|Systematic field survey data|
I spent a bit of time explaining to the detectorist who asked a question about surface evidence what the problem, from an archaeological point of view was ('Focus on UK Metal Detecting: What's this all about?') Although he did not thank me, he had no further questions or observations. I assumed the job was done. Unfortunately it is a mistake to imagine that these people think the way the rest of us do. I think most of us if we do not understand something ask, and do not pretend we understood what was said, hoping nobody will notice we have not got a clue. The metal detectoriust goes straight ahead and shows he's not the foggiest notion of what those dots on a picture represent (it surely is not ALL that difficult is it?). The hapless Mr Baines, for whom I wrote what I did, is caught writing this:
Dont you think we have our eyes open when walking looking for pottery shards and flints and any other non metallic items? Yes, improvements need to be made in areas but overall we do a great service to history.
|Results of random hoiking - not data|
How can random hoiking, even with full and detailed reporting, in this manner be considered a valid way of "doing a great service to history (sic)"?
I think we'd all like to see the PAS provide some more discussion of this point, linked, as behoves an archaeological outreach organization, to the current literature on the investigation of surface sites.
The English Heritage policy document "Our Portable Past" would be a good starting point - at the time of writing, it is not even linked on the PAS website.
Not that I think many metal detectorists of the calibre of the hapless young blogger discussed above will get it, but the PAS is not there to 'outreach' exclusively to that milieu - far from it.