Saturday, 17 November 2012

"Let the Buildings Crumble, Fund the PAS"

"Professor Gill, are you a good value for the UK taxpayer?" asks the Lobboblogger ("Fund an Inclusive Approach to Archaeology "). One might equally ask whether responsible collectors are getting good value from this constant sniping and obstructionism from Tompa's firm Bailey and Ehrenberg.

Tompa, over in not-very-historic-Washington, D.C., for some reason suggests continuing cutting funding for the upkeep Britain's heritage sites and allocating the money to the PAS on the grounds that it is "inclusive". I would contest that. A recent EH heritage factsheet shows that while 28 million citizens were among the 44 million visits to heritage sites in the annual period surveyed, we find that the PAS had in the same period contact with just a few thousand, mainly artefact hunters in their clubs and rallies.

How is partnering artefact hunting and collecting in any way "inclusive"?  Are metal detecting forums, metal detecting clubs and metal detecting rallies in general "inclusive"? No, in general, they are highly exclusive entities. They do not want the general public looking over their shoulders - nor do many of them appreciate the PAS looking over their shoulders and asking to see what they've got secreted away. In what way then is this an "inclusive" manner to treat the archaeological heritage? 

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