AffÃ¤rs- och Kapitalnytt reports that the Scanian bank Sparbanken Syd has given an $8300 grant (SEK 50,000) for archaeological fieldwork and research: "a first instalment for excavations" at a cemetery in Ravlunda parish. Well done!
Unfortunately, the bank has chosen to give the money to our old friend Bob Lind, a homeopath and amateur archaeoastronomer with really wigged-out ideas. Bob has neither formal qualifications nor any excavation experience. On the contrary, he was recently reprimanded by the County Archaeologist for unauthorised de-turfing and addition of stones to the cemetery in question. So there is no way that Bob Lind will ever be given an excavation permit.
I wonder if the bank people realised that they were giving the grant to a person who will never be able to put it to fruitful use.
Thanks to Jesper Jerkert.
I'm not surprised. They also backed his crusade to get Ales Stenar classified as a world heritage by UNESCO based i.a. on the fact that it is "desiged in the form of a ship, a shape unique to the nordic countries". You go, Bob!
Hmm, did you really expect him to ask for a permit?
So, beyond griping about this in a public forum, is there anything prcatical that can be done about this. Hind sigt being 20/20 is one thing, but to prevent future ka-ka like this, what can be done?
My guess is that the bank people in question believe that Bob's activities will be good for business by attracting tourists. They very likely understand that he's not a credible researcher, but don't give a crap about that aspect.
Are there no criminal laws in Sweden that forbid vandalism of archaelogical sites? Can an application to a court be made for a protective order preventing Lind from entering the site? Such techniques are available in some countries.
Oh yes, Sweden has the world's strongest protection laws for ancient monuments. On the other hand, we also have the world's weakest trespassing legislation. In fact, Swedish law makes trespassing, berry picking, mushroom picking etc. a right. So there is no way to keep Bob off the site. But it would be easy to stop him should he start digging.
Maybe he will use the money to pay an educated archaeologist to do the work?
I'd like to think that nobody would take on the job. And besides, excavation permits are only issued to specialist organisations, never to individuals. Bob would have to convince the director of e.g. a museum to sponsor his project.