What are the limits one can legitimately go to in revealing buried/turf/undergrowth covered stones in circles? I was on Craddock Moor (Bodmin) yesterday having a look at the stone circle there and was hoping to find a truely triangular stone in keeping with so many of the other Cornish circles in this area but it is so overgrown with rough grass and a form of creeping gorse that it was out of sight. I then spotted a very small triangular tip in the grass but it was covered under a layer of turf and this fine type of gorse they have there and just appeared as a flattened hump in the ground to the eye. If it hadn't have been in the setting line of a circle you would have just ignored it. I had my 'photographic aerial pole' with me and managed to push the sharp end under this gorse blanket and draw it back and inch or two. It soon became obvious that underneath was the stone I was looking for so went for it and worked it back further for a couple of feet, propped up the turf/gorse layer, took my photos and laid it down again like a carpet. It wasn't growing on the stone but over it.
Now, rightly or wrongly, I was now able to confirm that the triangular stone was present but in a year or so's time it will have disappeared under the turf/gorse completely as many of the other stones in this circle have due to the type of peaty/boggyish soil they stood in.
So how far should/can one go in revealing a buried/covered stone if done sympathetically and with care before it is lost forever as so many must already be all over the country?
I always carry a sharp knife when I go on Dartmoor and have even taken a pair of secateurs with me, if I know what I am looking for is overgrown , so I can cut back any gorse etc to clear the object. We , The Dartmoor Preservation Association ,go on the moor and clear undergrowth from sites as part of our conservation project so I see no problem at all with clearing something as long as the archaeology itself isn't disturbed
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|Posted by Lubin|
14th May 2012ce