Friday, 19 April 2019

How UK "Citizen Archaeologist" Imagines Prehistory

The amateur 'citizen archaeologists' of the UK are encouraged by the Portable Antiquities Scheme to get their own personal past through the hands-on approach, taking collectable artefacts from the archaeological record, some of them to keep at home, others to flog off. Here's an example of the latter and we can see just how much 'istry' these folk can get with their metal detectors. Metal detectorist treasureboxpeace (713 ) is selling a „Stone Age Axe Tool Hand Made Ancient Neolithic Anthropomorphic Wood Handle Nice" on This is a cracker, a knobbly stone held on a spindly wooden stick with what looks like surgical bandage. About the only thing this could be use as a 'tool' for would be knocking the fluff off dandelion heads. Looking at this, one can only wonder, has treasureboxpeace ever actually had a real axe in his or her hands? 'What a tool', one might say. The utter lack of punctuation and the utter lack of any further description leave it unclear what this wants us to believe he is offering:
Stone Age, Axe Tool, Hand Made, Ancient Neolithic, Anthropomorphic Wood Handle, Nice?
Stone Age Axe Tool, Hand Made Ancient, Neolithic Anthropomorphic, Wood Handle, Nice?
Stone Age Axe, Tool Hand Made, Ancient Neolithic Anthropomorphic, Wood Handle, Nice?
Stone Age Axe Tool, Hand Made, Ancient Neolithic, Anthropomorphic Wood Handle, Nice?
So, anyway what here is "ancient"? Well, a stone. A simple knobbly stone. So what is "Neolithic"? Well, nothing. What is 'hand made'? Some fool has wound a bit of bandage round a knobbly stone and stick and is trying, it seems, to sell this as a 'Stone Age Axe Tool'. I would even question whether the adjective 'nice' is correctly applied to this flimsy farcical travesty. The asking price for this junk archaeology is not a nice prospect, the metal detectorist (as many of them do) has an inflated idea of how much it is worth,  treasureboxpeace wants £199.99 Buy it now - for this piece of nonsense. Where's the FLO when you need one? This is not even 'Ladybird Book Archaeology' this is sheer nonsense - two hundred quid's worth of nonsense.

In the past this guy has sold off 'Solid Silver Job Lot 155g Metal Detector Detecting Finds Coins Rings + Scrap ' £229.99 (Oh?) [that 'scrap' by the way contains at least three Roman coins, they may not be 'collectable' but they are still archaeological artefacts] also '18k + 9k Gold And Silver Lot Metal Detector Detecting Finds Coins Bars Ear Rings (#162611570468)' £69.99, a 'Silver Ring Medieval Style Nice Metal Detector Detecting Finds (#162531038405)' ££59.99 plus lots of other people's rings and lost jewellery, and many groups of metal detecting finds (such as: 'Metal Detector Detecting Finds Big Lot, Artefacts, Romans, Some Silver Coins (#162421305006) £22.00', so what kind of 'only intrestid in th' 'istry, ain't innit fer the munny' kind of citizenly archaeology is this then?).

PAS, any comments here?
Hat tip: Hougenai

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