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Author Topic: What are the UK/EU rules for the preservation of sites?  (Read 2154 times)

Offline kenhikage

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SMR site FER 211:061 is about to be demolished for the construction of a new road. This site has already surrendered "a gold pin, a human skeleton, medieval leather objects, medieval woven cloth, a wooden plate, and barbed and tanged arrowheads, amongst other finds. Most importantly, it has produced the remains of a double-walled wattle house. This type of house has only previously been found on excavations Wood Quay, Co. Dublin, and Deer Park Farms, Co. Antrim."

Excavation is set to end on July 22. The worker responsible for getting this news and photos out to the press has been fired for trying to lengthen the excavation process.

More information here: http://rmchapple.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/urgent-important-early-christian.html
and at 52 minutes into the July 19th episode of Good Morning Ulster, here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b01kwxgh

In the US, I believe that the discovery of human remains will immediately halt any construction plans.


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: What are the UK/EU rules for the preservation of sites?
« Reply #1 on: 20/07/2012 03:58:20 »
Do you have any chains?
In the US, it is not uncommon for activists to chain themselves to the bulldozers (delaying progress until the police show up, and someone finds some good cutting torches and bolt cutters).  And, also bringing news crews from all over to comment on the event.

July 19th seems a little late to respond to scheduled actions on July 20th

However, one could talk to the local government body and/or the local court system to acquire an extended stay of execution.  Perhaps more has been discovered and needs to be taken into consideration since the dig was initially ordered. 

Looking at the photo on the website above.


It appears as if the region being excavated is relatively small (what is beyond the borders of the excavation?)  And, it appears as if there is quite a bit of rural land around the area.  Could the course of the road be altered a few feet to bypass the area?  If it is truly an "important" archaeological site, then no doubt it could be converted into a tourist attraction.  Building a bridge over it might be costly, but I could envision a completely enclosed area under the bridge, essentially protecting the site forever. 

Another option might be to bury the site in such a manner that it would be indefinitely protected by the roadbed.

I suppose one has to judge the true value of the site.  I would imagine that there are significant architectural and archaeological sites all around Europe.  What should be saved?  What shouldn't?
 

Offline RD

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Re: What are the UK/EU rules for the preservation of sites?
« Reply #2 on: 20/07/2012 04:26:13 »
Recent nearby precedent ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrickmines_Castle#Supreme_Court_ruling

[ but regulations may be different for Northern Ireland ]
« Last Edit: 20/07/2012 04:42:35 by RD »
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: What are the UK/EU rules for the preservation of sites?
« Reply #3 on: 20/07/2012 06:12:12 »



Daddy,

How do they make the grass so green? Do they have a big machine that spray paints it every night?
 

Offline Mazurka

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Re: What are the UK/EU rules for the preservation of sites?
« Reply #4 on: 20/07/2012 09:29:05 »
The Historic Environment in Northern Ireland is dealt with by http://www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/ However, the primary mechanism for protecting etc. archaeology & built heritage across the UK is the Town and Country Planning System.  The likes of NIEA, English Heritage, Historic Scotland and CADW are statutory consultees in planning applications that affect know sites (such as those on the Sites and Monument Record (SMR)).  For various good and bad reasons planning legislation between the countries that form the UK is slightly different.   In effect the (UK) planning system exists to balance the need for development against the status quo.  In other words it can be acceptable to destroy historic or natural heritage sites in the public interest so (and I do not know the arguments involved in this specific case) a new road to bypass a village where there has been a number of accidents might have to be built through a SSSI…

Planning decisions are highly subjective and an individuals judgement as to whether or not a planning decision was correct depends on the weight individuals put on particular issues.  In a case such as this in England, I would expect a conditionon the planning consent requiring an archaeological investigation beforehand and a “watching brief” during the works.  (For example the M6 Toll around Birmingham is close to the (A5) “Watling Street” – a Roman road alignment and construction works destroyed a Roman glass “factory” however, this was fully excavated and documented before the bulldozers moved in.)  In my limited and highly biased opinion, Sadly Ireland (both North and South) do not appear to give a **** about their natural or historic environment.   

I am not aware of any EU directives relating to the historic environment.

Finally, I believe that if human remains are discovered as part of any excavation (whether an archaeological dig or groundworks) the police have to be informed.

 

Offline Mazurka

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Re: What are the UK/EU rules for the preservation of sites?
« Reply #5 on: 20/07/2012 09:30:13 »



Daddy,

How do they make the grass so green? Do they have a big machine that spray paints it every night?
No, its called rain.  This years warm wet season has been exceptional wet...  That or leprechauns.
 

Offline kenhikage

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Re: What are the UK/EU rules for the preservation of sites?
« Reply #6 on: 21/07/2012 19:26:02 »
Sadly, I live in the States -- take that as you will -- and cannot chain myself to this particular equipment. As I only discovered this archaeological emergency on the 18th I didn't think there was a lot I could do from over here. The information provided has been helpful. Hopefully, news of this will be disseminated throughout the UK.

It was scheduled to end on the 20th, but they have allowed 4 archaeologists to continue working through the weekend. I believe destruction begins on Monday.

Two more brief links:
http://fermanaghherald.com/2012/07/19/concern-for-cherrymount-site/
http://fermanaghherald.com/2012/07/20/two-day-extension-for-cherrymount-site/
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: What are the UK/EU rules for the preservation of sites?
« Reply #6 on: 21/07/2012 19:26:02 »

 

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