Thursday 18 December 2014

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Arrogance and Entitlement of the Ambassadors of the Hobby

 Over on a metal detecting forum near you somebody has just asked (with a novel variant on the grocers' apostrophe) "What annoy’s [sic] you most when detecting ?" Heritage Action discuss it:
 He says that for him it’s people asking what he’s doing – and if he finds they’re not a relative of the farmer he tells them “to b……. off” and asks “what’s it to do with them”. Let us explain to him what it’s to do with them, since PAS quite clearly hasn’t. History is everyone’s so damaging it by not reporting it is effectively a crime against the community. More than 70% of artefact hunters don’t report all their finds to PAS so any passer-by has every right to ask if you’re one of the 70% who steal knowledge. Got it?
I doubt it. I doubt any of them are capable of "getting it", so full are they of ignorance and arrogance. PAS in seventeen years and millions of quid thrown at the problem has made minuscule or zero impact on the feelings of entitlement that permeate the entire UK artefact hunting community. In fact, it quite clearly has given up trying. The effects are visible on the metal detecting forums and blogs for those who care to look to see. My guess is however that those heritage professionals who support the PAS are not in the habit of going there much to see the realities behind the façade, let alone engage with them. What kind of "outreach" is that?

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".   

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