Thursday, 1 March 2012

The Voice of America

Like myself, Heritage Action is pleasantly surprised by the US reaction to local artefact hunting ("metal detecting") crassness - 'Wow! America says we’ve been right all along!'
[...] But it’s not just what the letters say about the shows that caught our eye, it’s some more general observations they make [...] Ever heard anything like that from the archaeological Establishment of Britain? No. Britain has the PAS Scheme instead and partners the activity (or at least, that minority of detectorists that bothers to co-operate and thereby sustains the majority that don’t). Commercial grabfests involving tens of thousands of pounds? No problem, PAS will attend. Doesn’t sound like America is going to follow suit any time soon.
Which is of course really bad news for all those US no-questions-asked collectors of material metal detected from the archaeological record of other countries, who in unison urge those countries to adopt a collector-friendly clone of the "British system". Let them first establish one in their own country in order to encourage others to follow such an "enlightened lead".
The AIA is the largest archaeological organisation in the world with over 240,000 members in many countries. They appear to agree with everything we have ever said – which takes the sting out of the physical threats we’ve had from detectorists and the contempt with which our views are dismissed over here. Next time detectorists, archaeologists or PAS sneer about us (or Paul Barford) in public or behind our backs please bear in mind that actually it’s THEY who are the aberrant minority, not us [...] God Bless America and its huge number of enlightened archaeologists!

Can we ship some of the provincially minded ones of Britain over there for retraining?

And who said this was an "anti-American" blog?

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