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Trouble with dating site causes CADW spat.

MAN who is leading a dig at a site in Monmouth says he's found evidence to dispute claims by a UK government minister who claimed remains there were not Bronze Age.

Basically a strange but public argument between Monmouth Archaeology and CADW.

Quote: Nick Ramsay, AM for Monmouth, said the dating results were very exciting: "I hope that Cadw reappraise their opinion and at least consider that the Monmouth Archaeology interpretation may be right."
A CADW spokeswoman said different interpretations of evidence are not uncommon in archaeology.
She said Mr Lewis has never questioned Monmouth Archaeology's professional reputation and his statement merely offered an alternative interpretation of the features on the site.
"It is unfortunate that Mr Clarke has interpreted this as criticism as this has never been the minister's or Cadw's intention," she said.
It was made clear, the spokeswoman said, that further evidence was needed before a firm conclusion could be made, and Cadw made an offer to help obtain this information.
I don't understand why a minister is trying to refute the claims of an archaeological site? Also whats CADW?

Does someone have a vested interest? Or is someones pet theory at risk?
When I worked for CADW many moons ago it seemed to be a Welsh clone of EH?
Cadw (it is not an acronym) is the quango which provides statutory advice to local government, the Welsh Assembly and the secretary of state.

Its hard to tell from the article whether the people disagreeing are even referring to the same phases. Dates from charcoal associated with a burnt mound appears to be Bronze Age, while a hearth has a late Neo date. however...
Quote:there was now evidence that the foundations of the huge structure discovered by the team are also Bronze Age.

What evidence? How does it relate to the dated phases?

Quote:that further evidence was needed before a firm conclusion could be made, and Cadw made an offer to help obtain this information.

It sounds like Mr Clarke is going to get some more budget from Cadw to date some more of these features, and all the best to him. I hope it is a BA longhouse..
There is a lot more to this than is suggested in the earlier points. It is at least in part an argument involving whether or not the site should be scheduled - the difference in the opinions/interpretations of the society and Cadw (it's Welsh for "to keep") directly relate to whether or not the site is of such significance as to halt works and schedule (I think).

This gives a slightly biased view but lays out some points and some site piccys can be found at
I liked the reply of David Gill. very telling

Perhaps you should note that Huw Lewis is Welsh Government Minister with responsibility for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage.
I also note that Heritage comes before Housing in the alphabet so I presume that the minister’s order is significant.

What an excellent mix of responsibilities.
Completely agree that the minister has some clearly conflicting roles and it is a little strange that he would publicly comment on such things as he clearly has no expertise in the area. This letter also lays out the local trusts stand on the site which is interesting as it is their planning department who will have to sign off the archaeological conditions placed on the site.

An interesting story of who owns the past and who has the right to interpret it and decide the importance of what is found

I have pasted in a link from the Monmouthshire Archaeological Society for an account in their own words as the papers have a tendency to mangle archaeological stories
Not surprising from the quango that is CADW............................
I find it odd that no-one from GGAT has been to site - regardless of the dating it's an interesting site, and given public interest it would seem a sensible precaution to arm themselves with first hand observations and discussion. Jumping to unsubstantiated conclusions doesn't seem likely knowing the characters involved. :face-huh:

The interpretation doesn't quite add up though: "...the Early Bronze Age date came from the SUARC Radiocarbon Laboratory in Scotland, where a charcoal sample from the site tested at 3,630 years before the present. The supposed ‘Roman drains’ are closely cut into the surface of one of four classic Bronze Age ‘burnt mounds’ – drifts of burnt pebbles used as ‘pot-boilers’. The mound has also produced Early Bronze Age pottery" - so there are two EBA phases?

The past belongs to no-one, it's an abstract concept, always found that a ludicrous soundbitey phrase. The knowledge should be available to everyone. Anyone can interpret it, but the validity of the interpretation, and the right to determine importance rests with those who have the experience, expert knowledge, and appointed/elected responsibility to make that decision. Otherwise everything is arbitrary and the whole system collapses about the ears of the loony fringe doomsayers and the politically/financially motivated.
I think the features look more like the gouges caused by the undercarriage of crashing spaceship. Definitely should be scheduled}Smile

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