Sunday 4 August 2019

Rotary Club Commercial Artefact Hunting Rally, 31st August Thaxted Essex

Oppose commercial Collection-Driven
of the archaeological
record, at home and abroad
On a metal detecting forum near you: hairyharry » Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:19 pm "Rotary club rally 31st August Thaxted Essex" (spelling as in original):
Just had an email from Barry at the dunmow rotary club. The previous 2 digs were great and we'll run, so here are the details for the 3rd dig
Hi there,
Dunmow Rotary Club are holding their third EMDR on the 31st August at Thaxted in Essex. the site will be in excess of 100 acres and will be an arable site. The cost of the event as last year is £18 per detectorist, £20 on the day. Breakfast will be served from 8.00am with the event starting at 10.00am. Lunch will also be provided if wanted. Free tea and coffee will be served all day and the event will finish at 4.00 pm. For tickets, send an sae with a cheque (sic!) [Mod Edit: Makes cheques payable to Dunmow Rotary Club]contact telephone number and email address to: EMDR [....] Avenue, Black Notley, Essex CM77 8LT.
If unable to pay by cheque, please indicate this in the application and alternative arrangements will be sent by email. For any further information send an email to: barryclark1947 [...] Can you please pass this information to your detectorists friends and colleagues.
Regard (sic)
Barry Clark
Dunmow Rotary Club.
As one detectorist added to an earlier thread on this event:
detecttheearth » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:06 pm
I have a permission in this area and it is good. My permission has been done a lot in the past but I've had a few treasure finds off it, lot of hammereds, Roman coins and brooches too. Definitely one to go to!
Only a few, but nevertheless good, eh?

Forum members say that stripping out and pocketing random pieces of the archaeological record of this piece of the historical Essex countryside for the third time running is perfectly OK, as 'the proceeds of this dig go to the rotary club who in turn help good causes'. And what happened to the archaeological information from the first two Rotary Club assaults on the heritage, with the PAS database apparently containing just 3 finds documented from a rally at this locality in the last twenty years? What has the Rotary Club done about the rest? This is simply irresponsible.

As the organizer, and beneficiary, of this event, is the Rotary Club and its branches aware of the principles set out in the official Guidance for organisers of metal detecting rallies and taking steps to ensure that they are applied? Such as 'being responsible means offering all your finds for recording to the FLO'. Anything else means that the Rotary Club is profiting from the irresponsible destruction of the archaeological heritage.

This seems to me to go against Rotary Club stated ideals and standards, they say in their Manual that their aim is 'to encourage and foster [...] high ethical standards in business' yet profiting from the Collection-Driven Exploitation (looting) of archaeological sites is as unethical in Surrey as it is in Syria. I do not think either that this way of organizing fundraising in any way complies with the RC's declared 'four ways' standards:
1) Truth? Participants of Rotary-organized events pocketing unrecorded artefacts is deceitful, it is knowledge theft.
2) It is not fair to 'all concerned', since the knowledge is being stolen from us all. We are all stakeholders in the archaeological heritage, not just RC and its members and the artefact collectors they enable.
3) Whether or not looting or archaeological sites promotes 'goodwill' and 'better friendships' or not depends on how you interpret that, artefact collectors will be having a good time, at the expense of the rest of us.
4) Seen on a global scale, there are no benefits and no beneficiaries of archaeological looting. The Rotary International can get professional advice on this from a number of heritage-focused organizations. I wonder if it has bothered to do this in cases like this?

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