Saturday 22 September 2018

Boxted Trashed Over a Decade: "Responsive" versus "Responsible"

Pieterjan Deckers,
corresponding author
 for the Ixelles Six
who will hopefully be
using the Boxted
evidence to prove
the validity of their
 main thesis 
Heritage Action note an 'Essex farmer is to permit metal detecting rally for the TENTH time!' (22/09/2018 )  ['A donation (sic) of £35.00 per detectorists for the whole weekend'],
The organiser of next week’s rally at Boxted, Essex [Kimbo's Detecting Society] says “this will be our tenth trip back if my memory serves me correct“. He’s clearly aware that it has decimated – literally – the archaeological record for he warns attendees: “please just remember the finds that have been found previously on this farm are no longer there to be found“. How true.
And where are all those decontextualised pieces of archaeological evidence they ripped out of the ground from Hill Farm, Langham, today? I have written about this rally before. The site is quite a 'productive' one:
Those detectorists who have been here before can testify the consistency of the fantastic finds these fields have yielded, and many at that! And many, many, finds certainly displayed how very wealthy this area was and still is on a huge variety of finds from early bronze age through to modern day. I am not going to list what has been found as most is now common knowledge amongst the detecting circle.
but not, it seems in other circles, such as that of the public stakeholders from whom this information is taken in an act of knowledge theft, and hidden. The meagre 23 finds from the Boxted rally in the PAS 'database' can be broken down by year:
2010 x  2
2011: -
2012: -
2013: x  1
2014: x  4
2015: x 15 + 15
2016: x  1
2017: -
2018: ? 
They are distinguished there from Boxted 2015 rally finds, even though some 2015 finds are under the general 'Boxted Rally' heading. Look who is recording the few items that have been reported from this assemblage:
In other words, the finds are being widely scattered and housed in random and ephemeral private collections right across the country, and only a small selection of the products of systematically stripping this site with random pickup over a whole decade ever get reported.

The Ixelles Six/ Helsinki Gang claim that it is a 'simplistic and incorrect basic assumption' that this represents any kind of archaeological information loss because (2018, 324)
'many detectorists are open to collaboration and willingly give access to this information when asked by professional archaeologists, even if they have not reported on their own initiative, a phenomenon described elsewhere [...] as "responsive"...'
Right, so  the test of whether there are any grounds for believing what Suzie Thomas, Natasha Ferguson, Pieterjan Deckers, Andres Dobat, Stijn Heeren and Michael Lewis write is for them to get out there among the metal detecting 'partners' of Britain that have hoovered this site for collectables and ask them nicely to share the rest of the information. Let this be the Boxted Test of the truth of what these six wrote on their attack on the preservation ethos they discard so easily.

Go on Suzie, Tash, Pieterjan, Andres, Stijn and Michael, get in touch with every single living participant of the ten years of Boxted exploiters and build a full archive of the archaeological evidence removed.

What will we see?

Complete Boxted Rally Archive, or
Complete Bollocks from Ixelles?

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