Man Filmed Himself Defacing Stone Age Relic in Wales –

A spate of cultural vandalism continued earlier this year when part of a buried Stone Age monument in Wales was crudely excavated and left to the elements.  

Julian Baker, a 52-year-old man from Abertridwr, Caerphilly, filmed himself unearthing the 4,500-year-old relic on Eglwysilan mountain and posted the video to Facebook, according to local heritage officials. In a first prosecution of its sort in Wales, Baker has been ordered to pay £4,400 (roughly $5,600) for its restoration. Additionally, he was given a four-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, at the Magistrates Court in Wales, according to the BBC

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Piazza Plauto, Sarsina, Italy, 2020.

The buried monument is two large sandstones with “enigmatic” cup marks carved into their surface. Experts guess that the stones “may have acted as route markers or demarcated territorial boundaries.” In the video, Baker roughly separates a panel of rock art from the stone.

Baker was charged with executing “unauthorized work affecting a scheduled monument” and acting to “destroy or damage an ancient protected monument”.

“This damage is a serious incident at a rare class of prehistoric monument in Wales,” a spokesperson for Welsh government heritage body Cadw told the BBC. “Significant archaeological information has been lost forever, and although some evidence may remain, the significance and value of the part of the monument damaged has been significantly diminished. We welcome the court’s decision in this case, the first we have submitted under section 28 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.”

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