Andy Baines is as happy as can be, he reckons he's found "The question that a conservationist cannot answer" (Friday, 15 August 2014). He apparently has difficulty in following what it means when I wrote that "even in the case of the PAS recorded artefacts, we do not have the foggiest where most of the million-recorded items in private curation have now gone" let alone the ultimate destiny of the others that are for one reason or another not recorded by the PAS ("The whole lot has vanished, together with any unrecorded information associated with them"). Baines however has not the foggiest idea of the implications of that, so tries to draw attention away to another area altogether, an object-centric "Where would you prefer them to be...?" He seems to think there is some mystery when we are discussing preservation of archaeological information "where" I think hoikable artefacts are of more benefit, in the archaeological record or his pocket.
It beats me why fifteen million quid and a decade and a half of state-funded public outreach by the Bloomsbury Boys has not beaten the answer to that question into the skulls of at least those they consider their "partners". Can somebody explain what they've been doing with all that outreach money if such questions keep coming up?
Trying to explain by analogy with other forms of conservation (I would have thought the answer was obvious to a twelve-year old) was obviously ineffective, Mt Baines has gone away thinking he's asked a question so clever that "the conservationist could not answer it". Perhaps I cannot, I am an ex-academic teacher, I admit I never had a course how to deal with special needs learners. Do I need to use coloured Lego blocks? Baines says:
I think my question was a reasonable one as i am genuinely interested in understanding the conservationists view.There is a large amount of readily available reading matter (and at a variety of reading levels) on many aspects of conservation in libraries, bookshops and on the internet. To reiterate, this blog is about artefact hunters and collectors, not for them. Metal detectorists want everything handed to them on a plate with a polite smile. I think if Mr Baines has a question about an issue connected with portable antiquities, and for some reason cannot look it up unaided, his automatic first stop should be the Portable Antiquities Scheme (which is there precisely to liaise with the public on such matters). They get paid to deal with questions like that from the public, I don't. Let's see who there is willing to explain the conservationists view to an artefact hunter. It's their job, let them do it.
PS as for "I tried to answer Nigels question but in a silencing technique that i have witnessed many times before, my comment was not authorised". Mr Baines did NOT answer the question properly, and this tiresome to-and-froing, and the mixture of entitlement and playing the victim induced me not to approve his next three comments, which were totally off-topic (the post is about a missing eleven million artefacts, not conservation). But anyone interested and inclined to sympathise can read what he thinks is the answer on his blog.