Thursday, 21 May 2015

"Enjoying" Collection-Driven Erosion of Archaeological Sites?

In his letter to me supplying the details of the recent recording in a metal detecting club, Dr Adrian Marsden suggested, perhaps tongue-in-cheek (?) - that I might "enjoy" looking at the March and April records from the club.

I do not enjoy looking at such things, it constantly amazes me how British archaeologists can be jubilant about the number of artefacts ripped from the surfaces (and sometimes deeper layers) of archaeological sites and assemblages just because they can make a scrappy record of some of them.

In particular I was shocked to see how many of the PAS records to which he refers me, intended to mitigate by record the knowledge loss from these sites, have no images "taken" at all. Perhaps I misunderstood what it means "go live", but I see the pattern goes back several years at least. While I understand that local circumstances mean that Norfolk has better information recovery from collectors than other areas of Britain (which is why Nolan used that example in his political agitation) the scale of knowledge loss through unreporting countrywide is clearly massive. Even the BM is now admitting it.

There is nothing to "enjoy" in the sight of these decontextualised collectables and the extent of the knowledge theft that they mask. Neither is there anything "enjoyable" in the spectacle of British colleagues going along with it passively.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.