Recently I saw a bit of a new Ted Timreck film where he spent a few minutes quoting Elliot (from Yale) about donation piles. Also, in the recent comment exchange following Meli's questions, James Gage quoted some of the known text passages about the practice of adding stones to memorial rock piles. Taken together these two back-to-back reminders of the topic of Donation piles makes we want to reiterate an opinion: over-emphasis on that topic plays into the hands of the people who want to ignore rock piles because it diminishes the importance of site's location, layout, and of its individual pile characteristics. It is pretty much of a clean (and negative) sweep, that puts under the rug almost all interesting topics in the subject area. To put it mildly it is a bad over-simplification. So before these text accounts of dontation pile get too much currency, let me just point out that it is a not the best strategy for generating interest in the subject and rescuing rock piles.
I wrote about this in "The donation pile myth" [Click here] .
As specialists, it is good we have the information from James Gage and others. I just think we should be careful before relying too heavily on this when discussing with non-specialist and, in particular, with members of the public who can help protect rock piles.