one of ?known? archaeological importance ? only three datable prehistoric features had been encountered in the FAS evaluation.

?Fails to test for archaeology in more than 75% of the site.

See above, and also my previous post regarding association and value, and why the potential prehistoric activity was targeted.

?Fails to provide wet weather cover for the exposed topsoil meaning there is every chance of archaeology being missed.

Almost all archaeological work is done in the open, even on research projects. If conditions are too wet we simply don?t go onto the site, as walking over the features would result in their erosion. I?ve never come across a rural project that provided wet weather cover, though I?m not sure if other work in the area, such as Jan Harding?s research project, did do so.

?Fails to ensure the constant supervision of an outside group of archaeologists who have no vested interest in the outcome.

See the minutes of the monitoring meetings, held every Friday on site and attended by representatives of English Heritage, NYCC, Tarmac, OSA and MG&A. I believe both Jan Harding and the CBA were invited to attend, but the CBA declined on the basis that there was already a sufficient presence of independent monitors.

?Fails to ensure the topsoil is hand dug and screened, instead heavy equipment is used and any archaeology in the topsoil is ignored.

Again, very few projects, even those research projects run by organisations such as the Landscape Research Centre, who have been funded by English Heritage over a number of years and who three-dimensionally record every artefact they excavate, search the topsoil for artefacts. The use of heavy machinery on projects such as this is almost universal.

Don?t forget that the interpretation of the site is not only based on trial trenches. Cropmark evidence has been looked at, geophysical prospection has taken place, and fieldwalking has been undertaken, all of which contribute to overall evaluation of potential.

Personally I think its fair to say that the methodology is perfectly adequate, and that the work has been carried out to high standards and as transparently as is possible. I'm glad to hear that some other professional archaeologists agree. There may be any number of valid objections to quarrying at Ladybridge, but, at least in the northern 75% of the site, archaeological potential is simply not one of them. Surely its time that objections to the way the work is being carried out are laid to rest.
Maybe you are right Mercenary. I'm not one to dig my heals in on any issue - I protest to make things better and I hope we can all agree things have got considerably better since that protest began.

Clearly if the archaeological community think all is in order then I can't argue with that can I? (well I could of course, but it would be futile).

Regarding your posts - Smartgroups I'm afraid is notorious for being a bit dodgy, I've authorised both and I certainly have seen them go, but sometimes the system chooses to hold onto them.

Save the Thornborough Henge Complex -

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