Sunday 30 May 2010

Sartorial Elegance in the Field...


This is how the British gentleman "takes the air in the country" these days. The very picture of sartorial elegance: townie in baggy track suit bottom tailored to go over the wellies, rustling polyester knee-length hooded anorak carefully colour coordinated to blend in with the background, fluffy yellow mittens, squeaking box on a stick and his own pooper scooper.

I wonder how much of the archaeological record of this piece of grassland he took home?

Are those yellow spots wild flowers he seems to be trampling? Were they recorded too?

Photo: Courtesy Heritage Action. Twywell/Slipton, Northants Commercial Artefact Hunting Rally.


Anonymous said...

BTW, note the latest Argos advert:

It seems to combine beachcombing (metal detectoring on the beach) with metal detectoring for antiquities ("saxon crown" reads one of the arrows or panels).

A bad ad, but also an illustration of the terrible effect had by the Staffordshire hoard thing in making this sort of activity more and more mainstream.

Incidentally I picked up a copy of D. Baker, Living witht he Past the historic environment (1983)-- strong things said against metal detectoring and its destructive effect. Pre-PAS, of course.

Unknown said...

you sad bunch of mugs,been detecting for 20 years and recorded every find like most good detectorist do you know the bloke in the picture hasnt recorded all his finds,bet you didnt check before you slagged him off.and then moan about the flowers,how sad.20 years ago,90% of bronze roman coins came out in fine only 5% do.if you want to save the artifacts in the ground get on to the companys the make fertilisers ect as in the next 20 years there will be nothing left to rescue.oh a little while back ,a good friend of mine found a little bit of gold that the whole world looked at with was a few bits of saxon gold....come on you must remember it....yeh,course you do..didnt here heritage slagging detectoist off there did we.oh and next time you see a detectorist in a field..have the balls to go and chat with him,instead of taken pervie pictures from over a hedge(he wont bite i promise)and he,ll gladly show you his finds.

Paul Barford said...

Mr Connor
I just have this aversion to blue nylon anoraks and track suit bottoms. Gloves to avoid touching the earth also. Naff.

I have quite a few good friends who have found old gold thingies but do not go around boasting what good friends of mine they are because of it (found some myself).

> ..didnt here heritage slagging detectoist off there did we.<

Didn’t we? You’ve not been reading this blog regularly then have you? Just come here because I wrote about metal detectorists did you? Lots more hear.

> oh and next time you see a detectorist in a field..have the balls to go and chat with him,instead of taken pervie pictures from over a hedge(he wont bite i promise)and he,ll gladly show you his finds.<

Personally I do not need a detectorist to "show me finds" - seen plenty in my time from proper contexts.

Ř For your information I was talking to detectorists in their clubs before you took up the hobby, they were “showing me their finds”, I was perfectly willing to chat to them in those days. They in return were lying to me where they found them (I discovered later). They were hiding as much as they showed. Unlike many of my colleagues I have spent many hours talking to detectorists on several of their forums, the PAS forum, the Britarch forum. I had given detailed answers to their questions, put up with their insults and anti-archaeological bigotry. Personaly as a result of over three decades of experience talking to and thinking about metal detectorists, I would not say “do not bite” is a fair characterisation of their attitude as a whole. I have been threatened, abused, had obnoxious emails, come across suggestions on detectorist forums that dog shit be posted to an address which one of your number published on the Internet as mine (it was not). I have had fake homoerotic pornographic pictures of me posted on the Internet, a slanderous blog (you may have seen the “Barfordisation” blog, it is still out there in caches) posted all about me, a slanderous Wikipedia page. All from metal detectorists. Now the ACCG is starting the same sort of nonsense (minus dog shit so far). I must have hit a sore spot.
Ř So since discussing ethical collecting is such a sore spot with some of you, I really do not think it worth “coming across the hedge to you”. I’ve done my stint of that. There is a PAS for that, they are your partners, I expect some of them would gladly donate the box for the dog shit. Many of my British colleagues (such as Dave Connolly) would love to lick your boots clean after a hard day’s detecting.

But thanks for the coin soundbite. I'll do a whole post on that - but maybe tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I rather doubt our friend is up to answering that! Yes, I’ve had most of that treatment myself – including posting pornographic pictures with my face on them. Dan Pett of the PAS had the same. Sophisticated folk, a lot of these heroes.

I’ve certainly confronted them head on, having attended a number of rallies and club meetings. As I have said before, I vdon't feel being blaggarded by metal detectorists is a matter for shame, quite the reverse. Here’s why: A few days ago one of them (very prominent, with books to his name) wrote to Heritage Action and just about summed up the whole problem in two phrases. Firstly, about me, he commented “what a sad inferior appearing little man you have turned out to be” (Usual stuff). And then, about himself, he said: “Not always reporting to PAS suits me as an individual”.
That, to me, illustrates a psychological truth. He and thousands of others like him together with our US dealer pals Mr Welsh et al have their hands in the heritage till, know it, and put up a furious smokescreen of abuse against anyone who points it out.

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