Thursday 23 December 2010

"They tore it up and binned it immediately"

News travels very slowly in British archaeological circles it seems. Only yesterday on the British Archaeological Federation forum did somebody notice that I had discussed a TV programme proposal in which the Portable Antiquities Scheme was participating. List owner David Connolly concluded immediately without looking into it that it was a spoof, while one "Madweasels" (its not just metal detectorists that like to hide behind pseudonyms obviously) announces:
Someone in the PAS in the BM itself told me that when this proposal came to them they tore it up and binned it immediately. They are still working with Digging for Britain or whatever it is called.
Well, that is good news then isn't it? So there were not two meetings with PAS staff and a TV producer which led to the proposal that Roger Bland sent to every single FLO on the PAS mailing list then? Who is pulling whose leg here?

I suggest that if anyone is interested in getting to the bottom of the kind of archaeological outreach the PAS is providing, they ask a friendly FLO whether they can see the email they received on 10/12/10 12:56 and can decide for themselves whether it refers to a "binning" of the matter, or inviting them to London to discuss it with the producer before lunch on the 17th Dec.(and the Digging for Britain team after lunch).


The guy who "checked" is now moaning:
Hey! I've been Barfordised - you know, report something to the assembled innocently and with good intent and then feel Paul's wrath for getting it, allegedly, wrong. Yay!!!!
Does anyone know what he means? Something about an email the FLOs received on 10/12/10 12:56. I am scared of writing on his comments section of his blog asking for more detail - he might be horrid to me! Seriously, just as I haven't got time to look into the detail of his post, I really haven't got time to lock horns with Paul.
Oh dear, he means the actual subject of what I actually wrote in the original text about the contents of an email. It seems he did not even know what it is was being discussed. So much for the "research" of British archaeologists and the basis on which they make their judgements. Maybe its just when its metal detectorists involved. [My "wrath" at Madweasels is not for "getting it wrong", it's for not checking properly, ie the superficiality traditional in Brit archaeologists' dealings with portable antiquity issues, and in this case refusal to determine what the issue is that is being addressed].

Some weasels are apparently just gullible and obviously take an anonymous somebody's post-dated word for it and are not so concerned to check out for themselves the facts I gave. Perhaps they just expect everything on a plate? Maybe, now the project has - in the words of the BM - been "binned", some kind FLO will 'leak' that mail to the BAJR forum owner so the Doubting Thomases there can see what it actually said, and whether on that basis the concerns I expressed about a lack of wider consultation were justified. For where better a place for part of the discussion of the proposal than on the BAJRFed Forum?

[This new verb "to Barfordise", I hope the weasel is using it to mean "to check out facts about claims made about antiquity collecting and related issues and attempt to discuss them". Something he, like many Brit archaeologists, it seems cannot be bothered to do themselves, preferring to run away from the issues, ostensibly to avoid conflict, with the consequences we see.]

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