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Subject: Re: Housing development in Sligo... and a ringfort
From: "Mag.phil. Raimund KARL" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.
Date:Fri, 12 Oct 2001 22:13:15 +0200

text/plain (53 lines)

Hi Stiof,

Stiof schrieb:
> Fair enough, but... but, but, but. Is there *no* hope at all that archaeological
> sites will ever be considered in terms of their wider context? In the case of a
> ringfort or other rural settlement site in particular, it is unarguable that the
> identifiable site is only the visible part of a larger area of past human
> activity.
> Rescue excavation is never the best type of excavation as it is constrained by
> factors other than just research. There are time constraints, publishing issues
> and the sometimes tantalising results where a portion only of the site is
> unearthed, damaging the integrity of the site while not providing information
> about the site as a whole.
<snipped the rest>

On the other hand, consider the positive effects a large scale
excavation, even if a rescue excavation, could have. If I look, for
instance, at the several square kilometers of excavated terrain in
Bohemia due to surface coal mining, this has prvided us with loads of
information about the structure of settlement activity of almost all
periods of Bohemian prehistory, most of which hasn't even made it into
publication yet.
Similar possibilities could arrive from largescale development projects
in Ireland as well, and, in fact, the possibility to reasearch an area
of several acres would offer some interesting perspectives. As such, I
would, were I the responsible Irish government body, try to trade in the
monument (i.e. the development company may level it after a
non-rescue-conditions excavation) for the funds and time to excavate the
whole 10 acres of developmental area. To the development company, this
would probably mean no more than a few weeks lost time, while
archaeology could profit considerably.
This is especially true in case of a ringfort - as this is a type of
monument which exists often enough in the Irish landscape, but few seem
to have been excavated as yet, and actually none with their
surroundings, for which in this specific case the possibility would
exist if one comes to terms with the development company.

All the best,

Mag.phil. Raimund KARL <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Universität Wien, Institut für Alte Geschichte
A-1010 Wien, Dr. Karl Lueger Ring 1
Privat: A-1120 Wien, Hasenhutgasse 7-11/9/4
Tel/AB/Fax: (+43 1) 8103629 oder mobil: (+43 676) 3048830

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