Saturday, 25 July 2015

Muddling Public Opinion in Charnwood



"Learn about detecting @ charnwood museum today!" says the twitter-gumph. The sad truth is that the public  will not actually learn very much from this hobby-orientated display about why artefact hunting and private collecting of this kind is so totally opposed in other quarters. Note the defensive charity banner bottom left (smokescreen-money raised by trashing the heritage and small-minded folk walking off with it). Note the little portable private museums of decontextualised artefacts arranged in rows, ready for a show-and-tell, the row of PAS object reports in the middle to make it "look all right". Where is the PAS followup display explaining the wider cultural resource management issues of artefact hunting and collecting?  Is that not what the PAS was set up for? No, just round the corner is more decontextualised stuff, this time its a FLO doing the show-and-tell and calling it "outreach" about artefact collecting. Is that in aid of "Rainbows" too?  The only thing apparently missing are the bikini-clad models demonstrating how a metal detector works.



9 comments:

heritageaction said...

Paul, I find this such an annoying event. It's listed as part of the CBA's Festival of Archaeology https://heritageaction.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/festival-of-whatology and is part of today's Day of Archaeology. How professionals can think it has anything to do with Archaeology is beyond this amateur. It's held in conjunction with the Loughborough Coin And Search Society whose detecting members are allowed to dig stuff up and then take it back to club HQ and flog it to the coin collecting members. Immoral oiks or what? I think that probably makes Loughborough Coin And Search Society further removed from Archaeology than it's possible to be. We know all about the behaviour of PAS but I think CBA and the Museum must have taken complete leave of their senses to have given this awful group the time of day. They might as well have invited the Sekhemka statue sellers of Northampton to take part in the Festival of Archaeology.

Paul Barford said...

I quite agree, I found it really annoying that this came from joyous notifications of the local FLO, presumably under the mistaken impression that by hlping organize a display encouraging artefact collecting ('come-and-join-us' is the very clear message of what I can make out from the photo of this display) she's done a good job. Well, no, no more than Ros Tyrell and her plastic carrier bag, paint scraper and I-can't-hear-you earplugs). The PAS has totally lost its way. Bonkers.

J C Maloney said...

Glad you enjoyed our display both. Sorry there weren`t any close ups of each & every PAS Record on the finds, you`ll have to trust me that they are all recorded. Hand held GPS & findspot makes it very easy.
I`ll let you intellectuals debate as to the context of plough soil!!
Some of the display is made up of members personal collections of modern coinage such as £1 coins & 50ps, not my cup of tea but still of interest to many.
The other artefacts are from the County Council education collection that is used at many & varied events.
The Society are authorised by Rainbows to run events and collect on their behalf, we re-cycle magazines for donations, hence the banner....please feel free to chip in !
Sorry if being part of the CBA Festival rubs you up the wrong way but, fortunately, Leicestershire is more forward thinking than Eastern Europe and good relationships between responsible detecting and archaeologists are developing well.
Our club ethos is that finds have a purpose and belong to everyone to be recorded, shared and contribute to the bigger picture. Maybe not your ideal as I`m sure you would rather our history was left to "the qualified professionals" but the reality is that we go places & find history that would never otherwise be known.
I`m sure you will selectively edit my post to suit & then micro analyse it but I`m sure it will give you hours of fun.

Best Wishes

John

Paul Barford said...

No, no fun at all.

How nice of Rainbows to "authorise" the plundering of archaeological sites in your county. I'm sure if they "authorised" some big game hunting in the Serengeti and some bird snaring in Malta or gun running across the Turkish border they'd raise even more money. You'll forgive me for refusing to donate to any charity that plunders the heritage for money, and encourage all that care about the preservation of the past to consider refusing too. Can we have a list of charities that are financially supported by artefact hunters?

Our ethos too is that archaeological evidence can be put to better purpose than to put curios and geegaws in the pockets of collectors.

J C Maloney said...

You seem confused Paul, they authorise us to raise funds by re-selling old copies of Searcher & Treasurer Hunting donated by our members. Hardly gun running, bird snaring or the other over dramatised comparisons. If you lost that twaddle people might take you slightly more seriously, as it is you seem a tad "off track".

Regards

John

Paul Barford said...

"are authorised by Rainbows to run events "

That'd be the tatty old used magazine rallies that Britain is renowned for I guess. Forgive me for suggesting that the owner of this blog is not the twaddle-monger here. Why can artefact hunters not be HONEST about what it is they do?



Paul Barford said...

No mention here of "magazine selling rallies": http://thefarmingforum.co.uk/index.php?threads/not-looking-for-metal-detecting.15526/page-24 Why are you telling my readers lies? How much does a used Treasure Hunter go for to people who kin berly reed?

Paul Barford said...

To J C Maloney: points 3 and 5 of http://paul-barford.blogspot.com/2010/12/note-to-comment-posters.html

Paul Barford said...

Mr Maloney, this post was how a MUSEUM and the PAS "inform" the public about artefact hunting, there being a lot more to that question than the photo suggests this apparently one-sided display presents. Believe it or not, it is not about you or your magazine sales and charity donations.

Yes, you have the right to reply here - but only if you keep to the guidelines. Your last two posts did not, the name calling and insinuations are why I rejected them. OK? If you can manage to send an appropriately phrased substantive comment I will publish it. But there are already eight, and only the first two addressed the topic. You play the game cleanly with me, I'll play ball with you, if you don't want to accept that, I am sure there are dozens of chip-on-the-shoulder-victims forums where you can go and complain that another metal detectorist is "being treated unfairly".

 
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