Monday, 31 March 2014

UK Metal Detecting: All About Appearances?

Sam Hardy draws attention to a comment made by National Geographic's tekkie Kris Rogers under a video about "digging up bombs in another country". I was more interested in the content of the video itself and what it says about the root cause of the "Nazi War Diggers" fiasco. Mr Rogers is instructing fellow metal detectorists how to persuade landowners to let them on their land to hunt for and take away archaeological and other collectables. I must say he comes over a bit better than in the irritating videos where he's running around shouting about his finds or the gruesome one when he's in Greg Sweetman's bedroom with his hat on. Here it is:

You Tube video published by Addicted to Bleeps   

What is noteworthy is all the attention paid to "making a good impression" (notable for the fact that it shows the detectorist is alive to the fact that others might not see their activities in the same light as they do). What we do not find is any reference made at all to actual best practice, no mention of showing the landowner the Code of Practice for Responsible Detecting to show him or her that the applicant is indeed a responsible detectorist. What about taking a folder of printouts of all the finds the detectorist has reported to the PAS? The whole thing is all about appearances and not about convincing the landowner that the artefact hunter is engaged in real responsible detecting.

This rather puts the fiasco of what the National Geographic video shows into a bit more perspective. Now compare that with the text Mr Rogers co-authored for national Geographic on "Responsible Metal Detecting".


Detectorbloke said...

The folder idea is a good one. To do it properly it should be the record the finder gets after they have recorded their find as this includes the finders ID.

Otherwise there is nothing stopping people randomly printing off other peoples finds to pretend they are their own.

Should do the same with treasure finds in showing that you report it.

Paul Barford said...

Well, I suppose Mr Rogers would suggest that "farmers are not interested in that", but it's the principle that counts.

Also if that is so, it means the PAS is not getting the message across to the audience that matters.

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