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BRITARCH  July 2008

BRITARCH July 2008

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Subject:

Re: Slaves of Raparee

From:

Trevor Dunkerley <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 21:37:15 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (70 lines)

David,

Thank you for enlightening the list on the subject of the 'Slaves of 
Raparee'. I can only just wonder if you have read the book by Pat Barrow, 
and his side of the events.

Quite clearly this was not just an issue regarding the 'archaeology of 
slavery', but also the attitudes of the 'academic' versus the 'amateur'.

Whilst I entirely agree with you, in your words, "I don't see why such a 
controversy should not have been used as basis for a plot component in 
fictional drama," I really fail to see why Horton should not come clean in 
agreeing that he alone passed this information to the scriptwriters as the 
basis for the plot.

Whilst throughout the rest of the UK this issue may be non controversial, 
here in North Devon, memories last long, and as an archaeologist who has 
spent the last dozen or so year attempting to promote community archaeology 
initiatives, memories of how the Slaves of Raparee issue was handled by the 
media, archaeological academics, and as Pat Barrow states in his book, 
"other powers-that-be", still leaves a 'nasty taste in the mouth', and is 
counterproductive to open and truthful archaeological communications and the 
encouragement of communities to participate in what is "their archaeology 
and history."

After the screening of episode 2, I joined other North Devon persons the 
following morning at our National Archaeological Week event - the only one 
on North Devon north of Exeter. Several, who had watched the screening the 
following evening were incandescent with anger that the issue had been 
raised once more, and we were all empathic with the original finder of the 
site, who was treated so badly during that period of regretful events.

Honest integrity can be so easily destroyed. We all know Pat Barrow and 
respect his integrity and the work his has painstakingly carried out in 
North Devon for many years.

Money, in archaeology, appears to be the driving force these days for 
destroying many a reputation. Why should it not be challenged?

Kindest regards,

Trevor

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "PETTS D.A." <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:19 PM
Subject: [BRITARCH] Slaves of Raparee


For those who want a little enlightening about this subject
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1157768.stm

and particularly the last paragraph of this
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/nov/06/archaeology.science
(strangely prophetic)

For what its worth it appears that there is genuine debate over these 
remains and clearly some controversy. I don't see why such a controversy 
should not have been used as basis for a plot component in a fictional 
drama, particularly when the debate over the identity of the bones was very 
much a subplot in the overall story arc. Frankly, it would be much more 
unrealistic to have an episode that engaged with the archaeology of slavery 
without highlighting the controversy and high passions that such an issue 
inevitably provokes (for which see the following article by one of Mark's 
former colleagues Dan Hicks)
http://www.assemblage.group.shef.ac.uk/5/hicks.html

David

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