|The detectorists' approach to discussing |
issues connected with artefact collecting
I have mentioned his videos and commented on what I see in them on this blog a few times. The first was in response to his 208th film of 1st April last year on the topic of "Metal Detectorists V Archaeologists". I disagreed with what he was telling his viewers, so discussed the points he made. Basically, I think he misunderstands a whole load of issues. Here is my reply: "Metal Detecting Complaint" (PACHI Thursday, 3 April 2014). You might like to look at the comments published under the blog text from his supporters to see their counter-arguments before I decided to close the comments (I will re-open them if Mr Holdsworth himself wishes to engage in proper discussion with what I said - as it says in the 'notes for comment posters' over in the sidebar, any person specifically addressed by one of the case studies I use here has the right to reply). This behaviour is what we have learnt to accept as typical of English-speaking metal detectorists. Not only do I stand by every word I wrote a year and a half ago, not a single one of the points I made in reply to the rather stereotypical arguments offered has been addressed in any manner or form by UK metal detectorists, there is zero change in any of the areas I mentioned there. Zero, the text is as true to life now as it was then.
One metal detectorist decided also to disagree with what Mr Holdsworth said ("There is no versus' " The Responsible detectorist, Thursday, 3 April 2014 - "From my experience I do not share Dan's point of view". There are still no comments at all under this text). I referred to that post here: "Detectorbloke on Deep-digger-dullardry" PACHI Friday, 4 April 2014). The fact that I do so approvingly rather takes the wind out of DeepDiggerDan's "everybody hates us all" sails.
Mr Holdsworth was mentioned a third time where I contrasted tongue-in-cheek his use of social media with that of the detectorists' "partner" organization, the Portable Antiquities Scheme which has shown a singular lack of initiative in using these media to vigorously (instead of half-heartedly) promote best practice and debate on best practice in the UK ("Deep Digger Dan has been Invited to the PAS?" PACHI Tuesday, 8 April 2014).
A Deep Digger Dan video which coincided with the "Nazi War Diggers" debacle was commented upon by me in a fourth blog text here ("Deep Digger Dan Goes Nazi" PACHI Sunday, 20 April 2014). The looting of World War battlefields here on the continent for the collectables market is a subject which concerns me a great deal. I have seen the effects, both in terms of the damage it does to the natural environment of the sites themselves (often commemorated as 'places of memory' and otherwise protected)* and the items that come on the market, complete dogtags, bits of ground-dug uniform and personal items. There is no excuse for this, it is grave-robbing pure and simple. Claims from people like Craig Gottlieb that it's "preserving history" are nonsense given the variety of sources other than grave-robbing which one can use to understand ("get the feel of" if you like) the period. This is about cheap thrills and nothing else. I argued my position, and invited Daniel Holdsworth to tell me where my logic is at fault. Seventeen months later, he still has not done that, but instead writes:
I've warned you before and I will do it again. If you do not stop this personal crusade against me you will be hearing from my legal team.Hmm, he presumably will be able to tell my readers where they can find this earlier "warning". I myself cannot recall ever hearing from him earlier, at least not under his real name. I think that is supposed to be perceives as a threat, the notion that Mr Holdsworth has a whole "legal team" behind him is an intriguing one I will admit. Calling a "personal crusade against me" four posts on a blog with 8120 (it says) published posts on it and discussing the merits of an issue as case studies smacks of self-aggrandisement and paranoia.
Mr Holdsworth, you published some views on the relationship between artefact hunting and collecting back in April last year. I believe you owe your readers some proper answers to the points I raised about what you said (see above). Far from being on"a personal crusade', the comments section of my blog are open to you to publicise your response.
Mr Holdsworth, you have a damaged Nazi helmet in your home (says so on an August 2015 post on DDD forum) which you now say you accepted as a gift to wear to town (see above). I think the whole thing totally inappropriate and can be seen as something which brings metal detecting and detectorists into disrepute. Far from being on"a personal crusade', the comments section of my blog are open to you to publicise your response.
Please Mr Holdsworth: "Come on, Get in!". Tell us about that legal metal detecting in Germany and Normandy too please.
* On Saturday on a family walk I was disgusted to see that one of them had been digging through some clumps of delicate and protected plants in the forest to the northwest of Warsaw which is full of WW2 sites and material. It's not whether the holes are "filled in" that is the problem, metal detecting is illegal in the national forest because it damages the environment, both natural and historical.
UPDATE 20th September 2015
I have just come from watching episode two of the dubbed Nazi War Diggers (more of that later) to find a comment from an irate Deep Digger Dan who seems to think free speech is only something he has, that he personally is endowed with some kind of divine rights and powers to close down public interest websites and avoid discussion of what he himself publishes in the public domain. One of the films I discussed earlier shows him playing the role of an officer "ordering" others about, now he wants to give me orders about what I can and cannot say and how. This is what he said ( ) under my post about "Deep Digger Dan Goes Nazi" saying what I think of his use of Nazi paraphernalia:
I choose free speech Mr Holdsworth. The Nazi in the helmet you are shown wearing and declaring you'll be walking around in the streets of Flamborough wearing could not do that, and died for it. Do please put it on when you go to visit your "legal team", just so they too get the answer to that question with which I ended my text in April: "just what kind of people are these metal detectorists?"
Dear reader, please go and read the original post which Mr Holdsworth wants to "disappear" (along with all the discussions here of Syria, Egypt, the numismatic squabbles in the US, and other heritage matters on this blog) just because he cannot cope with something he did being criticised. Remember "Nazi War Diggers".
The comments section, Mr Holdsworth, are still open for you to present your side of the issue, and tell us about your foreign detecting ventures. Why can't you just address the issues raised?