Saturday 18 December 2010

Alleged Grounds for Insular Separatism need Elucidation

"What a twerp" declares British metal detectorist Candice Jarman (follow the links to posts on my green "UK metal detectorist nonsense ghetto blog" here and here to understand what annoyed him).

Here we see that he has a problem with discussing so-called UK "metal detecting" as part of the same phenomenon as artefact hunting in other countries: "it's just another 'let's tar them all with the same brush' effort so common with the radical archaeologists!". Note the use of the same terminology as the US no-questions-asked-collecting lobby. This however begs the question, where - in terms of its effects on the archaeological record - does artefact hunting in the UK differ from artefact hunting in Arizona, Alsace, Andalusia or in the Antipodes? Declaring "it's legal innit?" does not somehow render the archaeological record of one region more or less impervious to damage, does it?

This is one of the issues which the supporters of no-questions-asked collecting like Candice simply cannot seem to get their heads round. No wonder they simply call those who can names. Perhaps instead of indulging in a constantly escalating series of personal attacks such as is well exemplified by the Candice Jarman "Barford-Heritage-the Truth blog", we could see some kind of justification of the view that UK "metal detecting" is in some way different in terms of its effect on the preservation of archaeological sites from artefact hunting in other countries. My view is that it is, and it would be more interesting to see some reasoned debate for a change that this is an untenable view. Can the insular supporters of a metal detecting free-for-all actually bring themselves to attempt this in the near future? Or will they continue to rely on the faithful standby "wottalotta shiny stuff we got" arguments?

[As for whether US coin collectors have any real interest in where the ancient coins they collect in fact come from, readers can check out for themselves by logging on to the Moneta-L forum, or just perusing the heaps and heaps of totally unprovenanced items being offered on and bought from V-coins].

Vignette: Another green island where the natives introspectively refuse to acknowledge their interconnections with outside world, and with primitive weapons and aggressive language defend their independence.

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