Thursday, 18 June 2015

PAS 'Pieces of the PASt in yer 'and Narrativisation

I guess Lava-PAS will be working hard to "make history real" to its dumbdown "audience" by linking loose finds in the PAS database to the 'kings and battles' history of book-history rather than through archaeology. A egregious example is of the genre is Robert Webley's 'King John and Magna Carta' posted today ("in the week marking the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta") on the PAS blog, now in the Community Finds Recording Teams (CFRT) County Pages. It is all about addressed sources with pictures and writing on them, coins and seals. Not a potsherd, ruminant bone, encaustic tile, relict land boundary or peasant toft in sight. But there's an exclamation mark, and you can hold the history in your hand, just go out and buy a metal detector and start targeting those thirteenth century sites. 

RA Ingram coins liked it on facebook. I expect the sycophantic pro-collecting archaeologists of Britain will be doing the same soon.

Now tell me. The British Museum, it has coins and other artefacts of the early thirteenth century in its collections, hasn't it? So why oh why are "Learning, Volunteers and Audiences Department of the British Museum not highlighting the British Museum's collections, rather than what's in 3000 scattered ephemeral private collections  up and down the country outside the British Museum. Could they answer us what museum collections are for? Why do Show and Tell with somebody else's artefacts and not your own?

If the British Museum can tell the story of King John using only artefacts held outside the museum but digitally recorded in it, why can they not tell the story of ancient Athens without the Parthenon Marbles being in the Museum in a similar way

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