Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Same Old Moans: "A Pack of Inaccurate Lies"

Andy, the World's
least talented
When somebody has certain cognitive limitations, you'd think they'd realise that it's probably best to try to avoid entering a public discussion on what they do not understand. Metal detectorists, empowered by the PAS and its pro-collecting propaganda have no problems in displaying their ignorance, it's part of their "never had any opportunities in life" excuse. So on "Andy's metal detecting blog" the hapless blogger is trying yet again to generate readership figures (Monday, 17 March 2014, 'Yet more lies and bs from Barford and friends, AEC content') by attacking what he does not, and apparently never will, understand. The blogger has difficulty accepting the figures suggested by the Heritage Action Artefact Erosion Counter for one week in the latter half of March. It makes him feel inadequate (which is why he attacks it, I guess):
God, I am the worst detectorist ever. I have literally had two recordable objects in my whole detecting life let alone one a week.
It is always a source of constant amazement to me that these people can rarely see beyond the narrow horizons of their self-centred "me-me, all-about-me" approach to the world. They cannot see the broader picture and that it is not all-about-them. I guess that's why they are in artefact hunting in the first place.

What this particular blogger does not mention in this context is that he has been singularly unpersuasive in getting search permissions from landowners. Somehow he has obtained them only from the owners of several stretches of foreshore. There he contents himself by searching the shingle and mud and finding largely such objects as pre-decimal coins and dinky cars, so no, not recordable.

From such a point of view (and because he's heard other metal detectorists bleating the same thing in self-justification), he concludes:
as we all know, no matter how much they try to ram this stupid counter in the publics face it is a pack of inaccurate lies.
A quick glance at the metal detecting forums however shows that not a few UK metal detector users had a lot more success in this same week of the detecting season than the blogger-in-denial. Take for example, just randomly, the top two dozen posts of a metal detecting forum near you. Almost all of them are bragging about "what I found yesterday". As an example, let us take the post (Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:39 pm: 'Two Roman and Two Hammered for ID Please') by Fisher1266X. He is writing about the weekend's finds:
A second visit to our new permission resulted in 20 Roman coins (most were grots), a fan tail brooch, a few partifacts, lots of RB pottery with some C14th in the mix and a couple of hammered coins as a small bonus.[...] The Roman and medieval coins can be viewed here along with all the artefacts from the day: www.flickr.com set. Also, the second item in on the pottery collection looks to be a casting fragment yet isn't metallic, has anyone an idea as to what it is?

The FLO will know. So while Andy Baines is fussing about not finding anything, one other finder has pulled out at least 37 potentially recordable items from the achaeological record. I suspect Mr Fisher however did not pull only the illustrated items out of the ground, a familiarity with how a topsoil assemblage is likely to look suggests that we have here a selection of the most photogenic finds. Yet archaeological information quality does not always go hand in hand with aesthetics. I think we'd all like to see what Mr Fisher selected out to get this group of collectables looked over with a professional eye. What scale of information loss are we seeing here?

Mr Fisher was not the only one out on his "permissions" that week, forum member "ifindbuttons" (Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:56 pm) shows "todays finds":
Hi all had to work the weekend so I had a days detecting today on the church field these are the best of the finds help with IDs please cheers kev all found with the safari
Note the response by the epicurean "kopparberg" (Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:33 pm)
looks like a good days detecting kev ,that church field certainly throws up some decent finds
garrett pro pointer
roman bronzes 65
hammies 8
denarius 4
"always live for today and worry about tomorrow when it comes"

Member "Pifukas" (Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:24 pm, "Finds for 14.03.14") had similar success:
Had good 4 hours on one of my favourite fields. It was ploughed and rolled very flat, so couldn't miss an apportunity (sic) to check it before it's seeded (this Sunday!). Very happy with a result. Going back there for a full day tommorow... [...] Don't know why, but I have a feeling that at least 2 hammys gonna go to my pocket
I would say that, instead of moaning what a "pack of inaccurate lies" (or even accurate ones) the preservationists are basing their concerns on, the metal detectorists of Britain really need to get on to the PAS to get them to create their own estimate of the rate of information loss we are witnessing from upwards of eight thousand metal detectorists hoovering archaeological artefacts out of the ground and adding them to some eight thousand ephemeral personal artefact collections and putting large numbers of the unwanted ones on eBay or simply discarding them.

By how much would the Heritage Action figures have to be "wrong" to make the scale of information loss acceptable?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's the question that never gets answered!

Yes, let detectorists nag PAS "to create their own estimate of the rate of information loss" but I doubt they'll get their way or be pleased if they did. A detectorist's survey, a pro-detectorist archaeologist's survey and a CBA/EH survey suggest the Counter is too low. Oh dear.

As for Mr Baines having found only 2 recordable objects in his whole detecting life, he surely deserves a World's Least Talented Betectorist award? And incidentally Least Harmful too!

I do wonder though WHY he bothers.
Also, do you suppose he doesn't realise his batteries have gone flat?

The more he writes, the less sensible he sounds. Let's not forget, he started off with a fanfare saying how he was going to promote ethical detecting. You can't get much more ethical than finding nowt! A real hero!

Anyway, he has brightened everyone's Tuesday!

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