Asked to justify his earlier glib dismissal of the implications of the Heritage Action Artefact Erosion Counter (which attempts to provide a conservative estimate of the toll of Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological resource in England and Wales), a detectorist attempted a cop-out. Totally ignorant of the point the HAAEC is making he blurts out unthinkingly:
My evidence that the AEC is not fact is the PAS database. The PAS database is based on true items and numbers. [...] The PAS database is not inaccurate or a guess, it deals in cold hard evidence in the shape of actual objects.I am sure then that he, or any other metal detectorist (or archaeologist) in the UK can then use the database - produced with public money to record the results of the expenditure of a LOT of public money on direct interaction with the public- to answer one simple question. How many of the PAS database objects ("cold hard facts") have been reported directly to the Scheme by how many metal detectorists? Anyone who claims that the "cold hard evidence" of the PAS database shows that current policies are mitigating to a satisfying degree the damage caused to the archaeological record by Collection-Driven Exploitation by several thousand active artefact hunters and collectors will be able to provide those figures won't they? Won't they? Or is it in fact the truth that we cannot get that simple statistic from the PAS database? Is that not a bit worrying? On what, precisely, have those fifteen million quid been spent?