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The Thornborough Henges


Council Criticised Over Destruction Of Ancient Site

A TV archaeologist criticised a county council today over the destruction of the landscape around one of Britain's top prehistoric sites.

Thornborough Henges, near Ripon, has the greatest concentration of late Neolithic and early Bronze Age sites in the country.

It represents the largest prehistoric quarrying operation in Britain and construction firm Tarmac has proposed extending its activities in the area.

Dr Mark Horton, a presenter on the BBC's Time Flyers programme, criticised North Yorkshire County Council over the destruction of the landscape around the site.

Dr Horton, head of archaeology at the University of Bristol, said: "I've been appalled by what I've seen at Thornborough. Archaeological sites like this should be protected and plans such as these shouldn't even be proposed.

"That such landscape destruction could even be considered around Stonehenge, or even our lesser-known sites in the south, is unthinkable. "Yet at Thornborough, it is OK to seriously consider the total loss of a prehistoric landscape, arguably as important, for simple economic gain.''

North Yorkshire County Council permitted Tarmac to quarry in the area in 1994 with "only a very limited archaeological survey'', Dr Horton said. Nosterfield Quarry in Thornborough is one of the county's most important quarries, producing more than 500,000 tonnes of sand and gravel each year, but supplies from the existing reserves are expected to run out within three years.

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stubob Posted by stubob
27th October 2003ce
Edited 27th October 2003ce

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