By: Blonde Two
If you Blondees and Blondettes have been paying attention, you will know that I took my friend Running-Girl up to Sittaford Tor on Thursday (we did absolutely no running!) It was my first trip up there; but we also had another important Blonde mission.
We went up to have a look at the newly cleared stone circle. Discovered in 2007, the circle has recently been cleared by volunteer members of the Dartmoor Preservation Association; and I have to say that they have done a mighty fine job. They are beautiful stones, recumbent and silent; some of them sit underwater, all of them hold their mysteries tightly.
Carbon dating at this site has suggested that the stones fell over about 4,000 years ago; thus suggesting that they were erected a fair time before that. Let’s stop and ponder this for a moment; 4,000 years plus old, no wonder you get such a sense of history the moment you step onto Dartmoor.
Running Girl and I had an interesting discussion as to whether or not the stone should be re-erected in the same way that many others have been. (Yes guys, that is right, Dartmoor is teeming with neolithic monuments; Stonehenge may be bigger, but we must surely win on numbers.) There is no doubt that these stones would look magnificent standing; but would that be the right thing to do?
I didn’t have the answers to my own questions about re-erection, let alone Running-Girl’s; so I had a chat with some friends at the Dartmoor Preservation Association. Here is what I found out:
When the Victorians (who probably thought that they were doing exactly the right thing) interfered with historical sites, they would have disturbed archeological evidence that they didn’t then have the means to discover. Have a read here to find out what has recently been found out http://bit.ly/1cNuuAt
The same applies to us. We are very clever nowadays (well Blondes are), but who knows what devices of archeological science we will discover in two hundred years time? If we mess around standing stones up and making the site pretty, we might unwittingly do exactly the same as the Victorians and disturb some vital evidence that is just waiting for our descendants to discover.
There is an eery charm to these recumbent jewels; they gleam white against the green of Dartmoor’s summer, and they will melt into the flaxen yellow of its winter. They have ancient tales to tell, and I have a feeling that they are going to be very picky about who they tell them to.