Appendix C. ASLaN Sacred Site Charter
If this book has piqued
your interest in megalithic sites, please read the following charter
outlining what is, and what isn't, respectable behavior at
these sites. Many sites have been lost over the centuries due to
vandalism and willful destruction. We would like to ensure that no
more are lost for the same reasons.
In an effort to preserve our dwindling megalithic sites, the
following requests are commonly included in literature that discusses
megaliths. While a simple plea such as "Please don't
trash megalithic sites" might be more appropriate for a book of
this type, such a plea is, sadly, often ignored. We are including
this document in the hopes that it will have more impact and impart a
greater understanding of the issues involved.
We'd also like to draw your attention to the fact that many
sites are in government care and, as such, any destructive behavior
Doom and gloom aside, the sites are there to be enjoyed and have
different meanings for different people. Enjoy!
Please take care when visiting sacred sites to leave them as the next
visitor would like to find them. Respect the land and all its
inhabitants -- people, animals, and plants.
Digging holes for any purpose will damage plants and probably insects
and archaeological remains. Damaging archaeology makes it harder for
us, and future generations, to understand the history of the site.
Damaging any aspect of the site will damage the spirit of the place.
Lighting fires can cause similar damage to digging. A fire can damage
standing stones -- if they get too hot, they split. Fires can
spread quickly in summer, killing wildlife, and it can be very
difficult to make sure a fire is truly out. Fires also cause
archaeological damage by preventing geophysical surveys and
contaminating archaeological layers with ash and charcoal. Heat,
candle wax, and graffiti damage moss and lichens, which can take
decades to recover. Damage caused by fires will damage the spirit of
If an offering seems appropriate, please think about all its effects.
Don't leave artificial materials. Choose your offerings
carefully so that they can't be mistaken for litter. Please
don't bury things. Biodegradable offerings decay -- please
bear this in mind if you leave them. If there are already offerings
at the site, consider the effects of adding more.
Please don't take anything, except litter, from a site. Much of
the vegetation around sacred sites is unusual or rare, so don't
pick flowers. Don't take stones -- they may be an important
part of the site in ways that aren't obvious.
In times past, it was traditional to leave no traces of any ritual
because of persecution. This tradition is worth reviving because it
shows reverence to nature and the spirit of the place.
Don't change the site; let the site change you.
ASLaN is the Ancient Sacred Landscape Network, formed to be a
national focus for the preservation and protection of sacred sites
and their settings, and maintenance of and access to them. More
information on ASLaN can be found at:
Copyright © 2001 O'Reilly & Associates. All rights reserved.