Wednesday, 6 June 2012

What Archaeologists-who-have-no-pseudo-partners-listening Say About Artefact Hunting

Over in Britain the archaeologists are caught up in a convenient pretence that there is some kind of "partnership" with erstwhile looters and artefact hunters. So they cannot really say very much against the practice. Anyone who does is accused by the Bloomsbury Boyz and the rest of them of being 'trouble-makers' and "trolls". Fortunately when you go outside the zone of their pervasive influence, you find not all archaeologists are caught up in this collective craziness. Over in the States for example, they have no Portable Antiquities Scheme presuming to tell them what they can and cannot say in public, so they say things like:
"the public’s heritage is diminished any time private amateurs remove artefacts from heritage sites. The fact that these shows glorify the intent to sale the artefacts is really an added insult to the public’s injury".
and with specific reference to a "Diggers" show of which the British public will very soon see a copycat britified version: 
Damage to vulnerable sites is exacerbated by the impaired mentality and venality of programs such as these. As such, the producers share responsibility for the deleterious effects they glamorize [...].
And anyone involved I would add [by the way, the second quote is a comment from an archaeologist who has metal detector users working alongside him in projects].


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Paul, the British public will indeed soon see a “copycat britified version” of the Diggers show. There will be a difference though - it will be full of references, we are told, to “responsible detecting”. On that basis it is going to be presented as a Good Thing.

(a.) “responsible detecting” is an emasculated version of good practice, merely the best that could be extracted and a million miles from the ethical duties imposed on archaeologists
(b.) Most metal detectorists can’t be bothered to conform even to “responsible detecting”
(c.) The programme will surely expand the number of metal detectorists and no-one has yet provided any reason why the new ones will be any more likely to be "responsible" than the rest. Logic suggests most will be like most detectorists.

So it seems to me the net result will be malign, a worsening of what we currently have. So it will be just like Diggers, but worse – the involvement of approving archaeological voices and the “responsibility” chat will serve to kid the viewing public that archaeologists think artefact hunting is all very jolly – something the American viewing public are spared.

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