Wednesday 27 August 2014

Metal Detecting and the Heritage Debate: "Disappointed this is happening again".

Metal detectorists apparently consider that what they do happens in a vacuum. They take stuff, the rest of us are expected just to turn away and let them. The very idea that there might be some kind of debate about what we do to the heritage, what we allow to happen to it seems an anathema to them, indeed the possibility apparently never crossed their minds. So artefact hunter Kris Rodgers of 'National Geographic' and Greg's Bedroom fame "Addicted to Bleeps"adds his latest to the 'Re: Percentage of 'Keepers' thread (Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:17 pm:
Since I wrote my post, I've learnt about the underlying politics concerning this thread. Some people are great with political spin, and loaded questions, but surely healthy debate is the best way to come to a positive conclusion? Disappointed this is happening again.
He cannot make up his mind whether the penultimate sentence is a statement or a question, which probably is symptomatic of a certain confusion in thinking typical of the milieu. It is rather pathetic that these people do not recognize that heritage in general is 'political'. There is a heritage policy (or mixture of policies) in the UK, and this is and should be the subject of debate. My questioning what artefact hunters do to the archaeological record under the umbrella of a vague policy is part of that public debate. Metal detectorists Greg, Baz and Liam may not like that, they may not wish to take part, they may even wish to avoid even thinking about it (even to the extent of avoiding mentioning the names of people debating the issues) and they may be "disappointed" that others want to discuss it - with or without them - but yes, the rest of us will continue to expect a healthy debate to come to a positive resolution. That is not a question.  

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