Wednesday 17 June 2020

Metal detecting at CIfA in Leeds (5) PAS Head Making Metal Detecting Great Again

This post follows on from the ones above and takes a look at the videos resulting from the session on "metal detectors" that for some reason, the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists decided to have at  their Leeds meeting (see above for the setting).

The original title of the next piece by Professor Michael Lewis (British Museum) was "Making Metal Detecting Great Again", but it was changed to a lamer: 'Advocating a more archaeologically minded approach to hobby metal- detecting'  (19 mins). Here's the abstract:
For 20 years the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) has been working with the metal-detecting community. In that time great strides have been made, with large numbers of detectorists now willing to engage with archaeologists to record their finds and work alongside archaeologists in other ways. Also, has been [sic] developed a Code for Responsible Metal Detecting, outlining (for the first time) a base-line for best practice, and (through the HLF funded PASt Explorers project) a mechanism for detectorists and other people to be trained to record their own finds directly on the PAS database. However, it remains a frustration that many detectorists still refuse to engage with the PAS, seemingly happy to relish in the contribution of metal-detecting to our knowledge of the past but not actual [sic] add to knowledge themselves. This paper explored the dichotomy between those detectorists who are keen to contribute to archaeological knowledge and those that do not, and ask the question ‘what do archaeologists do about that?’
I'm not going to review this video now, watch it for yourselves if you can get past the embarrassing intro ... and the fact the guy is reading, head down from his notes all the time. The ending is weak, but does involve a stick and licencing.  I'll just add that, in the circumstances, it is extraordinarily ironic (and exhibits a huge lack of self-awareness) that it should be the head of the PAS saying: "fencing off a view and pretending it does not exist rarely solves anything". There I'm going to leave it for now.


Brian Mattick said...


"Large number" should say "minority" and "many" should say "most", as PAS well knows.

Poor taxpayer/stakeholder. It's like the Govt saying Brexit and their Covid response have been triumphs.

Paul Barford said...

Well, after my recent hospitalisation I have to watch blood pressure, so decided not to watch it.

Brian Mattick said...

My corrections were of the quote above. That was bad enough without seeing it in moving pictures.

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