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Saturday, 29 August 2015

More geomorphologists visit Craig Rhosyfelin


Dr Rick Shakesby, Dr John Hiemstra and Dr Simon Carr in good form at Craig Rhosyfelin yesterday.  Following the encouraging note from the Quaternary Research Association for members to take a look at the dig site, it's gratifying that a number of specialists in glacial geomorphology and related disciplines have now made visits.   Some have visited in my company and others have been there independently, including at least one group with students. The more the merrier!

Next week, I gather that Prof MPP and his team will move in and start the 2015 dig season. I really hope that while it is going on, more geomorphologists will take the opportunity of calling in and passing on their thoughts as to the nature of what they are looking at.......

I have no information as to what will happen to the site at the end of the 2015 dig.  It will be helpful if at least part of it is left open so that some proper geomorphological research can be undertaken.

33 comments:

Hugh Thomas said...

Heck , if I had known they were there I would have called over for a chat. I was not far away exploring the moors between Foel Eryr and Waun Mawn finding a number of very old farmsteads and three possibly unkown megalithic sites, then followed the River Gwaun back its source... Did they have any observations they would like to share from their visit to the site ?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, that would have been good to meet up, Hugh! Rick, John and Simon are very experienced geomorphologists with long research and publication records. Don't want to put words into their mouths, since when they wish to say something they will. But suffice to say that like all the other geomorphologists who have visited the site they see no trace of a quarry or of any quarrying activity, but lots of traces of very familiar landscape and sedimentological features.

Myris of Alexandria said...

Excellent, all those who have facilitated and/or urged for this to happen should be thanked.
I believe more greater-geographers will be meeting in a week or so.
Sometime therefore there should be solid words for all to read. It is the literature folks that counts the rest is ephemera.
Interesting to see on britarch (Kostas the Grimme Reaper still is swinging his scythe)that there most commentators do not read the literature either-indeed I think they may be worse than here.
Perhaps they are waiting for the great 'graphic novel'. is that not the same as a comic or those true love strips in Bunty to be renamed these days Tracy?Jadey??
Oh its Binky with the four horsemen. May Master Terry walk in joy with DEATH.
What would Master Terry have made of the CRyF saga.
M

BRIAN JOHN said...

Indeed. Profound gratefulness to all who have facilitated extra visits from those who might have something to say! What, by the way, is a "greater geographer"? And what is it that distinguishes him or her from a "lesser geographer"?

Geo Cur said...


Myris , in fairness to those non SH readers at britarch ,we can't expect everyone to have an interest or have read the more arcane stuff on the monument .
More disturbing are those that comment on the subject and have still failed or are unwilling to have R (or understood )TL .

Myris of Alexandria said...

Think Greater Germany and aspirations and demise
A lesser geographer do not tempt me. You know as well as I, what geologists think/say of geographers.
Some of my best friends are gardeners. (Not true of course.

Still you have done the Gods' work here and may we all read all about it.
M

Myris of Alexandria said...

Geocur it was those latter people that I was lambasting. I am afraid that Britarch is riddled with addled people with sub-clinical Kostas Syndrome ever reshaping the threads to the axe they are sharpening.

I do not mind the people who have no interest in SH and want to talk about Boudicca's underwear, indeed my wife would be a figurehead and even a model for them. Britarch is baggy enough for all.They are misguided of course.
M

TonyH said...

Geo, you are rivalling, on this occasion at least, the incomparable Myris of Lusitania...... or Wherever He May Roam.... in the extent of your cryptic description viz:- "More disturbing are those that comment on the subject and have failed or are unwilling to have R (or understood)TL"

What, prithy, does tha mean by "to have R(or understood)TL", eh? Don't know what my pals Mike Parkinson or Our Geoffrey would say.

We must open up the Light, not conceal it!! Let us make greater or lesser Geomorphologists out of all of us! (including, indeed especially, archaeologists).

TonyH said...

"I believe more greater - geographers will be meeting in a week or two".

We have several puzzles in the construction of this sentence, Myris.

First things first: WHERE will they be meeting? Will they have a MAP?

Second, "greater -" in the sense of more highly rated; or is your term a purely subjective, some might say prejudiced - from - the - distorted - view - of the Geologist, rating?

Kostas, Kostas, whereforeso art thou?

Geo Cur said...



It may be pretty nutty right now but I can remember some years ago when it was even more like care in the community .
No problem with pros and cons of non invasive investigation of Boudicca’s underwear .

chris johnson said...

Not a great riddle man myself. Life is too short and I tend not to trust people who need a forked tongue to convey their meaning - certain Alexandrian's excepted.

Still, taking part in the Britarch discussions and being from what some might call Greater Germany, I am wondering what I might have missed in the literature.

I can imagine the "care in the community" thing so I am likely to become a lurker there before too long.

@TonyH. If you are missing Kostas please visit him in the Troll Cage (Britarch). There is a least one other who might amuse you too .

Geo Cur said...



Regular typing of "read the litertaure " , to the one who never reads , created the frequently used RTL . The understanding component follows on from that .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Are we allowed to use RTBS for certain categories is stuff that we might read?

Myris of Alexandria said...

R read TL the literature.
Oh come on TH have you never been in a library.

Geo I too remember those days, indeed I was Thomas the Rhymer. My fav is the salt lady.

Greater geographers perhaps was a crypt too far. When Brun geology dept failed to be good enough in one of the NERC or whatever the government's assessment was called Brum in order to be able to say all its departments were level 4 I think, amalgamated geology into geography creating greater geography. I nominally went to Leicester the only remaining good geology dept in central Britain with a male head of dept.
M

BRIAN JOHN said...

No sexism please, Myris. Remember Queen Nefertiti....... she seemed like a pretty smart lady, capable of running a geology dept.

Myris of Alexandria said...

The most important base line is that Brian has ensured that many informed academics have or will soon have visited CRyf. Whatever the final view or views there will have been a serious archaeological and geomorphological investigation.
Once the data are in and in press then the serious and one hopes productive arguing can begin.
RTBS AH read the bloody subtitles. As our ferret friends would say simples.
M

Myris of Alexandria said...

Trust me nobody is capable of running a geology department.

Sexist moi! My wife would not allow that (but ain't that the truth).

M

Geo Cur said...



At one point it became seriously worrying and sad and not what might be expected of a mailing list .
No names mentioned as they are still around there , and apparently much healthier .

Child 37 GCU and possibly 39A iirc were used here as well .

TonyH said...

Wow, thank you, assorted academic gentlemen. But I thought we had established RTPL, with the P standing for the all - important PRIMARY.

Actually, Myris's last bit, the explanation of Greater geographers by relating them to a Birmingham context, and then his subsequent defecting to Richard III's Leicester, was essentially a GEOGRAPHICAL explanation.

TonyH said...

Whilst we are bandying about the various acronyms RTL and RTPL, etc, I would like to point out, Brethren, you would probably ALL be best served by subscribing to the main journal/ magazine, British Archaeology, from the Council of British Archaeology and reading its primary literature as edited by Myris's modern Hero, Mike Pitts, and not allowing yourselves to be deviated/ distorted by dwelling, as Myris has phrased it, "ON Britarch". We need to look INTO Britarch! There we will find decent articles, rather than the twitterati, however fascinating/ hypnotising that 'spam' may be.

Myris of Alexandria said...

Ah is the phrase not.
Geographers can't live with them can't live without them.No sexism there, what is the sex ratio of geography graduates?
Mike Pitts great cook,sane man, and about as objective a SH voice as there ever will be plus he has dug there for decades and knows where all the bodies are buried. That is close to hedging a wooden joke.
Must give a little shout out for Current Archaology too, perhaps a bit chattier.
M

TonyH said...

Rt Hon Theresa May (note, Boudicca underwear fans, her maiden name is Brasier), current Home Secretary in the Cameroon Govnt., is an Oxford Geography Graduate. Would you have a Geologist tangling with the issue of inward migration to Europe? T'Bishop of Salisbury did Geography at Durham; Matthew Price, who replaces James Naughtie on the Today Programme, is also one of our serried ranks.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Theresa May is a geographer? Oh dear oh dear -- that news has quite spoilt my day.......

BRIAN JOHN said...

This makes me wonder what types of "greater geographers" will be visiting Rhosyfelin in the company of MPP over the coming weeks. Myris seems to know. Tell us all, Myris! I just hope to God that they are not human geographers, since they can be almost as gullible as geomorphologists when faced with all things natural...... In other words, they may not have a great deal to contribute to the debate. Maybe that's the whole strategy...? I can see it now: "Well-known geographer Prof XYZ has visited the quarry and has confirmed that the quarry theory is correct."

Myris of Alexandria said...

I was taught a little by the J's so the seal of the confessional is all.
No as far as I know no 'gullible human geographers' (the physical geographers of my acquaintance suggest one is a prerequisite for the other, at Brum they (HG) used to stand on street corners counting cars for big EU grants)will be hurt at CRyf. I did google them (non-GHG) and they are most apposite and respectable.

There is a geologist Vice-Chancellor. Lots of archie MPs and probably VCs.

Now Brian that cannot be an open mind I am glimpsing? Shame on you.
Let us wait and see and, as darling Maggie(who may be gently roasting in Hell or roasting the Angels in Heaven)would say, Rejoice Rejoice. We shall count them out and count them in.
M

Myris said...

Sorry Tony what was that about sullied and rank. Not even the fiercest critic would say that, not even about HGs.
M

BRIAN JOHN said...

Open minded on all things, as you know, Myris.

Geologist Vice-Chancellor? I wonder if that might be the one met down there once? No comment....

Lots of MPs calling in? Is there a House of Commons field trip planned? Well, that would have the advantage of keeping them from doing serious mischief for a little while. And lots of Vice-Chancellors? Will the portable VIP lounge be ready for them when that all arrive? Tea and Welsh cakes, I trust. The mind boggles.

chris johnson said...

Maybe I am overly cynical but the evidence is over-obvious and enigmatic. The ensuing discussion, if there is one, will depend on who is motivated to line up a choir of the qualified to sing a chorus.

A political maneuverer will select experts carefully; the other side is open minded enough to welcome anybody who wants to turn up, even when he himself is not present to influence the outcome. Not difficult to predict who "wins".

Of course there are interesting glacial features to admire at rhosyfelin. There are rock faces too, linked by Ixer/Bevins golden thread. Even a totally unbiased observer would have to admit that an orthostat "might" have been picked up and taken to Stonehenge - or Rockhenge as I believe the insiders like to call it.

The river valley itself has been used for at least 7000 years, probably longer. A granular excavation such as Mike has conducted will find traces back to the mesolithic, perhaps earlier even. I am seriously curious how the experts will discriminate between remnants deposited locally and those washed down from the heights - but always eager to learn.

Hopefully somebody with "our" money will have sufficient presence of mind to recognise that any investment in tourism at rhosyfelin will never pay back. An historic footpath from Nevern through Velindre via Pentre Ifan taking in the Afanc on the way to Carn Goedog and back via the nature reserve will be a super days walk for the serious walker and they can all spend their money at one of the excellent pubs - Nevern or Felindre Farchog.

Long enough methinks

TonyH said...

SERRIED ranks, Myris, serried, but you knew that already, didn't you? Forget about Maggie, she's got nothing to say to you, and we don't want to work on her farm no more, instead, put you feet up tonight and watch Dudley's own antidote to Maggie (and Enoch), SIR Lennie Henry in 'Danny & the Human Zoo', or catch it with Rosie on the BBC (Oh dear, another acronym) i - player.

With a Title like that should be full of interest to HG's or GHG's.

TonyH said...

What is the collective noun for a collection of Glacial Geomorphologists?

BRIAN JOHN said...

A Giggle of Glacial Geomorphologists? Nah -- to frivolous. An Icing? A Blizzard? A Surge?

TonyH said...

No, Mr Cameroon, definitely NOT a Swarm. That's never popular these days - and I thought you were from a marketing background!

A Moraine?

A Pingo?

A Shudder?.....

Myris of Alexandria said...

A head of Ggs,or loess of Ggs.
Years ago I thought up an intoxication of djinns.
M