Monday 25 August 2014

PAS: Karaoke Recorders get Funding

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
suggested ignoring reports of these volunteers
as meaningless western propaganda intended
to cloud the issue and stressed they had nothing
to do with the Russian Federation..  
'New Portable Antiquities Scheme project receives support from Heritage Lottery Fund' HLF press release  25/08/2014
A grant of £792,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will help create a network of trained volunteers who will share archaeological finds in their local areas. The British Museum announces today a new Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) initiative that will greatly increase volunteer involvement in archaeological heritage across the UK. PASt Explorers is a five-year project that will create a national network of up to 500 trained volunteers who will participate in archaeological finds work in their local areas, sharing information through the PAS database and within their local communities.[...] The grant will also support new dedicated posts in the PAS Central Unit based at the British Museum: two Project Officers; an Outreach Officer and an ICT Officer.
PASt Explorers was something else, a kiddie's educational website that never really got anywhere. So "Outreach Officer" is what was called the "Education Officer" before PAS ditched her, showing the low priority of actual, real, education in the Scheme? Apparently these volunteers "will assist in the delivery of public activities in their local areas, including finds recording events, talks, displays and exhibitions and finds handling sessions [they] will operate as Community Finds Recording Teams (CFRTs) based around their local Finds Liaison Officer".
The teams will be organised into 10 regional training centres across the country. They will receive training in order to identify and record archaeological finds from their local area, increasing the number of objects recorded onto the PAS database [...]
The PAS already has volunteer recorders, working for free to boost database numbers. I am sure there is a really good explanation why this new batch need 158000 quid a year to keep going. One thing is clear, this is yet another fog-creating hindrance to following the degree to which damage caused to the archaeological record by metal detectorists is actually being mitigated. (Mr Baines, challenged two days ago, has of course still not answered the question on this).

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