Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Who are the real "heroes"?

David Lammy
In his presentation 'The Portable Antiquities Scheme and Treasure Act: the Current Situation' given at the Museums Association March 2015 "Dig It: Museums and Archaeology" Conference Roger Bland trots out his usual stuff, but near the end responds to the widespread criticism of the involvement of the PAS in the hurried removal of the Lenborough Hoard from the ground . He justifies this saying:
"This was a rescue job and Ros, as our sole FLO at event with about a hundred metal detector users, did a heroic job in the circumstances and ensured that all the coins were recovered".
What a strange thing for the head of the Portable Antiquities Scheme to have said. I think he could not have been clearer for his audience if he'd used a synonym "with about a hundred potential thieving oiks". The FLO was rescuing the hoard from one or more of them coming back at night and stealing it, is what he is apparently saying here.

Meanwhile in tekkie la-la-land they are still having trouble (Bazza Thugwit 'Still a National Treasure') parting from their fond memories of an unscripted remark blurted out in January 2007 by a hapless Minister of Culture who called Treasure Hunters coming for their rewards the "unsung heroes of the British Heritage". So who is the heritage hero, the bloke with metal detector eager to hoik it all out, or the archaeologists who beat them to it?

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