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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Indicating compatibility.......



Latest news from the National Park (which is still, by the look of it, intent upon flagging up the vast importance of Rhosyfelin as one of Pembrokeshire's key "heritage sites"):

"............ archaeologists from a wide range of academic institutions have excavated the site and recovered material indicating it was quarried in prehistory compatible with the geological evidence....."

The National Park interpretation of the site is very much based on Prof MPP's story, which includes the bit about "one Stonehenge bluestone" having been quarried at Rhosyfelin and carted all the way to Stonehenge.  That, presumably, is the one that was "taken" from that crack in the rock face that features in all those photos, and which was later smashed up to give all those little fragments in the debitage.  As we have said before, the NPA policy seems to be to flag up the huge importance of the National Park in terms of its prehistoric "heritage", as part of an overall destination marketing strategy, regardless of how strong the evidence may be on the ground.   We also get the clear impression that the NPA does not understand the concept of scientific uncertainty -- or if it does, it thinks it is too complex for normal tourists and locals to understand.

Next week, all being well, we will have the new and much-trumpeted Antiquity paper on file, in which we will be able to examine the evidence presented by Prof MPP and his team.  What will the "material indicating it was quarried" actually be?  At least 20 radiocarbon dates, by the sound of it; but bear in mind that bits of charcoal and radiocarbon dates tell us something about occupation (maybe) and nothing about quarrying.  And this phrase is interesting:  "compatible with the geological evidence".    Well, the theory that the stones were taken from Wales by prehistoric giants is compatible with the geological evidence, and so is the theory that the stones were carried by aliens using space ships, and so is the theory that Merlin the magician was responsible for this great feat.

Next week, all being well, we might also be able to reveal the contents of our second paper, from Archaeology in Wales journal.  Could be an interesting week....

3 comments:

chris johnson said...

Curious phrase that, "compatible with the geological evidence". They could hardly have a theory contradicting geological, or dare I say, geomorphological, evidences. Nor does the geological evidence preclude the possibility of a fallen orthostat having been picked up and taken elsewhere - presumably this is what they mean by compatible. Well done the copywriter!

Are there many Chinese in the NPA? Saving face seems to be the order of the day.

I remain convinced that only a complete numpty could have gone along with rhosyfelin as a tourist destination. It is arguably the most inaccessible location in an area that is generally inaccessible. What started out as a well intentioned scientific enquiry is becoming a national parks fiasco, but then the NPA is used to that, and anyway we should wait for the evidence ....

BRIAN JOHN said...

Well, after my protests they have at least agreed to change the wording on that walks leaflet for Rhosyfelin. But the new wording is not a great deal better than it was before. Still working on it......

TonyH said...

"Hello, boys and girls, I wanna tell you a Story.....with the help of my chum, Professor Parker Pearson....."

MAX BYGRAVES