Monday 1 February 2021

What the FLO "likes"

Over on Twitter, there was a discussion of some of the issues about non-recording, that led into a discussion of whether it was a "minority" of detectorists that do not report finds for reporting by the PAS or whether (as I hold it is) the majority of artefact hunters report only very perfunctorily what they take away from the archaeological record. It went on a bit and a number of people piled in. I was interested to see that the "NWalesFLO" had liked three posts out of that thread. It's pretty telling which ones. Not the ones by fellow archaeologists, not the ones by a concerned conservationist. No. Three posts by metal detectorist Robert Jones (the finder of that lead pig from Rossett a while back)
@robnant21·30 Jan in answer to @ChesterArchSoc @PortantIssues and 8 other users
Its a shame the minority ruin it for others. I just enjoy recovering items and recording them for others to see and learn about the history of the items, also it adds to the local history of the area.
The FLO did not "like" the answers to that, developing the theme, but did "like" the same person's:
Its everyone's duty to report your finds to the flo. I don't go on many large digs the last one I did was digging for veterans where all the finds were recorded on the day. Good finds are hard to come by you mostly dig trash. Any interesting finds i take them to the museum.
Again, she did not "like" the answers... including the fact that the same person's Twitter feed showed that - despite Covid and the lockdown - in 2020 they had found 29+ recordable items . If this is an average, and Mr Jones is not finding ten times as much as anyone else, it cannot be said that the non-recorders are a "minority". If there are 27000 detectorists and the PAS records have about 60000 records (of 80000 finds) each year - it means that only between 2 and 3 finds each in a year for each one is being recorded. The FLO however did not "like" that. She showed her approval of Mr Jones' answer to that:
I didn't come here for an argument im just saying don't tar us all with the same brush.
What he came there for was to spread his fake news glib soundbite "its a minority of irresponsible detectorists that gets us all a bad name [so leave the rest of us alone]". What actually gets UK artefact hunting a bad name is when you look at the overall situation, it is the fact that it quite clearly is the majority of poor recorders that gets the hobby a bad name and is destroying huge amounts of the archaeological record unrecorded. But that, gentle reader, the North Wales FLO did not "like" to read, and would not "like" anyone else reading it either. Which is a shame as it happens to be the truth. 

And before anyone says I am being unfair on the NWales FLO, it's actually what they all do, instead of using social media to publicly discuss what is and what is not "best practice" in artefact hunting. And that is a shame, because it's actually what they (not me) are paid to do.


Brian Mattick said...

A FLO-in-a-pub is not like a FLO-in-public.

That's what keeps me going.

Paul Barford said...

If that's so, I prefer honesty.

Brian Mattick said...

Talk to FLOs in the pub then.

Paul Barford said...

So what kind of integrity is that, that they'd admit one thing to me privately in a pub, but tell the public that pays for their nice warm offices something else? That is a false honesty, one that costs nothing.

Brian Mattick said...

As I'm sure you know, that duality extends throughout public life. There's a Corporate (or Government) stance and then there's what individuals think. In PAS's case to think otherwise would be to think ill of individuals.

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