Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The PAS and the Elephant in the Room

Richard Lewis ( Archaeologist working for GGAT in south Wales) twitters:
Lenborough Anglo Saxon coin hoard valued at £1.35m @findsorguk
Which excites an FLO:
PAS in the Marches ‏@PeterReavill 7 godzin temu Wow [sic] - it must be time to start rattling the donate tin as hoard really does need to be in a museum for all to enjoy
That really takes the biscuit. The public needs to donate so it can buy back from the metal detectorist and landowner who were in conspiracy to loot a known earthwork site and split the proceeds, its own heritage. Heritage which professionals like Mr Reavill and his colleagues in the PAS should be helping protect from careless destruction for personal entertainment and profit. Wow Mr Reavill, one of your metal detecting partners is going to get a nice windfall - shame though about the archaeology, eh? 

Mr Reavill was one of those which my FOI revealed unconcernedly praising the  FLO who'd keyhole hoiked this assemblage of finds out of its archaeological context and into a carrier bag. My comments there still stand:
I think anyone who dismisses a fellow worker as merely a "troll", as this crowd are while at the same time bragging about never having read a word of what he has written, really represent all that is rotten in British archaeology when it comes to discussing the issues surrounding portable antiquities collecting and the antiquities trade. If we see this sort of superficial knee-jerkism in the Portable Antiquities Scheme itself - which should be the focal hotbed of debate, then what hope is there for the future of archaeology in Great Britain? Metal detectors and JCBs and grubbing out all the shiny bits? Before leaving this topic, let us note that nowhere in the entire thread is there any discussion of the issues of archaeological methodology and best practice of the way this hoard was 'excavated'. All the name-calling by PAS professionals has obscured the fact that it was this, and primarily this, which was and is the focus of the comments on my blog. This, the PAS totally ignore.

They obviously are still intent on doing just that.  [Mr Reavill shrugs shoulders and pretends he's too busy looking at coin books to engage in any discussion].

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