Friday, 22 March 2019


Any critic of the PAS must be by definition
a "troll" if you believe in its magic
Following up on Cadburygate (fuss over Freddos Treasure hunt):
 2 godziny temu2 godziny temuAccording to trolls this week: I am a vicious brute and enemy of the UK, who needs to fix national problems of a decade ago (when I was a student... using a time machine?). Fascinating. And truly a guiding hand in my life decisions moving forward. To that I say trollololololol
The good doctor neglects to provide a reference to substantiate her statement asserting multiple trolling but I could not help noting the coincidence between this and something I tweeted. She and mark Horton were congratulating themselves on the archaeologists victory over a chocolate button firm that made a mistake in one of their marketing campaigns.
As archaeologists, it was our duty to take on Cadbury over ads encouraging kids to dig up 'treasure' – and we won
I made the point that it is odd that archaeologists do not see their duty as somewhat wider when it comes to Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological record:
23 godziny temu
W odpowiedzi do @IrishAshyT @ConversationUK "the swift response from the heritage community, damage to sites was prevented". Hmm. Collection Driven exploitation of the archaeological record by 27000 (maybe) artefact hunters adding dozens (how many?) items annually to their collection with little or no record is an issue it cannot be said that archaeologists have been at all "swift" to come to terms with. Far from it, cases like this are presented as "victories" ("the archaeologists won") leaving the issue of massive erosion of archaeology in the UK totally unchallenged.
Dr Tierney was politely dismissive of the idea and added "I'm happy about how this issue worked out, and hope that we can collectively mobilise on bigger issues in the future". I pointed out in turn that:
The PAS has been going for 20 years, and it must be good because "it has 3 million photos" (note: only 899,095 records). In all that time of us being "happy how that issue worked out" collectors may have taken 6,884,982 objects already …  so at what stage do we "collectively mobilise on bigger issues in future"? When the estimate reaches 16 million and the public finds out that "responsible detectorists (sic)" have reported just two million to the PAS? Yes? Why dont we "mobilise" now? Why didnt we 10 yrs ago?
Now I happen to think that is a perfectly valid question.

Many years ago, Nigel Swift and I began asking questions of the tired old tropes about 'responsible detecting' and in particular the shortfall between what is pocketed from the archaeological record by collectors and what is pocketed and then reported to the PAS. OK, two blokes asking questions. Easy to ignore (or dismiss as "trolls").

But... If we have 6800 archaeologists in the UK at the moment,  even if only ten percent of them are able to think up some original questions about artefact hunting, that is still 680 archies out there who would be seeking the answers to the same questions as us about the scale and effects of the activity. Say 10% of them have archaeoblogs, that would be 68 archeoblogs asking these questions, publishing what they've found. If those 680 archies write one journal paper every five years on this 9alongside their other stuff), that should be 136 articles a year. Where are they? 

What the blazes is going on?  This is like millions voting for Brexit because they dont share Mr Cameron's taste in ties, but not knowing the first thing about what the EU is and what it is not, and what the effects of the thing they vote for will be - and 'cant be bovvered to read all that project fear guff' written by remoaner 'trolls and traitors' . Likewise we have all those archaeologists in the same country  glibly supporting 'partnering metal detectorists', see nothing very much wrong with collecting archaeological objects and digging them out of otherwise unthreatened sites for collection - without really straining themselves to find out any more about it other than "wottalotta-stuff-we-got" ("coo, look at this pretty brooch/coin/strapend"). Its all OK, as long as the treasure  Act is not violated and artefact hunters stay off scheduled sites. Really?  This is the "we are not nighthawks" argument. Is that really all that 6800 UK archaeologists have to say on artefact collecting?

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