Monday, 14 June 2021



The counter on the dashboard of this blog tells me that this, here, is the 12000th post on this blog. 

started this blog Saturday, 12 July 2008 basically because I thought that most of the existing forums and online media where since December 1999 I had tried to discuss these issues were not really up to it. Archaeological forums (Britarch, PAS forum etc.) got invaded by disruptive metal detectorists the moment any topic related to artefact hunting came up, the same reactions were met on ancient coin collecting forums and so on. So I decided to take my concerns and thoughts to what I consider to be my own private corner of the internet. And here I sit. 

Most years recently I've done about 600 posts a year on various topics. In fact it's interesting that when certain "antiquities" topics are Googled, a page from this blog often appears in the top two pages of search results. That's good, as often the others are saying the exact opposite from my take on it, and at least the curious have an opportunity to see the other side of the antiquities debate. It is bad, because still, thirteen years on, the number of other archaeoblogs in English treating the same area is negligible. Blogs treating related areas can be still counted on the fingers of two hands. so, yes, very much a niche interest, and a rather private corner of the Internet. 

Despite this, the same counter tells me that in that time (and with the blocking cookie turned on preventing my own visits being counted) it's been visited 4,534,911 times (the one in the sidebar has started from zero at least twice in the lifetime of this blog, so the count there is since that last happened - but I forget when that was). That's possibly not very many - if this was about funny cat pictures or celebrity gossip, it'd probably get that many hits a month. But it's a niche area. Archaeologists tend not to read it - especially if they work in the Portable Antiquities Scheme, ancient coin collectors don't read it, if you own a metal detector, it's a badge of honour to assert you don't read this blog (there are forums where members have been ejected for posting a link to this blog). 

That basically means that those 4.5 million visits are by people who are not involved in artefact hunting and collecting - and they are the readers I want. The thesis of this blog is that to protect the archaeological resource, collecting urgently has to lose the public acquiescence to the looting of sites for personal entertainment and profit that it currently enjoys. Sadly, so few archaeologists share this view. 

 Anyhow, at the moment, this blog receives an average of 865 visits a day, 26000 a month, from all over the world. The app I installed to run the counter in the sidebar used to provide a map where this blog was being read... that's gone now. But there were no surprises, most of the readers were in the red zone in the figure above (from: Timothy B. Lee, "40 maps that explain the internet" June 2, 2014), mostly with the same sort of intensity on the west side, but with a lesser tendency in the areas beyond India (SE Asia, Australia and NZ where I do not have that many readers as the map suggests there might be).  

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