Thursday 6 February 2020

PASing About in Taunton [UPDATE]

Local Dot-collector for the Kossinnist
 Dot-Distribution maps (Byzantium)
So, it seems Laura Bennett is off:
"Interested in joining the @findsorguk team? Now's your chance to apply - see details here for a full-time vacancy as Finds Liaison Officer for beautiful Somerset:
The job advert is for as Finds Liaison Officer Somerset (37 hours per week Salary: £24,412 per annum) based in Somerset Heritage Centre in Taunton ("There will be travel across Somerset, Devon and Dorset as part of the role"). Note that it is a "fixed term contract until 31 March 2021" and "the post may continue after this date subject to funding". Or may not. Apparently it involves "delivering" the Portable Antiquities Scheme across Somerset, Devon and Dorset ("five days a week [...] carrying out agreed recording tasks and providing cover as required"... [...] You must have a flexible approach and be willing to work outside normal office hours").
The successful candidate will have a degree in archaeology or a related discipline, or considerable relevant experience and specialist knowledge of finds recording. [...] As Finds Liaison Officer you will make contact with members of the public such as metal-detector users, explain the aims of the Scheme and the Treasure Act to the public and heritage professionals and identify, research and record finds on the Portable Antiquities Scheme's database.
So, basically, you do not actually need to be an archaeologist any more, just be able to chat to metal detectorists and fill in the fields on the database date entry pro-forma. So, it's really about "delivering" and promoting the Scheme, rather than addressing issues such as the way portable antiquities are handled in collecting and the trade?

Certainly one might question how much FLOs are in fact in contact with and explaining the PAS to other heritage professionals, and are in fact actually ABLE to explain their precious "Scheme" to the rest of us. My own experience is if you ask relevant (preservation and archaeology-focused) questions, you get blocked, ignored, snubbed [and, reportedly, insulted] by them (one even reported me to the police). They are not really very good at that at all. Anyway, good luck to the hapless applicant. Perhaps they will be able to get a full monographic publication of the Chew Valley Hoard out "subject to funding" of course, most of the money goes on Treasure Ransoms.

Mostly, they will be collecting dots to put onto the dot-distribution maps that pass for archaeology in Boris Johnson's dumbdown Britain.

Update 7th Jan 2010
and there is already one applicant:
Jona 🇬🇧@Jona EFC· 11 g. W odpowiedzi do @TRegistrars i @findsorguk
I’ll do it! Don’t have a degree in archaeology and the salary has to be negotiable but great job!
His Twitter account shows us that Jona is very 'patriotic'. Loves his little flaggies, his country and Queen. Perhaps that's all that counts in GB these days? (I'd like to think this account is a spoof, but have a nagging feeling that it is not)

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