Previously, we have discussed the importance of caution around historical artifacts and museum pieces, specifically during the taking of selfies. It appears we must add another “don’t” to our list of rules: Don’t move around a bunch of rocks in your personal artistic project to decorate important, protected, millennia-old Neolithic sites.
The Guardian reports that Historic England, a public institution dedicated to the maintenance of the UK’s historic sites, is sounding the alarm regarding the practice of stone stacking, after several appeared at Stowe’s Pound, in Cornwall:
Daniel Ratcliffe, inspector of ancient monuments at Historic England South West, said: “Two circuits of stone-built ramparts survive at Stowe’s Pound within which there are remains of house platforms and cairns, and it is from these ancient archaeological features that many of the stones are being taken to construct the inevitably temporary ‘fairy castles’, an increasingly common sight at beaches around the world.
“This movement of stones, whilst it may seem benign, is eroding the nationally protected archaeological features of the site as well as its local distinctiveness. We would encourage visitors to take only photographs of, and to leave only footprints at, this very precious and unique site.”
“They may think they’re being artistic, but they don’t realise the damage they’re doing,” Stuart Dow of Time Keepers, an amateur archeological group that’s recommending signs that warn against the practice, told the Telegraph. Again, this site is many thousands of years old, an almost unfathomable amount of time.
Historic England notes that “any action that is potentially damaging to a scheduled monument” is illegal and therefore subject to investigation by the police. The department added that, “Together we can use a range of interventions to deal with an incident in order to protect England’s historic environment. These interventions include restorative resolution, formal warnings and in some cases, prosecution. In some instances offences are imprisonable.”
Stack all the stones you want, but do it somewhere other than ancient Neolithic sites. Just generally act like you have some common fucking sense!!!!!