Monday, 11 December 2017

Fluffy Thinking on Metal Detecting: The Legacy of the PAS


In response to the article 'Night hawkers (sic) defile (sic) Cirencester's Roman amphitheatre' one Graham Burgess naively following the official line  replies
True. But don't decry all detectorists. Recent report from PAS shows that 98% of reported finds were from them. RAMs need better protection and public education to report nighthawk desecration
I am not sure what kind of 'protection' he wants to give ancient monuments and how you can 'report' what you cannot see (because they go out at night Mr Burgess, when it is dark).  There is however the problem of fluffy thinking:
What do you mean "98%" Mr Burgess? 98% of what, precisely? How many finds dug up by artefact hunters simply disappear into their ephemeral collections *without record*? http://www.heritageaction.org.uk/erosioncounter/ This is a process in which, legal or not,  *all* detectorists are involved
Also, somewhet disturbng is the use of teh verb 'defle' in the original text, what does it mean here? And of course a "hawker" is somebody who sells something. While illicit artefact hunting may be done for profit, the term usually used is "nighthawks". Let us stick to one terminology otherwise we get in a muddle.

1 comment:

heritageaction said...

Let us not use the term "nighthawk". Let us use the term "metal detectorist". There aren't two distinct groups here.

 
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