My spat with the Pembs Coast National Park over their walks leaflet on Rhosyfelin rolls on. I have been trying for months to get the wording on the leaflet changed. See
More than six months ago I complained about the inaccuracies in the leaflet, and when nothing was done I complained again, this time to the National Park Officer and various other senior officers. At last I have received a reply from the Park's Archaeologist Phil Bennett, agreeing to make a few minor changes but insisting that the heading should still be:
Craig Rhosyfelin: A Stonehenge Bluestone Quarry
The following changes to the text have now been made:
Look Out For: Craig Rhosyfelin Crag, source of at least one of the bluestones from the inner, bluestone circle at Stonehenge (it’s the inner circle that contains the mix of stones, it’s the inner horseshoe/oval that is solely dolerite)
And overleaf: It is here that at least one of the famous bluestones were quarried and later taken to Stonehenge.
Phil explained himself thus:
Although aimed at a general and non specialist audience we have taken advice from a range of senior academics undertaking current research to inform the text. The method of transport of the stones to Stonehenge using oxen is one of several hypotheses and we feel that its inclusion in the text encourages walkers to consider the vast effort that was required to make the journey.
My reply is appended below. Nothing further will be done, of course, because this is not about scientific integrity or the truth -- it is about wild conclusions being drawn in haste, about an obsession with demonstrating how wonderful the National Parks "cultural heritage" is, and about saving face. The truth is whatever the National Park deems it to be, and having placed Prof MPP on a pedestal as one of the Park's heroic figures, he has to stay there. As for the Parks apparent determination to completely ignore the two peer-reviewed papers by Dyfed, John and myself, that brings to mind a little article which Tony kindly brought to my attention. As Nelson said when looking through a spyglass with his blind eye: "Ships? I see no ships...."
Thanks for this. There is no quarry at Rhosyfelin -- that is the considered opinion of Dyfed, John and myself, and of all of the senior glacial geomorphologists who have visited the site. You have seen the two peer-reviewed articles. Why do you persist in refusing to acknowledge this research and this considered opinion? We are less than impressed. As for the "range of senior academics undertaking current research", we all know about MPP and his colleagues who have staked their reputations on the "Neolithic quarrying" thesis -- but the fact of the matter is that they have NOT produced any solid evidence for quarrying, no matter how many times they may tell you that they have. Why is there apparently a blockage relating to glaciation and glacial transport? Do you really think the public is incapable of coping with a scientific debate, in which there are two theories coming from rival camps? That's the way science works, and it's fine to acknowledge it.
The title would lose nothing if it was as follows:
Craig Rhosyfelin: A Stonehenge Bluestone Source
Oxen? Bluestones? Vast efforts? Taken to Stonehenge?
I repeat -- all we know is that some of the debris at Stonehenge probably came from here or hereabouts. We do NOT know that one of the monoliths came from here. For goodness sake, ask the geologists!
Sorry, but you are acting like a marketing offshoot of the MPP digging team rather than an organization which has a respect for scientific accuracy. Can I suggest you just scrap this leaflet and start again?