Thursday 23 February 2012

FAME not noticed this before...

FAME (Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers - formerly the Standing Committee of Unit managers) "the only organisation solely devoted to representing the interests of archaeological employers and managers within the profession and the business world" seems not very much on the ball. Somebody sent me a link in a great panic ("but please don't mention my name" - OK Xavier, I will not) as it seems that FAME has just noticed there are resources out there like this and (only now?) consider it a "matter for concern". If they were so jolly concerned, they could do better than read my blog, I've discussed this guy twice and had at least one reply from him to my comments. By the way the blurb says "Uploaded by on Apr 26, 2009", so coming up to three years ago... I reckon Exmoor beast has sold a good number of copies of this artefact collectors' resource by now.

FAME was asked "
is there anything that FAME can do?" Well, is there? Or are they going to sit back longer and not observe what is going on under their noses? Or are they going to "be a voice" questioning current British policies towards the archaeological heritage? I bet they do not even have a policy statement about artefact hunting, collecting and trade, do they? But isf archaeology in Britain is "partnering" artefact hunters and collectors, should it not have?

Of course there is another side to this, there is a specialist body within the structure of British archaeology which actively "partners" artefact hunters and collectors and it is costing the British taxpayer millions of pounds to do so. Should this organization not be responsible for addressing such issues as these "databases of archaeological site locations for detectorists" and liaising with other archaeological organizations to publicise, discuss and deal with the issues? Or is the PAS merely a largely passive, very expensive public-funded "UK Detector Finds Database"? Is British "policy" on artefact hunters and collecting from the archaeological record a coherent and workable one, or is it just some ill-considered, non-sustainable ad hoc wallpapering over cracks?

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