Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Duelling Millions

Just ten months ago artefact hunters were making demands of Heritage Action to "show the ten-millionth object" indicated by the Heritage Action Artefact Erosion counter. They could not be bothered to read the text to find out what the HAAEC actually does which I think is sufficiently well explained here for most intelligent people to comprehend what it is and what it is not, and imagined it was some kind of a scrying ball that could see what nobody else can see. they therefore wished to provide an "acid test" for this alleged magical instrument . To humour them, I played along with their nonsense, adding that 'the ten millionth and first object dug up by artefact hunters since 1975 which was dug up in a field on the same day may never have been reported to the PAS" (see PACHI  Monday, 9 December 2013, 'Focus on UK Metal Detecting: That Ten Millionth Object'). I would have thought that was clear enough.

It seems the minds of some metal detectorists are unable to cope with abstract concepts such as that ('Focus on Metal Detecting: "Britain's Number One Detectorist" Speaks' 12th December 2013). It seems they still consider the HAAEC has in some way been compromised by the inability to show which artefact was clandestinely removed when and in which order from a field somewhere in England and Wales. They however are equally unable to show us the actual one millionth object (somewhere among the estimated "22000" from the anonymous hoard Dr Vincent Drost added to the PAS database on Monday). Let Dr Drost produce the image of that one-millionth object and show us its PAS record. And only then let us hear from the metal detectorsts how "objective" and representative the PAS numbers are in any discussion of heritage policy.

Vignette: Duelling interpretations of heritage data

1 comment:

Alan S. said...

I suspect the difficulty they have is in distinguishing the difference between 'dug up' and 'recorded'. As we all know, these are not the same thing at all!

Recent discussions on the Britarch list suggest that the process of even getting something recorded isn't as simple as some would like, as an object has to by physically handled by an FLO before they'll even contemplate creating a record. Picky-choosy?

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