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Climbing on Standing Stones
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Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Feb 28, 2012, 22:47
thesweetcheat wrote:
nigelswift wrote:
"the argument seems to be that EH and other professional bodies know best and no-one else (i.e amateurs) needs to get involved and indeed should stay at a safe distance away where they can do no damage to anything."

No, that's a misinterpretation.

Well, it seems that there have been quite a few concerns raised in this thread and others about people visiting sites to take pictures (including "biddies"). I'm afraid it's difficult to interpret those comments in another way. Obviously I have a bias, as I spend most of my free time out and about at sites taking pictures, and I therefore feel defensive about this.

In the hillforts clearance thread a specific concern was raised that allowing "the public" to have access to a site is encouraging them to visit the site with their kids and then take pictures of them there. It was made clear that it was being frowned upon. http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/forum/?thread=65008&message=825291

Earlier in this thread a specific point was made that if someone saw one of us "recording" an upland cairn by climbing onto it, that would also be sending out the wrong message.

Goff has stated that he feels bad about taking the picture of the cupmark, despite the fact that it served as a record of it, with a useful scale (whether it turns out to be non-prehistoic or not) and despite the fact that no damage was caused. I personally don't think Goff has anything to feel bad about.

I am feeling distinctly that access for the public is being viewed as generally bad, as it might lead us all into temptation unless the access is under supervision of a trained professional. Which goes agaisnt what I believe this website is all about. Can someone point out what specific damage is being caused to sites by people like me and Postie, Drew, Gladman, Tiompan and the countless others who post contributions to this site are doing by our actions? Then we'll ask the Eds to set about decommissioning the website.

For what it's worth, my opinion is that these ancient monuments were made to serve a specific purpose of human interaction... just as an impressionist masterpiece loses all point and relevance if locked away in some billionnaire's private collection, humans must interact with these monuments for them to speak to us, to be more than just a pile of earth, rocks, or a few stones stuck in the ground. It therefore (arguably) follows that they must be allowed to serve their intended function... whatever that may have been? We can perhaps make an educated guess.

Having said that, from my experience, by far the greatest danger to our prehistoric heritage is that of ignorance... for example well meaning walkers having no idea the cairn they are rearranging is an ancient monument... that that mound of earth is a long barrow or round barrow. We have to raise the levels of consciousness/awareness so decent people have a choice to make the right choice. Which means visits, pictures (!!), exhorting others to visit, to celebrate. Honestly, the very idea that the act of climbing upon a cairn.... yes, a pile of shattered rock upon a mountain top... can cause damage is laughable. Do some people actually have any concept of what conditions these constructions have to endure? I'm sure the builders did. Do we exterminate all rabbits, badgers and the like for daring to build their homes with a hillfort rampart? Is not a hillfort part of the living hill? If I am there at the time you will have to go through me first, and that's a promise. Do we build a themepark at every major site, American style, serving hotdogs?

Yeah, following the actions of the ignorant, Nature is probably the greatest danger. Humankind's ancient monuments, made from naturally occurring elements, will return to the soil sooner or later. Extend their 'lives' for as long as possible by trying to mobilise decent people against the scum who care for nothing... Yes. But excluding us from them, in my opinion, turns them into dry museum pieces.. 'yes, this represents a barbaric period which is thankfully long gone.....'. Bollocks. These sites have so much to tell us as we struggle in an uncertain period where education has laid bare the loss of direction caused by the long overdue collapse of organised religion in the west. Is there a chance the people who built these monuments had a better insight into what it means to live on and interact with this planet than us? Maybe, maybe not. But there's only one way to find out.
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