Sunday, 27 March 2011

No Pockets Needed

Bloomsbury Pete, the national representative of Avian Concern for Cultural Heritage, the most vocal portable antiquities issues advocate in Bloomsbury has an ally. No its not the blokes sitting drinking tea and counting their website 'hits' and speaking to TV executives when they are not fondling coins from treasure-hunted hoards in the BM over the way, but a group of conservationists, Heritage Action. Do take a moment to read their take on current forms of British "archaeological outreach" and its partnership with artefact hunting. ("For true amateur archaeologists there are NO POCKETS NEEDED! All else is bluster, and if someone turns up at your farm gate covered in pockets and pouches they’re not amateur archaeologists. Simple").

It seems to me that there is a huge danger in both archaeology and its public (and policy makers) increasingly equating the discipline with a search for displayable and shiny metal objects, and little else.

So that's a flock of WC1 pigeons, a bunch of conservationists, a few scattered archaebloggers, but when are British archaeologists going to get their finger out and get on with discussing these portable antiquity issues properly and in their wider context? (That means you too PAS, it is what you are being paid to do.)

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