Tuesday 6 August 2019

CIfA Leeds April Conference Presentations on Metal Detector Use Online [UPDATED]

Somebody in the CIfA singled this session out from among the others to tweet about (the other videos were already up):
CIfA@InstituteArch·36 min Session 15 at #CIfA2019 debated how to communicate the values of archaeologists to detectorists and whether we can embed metal detecting into archaeological practice. Watch some of the paper presentations at (link: http://www.archaeologists.net/conference/2019) archaeologists.net/conference/2019
Here's the session 15 part of the CIfA programme with the links to five of the seven papers delivered.

Session 15Communicating the values of archaeologists to detectorists and embedding metal detecting into professional practice (Abstract)
15.1Where to detect? A review: metal detector surveys on developer-funded investigations(link is external) Stewart Bryant
15.2Structured, supervised metal detecting surveys as technique for investigating(link is external) Vicky Nash
15.3A tale of two cities: metal detecting policy, municipalities and heritage Kiara Beaulieu
15.4The current state of hobbyist metal detecting in Scotland - Where do we go from here?(link is external) Warren Bailie
15.5Making Metal-Detecting Great (Again)?(link is external) Michael Lewis
15.6First contact - full bloom Alan Standish
15.7Metal detecting and local authority archaeology services(link is external) Toby Catchpole

It is not clear from the titles of the seven papers in the session how the CIfA intends "communicating the values of archaeologists to [artefact hunters and collectors]". I must say, "Making Metal Detecting Great (Again)?" is a pretty intriguing title coming from the head of an archaeological outreach organisation. Vicky Nash's paper promises to be required viewing for all those detectorists that say their unsystematic hoiking is "saving archaeological evidence", it will be interesting to see what Warren Bailie reveals about what is happening in Scotland where it seems clear from present evidence that there is massive under-reporting going on. What is the current state there? Unfortunately CIfA have not really got their act together, announcing that they've put up those papers to watch rather prematurely. None of the  five films seem to be ready, clicking on the links gives a blank screen, while the videos of all the other sessions are already available.

So, it would seem that here, too, despite its impact on the conservation of the archaeological record and public perceptions of archaeology, a broader discussion of the archaeological response to Collection-Driven Exploitation of the Archaeological Record is still not one of the priorities of the CIfA.

UPDATE 7th August 2019
All very odd, now the original tweet has been deleted too. Is discussing artefact hunting really so controversial?

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