- Move the rocks to a convenient corner of the field and there assemble them face up, looking at the sky. This was the orientation in which the rings had originally been incised. A field corner was going to be avoided by mowers and balers. It meant minimal movement of the mass[es].
- While we had Niall Deacon and his digger, we could move the relic up to the yard near our house. This would make it easier for visitors to view the wonder. It would also keep them from trudging through our traditional hay-meadow during the Summer Neolithic Art Season.
- We finally decided to reassemble the ringstone face-vertical in the same gap in the wall where it had originally been hidden and later revealed. This a) honoured the Earth-Mother by showing her map of a sacred landscape; b) honoured the hard-working early 19thC farmers who had split the rock to make the verticals of a gap between fields; c) served us as one side of a wider gateway.
Then two items popped up on the blogosphere. The first was a fascinating story of a long-distance furniture mover. One of the anecdotes told is that a certain
looting of a set of 6 mya footprints from Crete [R]. The really annoying thing about this archaeological vandalism is that much of the value of antient artifacts is their provenance and location. The laws of stratigraphy apply, for example: things under others are usually older. A shoe-buckle or a coin is much more informative if its depth and context is recorded as well as just the site. And a displaced object has lost much of its utility. A paleolithic Venus, for example, is fatuous as well as fat if it finishes up unattributed on a penthouse mantle-piece in Manhattan or Saint Germain-des-Prés.
Then again, then again, Fassoulas points out that leaving sites open to the weather is one way of exposing more layers of our shared history. Mary "Ichthyosaur" Anning went out along the beach from Lyme Regis after storms in the hope that another slab of cliff-face had fallen to reveal fresh bone-scapes. When a softer layer of Cretan mudstone erodes, fresh tracks appear on the landscape as glistening puddles heading into an ancient future.
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