Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Not Even Kossinnism Now...

Re: Delay in Treasure process BlackBridgeBoy (Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:24 pm) writes:
I also don't have a great deal of confidence in some of the FLOs. My local FLO took over a year to respond to my e-mails, after I had registered on the site. She hardly ever holds Finds Surgeries, and trying to track her down is like trying to nail a jelly to a wall. In the end, I contacted the FLO in the next district. She was completely the opposite, and responded promptly and kept me up-to-date with details of her Finds Surgeries. In fact, her last e-mail message contained the following, which might be worth noting...
"The PAS policy on how we prioritise finds has changed slightly. Instead of concentrating on finds that are more than 300 years old, we now prioritise finds that date from before AD 1540, but we do still selectively record younger items too. It is also preferred that you hand in all your recently discovered finds, on the understanding that they will probably not all be recorded. This allows me to better understand the range of material being discovered, and helps me decide which objects and which geographical areas should be prioritised."
Looks as though, apart from Treasure, you might be wasting your time sending in Finds that are post-1540, unless they are of special interest. My guess is that we are finding, and reporting, too much for them to cope with it!
So if only certain geographical areas are being prioritised, that rather reduces the value of the PAS-favourite technique of dot-distribution maps.  Equally if there was a period in which finds from 1540 (so somewhere within the reign of Henry VII who died 1547) and 1696 were recorded following a period starting from an undefined date when those finds were no longer being recorded, intruduces yet another inconsistency in the PAS database.

The thread is worth reading, detectorists seem to be getting a bit uneasy (as well they might) about the future of the PAS as a form of mitigation of their hobby. They seem to think that an increase in the numbers of detectorists and an increase in the exploitation of the archaeological record means that 'the government' "should" employ more FLOs to deal with it. Nobody seems to be asking why and whether there is a cheaper alternative for the nation which would also save lots of archaeological sites being trashed to fill collectors' pockets.

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