Friday 19 February 2010

"Jus' Becoz They're East Eurpeans?"

Saith St Baldric, priest of the Order of St Ukdn, and holier-than-thou UK metal detectorist writes about three You Tube videos posted by three metal detector users in Russia (here, here and here):
That is total destruction of any historical context, especially that last one, the wooden case was originally intact and these guys just ripped it apart. Just because they are East European/ Russian does not excuse this wanton damage. I cannot condone this sort publicity, it is the very worst of what we are ALL labelled as by the archaeological hiarachy, who think that we all act in this manner.
What this eastern (little 'e' please) European archaeologist thinks is that "just because they are East European" is an offensive statement.
Many metal detector users in this part of Europe (where the hobby is the subject of legislation) are a good deal more ethical in their collecting practices and do less damage to the archaeological record than their UK counterparts. So what about the bloke that dug the Staffordshire hoard for several days and only called the archaeologists when his kitchen table was full of gold?

For those who can see the thread (you have to register first with the tekkies) there has been some interesting and revealing censorship going on here. Keith from Northumberland first saw the videos and thought they were exciting and he decided (under the thread name "nice finds") to share this with his tekkie mates. He wrote: "foreign videos i no (sic) but its nice to watch them coming up like daffodil bulbs". One 'Jacobean Ken' had time to reply "Wish it was me" before "Baldric" remonstrated as above. To which Keith answered

"sorry guys the subject title should of (sic) bean (sic) .... nice finds but poorly excavated. maybe one of the forum moderators can change it for me."
One of the Forum moderators did change it... to "nice finds VERY poorly recovered" adding, "I guess these will be doing the rounds in certain circles. The kind of PR the hobby does not need eh". What however is the important point for me is NOT so much that some Russian guys went out hoard-hunting with a metal detector and found some wire money, Alexander II copper coin hoards etc. but the blatant attempts by UK metal detectorists to cover up that not all of the members of their community by any means think and behave like the official propaganda would have the rest of the world believe. Keith did not post the videos as an example of bad practice - far from it, but by two in the afternoon of the day it was posted, the whole thread was renamed to make it look as if he had.

That does not mean of course that what we see in these Russian videos is any the more acceptable practice either of course.

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