Friday, 21 March 2014

The Lepidop Question


Over on an archaeology forum that really welcomes artefact hunters with open arms, newbie "Joe" suggests [I imagine in a Ralph Wiggum-y voice] "wouldn't it be nice if we all worked together?", adding:  

I dare say, many md-ing clubs would welcome archaeologists - who might wish to learn md-ing skills to use on excavations - with open arms.
The problem is, isn't it, that there would be severe ethical problems in an archaeologist actively participating in an artefact hunting and collecting club meeting. The wording of the IfA and EAA codes would make that difficult if one was not a PAS FLO, And you could be drummed out of the one if caught and brought before its disciplinary committee (almost happened once as far as I know). And what happens when a club member starts to instruct the archaeologist how to avoid iron artefacts and other non-collectable archaeological material? 

When a British archaeology was arguing, apparently in all seriousness, a few days ago that the answer to all and any problems with artefact hunting was how nice it would be to be cozy-cuddly with artefact hunters and share the archaeological record with them so they can take away bits of it, butterfly conservationist "Lepidop" asked him a pertinent question. Did he own a metal detector? The answer was no. Lepidop asks in general, if artefact hunting is such a beneficial thing for the archaeological record, how many British archaeologists go out metal detecting to build up a little private collection of artefacts? How many FLOs have metal detectors of their own in their car boot? How many of them can we find on the PAS Flicr feed actually posing in a field with a metal detector in their hands?

Can we get beyond the number of fingers on one hand?

Vignette: Cupido minimus (c) Liliane Pessotto.

2 comments:

heritageaction said...

"I dare say, many md-ing clubs would welcome archaeologists - who might wish to learn md-ing skills to use on excavations - with open arms. "

Pull the other one. The only skill an artefact hunter has that can't be learned in moments is the ability (and it's an extraordinarily unreliable one) to select which targets to dig because they are non-ferrous or perhaps valuable and which to leave, something archaeologists never require.



Paul Barford said...

And the fact that not a single archaeologist on that forum picked that up immediately shows that in most cases they have not really got a clue what goes on in metal detecting and in their artefact hunters' clubs.

 
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