Saturday 30 November 2013

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Now Consider This...

In Heritage Journal while representatives of official bodies are bandying about terms like "heritage heroes" with respect to some ill-defined notion of "responsible metal detectorists", there is a very welcome explanation by Nigel Swift himself on "What exactly is our problem with artefact hunting?" (30/11/2013 ). Metal detectorists, "responsible" or not, are somehow unable to read through what HA have written ("too many words") and are constantly asking to have it presented as a short easily digestible message on a plate. Here it is. For the umpteenth time.
Most amateur archaeologists borrow the defining characteristics of archaeologists whereas artefact hunters reject them. That really matters if Archaeology is seen as a finite resource from which maximum knowledge should be extracted whenever possible [...] Take just one of the defining characteristics, a code of ethics [...].

Consider this:
Number of detectorists who have adopted our suggested Ethical Detecting pledgesZERO.
Number of detecting clubs who insist on their members adhering even to the severely emasculated standards of the Official Responsible Detecting Code:   ONE.

Number of detectorists and detecting clubs who say they are committed to the NCMD, FID or similar detectorists’ “Codes” none of which even require adherents to report all finds to PAS:   ALL OF THEM.

Next time you hear talk of heroism or what a lot of finds PAS has recorded please bear in mind those three numbers – zero, one and “all of them” and ask yourself why – and how much loss of knowledge they hint at.
UPDATE 2.12.13: I would have thought the context of those remarks was pretty clear, the reference is to the vague notions of what constitutes "responsible artefact hunting" and Edvaisseyian misconceptions of what constitutes a "heritage hero" discussed earlier on Heritage Journal and here. Of course nobody counted on the total inability of some (many?) UK metal detectorists to see anything in the context of anything at all. See the comments.

Vignette: Edvaisseyan Heritage hero (Marvel comics)


Sheddy said...

You're wrong yet again Paul. i adhere to my own set of rules, I have never accepted the NCMD or FID as my ruling council(s) and I certainly don't report anything to the PAS as Dr Roger Bland himself has given the FLO's carte blanche to act as they see fit. Further, he has given retrospective sanction to FLO's who act outside of the remit of the PAS. The PAS has shown itself to be an organisation that does not abide by it's own published remit.

No Paul, you're wrong. not ALL detectorists have agree to deal with these chameleons.

Paul Barford said...

In what way am I "wrong"? Where does anything you say here contradict what is said here:
"I certainly don't report anything to the PAS "
'Nuff said. QED

Sheddy said...

QED nothing.

"Number of detectorists and detecting clubs who say they are committed to the NCMD, FID or similar detectorists’ “Codes” none of which even require adherents to report all finds to PAS: ALL OF THEM."

If one, just one (me in this instance) isn't committed to the NCMD, FID and PAS then how can the answer you give as "ALL OF THEM" be correct?

Paul Barford said...

Oh, I see what you are saying. It seems to me you've not spotted two things.

(1) One is that this is a quote, if you have any quibbles about facts take it to Heritage Action and tell them you don't actually claim to follow ANY Code of Practice. This is a report of what they said.

(2) The second is we are talking about blanket claims of the whole community that they are "responsible" and therefore claim the title of "heritage hero".

The HA text quite clearly should be read in the context of recent discussions on Heritage Journal on "Edvaisseyan-heritage-heroism".

Obviously anyone who says they reject ALL THREE of the current yardsticks by which such claims are measures, by definition, falls outside the category.

Anonymous said...

Yes, he's right, it was sloppy wording.

We should have added "except nighthawks and the likes of Mr Sheddy..."

Thanks for pointing out our error.

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