Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: "Liers, all Jelous Lies"

The earthworks of the unthreatened archaeological site at Manor Farm, Lenborough Bucks (Google Earth). Such a site quite obviously should not be being used haphazardly as a 'mine' for collectables to fill the pockets and scattered ephemeral private collections of artefact hunters for personal entertainment and profit. What is the reaction of artefact hunters to this being said? 
On a forum near you, "Nailman" is having problems expressing himself ( 'More dis information against use [sic]',  Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:44 pm). He's talking about the Lenborough Hoard Hoik and what grassroots conservation group Heritage Action have been saying about it:
Their quoting the treasure act at use now [emoticon] Heritageaction. Which machine and coil hits 24 inches ? 
Well, actually the one that detected the Lenborough hoard deep down in grassland slap bang in the middle of an unthreatened earthwork archaeological site. I presume the generic HA link is so that no forum member has the opportunity to follow it and see what HA are actually saying about 'reckless hoard removal' and the Treasure Act Code of Practice. This starts a thread of sympathetic tekkies all agreeing with "Nailman". Targets" plays the jealousy card (Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:07 pm):
jealous s* h *i* t stirers ,will always cook up some excuses [emoticon]

Actually, what is actually the case is that Heritage Action are commenting on a real life situation documented on videos made by the culprits themselves. No "excuses" are being cooked up, it's called comment and criticism guys.As for what the group is about, it is called conservation, which would imply that HA are not "jealous" that somebody else dug up a hoard they want dug up, they want the archaeological site and stratigraphy that deposit of coins was part of not to be needlessly destroyed by artefact hoikers. "Fisheruk" (Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:18 pm) also does not see it that way. Instead, of "concerned", he calls the conservation group:
[...] Totally biased and shows them up for what they are.
What it shows them as being is concerned and trying to get something done to change things for the better. For the better of the archaeological record and the vested interests the rest of us have in it, of course. UK Detectorists don't want this to change if it means them doing something else than hoik away to their heart's content. In defence of this, "Anubis" (Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:51 pm) also plays the jealous (bitter) card and suggests:
Wait until ground penetrating radar becomes affordable then he [sic] really will have something to bitch about, in the meantime I suggest finding a hobby that distracts from all the bitterness in life
"Slowsweep", meanwhile towards the same aim (Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:17 pm) goes for the "the world should be grateful" gambit, coupled with the "persecuted victim" one:
What these whinging windbags seem to forget is that without the long suffering Detectorist there would be far less history recorded and treasures to gaze at, learn from and wonder over in our museums.... prats.
"Littleboot" (from Staffordshire/ Normandy Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:15 pm), in a text labelled by "Allectus" "post of the year", puts Heritage Action's concern down to "frustrated elitism" and "uber-anti-detectorism". She considers that "archaeology is a relatively modern science and activity borne [sic] out of privilege". Hoard hoiking and the profit finders make of it, she rationalises as "what our ancestors would have wanted". (Well, except the votive hoards, eh?)
the needs of the present outweigh the needs of the past every time. Archaeology is a privilege still. It is paid for by the public good will. It isn't a right or a necessity in these straitened times. So maybe certain people are only too aware that everytime a [sic] detectorist unearths something astounding[,] the public may well be thinking just that.
Or perhaps, just perhaps it is not what is "unearthed" but why and how which is the topic of discussion? Whatever "Littlebot" thinks, the needs of a dectorist's pocket should not outweigh the public's right not to have every precious and unique depository of information about the past emptied out by the grabby handful to fill an individual's pocket with no thought for the consequences of the action. "Littlebot" says she would "never knowingly damage a site of interest to obtain 'treasure'.." but that is exactly what happened on December 21st 2014 at Lenborough, yet we find Littleboot criticising those "frustrated elitists" who say this should not be happening like this, but with not a word against her unthinking tekkie "mates" who did it. Double standards, wouldn't you say?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"the needs of the present outweigh the needs of the past every time"

No they don't. Conservation v Development is a contest that goes on all the time, sometimes one wins, sometimes the other does, and quite right too. Sometimes motorways HAVE to come first, in the overall communal interest. At least, having lost some archaeology we end up with a bit of preservation by record - and a motorway.

But to imply people in an exploitative hobby, most of whom don't preserve by record, comprise the needs of the present" and "outweigh the needs of the past every time" is plain wrong.

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