Thursday, 9 October 2014

"Kimbo's Autumn Dig Social Metal Detecting Fun Collection-Driven Exploitation Weekender"

Unlike artefact collectors' grabfests,
in not all charity rallies do the participants
count on going home with valuable objects.
Kim Clarke, from what look like council houses at Great Yeldham is organizing "Kimbo's Autumn Dig Social Metal Detecting Fun Weekender". The venue is  Langham Hall Dedham Road Langham Colchester Essex. I know it well, archaeologically sensitive area, cropmark cover, important earthwork traces, just above important Roman river crossing. Potential for ignorant destruction relatively large. £50 a weekend, 150 attendees - £7500 made by pilfering this part of the county's archaeological record. Finders could each be walking off with collectable artefacts potentially worth many times that amount, but whose archaeological significance cannot be measured in financial terms ("Finds over 300 years old and over £300 in value and items subject to the Treasure Act 1996 are to be divided 50/50 with the landowner"). Will the FLO be able to salvage any archaeologically useful information from the grabfest? As somebody who has carried out fieldwork in the immediate vicinity, I would love to see her report.  Apparently this is all "good" as the pilfering will go to "charity":
All proceeds will go to Camps International. They raise money to send students to work in less developed countries to help them to develop their own social skills in teamwork but also to aid the countries build much needed hospitals and schools etc. While at the same time learning and teaching about conservation.
Except its not a charity is it? "Camps International are a multi award-winning expedition company with over 12 years experience running Volunteer Gap Years and School Expeditions around the world" they are run from Headlands Business Park, Salisbury Road, Ringwood BH24 3NX, just up the road from detectorist John Howland. How on earth can you "learn and teach on conservation" when your funding comes from commercial collection-driven exploitation of archaeological sites? The very idea! I'm not even going to bother to say that this, too, is something the PAS should be saying, because we all know they will not. Seventeen million pounds of will not lift a finger, let alone wag it

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