Wednesday 22 January 2014

Focus on Irresponsible Metal Detecting: Having it your Way

On the thread on a metal detecting forum near you about how to "refresh your field" by trashing the archaeology, discussion continues, but not in the way that suggests detectorists have any idea about anything much. One Aurelia has another suggestion (Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:40 pm) about what to do when "land is lost forever" due to development without archaeological provision. And no, not it is not "kick up a fuss and pressurise the developer into supporting an environmental mitigation programme". Her idea is simpler: 
Can I suggest, Mega B, that [...] you consider discussing with the farmer having a rescue detecting event on the land - maybe by invitation only. Absolutely trusted detectorists + FLO + any other bona fide archies who want to attend?
So instead of recording the archaeological evidence, she suggests simply hoiking all the nice-looking metal goodies out with the FLO making a quick record of what is found and a few bona fide archaeologists to give the event the appearance of a proper rescue project. All well and good, could be discussed I suppose. I would like to know what she thinks should happen to the finds. The tekkies dont discuss it though. Too much mental effort perhaps. But more telling is what Aurelia prefaces her suggestion with: 
[...]  when you have done as much as you can with this bit of land that you personally can do [...]
  In other words, once you've finished hoiking everything out you can get for yourself, THEN let the archaeologists in to try and make sense of what dregs are left, and call it "rescue". 
Artefact hunters just don't get it do they? What is so difficult to understand in the idea that to have even a semblance of an archaeological project, the survey has to have access to the full record, not is what is left over after cognitive mega-death after a prolonged spate of hoiking by MegaB. Where is the mental block which means these people cannot see the conflict between their own collecting activities and the preservation of the archaeological record? Where is the sixteen million pound Portable Antiquities Scheme at moments like this? What do we have them for?

TAKE A GOOD LOOK at this behaviour, for these are precisely the sort of people the PAS wants to grab more and more millions of public quid to make into the "partners" of the British Museum, archaeological heritage professionals and to whom they want us all to entrust the exploitation of the archaeological record. Take a good look and decide what you think about that as a "policy".  

Do you get a "The requested topic does not exist" message when you click on the link to the above post on a "responsible detecting forum" near you? What is it they don't want people seeing and talking about?

No comments:

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