Sunday, 8 December 2019

UK Artefact Hunting: Pretend Seasonal Generosity Shields Total Lack of Transparency

ebay: how many UK antiquities
sellers actually have title?
Heritage Action have a resident pig-farmer that is not afraid to say what no British archaeologist would even ever suggest ('Metal detecting: Farmer Brown is feeling Christmassy' 8th Dec 2019)
Dear Fellow Landowners,
It’s that time of year when thousands of us will be offered a bottle of whisky to thank us for allowing people to detect for the past year. But before you swoon in a flood of rural gratitude may I suggest you respond by saying:
“How kind! However, it would warm the cockles of my heart far more if, instead, you reveal to me, right now, your eBay trading name.”
(It’s very clear some people are paying a very high price for their whisky!)
Seasons Greetings, Silas Brown [...]
.This refers to the spate of posts we see each year (those of us that watch them, most pro-detecting archies in Britain never do) on metal detecting forumes where artefact hunters boast to each other how 'generous' they are to the landowners that let them loot the archaeological record for collectables. They often buy 'him a bottle of wine and flowers for his wife' , or 'make up a showcase of [cheap duplicate] finds from their land' (this suggests that in giving them back, they took them away without showing the landowner in the first place). Anyway, two metal detectorists this year don't have to bother about what kind of wine they'd buy John Francis Cawley, 4th Baron Cawley and tenant farmer Yvonne Conod as this year they'll be spending Christmas in jail precisely because they walked off with items they did not show the landowner to get title 


Brian Mattick said...

Well, you might be right that archaeologists don't talk about the seasonal gift nonsense but they sure as heck know it goes on since it's so widely talked about by their "partners" each December.

It's a form of fact blindness akin to a FLOs recent claim "I've never, ever hear the term "hotspot" even though the pursuit of those is the very essence of all detecting (and a Google search on "metal detecting"+"hotspot" gets you a quarter of a million hits!

Paul Barford said...

Well, that particular FLO has not "heard" anything much but the sound of his own bleating. This is a wilful blindness, awareness of what's going on would only raise questions that they are simply unwilling to face. Too much bovver.

Far more demanding than starting their habitual juvenile "twelve days of Christmas" an "on-this-day" finds show-and-tells.

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