Sunday, 20 July 2008

Meeting with Chris Jones

Next day, Monday I met up with Chris Jones, archaelogist with the Northumberland National Park. We had a really interesting conversation in the car park before setting out onto the Lordenshaws site, the area at the foot of Simonside with the cup and ring marked rocks.

Chris had been a Garlands Edge in the Peak district where they had been examining an impressive example of rock marking before burying the original and putting a fibre glass replica in it's stead.

Had this man been reading my note book I thought, I was getting really excited. He was excited too, it transpired that this was his first visit to the site so we were going to do some exploring together.

Chris talked about each generation of people having a different way of seeing the landscape, that each time period brings with it a different psyche. It was refreshing to hear someone speak so openly about their field. He told me some funy stories about a fight between two archaelogists at conference over "processualism", apparently an insult in some circles.

We followed ditches and walls and Chris revealed the story of the site and its re use over time. There are quite a number of marked rocks around the site but they are not that easy to find and the markings are "tenuous".

Chris talked about the Park policy of "managing change" and not "preserving in aspic", he was enthusiastic about my idea of working with the rock markings, when I asked him what would be the newest thing to be considered archaelogically interesting. His answer was that "archaelogy starts yesterday". I started thinking about working with an archaelogist to interpret my work.

Chris gave me a list of suggested reading, some of which I've been able to find.

He left me with the impression that he would be back at that site sometime soon, he was very interested at the prospect of excavating a triangulated cairn.

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