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6 November 2005
New archaeological work near Thornborough Henges

Fresh archaeological survey work under way at a proposed quarry site close to the ancient Thornborough Henges (North Yorkshire, England) has come in for criticism from heritage campaign group TimeWatch.
     The further examination of the site at Ladybridge Farm follows North Yorkshire County Council's recent decision to defer a quarrying application by Tarmac for more detailed analysis of the site's archaeology. But the chairman of TimeWatch, George Chaplin, is unhappy with the way it is being conducted. "This newest digging will not produce the eight to ten per cent sample required by English Heritage and, in fact, is focused on an area where artefacts have already been found," he said this week. "The researchers appear to be focusing only on Neolithic archaeology in one location while additional important archaeology is likely to be located where they are not looking. We are concerned that the current digging is being done in a hurried manner, in bad weather, using heavy equipment, and without the constant supervision of an outside group of archaeologists who have no vested interest in the outcome."
     But archaeologist Steve Timms, who is heading the team conducting the additional archaeological investigation at Ladybridge, has dismissed the group's claims "The work is being undertaken by a team of highly qualified professional archaeologists and is being monitored on a weekly basis by a representative from English Heritage, the County Archaeologist and the Heritage Manager from North Yorkshire County Council. Mike Heyworth, president of the Council for British Archaeology was also invited to monitor the work but declined stating: 'We have every confidence in the monitoring process which will take place through NYCC and EH staff and do not see any need for further "independent" monitoring on top of this'."
     Mr Timms added: "Details of the work are published daily on our website and anyone wishing to visit the site while the excavation is in progress is welcome to come and have a look. If TimeWatch would like to come and see the work for themselves I would be more than happy to show them around personally"

Source: Knaresborough Today (1 and 4 November 2005)

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