Friday, 23 January 2015

Friday Retrospect: A Shedful of Metal Detected Crud is Not "Archaeology"

I thought I'd just collect a few past posts here together in which I'd previously tried very hard to explain to metal detectorists who'd raised the topic what the archaeological issues are that overlap with their collecting activities. Although they are now 11 months old, you can see from the discussions that are still going on that metal detectorists just do not want to take any of this on board. Too many words perhaps, "not enuff piktchas"?
 'Focus on UK Metal Detecting: What's this all about?', Thursday, 6 March 2014

'Focus on UK Metal Detecting: More on What's this all about?', Thursday, 6 March 2014
But then, look what happened, the discussion was first highjacked by a lobbyist for the antiquities dealers who introduced his own red herring into the discussion.  This was basically a Two Wrongs logical fallacy. The idea was that if archaeologists beginning an excavation use machines to remove topsoil, then it cannot be bad to destroy a surface exposure of a site making surface survey untenable. The fallacy here is of course to see archaeology as something ONLY done by digging things up. Obviously collectors are unable to have a more nuanced view (and cannot comprehend standing building survey, aerial archaeology etc as any form of archaeology). This cynical (or maybe just ignorant) 'machining off the topsoil' highjack prevented developing the discussion of analysing and recording surface exposures any further. This is what happens when tyou try to engage maetal detectorists and collectors in any sensible disciussion. Note that the main characters involved are two metal detectorists declaring themselves as "responsible", a sock-puppet calling himself "Steve" who to gain authority in the eyes of his tekkie audience pretended at one stage to be an archaeologist, and an archaeologist infamous for his support of tekkies but a sad inability to ever discuss the issues properly. Here we go:

'Lobbyist's "Red Herring" a Red Herring', Friday, 7 March 2014

'Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Not Doing the Service to History People Say',  Friday, 7 March 2014

''Exceptions or Rules and Prevailing Trends in Archaeology?', Tuesday, 11 March 2014

'Wonky Reasoning in UK Metal Detecting', Tuesday, 18 March 2014

'What the PAS is not Telling YOU', Wednesday, 19 March 2014

'Archaeology's Alleged "Double Standards" and the Oreo', Thursday, 20 March 2014

'Patronising the tekkies Without Allowing them a Voice', Friday, 21 March 2014

'The Search For "The Truth"... ', Friday, 21 March 2014

'British Archaeologists: "Looting of Site Surfaces is NOT Damaging the Archaeological record" ..', Monday, 24 March 2014
 Now, if the general impression of that lot is that trying to get a few simple facts over to this particular audience is a bit like a fight with Cerberus (and with the other archaeologists - pretend or otherwise - only ready to join the fray on the side of the yapping dogs), then one begins to get a better idea of what the PAS are up against.

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