Saturday 3 August 2019

Thugwit Threatening Behaviour as a Response to the Heritage Debate

"a very well-known detectorist [...] 
posted on our Facebook page “hope you all DIE soon”

Those who go about the countryside with metal detectors stripping archaeological record of items to pocket and sell include among their number some who seem to be a nasty lot of aggressive troublemakers. One tekkie writes on a public blog on "detecting and collecting" just a mouse-click away:
"I was especially impressed with Nigel’s penchant for sneaking around metal detecting shops and getting down private conversations to expose. Hopefully all the shops likes (sic) the photos you sent them for positive I.D. on the scoundrel"
Does one "sneak around" an academic book shop, or do you just go through the front door and look around? Now my question is how did the owner of that blog get those "photos you sent them" without Nigel's knowledge or permission? And what happens in the archaeological section of an academic bookshop when the shop assistants get "a positive identification" of somebody who looks just like Nigel Swift? And what would happen if it is not an archaeology bookshop, but a metal detector store?  It would seem that the metal detectorist (Bloomsbury's "citizen archaeologist" (sic) ) thinks there is. "Nur für Detektoristen"?

We've already seen several attempts of people in the collecting milieu to "dox" those who question current policy on collecting, several of us have been threatened, our families too, including an actual attack on a family member outside our home after a detectorist in the UK threatened to get his Polish detecting mates on to me. I have had a stalking metal detectorist take unauthorised photos of me on private property in the UK without permission and attempt to disseminate them in the detecting community. Now it seems from this that they are doing the same to Nigel Swift. Where is this going to STOP? What does this reveal about detectorists and their ilk?

There is a blog post about some of these characters with a history of documented abusive behaviour going back to November 2012 here: Heritage Action threatened on two continents. These are grown people behaving like twelve year olds, they should be ashamed of themselves. One of the people mentioned - despite being a collector - is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, no less, totally devaluing the meaning of that 'distinction'. Mr Howland has continued his attacks on the both of us and trolling on a "detecting and collecting" blog which he got fellow tekkie Stout to help him set up. Needless to say that beyond ad personam/hominem remarks, false accusations, and general derision, there is not a single substantive point made about the issues we raise about collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological resource anywhere on it - simply denial that there are any issues at all. And archaeologists say that the artefact hunters and collectors they collaborate with are all "responsible" - taking responsibility for what, in fact?

Vignette: Small head, and threatening

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