Sunday, 29 September 2019

In UK, artefact hunter to archaeologist: "If it wasn't fer us, you'd be out of a job mate"

In the fallout from the All Cannings commercial rally cancellation, "responsible metal detectorists" are furious that a site-looting has been prevented:
Jason Massey @jlmassey73 W odpowiedzi do @PasWiltshire @findsorguk i jeszcze 2 osób
And yes we follow the code of conduct and everyone is briefed before a dig to report all finds . We have Marshalls out in the fields as well . Stop putting detecting in the bad press . If it wasn't for us you be (sic) out of work .
Oh dear.... those pesky facts, that's the tricky one when discussing with Brexiters and tekkies alike:
Paul Barford@PortantIssues
@jlmassey73 , why do you say that? Tekkie hearsay and loose talk?On what substantive grounds do you base your statement? Which sentence of 'Profiling the Profession' gives grounds for such a statement with regard to 4425 professional archaeologists in the UK? 
as far as I can see, the word "detectorist" does not appear in its 129 pages, not under funding either. What is the basis for this glib assertion?
Actually, none. It's just tekkie folklore, like the '350 million for the NHS' on the side of a bus that the British gullible class fall for. Very few of the findspots reported every year by artefact hunters are even visited by archaeologists, let alone excavated by them, even fewer (like, probably, zero) of those excavations are the basis for permanent employment of any individual. There may be a few (literally a few) contracts specificallty for the study of material like the Staffordshire Hoard (done under the aegis of an institution like a Museum), but many hoards are processed by museum staff in amongst their other duties, in which the additional work created is a hindrance rather than a blessing. Even if that amounts to two dozen project-specific posts, and the fifty PAS staff kept busy with metal detecting finds and Treasure cases amongst their main task of outreach to the general public, that is still less than 2% of the archaeological workforce. So 98% of them are only marginally involved with 'detecting' finds and probably the majority keep well away from loudmouth detectorists like the oiks we see coming out in the threads related to the All Cannings commercial rally and the archaeological response.

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