Friday, 15 February 2013

PAS Member Goes metal Detecting

From an artefact hunting permission application letter from the UK and addressed to a landowner but posted online: 
[...] I was wondering if you had any land available (arable, pasture or even round the edges of fields) that I can practice my hobby on? Most of the finds I make are within the top 4-5 inches of the soil so no deep holes would be made. I always back fill my holes and leave the area exactly as I have found it and most importantly would respect your land and your wishes. I am a member of the PAS scheme so all finds of interest would be recorded so that we can build up a bigger picture of how the people of days gone by used to live. I am also fully insured. I also do not mind pulling my weight if you would happen to need a hand on your farm in return for you allowing me to practice my hobby on your land. I would of (sic) preferred to of (sic) asked you face to face but I feel it is more respectful to write this letter than to drop in on your doorstep unannounced. "
This "member of the Portable Antiquities Scheme" from East Yorkshire offering to pull their weight on the farm neglects to say what their weight actually is. They may be a weedy little office boy. So what do this "finds of interest" consist of (as opposed to all archaeological finds)? The archaeological outreach Scheme, costing upwards of fifteen million quid, was not created in order to mitigate damage caused, and certainly not  to ease access of artefact hunters to the archaeological record to exploit as a source of collectables. Failure to point that out to its "partners" in the race to meet "targets" in database numbers is a misuse of public funds.

Furthermore, what "bigger picture of how people used to live" does the PAS database unsupported by anything else actually provide? Can one for example construct a picture of "how life was lived in the 1990s" by metal detecting in the fields? What kind of picture would that be (ring pulls, shotgun cartridges, tinfoil wrappers, tractor parts)?

UPDATE 16 Feb 2013:
It seems like this is another topic 'the lads' do not want it to be seen is being discussed. Another thread hidden as soon as attention is drawn to it. What have UK metal detectorists got tto HIDE? That some members of a forum collaborate with the PAS? Is that such a problem in MDtekkieland? That somebody asked a question about what "bigger picture of how people used to live" metal detecting creates? Is that such a difficult question for them to answer that they have to pretend nobody said anything about that? 

Take a good look folks at what these people are hiding. These are the people the PAS would like to grab anothe few million of public pounds to make into their "partners". How can one be partners with somebody who does not trust you to look at what they are talking about? Who can't abide frank and open discussion of the issues. Or more to the point, what actually IS the point in trying to make such folk your partners? Britain should spend more on hospital beds than pandering to folk like these.

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