Monday 14 November 2016

Where the Irreversible Harm is

Suzie Thomas, promoting the pro-collecting fluff book she edited with two other fawning tekkie  head-patters, is quoted calling artefact hunters with metal detectors 'citizen researchers' in a wishy-washy text which totally omits the word 'collectors' (Citizen research or irreversible harm?). Here are some more artefact hunters who overstepped the boundary of what Britain's all-too-liberal law on artefact hunting allows:
A memorial site marking the World War Two deaths of 10 US airmen has been dug up by so-called "nighthawk" metal detectors [sic], police believe. The airmen lost their lives on the South Downs site near Eastbourne when their US bomber crashed in 1944. Digging at the site was consistent with illicit metal detecting, officers said. Heritage crime officer for Sussex Police, Daryl Holter, described it as a "shady unscrupulous act" which showed "a complete lack of respect". "The site of the memorial is protected by the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 and any contravention of this will be fully investigated," he said (BBC ' 'Metal detectors' [sic] vandalise South Downs war memorial' BBC Sussex 10 November 2016).
and what were they 'researching', pray? Artefact hunting is not done for any kind of research (in tekkie-parlance, 'research' is used to locate potential 'productive' sites to find things to collect - here a monument X-marks the spot made it easier for hunting gruesome trophies to pocket and gloat over). Artefact hunting is done to gain access to items to add to an ephemeral privet collection for personal entertainment and profit. The fact of whether it is done openly or clandestinely, in the day or in the night, on sites where one can go, or sites where one cannot does not change the nature of the findamental activity involved. Glibly saying that 'these is night'awks, we int night'awks, we hateses night'awks' is not in any way addressing that underlying fact. A fact which all supporters of liaison with artefact collectors (including Thomas and her two co-editors, Mike Lewis and) are studiously side-stepping in their one-sided representations.

I doubt these academics will attempt to answer these three points properly - their inability to do so rather undermines the pro-collecting views their one-sided book is trying to promote:
W odpowiedzi do Suzie Thomas Paul Barford ‏@PortantIssues  12 godzin temu
@SuzieThomasHY @DeGruyterOpen     and the words "artefact collecting" appear where, precisely? Understanding issue implies calling a spade a spade 

W odpowiedzi do Suzie Thomas Paul Barford ‏@PortantIssues 12 godzin temu
@SuzieThomasHY @DeGruyterOpen    Rhino and whale hunting are not 'citizen research' whatever records are made.
W odpowiedzi do Suzie Thomas Paul Barford ‏@PortantIssues 12 godzin temu
@SuzieThomasHY @DeGruyterOpen    Collecting costume Barbie dolls is not 'citizen ethnology'. WHEN is coin collecting 'citizen archaeology'?
Where the irreversible harm is being done by these people is to the public perception of archaeology, as well as in the will to fight the collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological resource in Britain and (more tragically) beyond. When will these issue-dodging academics be brought to account?

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