Sunday 22 July 2018

What the Ixelles Six (aka Helsinki Gang) Would Prefer not to Address

The Ixelles Six, professionals all (public domain, fair use)

The authors of ‘The complexities of MD policy and practice’, were invited to comment on the four texts I wrote addressing the issues raised by their text. There are four main parts, with an introduction:
Sunday, 8 July 2018
'The Complexities of Metal Detecting Policy and Practice' (Summary) 
'The Complexities of Metal Detecting Policy and Practice' (1) The Ixelles Three and their Problem 
'The Complexities of Metal Detecting Policy and Practice' (2): The Ixelles Six and their Viewpoint 
'The Complexities of Metal Detecting Policy and Practice' (3): The Ixelles Six - Unreasonably Opiniated 
'The Complexities of Metal Detecting Policy and Practice' (4): Summing up the 'Contribution' of the Ixelles Six

I cannot really see what stood in the way of them addressing the main point Hardy made, which seems to me to be a fundamental issue to highlight and resolve before suggesting that any PAS, TTU   or whatever is achieving anything in the way of archaeological mitigation of knowledge theft due to Collection-Driven Exploitation of the Archaeological Record.

As a result, it also seems to me that public investment in projects in other countries (MEDEA, DIME, PAN, SuALT to which - though they do not declare it in the footer to the first page of their text - the authors of this 'response' belong) which are premised on the alleged 'benefits' of collaborating with 'non-professional metal detectorists' on the model of the PAS is highly premature. 

Some of the points made in their text are also already mentioned in several other posts I have blogged on earlier. These include:
Monday, 25 June 2018 To One of the Authors of the Text-With-an-Overlong-Title
Monday, 25 June 2018 Ixelles Six: "Discouraging 'the Ignorant' from Forming an Opinion Opposite to Ours"
Tuesday, 26 June 2018 Ixelles scores an own goal? 
These two go together:Tuesday, 3 July 2018 Surface Sites Out of Sight of 'Transnational' Academics? Monday, 2 July 2018 Could of Come From king Richerd's Horse ... Bosworth pillaged (bad grammar here of course ironic)
just for completeness’ sake, Heritage Action also mentioned their efforts Conservation shame. 07/07/2018 and here is my take on that:  Saturday, 7 July 2018 Heritage Action Clearing the Fog..
More recently there has been  

Monday, 9 July 2018  'Metal Detecting' (sic) 'Policy' (sic) in Bonkers Britain, not 'Complex' (sic) at all
Tuesday, 10 July 2018   'Ixelles Six' or 'Helsinki Gang': love-child of SuALT and Addressing Finnish Academic Funding Body?  (I should have spotted this before)
Sunday, 15 July 2018,   'How Many 'Metal Detectorists' are there in England and Wales? ' and   'A Revised Artefact Erosion Counter' (and I will be developing these ideas in future posts)

The Ixelles Six (presumably after weighing up the pros and cons), have of course, just announced two weeks on that they will ignore the points I made, . Since that is what they'd already done to Hardy’s uncomfortable main substantive conclusion, there were no surprises there. It is my experience that supporters of collecting never can sustain a discussion when they are challenged by somebody who has been looking into the topic for two decades and who knows what's-what and also heard before and formed an opinion on all the weak glib arguments. 

I do however maintain my invitation to any of these six authors willing to break ranks with their fellow gang-members (quote: 'We write articles together, but usually not e-mails', perhaps that applies to other social media), that, should they feel able to answer with some substantive arguments or points, all and any of you are perfectly welcome to send a public comment that I will publish on this blog. 

But I think it is now clear what they cannot face discussing in its wider context, and to what degree in wanting a free, honest, open and objective discussion of the wider issues and context of Collection-Driven Exploitation of the Archaeological Record, we are actually on the same side.

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