Sunday, 27 May 2018

Once Again, UK Artefact Hunters 'Responsible' in Name Only

An NCMD spokesman said: “The NCMD felt
 it was being pressured into agreeing a wording 
of the code it was not fully happy with.”

Baz Thugwit is beside hisself:
"Responsbul detecting is OK, while it protexs the 'obby from criticism, but wen they try to make yer do yer pocketing so it preserves and creates nolidge, well, I mean M8, that's going to far, innit?"
Yohannes Lowe says 'a genteel (sic) war' is being fought over what happens to British battlefields ('War erupts over metal detecting on Britain's battlefields', Telegraph 27 May 2018). There is nothing genteel about the Thugwit clan or those that behave like them.
 The National Council of Metal Detectors (NCMD), representing hobbyists since 1981, has refused to approve a new code setting down the guidelines for how detectorists should behave. It withdrew its support for the voluntary code after Historic England [..] call[ed] for all detecting on registered battlefields to be "a part of an organised and structured archaeological survey". 
That actually is the position of most people, unstructured pocketing of material frm these sites is producing nothing except private pockets full of the trophy relics and the loss of important contextual information. Surely that is the whole point of the so-called (in name only?) 'responsible artefact hunting' the NCMD is supposed to be promoting among its members. All of them are 'responsible', but it seems now in name only. The Battlefield Trust, iterates:

"Ad hoc metal detecting, whether or not recording is undertaken, can cause the loss of evidence. It thus jeopardises future advances in understanding of the nature of the fighting that can be gained from systematic archaeological survey by distorting the surviving distribution pattern."
As the article points out, we all know that:

important battlefields [...]  have been damaged and evidence lost because marauding detectorists do not ensure items are reported and recorded correctly. But the detectorists argue that because of the scattered nature of material on battlefields, their method is the best way to gather the historical evidence.
Green: the proportion of found
recordable objects that are reported
 - red: the proportion that we believe
are not, the information is being
stolen from the rest of us. 
Except they don't. The majority just pocket the items and the historical evidence itself is LOST (see Heritage Action's text this weekend). 
The code of practice, which is voluntary, was first issued in 2006 but was updated at the end of last year. However, tempers frayed when Historic England attempted to make last minute changes during a meeting to discuss it's (sic) finalisation. The NCMD and the Federation of Independent detectorists both refused to sign up to the code because of the intervention, meaning hobbyists can continue to use metal detectors on battlefields under their guidelines. 
So, let us make this clear, according to their own unmodified guidelines failing to take into account the shift in policy, irresponsibly, and unethically. The NCMD and FID by failing to bring their own codes up to date are knowingly condoning knowledge theft.

The usual brain-dead mealy-mouthed claptrap from the spokesman for Historic England (probably said in a squeaky Peewee Herman voice):
“There is no question that detectorists share a passion for our history  [...] We really value the opportunity to work with detectorists and to discuss how – through initiatives such as the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the metal detecting Code of Practice – we can ensure that the potential that detecting offers for understanding our past is properly met.”
and who, precisely in the detecting community are they able to have those imaginary discussions? How long does it take these people to get into their heads that VERY FEW people who actually go out and comit Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological record actually gives two hoots about what the potential wider aims of the PAS are (an indifference shared by the entire staff of the PAS, I feel) few of them follow the Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting (preferring the laxer NCMD and FID ones which pay lip service only to the "R'-word - see above) and very few of them are a bit interested in anything much else except filling their pockets and having fun doing it and in that way that alleged 'potential that detecting offers for understanding our past' is never actually going to be 'properly met' (sic). Show us the evidence that metal detector using artefact hunters actually care  if they're doing it the 'proper' way or not. This story shows that in reality that they just want to fill their pockets.

 Now search for a proper ('responsible') discussion of this topic on the metal detecting forums tonight and the need to replace the NCMD with a national body that represents real responsibility. There are none. Metal detectorists simply do not care and want to talk the talk of responsibility, but are never going to take a single step - let alone stride - to walk the walk. They do not care.

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