Thursday, 30 April 2015

Over-Staged Attitudes

More PAS-inspired fluffy bunniness
Suzie Thomas in Helsinki has produced a fluff piece about the PAS, it ends appropriately enough with a misprint which neatly sums up the whole artefact hunting facadism of which the PAS is an integral part:
However, the importance of keeping a dialogue with the metal detecting community cannot be over-staged.
for those interested in enthusiastic fluff: Suzie Thomas, 'The Portable Antiquities Scheme in England and Wales' SKAS 1 2014 [the abbreviation seems not to be developed].

To her credit she does mention (p. 34) laundering of finds through false findspot declaration, This I think is a far more serious problem than most supporters of the Scheme give credit for, and it's good to see one of them actually raise this issue for a change.

I'm not so sure about the validity of her second criticism. Suzie Thomas seems to object to the quoting of PAS numbers in sales documentation (also p. 34 - I think this is supposed to be the "criticism" her introduction promises). I do not see it that way. I'd rather that there was some attention paid to where antiquities came from and whence they come onto the market. If we have collecting as a legitimate pastime (and in the UK it seems we do), then let us insist that all is as white as white can be, above board accountability all round. Let's have PAS numbers on antiquities for sale.

UPDATE 3rd May 2015
OK, I was a little hard on it, actually cited it as a source in a bibliography just now as she mentions aspects the ubiquitous and tediously repetitive "Bland" pieces do not - so had to sort out that undeveloped acronym - SKAS stands for Suomen Keskiajan Arkeologian Seura (Finnish: Medieval Archaeological Society of Finland).

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