Category: Chris Catling

Jargon, beauty, the South Downs, a heritage hero, Robin Hood and dragons…

Jargon: which words would you ban?The Local Government Association has published a list of words and phrases that it thinks council staff and members should not use because they make it harder for the electorate to understand what councils do. In truth, many of them should simply be banned because they are empty of meaning. […]

Allotments, spearing bison, Brookside, Brown's museum, the Olympics, nighthawking…

Let it growOne can only applaud the National Trust’s decision to create 1,000 allotments within its disused walled gardens and on land within its estates, even if that number is tiny compared to the 100,000 people currently on allotment waiting lists. Archaeologists have always made good gardeners: one Winchester-based pottery specialist, sadly no longer with […]

From Festivals to Garden Sheds…

When, at the IFA’s Liverpool conference in April 2004, I argued for a festival of archaeology to compare with the superb festivals of literature, history, science. jazz, folk and rock music that we already have in this country, I could find not a soul in the archaeological establishment to back the idea. Then, in 2007, […]

Archaeology Festival Cardiff 2009

After only two years, we are already beginning to establish some Festival traditions. One is to tackle a ‘difficult’ subject. Last year Alex Bayliss, of English Heritage, explained Bayesian statistics; at each step in her idiots’ guide, instead of declaring QED, she said ‘woof, woof’, like a school teacher keeping her class alert and amused. […]

Heritage Protection Bill – RIP

In 2002, launching the first ever ‘Heritage Counts’ digest of statistics on the health of the historic environment, Tessa Jowell, then Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, pulled a surprise speech out of her back pocket: ‘I am launching a thorough review of heritage protection laws,’ she said, ‘with the aim of making […]

Stonehenge: class barrier or stock control?

  The world’s media reported in August that a huge timber fence was used to separate ordinary mortals from the privileged classes at Stonehenge. Josh Pollard, of Bristol University, whose team of diggers has found the post pits for a 20ft high fence snaking for nearly 3km (2 miles) around the stone circle, was quoted […]

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