|26 May 2005
New survey at Thornborough gives controversial results
Earthworks near Thornborough Henges, close to Ripon, North Yorkshire, England are in danger due to the proposed enlargement of a quarrying operation. The company, Tarmac, dismissed suggestions that the site contains items of archaeological importance. Nearby residents fear that further quarrying might destroy clues about why the 5,000 year- old earthworks were built.
Archaeologists hired by Tarmac say that prehistoric evidence is almost totally lacking. Very little evidence was found with the exception of seven shallow pits in which Neolithic finds were found and very little else. Two fragments of pottery were found and no evidence of Roman or medieval activity. Most of the prehistoric finds were found on the surface of the fields during a walkover. Neolithic people were at the site but with the lack of evidence it cannot be said what they were doing there.
The new site at Ladybridge Farm is near the henges and consist of three earthworks built in a line running north-south for about a mile. Each henge consists of a circular earth bank and ditches and may possibly have been covered with gypsum.
Friends of Thornborough Henges claim the survey was less than adequate with only 2% of Ladybridge Farm surveyed. The Friends of Thornbridge Henges also say that advances in archaeological science in future years may turn up more. Destroy the landscape now and all opportunities would be lost.
The North Yorkshire County Council will consider the application to extend the quarry later in the year.
Source: BBC News (25/5/2005)
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