Wednesday 7 December 2011

Archaobloggish for Collectors

Dugup Dealer Dave in far-off California where they still have no Portable Antiquities Scheme has no patience for proper explanations. Like most coineys he wants it simple and superficial. After again cutting and pasting huge chunks of my text (above) to swell out his slim intellectual (I use the term loosely) contributions to his own blog and forums, and after referring insultingly to its author as "ArchaeoGoebbels", he says he has translated it into simple English ("Reader's Digest version" he calls it) for the more backward coineys. This is what he understood of it:
Someone wrote an article in British Archaeology which he does not like. He could not read the source material it refers to. The article is about recording practices, not what he thinks it should be about. There aren't statistics included on the subject that he approves of. It doesn't include certain details that might support his views. Austria has a different system regarding taking objects from "archaeological sites" which he approves of and wishes were the law in the UK. He dislikes the PAS.

I am not convinced that he has captured the thrust of my argument in its entirety. In particular he seems unable to understand that systems put in place to provide protection for the archaeological heritage (like the PAS and the Austrian archaeological heritage protection legislation) can only be properly assessed for their efficiency in doing that (ie protecting the archaeological heritage) and not for how easily they allow it to be dug up.

I suppose if one is a coiney who really is not at all interested in the wider context of all the stuff the dealers tell you and finds anything else too confusing, any more would indeed be superfluous and difficult to understand. However this blog is not written for collectors, it is about them. The people who Dave Welsh claims to represent can stick to their Reader's Digest book of the "Mysteries of the Ancient World", "Rome's Ten Naughtiest Emperors" and posts on Moneta-L or whatever it is they find easier to read and not bother their synapses with what is said anywhere else. But then let them not then complain when people point out that they are not making any effort to keep up with the ongoing debate about them and what they do.

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