Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Artefact Hunting versus Conservation

David Knell, his real name, replies to tiresome tekkie sockpuppetry ('Conservation vs. Metal Detecting - Part Two'), though he feels he is banging his head against a brick wall trying to get the metal detectorists concerned to actually read what he wrote before attacking it - the same old story of problems of basic literacy and stupid and unsupported assumptions on their part. He concludes: 
Go ahead and do metal detecting to your heart's desire. I can't stop you. It's all perfectly legal in England and Wales under minimal conditions. But at least spare us all the bullshit and be honest about it: it's just a selfish treasure hunt you pursue for your own pleasure, whether you give your finds to museums or not. Please don't try to delude yourself or try to convince others that you are somehow altruistically 'saving history' for everyone else. You're not. There may be occasional exceptions but more often than not, you're wrecking much of the evidence of history just to satisfy your own need for entertainment. As I said, that is NOT conservation.
But since it appears the very concept of conservation is something some metal detectorists find difficult to comprehend ("I don't know much about rhinos" one of them plaintively complained), it seems that their main problem might not be merely one of being able to read the points of view of others, but one of limited intellectual horizons leading to an inability to see them in some kind of broader context. 

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