Sunday 9 May 2021

Artefact Hoiking as "Conservation"


Heritage Action hit the nail on the head:

"Saying what oughta be about mass metal detecting as a means to stop nighthawking"
by heritageaction
For many years detectorists have reacted to the crimes of their nighthawking colleagues (yes, colleagues: nighthawks couldn't operate without sharing the forums, clubs, rallies, archaeological publications, FLOs, Treasure Registrars and auctions of all detectorists) by suggesting detectorists should be allowed to "clear" scheduled sites so there was nothing for criminals to find. This week, following arrests at Beeston Castle, came the latest such suggestion: "This is why we need permission to survey as many scheduled sites as possible to beat the nighthawkers at their own game/gain!"

And here's Andy Brockman's withering reply: "Why not? Just so long as metal detectorists come up with a sampling strategy, get the resulting project design approved by Historic England, record finds with cm accuracy, arrange and pay for post excavation conservation and publication and don't get to keep anything?"

To which Henery Iggins added: "and don't get to keep anything? That's buggered it!" .
One might add what kind of "site" would be left after all (all, even the nails?) of just the metal artefacts had been stripped from it... and what the metal detectorist thinks the purpose of protecting a site by scheduling is in the first place. 

Twenty four years after the PAS was set up to educate finders about best practice, it seems there is not a single metal detectorist on social media that has even a smidgen of idea what that term means to others. Why not? is the PAS a bad educator or are metal detectorists education-resistant? It's either one or the other - or both. That means the PAS approach is the wrong one for tackling this problem. 

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