Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Detecting Under the Microscope: Ask an FLO about the Destruction of the Archaeological Record

Nobody did this last year, why not have a go in 2013?  The suggestion was made (by a metal detectorist) that members of the public can phone up the PAS FLOs and ask them some questions. It is their job to answer them.
- Ask them about your doubts on artefact hunting and collecting.

- Ask them about "partnering" artefact hunters and collectors.

- Ask them what you can do to PROTECT the archaeological record from damage and erosion (is it "buy a metal detector' or "do not buy a metal detector"? Or is it something else?).

- Ask them for their realistic estimate of what proportion of metal detectorists are adhering fully to the Code of (Best) Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting, and how many reject it and abide by the two main rival ones.

- Ask them for a realistic estimate of the number of dugup finds not being reported  each year in the region.

- Ask them why you should be paying their salaries for "partnering" artefact hunters instead of doing something more effective to prevent the damage to sites and assemblages.

- Ask them whether they are concerned about the loss of information from the archaeological record by artefact hunting, or whether expressing such concerns is just "propaganda" (and if they say it is, ask them why they are doing that job if it is not to offset the loss of information).

- Ask them about their thoughts on the PAS policy of close collaboration with a commercial metal detecting magazine ("The Searcher"), and whether they subscribe to it or own a metal detector (or archaeological collection - and why/why not).

- Ask them why metal detectorists think you will hear abusive comments FROM ARCHAEOLOGISTS when one raises these topics.

 - Ask them if they LIKE working with metal detectorists.

Phone the FLOs, it is part of their "outreach" mission to answer your questions on portable antiquity collecting issues. 

Then post the answers you  get here as comments (with the name of the FLO please).

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