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Interfering with a monument
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ironstone
49 posts

Interfering with a monument
Nov 01, 2017, 19:39
Fascinating piece in the latest 'Current Archaeology' about a Belgian tourist returning to the Inverness Tourist Information Centre (by post!) a stone he'd taken from the Clava Cairns, explaining in a letter that he was doing so after he and his family subsequently experienced a number of misfortunes including him losing his job and breaking his arm, his wife becoming very ill and his daughter breaking her leg. I must confess to being very briefly tempted myself to take one of the stones when I visited six years ago but was restrained both by my own awareness that such desecration would be unforgivable but also by a vague feeling that I might suffer some form of retribution from the spirits of the site. A lesson to us all......
tjj
tjj
3337 posts

Edited Nov 02, 2017, 08:25
Re: Interfering with a monument
Nov 01, 2017, 22:30
ironstone wrote:
Fascinating piece in the latest 'Current Archaeology' about a Belgian tourist returning to the Inverness Tourist Information Centre (by post!) a stone he'd taken from the Clava Cairns, explaining in a letter that he was doing so after he and his family subsequently experienced a number of misfortunes including him losing his job and breaking his arm, his wife becoming very ill and his daughter breaking her leg. I must confess to being very briefly tempted myself to take one of the stones when I visited six years ago but was restrained both by my own awareness that such desecration would be unforgivable but also by a vague feeling that I might suffer some form of retribution from the spirits of the site. A lesson to us all......


I wonder if the archaeology world deliberately circulates such anecdotal stories to deter people from defacing or altering ancient monuments in any way. Most of the ancient monuments which attract a large number of visitors have been reconstructed to some degree so to imbue them with such powers is really just superstition perhaps bringing about a self fulfilling prophecy.

Having said that when I was in Glencolmcille in Donegal last year I picked up a large piece of white quartz from a grass verge - not an ancient monument. However, I then had an overwhelming feeling that I should put it back and returned later in the week to replace it at the spot I had taken it from.
nigelswift
7411 posts

Re: Interfering with a monument
Nov 02, 2017, 08:25
tjj wrote:
I wonder if the archaeology world deliberately circulates such anecdotal stories to deter people from defacing or altering ancient monuments in any way.


Maybe. It's a shame though, they have the power and reach to get the proper conservation message across to everyone.
Sanctuary
Sanctuary
4682 posts

Re: Interfering with a monument
Nov 02, 2017, 10:19
nigelswift wrote:
tjj wrote:
I wonder if the archaeology world deliberately circulates such anecdotal stories to deter people from defacing or altering ancient monuments in any way.


Maybe. It's a shame though, they have the power and reach to get the proper conservation message across to everyone.


A lack of signage certainly doesn't help.
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