Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Feral Beast off for a dig

Having read about the (technically illegal) historic dig that's been going on in St Kilda for the past seven months, I convinced The Spouse it might be better to hot foot the Feral Beast down to the (technically illegal) dig today, rather than wait till tomorrow, owing to the amount of publicity it's generating.

Had we known of this (technically illegal) dig we would have parked our posteriors down the (technically illegal) holes long before now!
Is there a way of searching out these (technically illegal) historic digs online or do you have to belong to some club or other (and reassemble a shovel blindfolded as an entry test) to find out where the holes are a'happening?

I must admit I did agree with Feral Beast's summary of a council that didn't order a (technically legal) historic dig of the site - words I shall refrain from shocking your shell-like ears (or eyes) with!
Perhaps it should be enshrined in legislation that every development conducts a proper, legal and thorough historic dig before any further ground disturbance is permitted.
I know, I know...in a perfect world.....

4 comments:

Brian Hughes said...

Don't start me off about councils and archaeological sites. We're currently locked in battle with Wyre Borough Council to stop them from turning our iron age settlement in Fleetwood into a new graveyard. Obviously the council's forgotten who actually works for whom. (I could rant for hours about this...but, you'll be glad to hear, I need my breakfast, so I won't.)

Jayne said...

Ahhh I was going to pick your brain to see how these things worked in your neck of the woods....obviously as badly as it does here !

Brian Hughes said...

Jayne,

There are laws governing archaeological sites in Blighty, which mostly boil down to: 'If it's on your own land you can do what you want with it. If it's on the council's land, they can do what they want with it.'

Generally around this point in the argument, the County Archaeologist is called in to decide whether the site's of national importance or not. If it is, then regardless of whose land it's on, he can demand a full scale excavation takes place before anything further is carried out. Naturally, it's always wise to buy the county archaeologist chocolates and stuff before he turns up.

The 'fifty years or more and it belongs to the government' law in Oz is a new one on me. Over here, unless its metal and/or worth something, it belongs to whoever owns the land. If it's a treasure hoard, however, it still belongs to the landowner but he has to give the British Museum first chance to buy it at an independantly decided price.

Either way, I don't own any land, so I'm never going to get rich.

Jayne said...

Thanks for that Brian.
It's very similar here, in Victoria at least. Heritage Victoria archaeologists, as I understand it, usually review any major development in their designated "hot spot" areas and say yay or nay.
I hadn't heard of the 50 year law before yesterday either!

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