Friday 27 September 2013

ACCG Singing from Same Songsheet as UK's Irresponsible Artefact Hunters

Now we have the ACCG and the dissident detectorists in bed together let us see how they get on singing from the same songsheet.  Dave Welsh lauds the champions of free hate-speech ("Freedom of Speech "California style"...", Ancient Coins (sic) blog, Friday, September 27, 2013). He claims he is a "leading" blog owner:
due to my well known and consistent opposition to Mr. Barford's [...] views, and to his vocal insistence that an unrealistic, rigid requirement for provenance documentation of every artifact (however minor and inexpensive) is a necessity for "ethical collecting." 
But wait a second... That is precisely what in the UK is the definition of responsible artefact hunting, isn't it? The requirement for provenance documentation of every artefact (however minor and inexpensive) taken out of the archaeological record to be collected, the information loss is to be mitigated by reporting the object together with its findspot to the relevant institutions, through the Treasure Trove law in Scotland, the PAS in England and (for the moment) Wales.

The ACCG say they "support" the PAS in England and (while they still have one), in Wales. They constantly say they think every country producing collectable coins and artefacts "should have one". Yet here an ACCG officer distances himself from the underlying principle of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which is the recording of minor (ie non-Treasure) objects together with their findspots - irrespective of financial value.  )

So, if the UK Code  of Responsible metal Detecting in England and Wales brands those who collect archaeological artefacts (including coins) and do not do these things "irresponsible", surely we would now be justified in applying the PAS message more widely and saying that artefact collectors of any kind who acquire material without such information and curating that information are also irresponsible. That would explain the ACCG's current interest in uniting with the dissident artefact hunters of the UK which reject the concerns we have with rather sketchy application of best practice we see to be the effect of over fifteen years of PAS outreach in much of Britain.

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