Monday, 29 September 2014

Archaeology and openness

Even after 55 trenches have been dug, up to 98% of Straitgate's "rich historic landscape" stands to be lost without any further archaeological investigation.

It remains to be seen how much is disclosed at a meeting on site this week, but, to date, the details of the archaeological survey have been more closely guarded by Aggregate Industries than any other part of the pre-planning investigation work. No plans, no method statements, not even - until recently - the number of trenches. Why? Is AI worried that any publicity could turn the dig into something bigger? Worried that more of the site could need to be surveyed?

Local people will have seen the news last week about the hoard of 22,000 Roman coins unearthed by a metal detectorist near Seaton. Local people may also remember the news a few years ago - England's western-most Roman town uncovered. The person leading that investigation is quoted as saying:
I'm hoping that we can turn this into a community excavation for everyone to be involved in, including the metal detectorists
Because archaeology should be open. History belongs to us all.