Friday 11 December 2020

Impatient UK detectorist Has a Serious Issue with his Liaison Officer, went to Head Office, but Won't Be Recording Anyfink Else, So There.

A UK metal detectorist has a grudge about his liaison officer and announces that he won't be recording anything else: Stevensimmons (Fri Dec 04, 2020)Location - Wiltshire:
I am having a serious issue with my FLO. I don’t particularly, at this time, want to discuss it in an open forum but I would appreciate some help and advise if someone with any experience or knowledge could privately message me.
Oldartefact (Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:36 pm) concurs, though cannot work out if he's giving advice or asking a question:
Yes best not to discuss on a forum. You might want to consider escalating the issue within the Portable Antiquities Service? Hope that helps.
Stevensimmons (Fri Dec 11, 2020 10:28 am)
Just an update to this. I eventually received a reply from Michael Lewis at the British Museum. I won’t be bothering them again, the finds they already have ( including 14 gold unites and laurels) they may eventually put on their database, the other ninety finds that could be recorded I will just keep for my own enjoyment.
I remember going to the sandpits as a child in the sixties and finding sharks teeth and fossils. We would then run to Ipswich museum and hand them in. They always received two scruffy little kids, with our treasures in our hands, with kindness and enthusiasm. They always explained to us what we had found and how old it was, they even displayed some items ( although looking back they probably weren’t worth displaying).
The world has changed and I guess I’ve just got to accept that.  Shame on them.
Not all artefact hunters in the UK are so arrogant, ignorant, unintelligent, with such a false sense of entitlement. Take f8met from Cambridgeshire (Fri Dec 11, 2020 10:46 am)
Surely if it is that amount of gold coins found in one place then it is the Treasure process that is causing the delay and not the FLO. It can take a long time for Treasure items to appear on the database, usually after they have been disclaimed or gone fully through the process. With reduced working hours and quantity of finds it will take time. It was only September that you dropped them off. A year is not unusual for the process, sometimes more and they won't instantly appear on the database.. Recording is always the responsible thing to do not for us but for the potential that the items have for researchers and academics. They may be out of context loose finds but they still have information to give.

One wonders in what timespan those ninety recordable finds he's pocketing were found? Since lockdown began? And note that if Ipswich Museum had not encouraged this guy in his hunting bits from the past, the archaeological record would not now be missing those unreported finds. How to STOP curious little boys growing up as selfish looters? 



Brian Mattick said...

"How to STOP curious little boys growing up as selfish looters?"

Oh that's easy. Choose intelligent little boys that grow up being capable of understanding the treasure items never belong to them, never will and any rewards are purely discretionary and ex gratia.

As for the rest, keep them off the fields and, in particular, PAS, don't pretend they can be educated. They obviously can't, as this one has demonstrated so clearly.

blueyedboy said...

I hope you're not including everyone in your comment

blueyedboy said...

I've been detecting for over 28 year's with a degree in Archeology and medieval studies going onto a master's then PhD so please don't take everyone with the same brush take the time to think before posting nonsense

Hougenai said...

If it's true that blueyedboy is so highly educated in archaeology, perhaps he/she would explain the benefits of the current state of affairs with particular reference to medieval sites, his area of expertise?

Perhaps blueyedboy could provide some examples of his published work that relies on, or uses, detecting? (That's not site specific survey, but from the activity of all the hobbyists).

Or is it more a case of using the archaeological knowledge to target areas or sites for treasure hunting?

That aside, qualifications in a particular subject don't have implied ethical standards. Educated people are capable of bad things.

Brian Mattick said...

"The rest" was a pretty obvious clue as to whether I was talking about "everyone".

Perhaps you can vouch for 27,000 people? Or 5,000? Thought not. Nor can I. But I know most don't report all their finds and 90% don't donate them, so yes, after 23 years of publicly financed outreach they are mostly incapable of being educated into what it means to be a decent citizen.

So it's not nonsense at all, is it? The figures say it all. I would have thought that after 28 years you might have realized that.

Duncan Finch said...

The whole point of the PAS and the FLOs is to do their best to ensure that metal detector users and other finders REPORT THEIR FINDS. This is because we need to know contexts and the way we find out about them is when a finder reports his/her finds and, if the FLO thinks it worthwhile, the find spot gets examined and if there is an ascertainable context, it is uncovered. One way to do that is to KEEP IN CONTACT WITH THE FINDER WHO REPORTED HIS FINDS. A friendly note once or twice a month - it could be a kind of personalised form letter - would keep the finder "in the loop" and provide the kind of laudatory encouragement that would prevent the guy from selling all the stuff on the black. So what if the the finder is "arrogant, ignorant, unintelligent, with such a false sense of entitlement" and, even, is an asshole to boot? SO WHAT! If all you have to do is stroke his ego a bit so that important information is not lost, is that so hard to do? Since everything is on the computer a scholar can send a cooperative finder cataloguing notes every couple of weeks to keep him informed and make him feel part of the process. But if the guy is a crook, PUT HIM IN GAOL FOR A GOOD LONG STRETCH. NOT JUST A FEW YEARS.

Paul Barford said...

The thing is the FLOs are too thin on the ground and overworked and under-resourced, so I do not think chivvying up "friendly notes" would really help. I'd be interested how you think a letter stroking an individual tekkie's ego sent each fortnight or so would actually look. What would you write so as not to look patronising or harassing? Yes, I think it IS hard to do in the majority of cases. The reality is that there are 27000 detectorists and 42 FLOs in England and Wales.

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