Tuesday 13 April 2021

The UK's Portable Antiquities Scheme Now Aimless? [UPDATE]


working now without aims? The moribund PAS website has lost the section that it explained to the public who pay for it what the aims of the PAS are. They used to be here: finds.org.uk/about. Aimless spending of public money never was a good thing.

[Update 16th April 2021]
Although the Head of the Scheme did not do me the courtesy of acknowledging, let alone answering, my email query about this, I see that they've inserted a passage of their current aims. But of course the bulk of the public money the Scheme has received was spent achieving the earlier aims, such as those five ones formulated in 2003. So the point still remains, the public face of the PAS does not provide information on where all that public money has gone. New text, before that too morphs or disappears:
Our vision and aims
The PAS seeks to transform knowledge and understanding of the archaeology and history of England and Wales through the recording of archaeological finds discovered by the public. In order to do this the PAS: 
promotes the reporting and preservation by record of portable antiquities for the benefit and wellbeing of present and future generations; 
encourages best practice by finders/landowners and archaeologists/museums in the discovery, recording and conservation of finds made by the public; 
in partnership with museums and others, raises awareness of the importance of recording archaeological finds in their context and facilitates research in them; 
creates partnerships between finders and museums/archaeologists to increase participation in archaeology, thereby advancing our understanding of the past; 
supports the Treasure Act 1996 and increases opportunities for museums to acquire archaeological finds for public benefit.
The "benefit and wellbeing of present and future generations" would be better served by the PAS working for preservation of accessible sites by preventing them being selfishly exploited as a source of collectables by artefact collectors. That's what we call "conservation", it's not any form of "best practice". A "record" on a websiote that this case shows is anything but a permanent repository of information is not any form of conservation of that resource.

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