Saturday 16 February 2013

Thieves and Whores in British Archaeology

(Courtesy Heritage Action)

I'd like readers of this blog to read this excellent text by Nigel Swift: 'How to reduce nighthawking? Stop using the word!', Heritage Journal 16/02/2013, and think about what it means.  Personally I think he is quite right in what he says, and that nobody in the British archaeological establishment could produce any evidence to the contrary. That is why, every man-jack of them, they refrain from ever even reading what critics of current policies on artefact hunting and artefact collecting and artefact buying and selling  in the United Kingdom are saying. They cannot face criticism with reasoned argument justifying letting the current farce going on (because the only answer can be: "we cannot be bothered/more than our job's worth") so they ignore the issue, hoping it will go away.
[...]  most of The Establishment know very well I’m right but won’t say so. Thus we have mass, sullen stupidity on one side and mass knowing silence on the other and the term “nighthawking” will continue to be used, thereby reducing progress towards combating that which it describes. Yet another unavoidable consequence of Britain plotting the wrong course in the first place.  If ever either detectorists or the authorities bring themselves to publicly acknowledge what I’ve been photographing on the Staffordshire Hoard field for the past two weeks (will they?) you should take note of their terminology. It’s a cert they’ll say it was nighthawks not criminal metal detectorists. Mass, sullen stupidity on one side and mass knowing silence on the other, see. Sad isn’t it?
That is in the nature of a "partnership". Archaeologists agree not to say anything hoping that through the erosion and destruction of the archaeological record through mining it as a source of collectables, day by day, week by week, month by month, year after year, that some snippets of information, some decontextualised glittering goodies will come their way to enthuse over. All they have to do is keep quiet and hope the stuff keeps coming to them. So, shhhhhhhh..... don't rock the boat.

That is not "archaeology". It is a prostitution of archaeology.  British archaeologists have sold themselves out to antiquitism, they have become artefact-whores. The PAS have a lot to answer for.

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