Sunday 26 July 2020

Artefact-productive Weyhill Fairground Stripped over 11 seasons: PAS has six objects recorded.

Fading memories of Weyhill Fair
Nigel Swift has drawn attention to an eleventh (!) session of artefact hunting at the artefact rich (apparently) site of the Weyhill Fair (TWO locations, 70,000 hours of acquisitive metal detecting! 26/07/2020)
If ever somewhere should be protected it’s there, where social and commercial interaction took place for at least 8.5 centuries. [...] it’s being progressively denuded for fun and profit (ostensibly “for charity”, even though everything found is kept by the detectorists) [...] Any chance PAS could express dismay? No? Would poor Wayne be upset?
So, I wonder what PAS Head Mike Lewis - majorly involved in using PAS data to study Medieval Fairs, exactly like this site at Weyhill has made of all the masses of data coming from this mega-exploitation of this site by metal detecting partners. It is probably because of the amount of material these many thousands of hours of detecting have produced that has prevented him from getting it out as a prime case -study in his research. We patiently await his professorial pronouncements of the relevance of these data in assessing the actual effects of artefact hunting on the archaeological record.
Failing that (and PAS is always failing to step up to the mark when issues like this are raised), maybe a "responsible metal detectorist" would comment here and enlighten us about how much (actual) knowledge we have gained to compensate for the massive stripping of collectable items from this bit of the archaeological record.

There is a problem. The PAS repeatedly claim that there is a "majority of" "responsible detectorists" that they claim to have got working for the good of society. So either (because a search of the database here: "Weyhill" produces 6 objects only, or the number of those responsibly reporting in this sample of artefact hunters is somewhat pitifully small.

Which is it PAS? Either admit hyperbole, or call out the organisers of these selfish site-stripping meets as "irresponsible" and bringing disrepute onto the "responsible detectorists" who work with you. One or the other. 

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