Friday, 11 March 2016

Discussion of Responsible Collecting

Dragging, as ever, the discussion of responsible collecting down to the gutter level of personal attack, a comment by a British metal detector user on the ACCG Dealer Dave's "professional numismatic" blog declares of the author of a text concerning responsible collecting of artefacts:
Perhaps honorable collectors and detectorists should welcome and celebrate the fact that [..insult..] swims in the Barford sewer - I certainly do. I wish more of [....]'s ilk would join his synchronized aquatics, but they are apparently, more canny [...] The makers of the bullets Barford fires on their behalf tactically keep his narcissism at arms length, and I suspect, as the truth emerges will ditch him and board the collecting bandwagon when it all goes awry - which it will soon.
Really? And who might these unnamed "bullet makers" be? Most of the material sourced here comes from the realms of irresponsible collecting and dealing in archaeological artefacts, and comes from those already well-and-truly on the pro-collecting bandwagon. I am not sure of what is so "honourable" about collectors who keep quiet about bad practice in the hobby and trade - perhaps it is a badge of honour in collecting circles, but if it is that tells us volumes about that milieu.

Take a look at how often gutter-level hate-rhetoric replaces
discussion of best practice in portable antiquities collecting circles

In the predicted imminent 'Collectiongeddon', I would not be so confident that it will be the collecting bandwagon driven by the likes of these stubborn and dismissive commentators that will be still on the road. To do that, it needs to retain social acceptance and it seems to me that the kind of trollish behaviour we see from these (rather un-)"professional numismatists" and hangers-on is going about things in the most effective way to lose that. That goes for artefact hunting with metal detectors in the UK as well as dug-up-artefact importing shopkeepers beyond.

Here you can read David Knell's exposition of why truly responsible handling of licit portable antiquities "really is that simple". Perhaps instead of the insults and flat denials, a more "professional" approach to the raising of issues like that might be to discuss them properly.

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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