Monday, 24 September 2012

Fifteen Damaging Years


Today, 24th September, is the fifteenth anniversary of the beginning of the of the PAS. I am sure they will be marking the occasion reminding everyone what they have "achieved", which seems to me largely to consist of fifteen years dodging the important questions that need to be asked about the wider significance of current British policies on artefact hunting and collecting. Fifteen years of presenting the public with a picture of the archaeological record as the plaything of Treasure hunters, and archaeology as nothing more than making up daft stories about 'things found'.

2 comments:

kristan jones said...

Fifteen years 812,142 objects within 519,389 records now recorded on the database.
Congratulations to all involved with
PAS heres to the next fifteen years.

Paul Barford said...

What are you on about "Kristan"?

The number of objects recorded is spin-fluff. This blog is about the erosion of the record due to artefact collecting - thus preservation of the archaeological record from needless destruction like this. 520 000 records is five hundred and twenty thousand (over half a million) reported holes in the archaeological record, the number of unreported ones is astronomically higher (see Heritage action Erosion counter for a conservative model of the failure rate).

Best practice has NOT been achieved.

The number of artefact hunters and collectors has increased due to PAS encouragement.

Where are those 800 000 objects, now? The ones hoiked out of the record in 1997 for example?

And what if there is NO "another fifteen years"? Or another Fifty? What happens then? The first one has cost upwards of fifteen million quid, how much will the next fifteen years cost with increased numbers of people finding things? Fifteen times 800 Treasure items hoiked out a year? Where will this all lead to Kristen? When and how will it STOP?

... and then what, in hindsight, will be seen as the "achievement"?

 
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