Tuesday 16 July 2013

Pineapples and Pillaging the Archaeological Record in Florida

A few days ago, Florida archaeology graduate Lisa McIntyre shared online her reflections on archaeology/heritage management - artefact hunting partnership (billed as "the great metal detectorist-archaeologist shootout"). I listened to her remarks very carefully and wrote a commentary on them here. I see that she has now "responded" on a detecting blog near you. What is notable is that she does so in the same vein (and with the same puzzling tendency to play the victim) as her new tekkie pals. In the process she invents a new (coarse and highly personal genital-arboreal) name for me which I am at a loss to contextualise. Her reaction to her ideas being discussed critically are a mash of ad personam remarks.

In one of the few statements in her non-response dealing with the actual topic of discussion, McIntyre states her belief that questioning the long-term effects of policies about artefact hunting on the archaeological record "simply does not allow for progress and compromise". Tell that to the AIA.

Some individuals in the archaeological world may be quite happy to compromise the principles of conservation and sustainable management of an important and fragile resource and pander to those who care not a jot for them. Those same individuals however invariably turn out to be the ones that when their position is challenged are totally unable to defend it by more than glib fob-offs and name calling. Or they make a show of simply ignoring the fact that there ARE many complex issues involved in the whole question of artefact hunting and collecting. On present evidence, I'd place McIntyre's position firmly and squarely among the latter.

If we are considering discussion of points raised (and ignored) in terms of "arrogance" (see the above-cited reply), Ms McIntyre might do well to consider her own debut in this discussion with her attempts to trash  the work of British heritage group Heritage Action, when it was quite clear that she had not the foggiest idea of what she was in fact talking about, who Heritage Action are and where the figures she was trying to trash (for what reason?) actually came from. That seems to me to be the peak of pseudo-academic arrogance.

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