Tuesday 19 March 2013

The Portable Antiquities Scheme is, Was...

It used to say the Portable Antiquities Scheme is engaged in "outreach" Later it became fashionable/convenient to use another spiel:
"The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is the largest community archaeology project this country has ever seen. It was established in 1997 to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by the public and to broaden public awareness of the importance of such finds for understanding our past." (Cash Boost for Community Archaeology Scheme London, 14 February 2005)
Now the label has changed again:
The Scheme's remit is for recording public discovery to enhance archaeological knowledge. It was formerly known as the largest community archaeology project in the UK, but now tends to be a gateway to public archaeological knowledge.
That is an odd shift, especially as in its current form the object-focussed Portable Antiquities Scheme is anything but "a gateway to public archaeological knowledge". At least the Time Team (tv programme) website has a better list of books for members of the public to read. As far as I can see on the website there is not even a proper definition of the word "archaeology" (though there is one of "Treasure")* and just look at the raggle-taggle "links" page to get an idea of what these people think the general public should think archaeology is. If this is the British archaeological community's idea of a 'gateway', then British archaeology really is in trouble. Come on, is that really the best Britain can do with fifteen million quid to provide even a "gateway to archaeological knowledge"? How Britarchaeopathetic.

* The only definition that there used to be (that "archaeology is like a cake") has now been shifted off the PAS website. 

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.