Sunday, 30 August 2009

Roman coins ignored, only discovered by PAS? More metal detecting stuff and nonsense

From the Guardian:

"The grots have only been reported since 1996, when the PAS began establishing a national network of finds officers, to record and crucially map all the archaeological objects found by amateurs".

Who writes this stuff? Typing chimpanzees? Maev Kennedy might try to look at some archaeological publications, museum catalogues, the Victoria County Histories, anything really before she writes such things. It's not "metal detectorists that are rewriting history" but gullible journalists who cannot check the facts handed to them by interest groups.

So the big hoo-ha is really about how the PAS have entered the 400 000th object on their database. Whoopee. Measured against 8000 metal detector users hoovering away artefacts from the British archaeological record for 11 years since the Scheme was set up, that is 4.5 objects per detectorist per detecting year being recorded. Most of them can find that many over a single weekend. Let us remember that the total includes many thousand accidental finds made by non-collecting members of the public.

Where is the PAS Annual Report for 2007? Where (at the beginning of September 2009) is the PAS report for 2008? Instead of propagating cheery factoids, let's have a proper account of what they've been up to.

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