Author Topic: Archeology versus geology  (Read 3627 times)

workshopmonkey

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Archeology versus geology
« on: July 29, 2007, 10:40:06 am »
Over a period of years one of the local cave systems on Skye has been dug and examined by an archeological team. They have discovered some amazing items, including burials of a bronze age woman and child, prehistoric boar bones and much more. This in itself is great but being a regular visitor to the cave I've seen amazing formations in it's streamway diminish and in some cases vanish, there's now cable ties holding conduits to some sad broken stumps. Does anyone else have an opinion on this ie 2 - 3 thousand years of archelogical interest at the expense of many more thousands  of years of geological active development. What can be done to mediate further damage etc :-\

Offline graham

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Re: Archeology versus geology
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2007, 10:57:01 am »
All interests need to be balanced in cases like this and there are cases when one disclipine has damaged another; for example the gour pools in the Hall of the Bulls in Lascaux are said to have been drained by a very famous archaeologist in order to make room for his camera tripod.

Having said that, I would have to ask whether there is any direct evidence that it was actually archaeologists who were responsible for the damage that you have seen. It is very well known that ordinary everyday cavers are quite capable of trashing caves in this way.
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workshopmonkey

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Re: Archeology versus geology
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2007, 11:19:48 am »
Quite aware of the 'Bull in china shop' approach to caving I've been responsible for one or two scrabbles in my time. I've spent quite some time in this system though and have seen degeneration of the formations grow  as pipes etc get put in. My real emphasis though was tied into to your reply about mediation between disciplines, what practically can be done to balance adverse affects from all users to allow all to enjoy. I've read the SNH report into the Assynt systems where they sent in a team to record the present  condition of each cave and make recommendations on how to preserve their character. I found some of their ideas ie taping of sections a little draconian and wondered if any other methods had been attempted elsewhere; also who would be responsible for this type of preservation activity ?

Offline graham

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Re: Archeology versus geology
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2007, 11:41:23 am »
The fact that the degeneration in the decoration parallels the emplacement of pipes etc. does not guarantee a causal relationship between the two.

As to the remainder of your questions, as far as this cave is concerned, have you actually spoken with the archaeological team involved and asked them about matters such as permission to dig, the terms and conditions applied, what statutory protection the site might have etc. etc?

As far as Assynt is concerned, I do not know the caves personally and have not read the document. I personally do not like taping in a lot of cases, but admit it is appropriate in some places, if done properly and with care.
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workshopmonkey

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Re: Archeology versus geology
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2007, 11:45:15 am »
Point taken

Offline whitelackington

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Re: Archeology versus geology
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2007, 02:00:24 pm »
I believe all the bones taken from Hutton Cavern have been lost.
They were taken by archaeologists, albeit amateurs, two hundred years ago.
It would be very, very different if Hutton Cavern were to be first discovered in 2007.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Archeology versus geology
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2007, 03:15:08 pm »
I imagine nowadays cavers wouldn't be too happy at the lengths to which archaeologists secure the site - i.e. new cave, no access!

For instance, shortly after Chauvet Cave was found I read that trips there certainly wouldn't be available, as a general case, for at least a decade since it was likely to take that long to catalog the site.

Offline graham

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Re: Archeology versus geology
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2007, 04:06:16 pm »
I imagine nowadays cavers wouldn't be too happy at the lengths to which archaeologists secure the site - i.e. new cave, no access!

For instance, shortly after Chauvet Cave was found I read that trips there certainly wouldn't be available, as a general case, for at least a decade since it was likely to take that long to catalog the site.

Been there, done that!

What the French government did here was utterly right. The only serious critic I know of thought that they didn't do enough, but he's a hard man to please. It is quite incredible walking through a cave that has been not just conserved but virtually preserved since its discovery; a rare and worthy privilege.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Archeology versus geology
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2007, 04:24:10 pm »
Jammy git.

Albeit a nice git.

Offline whitelackington

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Re: Archeology versus geology
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2007, 05:30:10 pm »
I imagine nowadays cavers wouldn't be too happy at the lengths to which archaeologists secure the site - i.e. new cave, no access!

For instance, shortly after Chauvet Cave was found I read that trips there certainly wouldn't be available, as a general case, for at least a decade since it was likely to take that long to catalog the site.

Been there, done that!

What the French government did here was utterly right. The only serious critic I know of thought that they didn't do enough, but he's a hard man to please. It is quite incredible walking through a cave that has been not just conserved but virtually preserved since its discovery; a rare and worthy privilege.

I think that is the one in The Ardeche, we are going there in three weeks, if it is, is there a mock up for the public?

Offline graham

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Re: Archeology versus geology
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2007, 05:40:34 pm »
There is a museum with an A/V presentation in Vallon Pont d'Arc. It's OK but nowhere near as good as the replica Lascaux or Altamira.
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Offline whitelackington

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Re: Archeology versus geology
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2007, 12:54:29 pm »
Cheers Graham.


I have just found out that Bauxite is associated with limestone, first identified by French geologist Pierre Berthier in 1821.
It was named after the village of Les Baux de Provence.

Is Bauxite found with U.k. Limestones, :-\
I have not heard about this before.

Offline martinr

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Re: Archeology versus geology
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2007, 01:41:48 pm »
Cheers Graham.


I have just found out that Bauxite is associated with limestone, first identified by French geologist Pierre Berthier in 1821.
It was named after the village of Les Baux de Provence.

Is Bauxite found with U.k. Limestones, :-\
I have not heard about this before.

http://www.mindat.org/min-575.html A mixture, and rock, comprised of iron and aluminium Hydroxides/Oxides. The primary ore of aluminium

I dont think you find it associated with UK limestone but I could be wrong?

 

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