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Archaeo News 

9 July 2007
Rotherwas Ribbon - A road will run through it?

It seems that despite the discovery in Herefordshire (England) of what has been described as a 4,000 year-old Bronze Age site which is unique in Europe, the local council are going ahead with their plans to build a road through Rotherwas Ribbon. People have been objecting to the construction project since January, deeming it to be unnecessary. It’s a mystery why the local Council appears intent on bulldozing its plans through any objections.
     Although only a portion of the snake structure will be covered, even those parts either side of it will be ěpreserved beneath earth screening bundsě, which effectively means that there will be no further access to archaeologists, and neither will be there any opportunity for the public to visit the site and view it for what it is. For a fuller and more detailed account of the current situation, please visit the Rotherwas Ribbon site, dedicated to saving the site from further damage. Mary Webb, of the Salisbury and Stonehenge Tourism Partnership, said it would generate revenue for the area.
She said the Ribbon should be preserved so that people and visitors could enjoy it.
     Michael Hainge, the council's director for environment, said it was up to English Heritage to decide whether it would be designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Green Councillor Gerald Dawe has described the proposal to concrete over this hugely significant find as 'cultural vandalism of the highest order.' "Decision-making is again going on behind closed doors. It is appalling that democratically elected councillors and the general public have been kept in the dark.  With such a significant find we must immediately pause the building of this road to allow further research and a national discussion about what can be done."
     Campaigners are calling for road building to be paused allowing for full and national - democratic debate on the best way of using the discovery for the whole country, and to the benefit of Herefordshire's economy. It is understood that 12 eminent archaeologists from English Heritage are visiting next week and that the Regional Director of English Heritage believes the Ribbon to be of great importance. Nigel Swift, Chair of the UK-wide group Heritage Action, said: "The Ribbon would appear to be a prime candidate to be scheduled by English Heritage. Until there is a clear understanding about this the road must be halted."
     Supporters are urged to visit The Rotherwas Ribbon Campaign site (www.rotherwasribbon.com) to register their support, find out more, and take further actions.

Sources: Historic Herefordshire On Line (4 July 2007), BBC News (5 July 2007) Anthropology.net (6 July 2007), Heritage Action (7 July 2007)

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