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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Royal Commission -- a cavalier disregard for the truth



Well over a year ago, I wrote to the Royal Commission in Wales (RCAHMW) to complain about serious misrepresentations in the Coflein site description for Craig Rhosyfelin.  I reported this in a blog post:

https://brian-mountainman.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/rhosyfelin-official-record.html

I won't repeat the same points here.  But I pointed out that the report of the site, written by Toby Driver and L. Osborne, misrepresented the work of both the geologists and the archaeologists, and made unsupportable assertions and speculations concerning the significance of the site.  It is also seriously out of date, given that there are now three peer-reviewed articles about the site, none of which is mentioned.  The site also has a RIGS designation, which should be mentioned.

I am not impressed, since RCAHMW has neither acknowledged my submission nor amended the entry that was on the site in 2015.  How long does it take to amend a web site entry?  Two or three minutes, at the most.  Could it be that there is an inconvenient truth out there somewhere, which is not universally acknowledged?  Could it be that the archaeological establishment in Wales does not actually WANT the true situation at Rhosyfelin to be reported and placed on the record?

This is an official site, sponsored and funded by the Welsh Government.  We deserve better than the unquestioning perpetration of fantasies.

6 comments:

TonyH said...

Brian will recall that archaeologist Chris Catling was appointed the new Secretary of RCAHMW on 27th January 2015.

I have discovered that at some stage in the recent past Chris Catling's phone number was 01970 621 200, perhaps that is RCAHMW.

Changing the subject slightly, I find that there is a new project to investigate climate change and coastal heritage in Wales and Ireland, run by Aberystwyth University and RCAHMW.
Let us hope that RCAHMW does a much more careful, thorough contribution to this project than they have, thus far, over the site description to Craig Rhosyfelin!!

Chris Catling regularly contributes articles with a Welsh connection to the popular magazine "Current Archaeology". Indeed, he has one such in the March 2017 issue (curiously already out), devoted to his take on Tim Darvill and Geoff Wainwright's contribution to the new Pembrokeshire County History volume. Chris Catling also has a regular feature entitled "Sherds", in which he is described as the Contributing Editor for Current Archaeology. This, too, has frequent references to Wales. To his credit, he did mention some of the peer - reviewed articles on the geomorphology of Craig Rhosyfelin to which Brian contributed, soon after their publication. Perhaps a direct approach to him might bear fruit.

BRIAN JOHN said...

I imagine my complaint may have reached his desk ------ in fact, having chased RCAHMW again I have already received a profuse apology for the "loss" of my original message in November 2015! I am promised that action will be taken -- developments awaited........

On the matter of the new County History volume, what does Chris say about it? I have a copy on order -- will soon do a review of the prehistoric chapters.......

TonyH said...

Interested readers may easily find previous Blog items relating to Chris Catling's writings and Craig Rhosyfelin just by putting "CHRIS CATLING" into the Blog Search Engine.

The Post of March 4th 2016 entitled "Chris Catling, Trowels and Bluestones" is worth a re - read.

Curiously enough, Chris Catling previously held a role with a Cotswolds Archaeology group. The Cotswolds were always held to have never been affected by glaciation. However, Brian informs us that there is a possibility that glacial erratics found in S.E. England traversed the Cotswolds on their journey south eastwards!

TonyH said...

Does anyone know anything at all about L Osborne, who, along with Toby Driver, wrote the Coflein site description for Craig Rhosyfelin?

BRIAN JOHN said...

No, don't know anything about him / her. But maybe things are moving -- I got a fulsome apology from RCAHMW for their lack of response to my original message more than a year ago, and an assurance that the matter was now back in the hands of Toby Driver. Watch this space.......

TonyH said...

Don't let Toby drive you to distraction....