Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Coiney Problems Joining the Dots

Bangor's Professor Raimund Karl may have had problems convincing (continental) colleagues to his views on the alleged archaeological benefits of liberalising artefact hunting, but he has become the poster boy among artefact collectors across the sea. Cross-posting the dealers' paid lobbyist's blog post "Metal Detectorists Preserve Artifacts Archaeologists Often Destroy or Ignore!" Californian coin-dealer-guy writes:
Here we have evidence from a respected archaeologist, that a rational examination of what "artifact hunters" [to use an emotionally charged pejorative term invented by anticollecting ideologues] are actually doing must conclude that they are preserving artifacts from the destructive activities of archaeologists.
In artefact collecting circles, an archaeologist only gains the label "respected" when he or she writes something that supports artefact collecting, when they don't they are "taxi-drivers", or "radicals" or "anticollecting ideologues". What Raimund Karl wrote was that artefact hunters take collectables from the topsoil of excavatable sites which tends to be machined away if sites are excavated. Readers might remember the Californian dealer arguing until he was blue in the face that the things that artefact hunters find, and artefact dealers buy from them "do not come from archaeological sites", that they are for the most part from "hoards buried at the edges of battlefields". It seems the dealer has a short memory, or an inability to join the dots of what he himself is saying.

By the way, in America they call the hobby "relic hunting" (likewise "meteorite hunting" is not treated as a pejorative term over there). Fox hunters hunt foxes, caribou hunters hunt caribou, house hunters hunt for houses and artefact hunters hunt for artefacts. Why is calling a spade a spade in any way a problem?

Vignette: Connecting the dots from Sociopath world.

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