Thursday, 18 September 2014

PAS and their "hervorragend nationale Wissenschaft"

Today, as the UK holds a referendum to decide the future of itself, it seems worth recalling the gruesomely painful penultimate episode (7) of the second series of "Britain’s Secret Treasures" which dealt with Treasure Trove Scotland. This seemed determined to make as many gratuitous mentions of Scottish-English union as could be fitted into a half-hour ostensibly-archaeology programme. Yuk !
 I've pointed out the Kossinnist roots of other things the PAS and its supporters do with archaeological artefacts, here they go the whole hog, Vorgeschichte - eine hervorragend nationale Wissenschaft in all its dubious glory."Topical" reference is made to the upcoming referendum about Scottish independence, breaking the Union. The archaeological artefacts are dragged into the argument, explaining how the United Kingdom is "not such a bad thing", after all - the narrativisation goes - just a few decades after Cullodden, the archaeologists insist their stories show that "the Scots" were quite happy to be in it. So it is that the next find too is roped-into the feelgood narrative:
A second treasure found in the same area is also evidence of improving relationships between the Highlanders’ and British soldiers. Treasure hunter Jack Mackay found a belt buckle from a soldier’s uniform in the fields around the fort last year. The buckle was dated as being from 50 years after Culloden when Britain was at war with France and Napoleon. On the badge is the name of a regiment called the Fort William volunteers made up of local Scottish men. So just half a century after being defeated by the British Army, the Scottish Highlanders were volunteering to fight for them suggesting they had finally accepted a unified Britain.[...] Michael said: “It’s a new world now as I gaze out on a tranquil Scotland where in 2014 the people will vote on whether to maintain the union. These objects illustrate a crucial stage in the long running relationship between England and Scotland and they also demonstrate how old enmity can melt away to be recast as friendly rivalry.”
 Kossinna in his grave is beaming delightedly with his face turned towards Bloomsbury. Archaeology in support of imperialism.

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