Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Question to the PAS About Commercial Artefact Hunting Rallies

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Heritage Action wrote a text about the Polish artefact hunters' rally on Crown Estate land at Offley, Herts and published it in their online journal. The PAS Hertfordshire Finds Liaison Officer saw this text and added a comment saying he could put the preservationists' minds to rest because.... the finds were being recorded. He seems oblivious to the real point which was the propriety of holding a commercial artefact hunting rally at all when it results in the concentrated, but selective, erosion of the archaeological record.

So here is a question to the PAS generally, can the holding of erosive commercial artefact hunting rallies really be justified through the voluntary and selective recording of the "finds"?

They will pretend as always that they've not seen it and I doubt we will get a proper answer. After all, we cannot have the PAS actually addressing the conservation concerns of the public can we?

In lieu of the lack of an answer from the artefact-hunter partnering PAS, the reader might like to ask themselves the same question. Can the holding of erosive commercial artefact hunting rallies really be justified through the voluntary and selective recording of the "finds"?

2 comments:

heritageaction said...

The question hardly needs asking or answering. An archaeologist who worked at random with minimal mitigation would be in breach of his ethical standards which are there for resource-protection reasons so PAS can hardly say that amateurs that do the same thing aren’t doing something regrettable.

Paul Barford said...

Well, I still think it worth asking, if only to start some debate on it and allowing the general public to see the issues under discussion. Simply sweeping them under the carpet is neither a viable way forward, nor very professional, nor yet again in line with stated conservation policies.

 
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