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Archeologists Sued For Not Signing Approvals To Destroy Historical Sites

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posted on Dec, 7 2010 @ 06:57 AM
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Corporate greed to build a stupid skyscraper will make the world loose more of it's wonderful historical sites.



www.archaeologydaily.com...

An unheard of law suit has started in Petersburg: for the first time in Russia archeologists are sued for having found valuable cultural sites and refusal to approve their destruction.

The finds in question are the Swedish fortresses Nyenschantz and Landskrone and an Old Russian fortress dating back to the Neva Battle on Okhta Cape (13th century). The remains of these fortresses are among the major obstacles for building of the Gazprom skyscraper.

It was considered that the fortresses had been destroyed during the reign of Peter I, but the head of archeological expedition Peter Sorokin found out that they had remained surprisingly well. So he refused to sign the certificates for building construction. Now the f building owner accuses archeologists of default on the contract.

Vasily Nefedov, the employee of Archeology Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences told about the unprecedented process in an interview for Gazeta.Ru: "It is unheard-of barbarity to destroy such a great monument. There is nothing of the kind in this entire region. Let them construct their "gas-scraper" in some other place! It is clear that they want in their own way to join this history that counts hundreds of years, and place a symbol of their grandeur in this strategically important point. If the community complies with it, it will be so".


edit on 7-12-2010 by acrux because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by acrux
 

Thanks for posting this. Corporate greed. Imagine that. Say it ain't so. S&F



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 03:36 PM
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As an aspiring archaelogist, this just kind of makes me sick. :/ Disgusting.



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 05:59 AM
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This is just so wrong. Do they really need another sky scraper?!

History is amazing and it should be preserved when possible.

So sad.. If I were an archaeologist I wouldn't approve the destruction either. It would go against everything I believed in and it still does and I am not even one.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by candiedrobot
As an aspiring archaelogist, this just kind of makes me sick. :/ Disgusting.


Unfortunately, things like this happen more and more every day, and not just on the other side of the world. There is a dark side to CRM archaeology that those outside of the discipline usually aren't aware of.

More often than not, it's not the fault of the archaeologists, but they/we often find their/our hands tied by so much ridiculous red tape bureaucracy that it would make any politician blush.
edit on 30-12-2010 by ArchaeologyUnderground because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 09:52 AM
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Originally posted by ArchaeologyUnderground

Originally posted by candiedrobot
As an aspiring archaelogist, this just kind of makes me sick. :/ Disgusting.


Unfortunately, things like this happen more and more every day, and not just on the other side of the world. There is a dark side to CRM archaeology that those outside of the discipline usually aren't aware of.

More often than not, it's not the fault of the archaeologists, but they/we often find their/our hands tied by so much ridiculous red tape bureaucracy that it would make any politician blush.


I wouldn't say it's the bureaucracy, I'd say it's the contract archaeologists that want to attract a name among developers for playing a little loose. To them, I direct the Warrior Society.




Yes I am a professional archaeologist/anthropologist and university professor. Feel free to ask any questions you might have!


OK, then...what jurisdiction do you work in, and what 'red tape' do you see as problematic? Not a challenge, just interested in the particulars.
edit on 30-12-2010 by JohnnyCanuck because: clarity



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 10:35 AM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

I wouldn't say it's the bureaucracy, I'd say it's the contract archaeologists that want to attract a name among developers for playing a little loose. To them, I direct the Warrior Society.


This can certainly be the case, but this would usually fall to the signatory contractor, or 'head' of a CRM firm, not the 'contract archaeologists', who are the workers. Every licensed archaeologist in North America, as far as I know, is an independent or dependent contractor (dependent if they work exclusively for one client).

And, to play devil's advocate a bit, citing a Native rights interest group as an example of 'anti-bureaucracy' or as representative of some kind of lesser degree of red-tape (unless I miss your meaning), is quite far off the mark. I have had direct professional experience with a particular Native interest group who shall remain nameless who were not at all above the destruction and/or glossing over of archaeological materials that did not fit the mold of what they 'wanted us to find'. In fact, there are several areas of North America where these groups are known to cause a great deal of problems for archaeologists trying to establish the 'facts' of a site with some degree of scientific rigor.



OK, then...what jurisdiction do you work in, and what 'red tape' do you see as problematic? Not a challenge, just interested in the particulars.
edit on 30-12-2010 by JohnnyCanuck because: clarity


I believe I've already illustrated the red tape part in my above answer (if not, then I can try to elaborate if people care). The major red-tape issue with the majority of CRM archaeology (in Canada, at least) is that the licensing body who issues the permits to the archaeologists (usually a museum or heritage body), is often completely cut off from the client (developer, etc), who are required by law to hire archaeologists for CRM impact assessment in the first place. On top of that, more often than not, those responsible for giving out archaeological permits are not, nor ever have been, archaeologists themselves and often miss key factors that slow down, stall, or otherwise turn what should be a routine Stage 1, 2, or 3 assessment into a royal cluster***k. It's a classic case of 'the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing', as the only one in contact with both bodies is the archaeologist(s).

As I'm sure I don't have to tell you, a situation like this is set up to breed distrust from the get-go, and it becomes really easy for one group or another to simply say 'screw it, we're not doing this'. This then leads to issues like in the OP (yes, right here in Canada), but enforcement of this country's heritage laws is almost embarrassing. And developers and other special interest groups know this.

As for my current jurisdiction, that I won't tell you because it could jeopardize my career, as I'm sure you can appreciate. Obviously, it's in Canada, and let's leave it at that in a public forum. I'm not against disclosure in a private message if it's really important to you.

What I can tell you is that I have worked in many jurisdictions across Canada, in both CRM and academic archaeology, so the majority of what I say could be related to Canadian CRM more so than the rest of North America. I do, however, have a great number of colleagues working across the US and they seem to encounter similar issues. CRM in the UK, on the other hand, is a totally different story, but that's out of my area of direct experience.

I should also note that I am not a career 'shovel bum' (CRM archaeologist). Yes, I have worked with several firms, as most archaeologists have, but my knowledge of the particulars of CRM law, etc, might be slightly outdated.
edit on 30-12-2010 by ArchaeologyUnderground because: More details.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 10:54 AM
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Originally posted by ArchaeologyUnderground

Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

I wouldn't say it's the bureaucracy, I'd say it's the contract archaeologists that want to attract a name among developers for playing a little loose. To them, I direct the Warrior Society.


This can certainly be the case, but this would usually fall to the signatory contractor, or 'head' of a CRM firm, not the 'contract archaeologists', who are the workers. Every licensed archaeologist in North America, as far as I know, is an independent or dependent contractor (dependent if they work exclusively for one client).


We do know, though, that certain firms have reputations that are considered dodgy or soft...if not within the archaeological community then in the development industry. As to the First Nations...I have no illusions that they are immune from certain expediencies playing out in their dealings as well. I just figure that one needs to reckon with them when considering applying a blind eye to a development site.


In fact, there are several areas of North America where these groups are known to cause a great deal of problems for archaeologists trying to establish the 'facts' of a site with some degree of scientific rigor.

Certainly...archaeology as a political/legal weapon.

I remain curious as to where you see the shortcomings in the 'red tape'...aside from no money and understaffing in the government, which can hold up matters. And feel free to retain your anonymity...I do.

Is this conversation derailing the thread? I don't think so. It is adding context to the Russian scenario described in the OP. Can it happen here? Depends who pushes back, I'd say.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 10:59 AM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

I remain curious as to where you see the shortcomings in the 'red tape'...aside from no money and understaffing in the government, which can hold up matters. And feel free to retain your anonymity...I do.



I added some more details on this issue to my previous post that I think you may have missed as your reply appeared pretty quickly after I edited it. Give it a re-read and if I'm still not being clear enough, I'll elaborate.

I also don't feel like this is derailing the thread since the thread is about CRM archaeology and responsible heritage protection. If others feel differently, I'll be happy to stop though.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 11:35 AM
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reply to post by acrux
 


The problem I see is the fact that we already destroyed so much history in the name of 'progress'.
It is good for the archaeologists to preserve culture...

But think of this...
How much has been destroyed in the past, in every city, just for skyscrapers?

I'm glad they won't sign off.
Sometimes money gets in the way of everything.

Good find.





posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 12:28 PM
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@JohnnyCanuck:

I received your message and typed you out a lengthy response, only to discover that I apparently can't send U2U replies until I have 20 posts. Just letting you know. I will respond when I am able.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 12:33 PM
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reply to post by ArchaeologyUnderground
 


Cool...thanks for that, and for entering the fray in general.

As to the state of archaeology in this country...it ain't perfect, but I find that the more one educates the public, the better. I'm big on public digs as a tool.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 12:43 PM
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you people are shocked?...c'mon, making money trancends all other considerations. the wealthy and powerful really don't care about anything other than accumilation and preservation of wealth. how many decades of this do people have to live through, before they accept it as fact?



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by jimmyx
you people are shocked?...c'mon, making money trancends all other considerations. the wealthy and powerful really don't care about anything other than accumilation and preservation of wealth. how many decades of this do people have to live through, before they accept it as fact?


I hear ya...but in jurisdictions with a better defined rule of law than Russia, there is a process to be followed, and nobody goes into it blind. Yes, there are surprises and yes, some folks break the law. But there is a system in place.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 04:05 PM
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Russians are stupid.

For the military build up on Guam DOD created a fake "Guam Historical Office" with 1 person in charge of it.

During the military build up if they find any historical/archaeological stuff that guy pencil whips everything and he's forbidden from telling anyone what is found.

Whalla....fast track construction and the silly tree huggers are none the smarter.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 04:45 PM
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Originally posted by candiedrobot
As an aspiring archaelogist, this just kind of makes me sick. :/ Disgusting.


You will be further disgusted (trust me) at the number of digs where you have to rush in and get everything out fast. Occasionally (in places where there's looters who will kill dig teams) you have to use backhoes. It's heartbreaking.

Paleontology teams are in the same position. We had to have someone sleep on site (in the middle of Dallas) with a gun and dogs to protect a croc as we dug it up.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd

Originally posted by candiedrobot
As an aspiring archaelogist, this just kind of makes me sick. :/ Disgusting.


You will be further disgusted (trust me) at the number of digs where you have to rush in and get everything out fast. Occasionally (in places where there's looters who will kill dig teams) you have to use backhoes. It's heartbreaking.

Paleontology teams are in the same position. We had to have someone sleep on site (in the middle of Dallas) with a gun and dogs to protect a croc as we dug it up.


Which all kinda illustrates the basic problem...promoting a public enthusiasm for archaeology (which generates government cultural heritage dollars) while protecting the integrity of a site. That's why I am a strong proponent of public digs...perfectly willing to sacrifice yet another 19th century farmstead site...for a professionally conducted and supervised opportunity for the public to catch the bug.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by Byrd
 


What kind of croc, if you don't mind me asking? Or how old... maybe that is what I should be asking~



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 05:56 PM
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my brother is a coal miner. theyve found plant and dinosaur fossils also an aboriginal burial site. they do not report any of this so they can plow straight through it uninterupted. a workmate cut out a fossil embeded in rock and polished it up into a coffee table. profits trump history.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 06:06 PM
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Originally posted by KritikalMass
profits trump history.


Yup. All you can do is try to educate the public and shine a light on the lawbreakers. That and bump the fines for non-compliance.



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