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    Edwards and Victorian Fakery?

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    deadagaindave

    Join date : 2010-12-25

    Edwards and Victorian Fakery?

    Post  deadagaindave on Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:00 am

    Paul, what exactly is Gavin Edwards saying about the Panorama stones, and other prehistoric monuments on Ilkley Moor? When I say EXACTLY, I mean just that. Do you have any ad verbatim quotes of statements made to the press or elsewhere published, by Mr Edwards in this regard? If you do, could you post them on here so that we can scrutinise them. If his assertions are wildly conjectural to a point of controversy as you imply, then proper consultation with specialists in the field could be solicited in respect of his remarks. Analysis of his aptitude could be estimated, and if appropriate, proper representation with supporting evidence, made to his employers. Archaeology is a vast discipline of many specialist fields. In his former role of County Archaeologist, and indeed his current role as Archaelogical museum Curator, it is likely that Mr Edwards, like many in his position, feels that he must come up with the goods when a query is made, rather than just say. ‘I don't know’. It may be that prehistory is not his speciality, in fact it may be obviously so to some. In which case, wild assertions and conjecture on prehistorical matters would not only be inappropriate, but potentially destructive. For example, if some commercial interest were to smash the cup and ring carvings on Ilkley Moor, to smithereens with a bulldozer, then go to court and say, ‘Mr Edwards says they are all a load of fakes.’
    They would certainly have no case if Mr Edwards has merely stated an opinion as to the probability that they may be fakes. If he asserts however that they are indeed fakes, then his actions are highly irresponsible and he should be held to account. He is entitled to his opinion as is everyone, though he holds a position whereby his opinion will carry greater weight with some, who are not aware that archaeology is a flawed and indeterminate disciple at the best of times. We too are entitled to our opinions. And we are entitled to juxtapose Mr Edwards considerations with those of others more qualified and renowned in the fields he pronounces on; and to challenge his opinions on the basis of conflicting, more eminent opinion, where such conflicts of view exist. But to do that, we do need to know EXACTLY what he has said.
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Edwards and Victorian Fakery?

    Post  Paulus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:19 pm

    Hi Dave!

    Sorry about the delay gerrin back to you on this. Been bloody busy mate.

    deadagaindave wrote:Paul, what exactly is Gavin Edwards saying about the Panorama Stones, and other prehistoric monuments on Ilkley Moor? When I say EXACTLY, I mean just that. Do you have any ad verbatim quotes of statements made to the press or elsewhere published, by Mr Edwards in this regard? If you do, could you post them on here so that we can scrutinise them.

    There's been a few. One was in the Ilkley Gazette paper, July 16, 2004. The report was headed: "Famous markings may be forged?" and the story was as follows:

    Internationally renowned prehistoric rock markings may have been forged, it is being claimed. Ilkley's Panorama Stone is known around the world for its distinctive "ladder" motif.

    But far from being the work of our prehistoric ancestors the designs are more likely to have been added by a Victorian workman, according to a local expert. Gavin Edwards, Museums Officer, Archaeology, at the Manor House in Ilkley, stumbled across evidence of possible fraud and skulduggery whilst carrying out research into the Panorama Stones.

    And now his findings are set to send shock waves around the archaeological community. But even more surprising, in his view, is the fact that the evidence has been in the public domain for almost a century. Mr Edwards believes Victor-ian illustrations and a report in the Ilkley Gazette in 1913 point to the fact that the ladder design considered to be extremely rare prehistoric artwork -- was added to the original, authentic cup and ring markings.

    As evidence he produces two Victorian illustrations, one made by an unknown artist probably in the 1860s, and another which appeared in a publication in 1896. Whist the first shows no evidence of the distinctive, rare design, the latter includes the disputed markings.

    He says: "Evidence that the marking on the rock might have been altered in Victorian times is provided by a number of contemporary illustrations. These show significant differences, which might be argued to result from artistic licence or oversight, but a report that appeared in the Ilkley Gazette, March 22, 1913, suggests something much more deliberate.

    The report describes a lecture by Mr T C Gill, Bailiff of Ilkley Moor, in which he suggests that some of the markings may have been added. The Bailiff even named the person he believed may have been responsible. One Ambrose Collins, a workman employed at the Semon's Convalescent Home from 1872-73 was reported to "spend most of his leisure time carving and ornamenting the rocks near the home, evidently hoping that at some future time they would be discovered and become famous."

    Mr Edwards believes his argument is likely to prove controversial as the ladder markings on the Panorama stone are internationally renowned. But he believes the evidence is too powerful simply to ignore.

    He said: "The Panorama stones are known internationally because of this unexplained ladder pattern. They are very famous and considered to be very special but I suspect the reason they are special is because they are slightly fraudulent. Once you see the drawings and see the difference, and then read the article you cannot help but come to the conclusion that there is probably something very dodgy about this. Because they are such famous rocks I am deeply surprised that no-one has raised this possibility before. It just seems incredible when the evidence has been there for 90 years. The implication, unfortunately is that if one stone can be altered then how many others have been altered."

    There are a number of problems with this introductory idea. There is the simple lack of accuracy about "two Victorian illustrations, one made by an unknown artist probably in the 1860s, and another which appeared in a publication in 1896." As the cited 1896 drawing was a near-copy of one done by the same writer in 1879 - very close to the time when he reckoned some stonemason inflicted his tool upon the hard rock! I'll try dig out some more of Edwards' own words. I know he sent me an email, where he complained about my opinion, which I'll dig out. I can't remember what it was he said.

    deadagaindave wrote:If his assertions are wildly conjectural to a point of controversy as you imply, then proper consultation with specialists in the field could be solicited in respect of his remarks.

    Well, considering there are accounts of visits by members of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society in the early 1880s, none of whom made any mention of recent additions; plus a visit to the stones around the same time by Fellows of the Geological Society, none of whom mentioned any recent additions and, indeed, proclaimed the carvings to be undoubtedly very ancient; plus visits to the carvings before and after they were moved to their present site by other writers, scientists and acclaimed archaeologists, none of whom, any of them, ever made any remarks about new additions to the carvings, we have to assume that they either all had very bad eyesight, and/or lied, and/or were bad at their jobs, for us even to begin to accept any notion that they were Victorian in origin. The more obvious conclusion would be that none of them were liars, nor had bad eyesight, and most of them had some degree of competence at what they were describing. Unless of course there's some sorta huge conspiracy at work Dave! scared

    deadagaindave wrote:Analysis of his aptitude could be estimated, and if appropriate, proper representation with supporting evidence, made to his employers.

    Makes sense Dave. You'd expect that he'd be as pleased as any good scientist would be to be shown whether his theory is correct or not. If it's incorrect, well...it's incorrect, and I'd expect any decent academic (or amateur) to nod approvingly. Of course it's disappointing to make such errors at first; but much better to be open about such things because, as we all know, we tend to learn quite a lot by actually making mistakes, enabling us to be more awake & ensure we don't fall into a similar folly next time round.

    deadagaindave wrote:In his former role of County Archaeologist, and indeed his current role as Archaelogical museum Curator, it is likely that Mr Edwards, like many in his position, feels that he must come up with the goods when a query is made, rather than just say. ‘I don't know’.

    Being humble and admitting we don't know is what makes a better scientist though. Trying to answer all questions with authority would be a little foolish and bring undue stress on ourselves. I know that when people ask me things about Roman archaeology in Yorkshire, I pass the query onto someone with greater knowledge and competence in the field (I know bugger all abaat them Roman-types, being southerners & all...!). As far as I'm aware (don't quote me on this though), Mr Edwards is more qualified in industrial archaeology - which truly aint my cuppa tea. But if I knew for certain that was his field, I'd pass any queries about such matters onto him, knowing he was well qualified in that arena. I assume that's what any sensible person would do, but perhaps I'm a little naive here?

    deadagaindave wrote:It may be that prehistory is not his speciality, in fact it may be obviously so to some. In which case, wild assertions and conjecture on prehistorical matters would not only be inappropriate, but potentially destructive. For example, if some commercial interest were to smash the cup and ring carvings on Ilkley Moor, to smithereens with a bulldozer, then go to court and say, ‘Mr Edwards says they are all a load of fakes.' They would certainly have no case if Mr Edwards has merely stated an opinion as to the probability that they may be fakes. If he asserts however that they are indeed fakes, then his actions are highly irresponsible and he should be held to account. He is entitled to his opinion as is everyone, though he holds a position whereby his opinion will carry greater weight with some, who are not aware that archaeology is a flawed and indeterminate disciple at the best of times. We too are entitled to our opinions. And we are entitled to juxtapose Mr Edwards considerations with those of others more qualified and renowned in the fields he pronounces on; and to challenge his opinions on the basis of conflicting, more eminent opinion, where such conflicts of view exist. But to do that, we do need to know EXACTLY what he has said.

    Hmmmm...get wot y' men Dave. I'd never thought of it that way - and it's potentially very dangerous. What would you suggest? You could perhaps email him yourself and see if he gives a reply. The fella simply stopped answering my emails when I was asking about looking at some archives - which was really puzzling. He is a public servant, so should give his position on this matter clearly.

    Concerned - Paul.
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    mikki

    Join date : 2009-01-29
    Age : 25
    Location : West Yorkshire

    Re: Edwards and Victorian Fakery?

    Post  mikki on Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:02 am

    It is of my opinion that there is some unprofessional bias going on here.
    Do you think that it is possible, that he has a personal problem with you Paul? that is affecting him from doing the job that he is employed to do?

    Mikki x
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    QDanT

    Join date : 2011-05-29
    Location : Earby used to be in Yorkshire

    Acheologist challenges authenticity of Ilkley rock drawings

    Post  QDanT on Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:43 am

    http://www.ilkleygazette.co.uk/news/1037367.acheologist_challenges_authenticity_of_ilkley_rock_drawings/

    10:57am Thursday 23rd November 2006

    By Kathie Griffiths

    ELABORATE rock art which for years is believed to have been created by prehistoric Ilkley man was probably only created about 170 years ago, it has been revealed.

    A Victorian workman could have been responsible for some of the markings on one of Britain's most famous examples of prehistoric rock art.

    Ilkley archaeologist Gavin Edwards says he has proof which suggests the cup and ring markings on the town's internationally-known Panorama Stones were tampered with by a workman called Ambrose Collins in about the 1870s.

    He said the ladder-shaped markings are what has made the design on the largest of the three stones, the most elaborate example of bronze-age' art in the UK - but he seriously doubts they are the real thing.

    He got suspicious when he was studying sketches of marked stones which were donated to the town museum in 1880.

    He said: "The ladders were not on the drawing. Because I feel the ladders are so prominent it's difficult to believe they could not possibly have been noticed or been omitted by artistic licence.

    "There has been talk of this Victorian embellishment before but people have really not wanted to acknowledge or admit tampering could have happened. It will cause a debate but the bigger, the better."

    Mr Edwards, who works at the Manor House museum for Bradford Council, said he had more proof from an article in a 1913 edition of the Ilkley Gazette.

    He said a report of a lecture given by Ilkley Moor bailiff T C Gill made mention of the previous bailiff telling him about a workman from a convalescent home called Ambrose Collins who spent his time "carving and ornating' rocks.

    Mr Edwards said: "No one seemed to pick up on this at the time, no one has ever questioned it. I think we should be celebrating it because it's a wonderful story. "It doesn't deny the authenticity of the stone, it's just another element of its design with an extra story added to it made even more fascinating by the fact, we may know who has done it - Ambrose Collins."

    The Panorama Stones - which are now scheduled monuments and have recently been scanned in the hope of ageing the markings - were brought down from the moor by a local man in the 1890s who saved them from being destroyed when a reservoir was built and paid £10 for them.

    They are now in a railed enclosure near St Margaret's Church in Queen's Road.

    Ilkley historian Bill Godfrey said: "There are lots of myths and legends floating about the most elaborate of the Panorama Stones but I don't subscribe to the theory the ladder markings are fake.

    "There are a number of articles from around the 1880s by very responsible people who accepted these ladder markings were genuine and I'm sure at that time they would have been able to tell if they had been so recently added."

    Rock art expert Dr Keith Boughey, of Baildon, said: "Evidence that some of the markings are fake is logically plausible but it could be that the ladder markings weren't included in the pencil drawings either because they were never distinct enough to be noticed by the artist or that the person who drew them was only looking for cup and rings so ignored the other markings.

    "There's also another rock still in situ on the moor that also has a ladder on it.

    "There's no hard evidence either way. The jury is still out but I feel the weight of evidence is on Gavin's side."



    http://www.ilkleygazette.co.uk


    Last edited by QDanT on Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:48 am; edited 1 time in total


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    lowergate

    Join date : 2010-11-01
    Age : 68
    Location : CLITHEROE

    THE GUARDIANS OF THE WORKS OF AMBROSE COLLINS

    Post  lowergate on Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:58 am

    Simon Armitage, one in the foot-falls of Ambrose Collins, is the North's finest living poet, highly respected throughout the North - and is more than likely to be the next Poet Laureate, well deserving in my and others opinion. His recent BBC TV 4's prog' on the 'Pendle Witches' was superb and deservedly well recieved in Lancashire. His BBC Radio 4 prog' on the poor girl from Bacup who was murdered by local thugs for the way she looked was a wonderful testimonial that touched the depths of all who heard it.

    The rocks that his fine words have been inscribed upon are just outcrops of rocks of Pennine stone, common rocks found throughout the Northern landscape.

    No 'sacred' or SMR sited rocks have, or are to be touched during the undertaking of this worthy public project.

    THE GUARDIANS OF THE WORKS OF AMBROSE COLLINS, may I suggest you look to the aims and objectives of this well supported project before you act in a rash manner.

    Best regards,

    john - Lancastrian, papist & seditionist
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    QDanT

    Join date : 2011-05-29
    Location : Earby used to be in Yorkshire

    time warp or ?

    Post  QDanT on Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:21 am

    I vote DeadAgainDave for poet Laureate




    Last edited by QDanT on Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:05 am; edited 1 time in total


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    lowergate

    Join date : 2010-11-01
    Age : 68
    Location : CLITHEROE

    Re: Edwards and Victorian Fakery?

    Post  lowergate on Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:35 pm


    Hi Danny,

    Nic pic' of Gavin the Candy Man

    Gavin is no dummy, others here will get flossed-over on their way down on the road to En-Dor, but not our Gavin. He is well respected and well supported in the field of Archaeology.

    Screaming insults and slanders at folk by way of the Internet is no way to go about matters - along with the opperation of facist censorship on such bits of sites they have control over - a poor do all round

    Gavin is very approachable - common courtesy often pays


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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Re: Edwards and Victorian Fakery?

    Post  Sunbright57 on Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:45 pm

    John, where's your avatar gone. David Hazell says can you spare me a swig of your whiskey as its my birthday !!lol!
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Edwards and Victorian Fakery?

    Post  Paulus on Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:07 pm

    mikki wrote:Do you think that it is possible, that he has a personal problem with you Paul? that is affecting him from doing the job that he is employed to do?

    Hmmmm... This has been suggested before when I enquired on the British Archaeology forum earlier this year for help relating to access files. On a thread entitled 'Elitist Archaeolgists rant", Malcolm Watkins of Heritage Matters said (Fri, 4 Mar 2011 08:57:50), worryingly:

    "It is, of course, also entirely possible that the said officer (Gavin Edwards, PB) has had previous dealings with Paul that are colouring his/her postion now, in which case Paul is perhaps right to feel aggrieved. We are supposed as public servants to rise above personal likes and dislikes."

    This has been suggested by a few other folk aswell. Though WTF he should be like that, god knows! I s'ppose he can be pissed-off about me now, as I've gobbed-off on-line - but hey!, as Mr Watkins rightly said, "We are supposed as public servants to rise above personal likes and dislikes." And elistism in archaeology - or anywhere for that matter - brings out the 'Brian Clough' in me. grrr... ...and we all know how Cloughy worked... scared
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    deadagaindave

    Join date : 2010-12-25

    Re: Edwards and Victorian Fakery?

    Post  deadagaindave on Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:41 pm

    This could be more dangerous than you might think, for reasons I will explain.
    What are we implying here? Are we saying that Mr Edwards, doesn’t really want anything to do with cup and ring carvings? That would be a most serious allegation indeed, since this man is leading the local section of a funded survey, looking into rock art right across Europe. £2M. An awful lot of money to put at the disposal of someone who’s heart isn’t in the job.
    What evidence is there to suggest that this might be the case? Well we have seen accounts of Mr Edwards, expressing his opinions that some of the rock carvings on Ilkley moor, may have been tampered with. A fair assessment. What obtains for thousands of years in the wild, without being damaged in some way? There must be millions of ‘Jim loves Sue’ or the equivalent; carvings across the globe. So they may well have been embellished , carved over, or even utilised for graffiti material. Death bed confession stories never impress me. I have seen enough people die, to know that their fading ramblings can shoot off in all directions, and really must be entirely discounted. So presenting them in evidence is a fairly desperate measure. I would regard the inclusion of such evidence in the building of a case, as indicative that the proposer, hasn’t got very much to go on. Whilst such a device does no credit at all to the case however, it hardly negates it. Especially if there is other informed opinion, in the field of archaeology that supports the idea. Is there? Has any archaeologist of esteem seen fit to contend with Mr Edwards assertions? Has any archaeologist of esteem stepped up to support the notion? What standing does Mr Edwards enjoy within the discipline? Is he a much referenced accredited authority, widely respected; or a relatively little known figure in the field?
    Other considerations include the question, has Mr Edwards been even handed? Does he make it clear in his statements that many other archaeologists believe the carvings to be thousands of years old? Does he allude to the fact that the greater weight of opinion in archaeology is indeed that the entire carvings are thousands of years old? Is it indeed the case that contrary opinion exists? If it does, is it far more widely held than Mr Edwards’ view, or is he in a tiny minority in his view? All of these questions need to be carefully researched and considered.
    One quite poignant aspect of this situation, is the fact that Mr Edwards must be respected in his belief concerning the stones. For what possible reason could he have, in proclaiming his opinion, knowing that his view would probably be challenged, and thus prove to be controversial? Why should he court controversy? If the giants of academic archaeology were to sneer at his suggestions, he would be left with egg all over his face and a reputation in tatters. On that basis we must assume that Mr Edwards, is sincere in his beliefs, and confident in publishing his considerations.
    Another consideration is the welfare of the rock art and stones, that have effectively been degraded by Mr Edwards’ statements. Even a hint that a painting might be a fake, automatically shortens it’s auction value. So it follows that the reverence and respect felt towards ancient monuments, by a great many people, might be significantly reduced if people think that the stones they are viewing, lack due veracity in their provenance. So how could Mr Edwards profit by that? Well not many bodies would contribute grants toward research or preservation of objects that carry suspicion. Some mud always sticks, so the probability that future grants would be directed to the welfare of the stones, would be lessened. Surely, Mr Edwards would have considered that likelihood? He wasn’t born yesterday. To cast aspirations on the veracity and concomitant value of the stones, was a bold step, and quite a courageous one. I have to conclude therefore, that unless Mr Edwards, actively hates cup and ring monuments; which is by far the most unlikely of all scenarios, bringing his mental stability into question; then Mr Edwards is right to say what he says, because it his assured opinion. And perhaps that he honestly hopes to sound a note of warning.
    But in order to make a clear and comprehensive assessment of the situation, clear and comprehensive answers to all of the foregoing questions, need to be available for scrutiny. That is unlikely to happen soon. So in a free country we are free to challenge Mr Edwards opinions, or even openly disagree with them. But we must respect his right to hold such views. He will know that as a professional in the field, his opinion will be given greater reverence and more easily accepted by lay people, unschooled in the discipline. To some, having only a vague and passing interest, what the archaeologist says will be accepted as readily as what the doctor says. To those who have a wider knowledge however, a provocation to contention is more likely. It is improbable that Mr Edwards would not have considered such eventualities. Had he not, it would suggest professional ineptitude. Had he gone ahead and declaimed his opinion in order to arouse controversy, it would suggest he was acting irresponsibly. No such accusations can be fairly levelled at him, as there is no evidence whatsoever to support either, that are known.

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