Friday 7 May 2021

UK Archaeologists Have an Idea

       Smiling while despoiling.. 
                      (so, what are they doing?)                 
Sussex Heritage Community ( @Sussex_Heritage 6 g).

After recent discussions on metal detecting, ethical, law abiding and illicit I have spoken with @JSArchaeology @sussexPillbox and three Sussex metal detecting groups. We will bring all our skill sets and knowledge together for induction sessions and talks for metal detectorists. We will focus on the hobby, safe, legal and ethical detecting. Ensuring recording with PAS and FLO and understanding best practice from all view points, archaeologically, historically, safely, respecting the environment and the enjoyment and wellbeing it brings along too. Only when we start working together with those new and existing to detecting can we stamp out illicit detecting and Heritagecrime We must pull together, I hope we can influence positive change and support best we can. Watch this space !
Support collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological record? What's an "induction session"? Induction into what? It is not the first time somebody's tried to get tekkies interested in "ethical detecting". What do Sussex arkies think of that? Or this one [Artefact Hunting and Archaeological Responsibility]? Is this just for artefact hunters in Sussex, or nationwide? If it was so easy just to go along to club meetings and "talk" to them, why do SHC think PAS, who've been doing it for 24 years, don't seem to have made much headway? Is it a matter of the FLO skill-set, or the nature of the larger part of the metal detecting community? I have a feeling that, if this gets off the ground, SHC are about to find out.

And I have an idea. Instead of telling artefact hunters what they "should" (why?) do, why not first ask them why, despite there being a PAS that for 24 years has been saying the same thing, they are not doing them? It might save a lot of time. 


Brian Mattick said...

Do they read the detecting forums?

And do they know how many efforts there have been apart from PAS to form a responsible metal detecting climate, always without success?

And do they remember this list of resistance to reform:
"Don’t criticise us or we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t tell us what to do or we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t undertake surveys of nighthawking else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t let PAS dominate us else we’ll stop reporting” (and later: “Don’t reduce PAS’s funding else we’ll stop reporting”), “Don’t impose a Code of Responsible Detecting else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t discuss licensing us else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t ban inappropriate rallies else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t impose restrictions under stewardship schemes else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t tighten up EBay else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t ever, ever, ever short change us on the Treasure rewards else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t abate our Treasure rewards for not calling an archie out else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t talk of using some of our Treasure rewards to finance proper excavations of our findspots else we’ll stop reporting”, “Don’t write to farmers without us dictating what is to be said else we’ll stop reporting” …. and now… “Don’t extend the items covered by the Treasure Act beyond exactly what we say else we’ll stop reporting.” Rich, is it not, when the majority of detectorists….. don’t report!

And have they considered why NCMD and FID have refused to sign the official Code and why most detectorists show farmers their OWN code which doesn't require them to act responsibly but fools farmers into thinking otherwise?

For a start, let them persuade NCMD to cancel that pretend responsibility document as a first priority. If they won't, let them deduce it's not a case of "both sides of the same coin" at all, it's two activities entirely impossible to reconcile.

But even before that, I still think they should read the forums for a year or two, or 20, like me. They obviously have no idea what most detectorists are like and are assuming the already-converted minority (who don't need converting) are like the rest. They aren't.

Paul Barford said...

I REALLY do not understand why, after 24 years of expensive archaeological "liaison" with artefact hunters and other finders, British archaeology is still stuck in "1996-mode". This seems so utterly naïve and out-of-touch.

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