Friday 26 March 2010

Treasure rewards on Assemblage

Yesterday Will Anderson published a short text on his "Assemblage" Political Archaeology blog called "paying for what?", another comment provoked by the controversial Staffordshire Hoard.
No longer can the state claim direct ownership of the finds – it has to pay – we, you have to pay. For something found in ‘our’, ‘your’ land. As metal detectorists become more willing to report, the cost to the state of sustaining this hobby is mounting. The standards for what is considered worthy of state purchase must be rising. And the underlying premise – that antiquities have high financial value, that treasure hunting is good, that it pays, and that treasure hunters are ‘unsung heroes’ of the nation’s heritage is promoted. Instead of celebrating a fantastic purchase for the nation, this episode should prompt open debate on whether people should be rewarded financially for cherry-picking the archaeological resource.
He has a point.

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