Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Conflict or co-operation?

It is a commonly-held idea among archaeologists that they will automatically be in conflict with contemporary Pagans.  This is simply not true.

The Holme-next-the-Sea timber circle was contentious for a small number of so-called Pagans, and some members of the general public. I (a Pagan) wrote to Francis Prior and Maisie Taylor to say that I supported the dig, and was sorry they had been harassed over it. They wrote back and said that quite a few Pagans had approached them after the TV cameras had gone, and that these Pagans had also said that they supported the dig. I also chatted with non-Pagan friends who were opposed to the dig. The picture is always more complex than it appears on TV.

A couple of years ago I attended a conference where a number of Pagans reported that they had been involved in (had possibly set up themselves) a community archaeology project studying archaeological sites in their area and had compiled a website of information about them. (NB the study was non-invasive.)

Also some archaeologists are also Pagans.

Also, this group, Pagans for Archaeology, has 204 members (and the Facebook page has 473 fans). All members have signed up to the statement of what we stand for.

The majority of Pagans who visit archaeological sites and digs do not announce themselves as Pagan by wearing funny outfits, and leave no trace (indeed many of us clear up the tea-lights left by the idiots).  Maybe those of us who are moderates should insist on being logged every time we visit something, just to make the point that not all Pagans are nutters.

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