Monday 12 April 2010

One British Archaeologist Stands up for the Archaeological Heritage

On the British Archaeological Jobs Resource Federation (bit of a mouthful, BAJRFed) forum is the sort of thing I am usually unjustly accused of saying.
One way of approaching this issue would be to close the door to the profits involved. Many of the items stolen will find themselves sold to "collectors" abroad and this would require a greater effort on the part of HM Customs and interpol. I refuse to accept that HM Customs have not already compiled a list of "suppliers" and "collectors". Issue search warrants, break doors down and recover goods. Put simply, put people in jail. I have spent time in a country that has been raped of its heritage consistantly for centuries and the trade in stolen artefacts continues to this day when authorities are in full knowledge of who the players are. This issue could be confronted quite easily but requires a will on the part of the authorities. Close avenues that allow for the sale of items on the internet, re-assess pathetic laws that have more loopholes than a string vest, and get pro-active. Are there any mainstream detectorists out there who would care to start a monitoring scheme? Neighbourhood Watch Schemes have had some fantastic results.
The trouble is, this is Britain, and I think the poster is actually trying to be provocative in an attempt at archaeological humour. The poster's nick is "Troll". I could be wrong, let the reader decide and reflect a moment on its significance seen in a wider context.

1 comment:

Marcus Preen said...

Hmmm, his use of the term "mainstream detectorists" worries me. Not stealing artefacts is certainly a sine qua non for a neighbourhood watch participant but what about not stealing knowledge?

It's the old problem of the simplistic and fallacious dichotomy put about by detectorists and PAS to the effect that nighthawks are a minority ergo the majority that don't nighthawk are responsible and benign and report what they find. But they don’t. If Mr Troll has fallen for that cheap sleight of hand what chance has the average landowner?

Let’s have a neighbourhood watch scheme to catch information thieves not just artefact ones.

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