Wednesday 3 June 2020

"Dont Give me Stinkeye For Ripping up the Past"

Digging up the past to collect
Out come the self-justification attempts of the metal detectorists. Here's JoannaLaznicka 'Dear Person Giving Me the Stink Eye While I Metal Detect' All Metal Mode March 8, 2020
I am here to tell you about a lot of the amazing things we do, why you should welcome metal detectorists as opposed to treating us like we are a nuisance, and acting like we are shady and shouldn’t even be there. Let me explain to you how metal detectorists make the parks and beaches safer, how we have helped solve crimes, and even filled crucial gaps in history. Now, like any group in society, there are always a few bad apples. We call such people the nighthawks. They illegally dig on historic land where there are laws against metal detecting. But the good metal detectorists have strong ethics and what we do for the community and environment ought to outweigh the few bad apples.
Yawn. You'd think they'd get tired of churning out the same old stuff decade after decade (literally). The truth is that they don't actually read very much, so they therefore are unaware of the fact that they are merely repeating the same old guff...
Metal Detectorist Gaps of History (sic, Freudian slip, verb missing here)
Seasoned metal detectorists don’t just go out and dig. We spend countless hours researching areas. We take old maps and overlay them over new maps and spend countless hours finding areas to dig. We sometimes stumble across and go detect areas even historians didn’t know about, bringing forth a wealth of information to add to our history records. Some of us share our finds with schools, museums, and historical societies, so it can get children and adults more enthused about local history. The media may portray a feud between archaeologists and detectorists, but I haven’t seen it. Instead, I have seen quite the opposite. We have been asked to come onto archaeological sites to help find items, and there are archaeologists who are detectorists as well! There are even books co-written by archaeologists and detectorists. We can and do coexist symbiotically together.
Some would see that relationship more like a parasite destructively exploiting the archaeological record as a host. So they take objects out of the archaeological record, no mention here of documenting anything. They can "show and tell" and claim the effects are positive, but as for why there is a problem for archaeologists this author has no knowledge - and typically has not even tried to read up on it to answer the critics, it's easier to shrug shoulders and say "I've not seen it". In fact metal detecting and pocketing the artefacts creates gaps in the history. Showing the loot to gasping schoolkids does nothing to restore the missing information.

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