Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Can't STOP the Illegal Artefact Hunters?

Despite the pledge to devote more attention to protecting the scheduled site at Whitby a few weeks back, some metal detectorists are still managing to get away with illegal searching on the site at night. Now, the police are appeling for the public's help  "If you have any information please call Police on 101 or Crimestoppers 0800555111". Why not installing electronic sensing devices, or that French gadget,  the Dispositif Anti-Pillage (here, here , here and here) on the most vulnerable scheduled sites ? Or get the "responsible metal detectorists" to help mount nightly "neighbourhood watch" patrols?

Meanwhile, the English heritage area manager is wringing his hands in helplessness and whinging weakly: "This illegal activity is deeply disheartening". No, it's a downright scandal. It is British archaeology's shame. According to this same guy "it is extremely unlikely anything significant remains in the ground". The guy is lying. He is lying to the British public. Probably cannot think of any other way to stop artefact hunters exercising what they feel is their "right" to "access the past" than tell fibs. Like all the other fibs that are constantly told about (and for the benefit of) artefact hunting in the UK. When, actually, are British heritage professionals (I use the latter term loosely), going to come clean with the whole story about artefact hunting in the UK? I suppose before they admit it to the public they have to get over the bigger hurdle, which seems to be to admit it to themselves.

One commentator wants to know what has been done:  "A few buckets of metal nails and copper roof nails spread around the site soon makes those who steal my heritage get bored and frustrated and they'll go elsewhere" (Of course "elsewhere" is also destroyed heritage). But it's good to see the message getting across, stealing everybody's heritage for personal entertainment and profit...

Anon, 'Opportunists digging deep in Abbey grounds', Whitby Gazette   15 May 2013.

Vignette: STOP them from taking our past.  

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.