Monday 21 October 2013

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Gotta Hide from those Pesky Preservation-freaks

Oh no, another disaster for the rally-loving artefact hunters of Central Engalnd. Gill Evans ("***VERY IMPORTANT INFO RE CS DIG 19TH OCT***" Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:29 am) writes:
Unfortunately some one involved with archaeology (sic)  has contacted have contacted (sic) the farmer and said we cannot detect the Pertenhall site. The reason for this is that the farmer is awaiting planning permission for solar panels to be put on the site and he is worried that if he allows us on the field the archaeolists (sic)  involved may hinder is (sic) permission hence he has to say no. [...]
There is some pretty deep understanding of the rationale behind so-called "responsible detecting" revealed by a subsequent reply (Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:55 pm ):
I've seen it all now! What in gods name have archaeologist got to do with a farmer putting in planning permission [...] ?
The followup is equally revealing:
Due to having our dig stopped this weekend by archaeologist involvement and having to find an alternative site at very short notice there will no longer be any detailed info regarding digs on this site, all it will say is that we have one on the date and time and Beds, Northants, or Cambs.
The possibility that there might well have been a very good conservation reason why the local archaeological service did not think that particular site was suitable for metal detecting seems not to have crossed their mind. Still, now they have decided to organize their "digs" in secret, so no conservationists will find out where they are beforehand, that way there is less chance of them intervening to protect vulnerable areas, leaving them open to unrestricted plundering. That's the way to do conservation and preservation the Central Searchers' Way. None of this "dialogue", "partnership" and "collaboration' nonsense, just good old-fashioned secretive Treasure hunting and site-plunder.

Of course I suppose the alternative would be consulting rally plans with the local archaeology service before they are advertised, to make sure no vulnerable archaeology is threatened with being compromised. That would be the responsble approach. Not secrecy.

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