Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Brits Digging Up the PASt the hard Way


    when you need
one of these

From the Facebook page of the National Council of Metal Detectorists:

The National Council for Metal Detecting are delighted to announce that a Major Finds Excavation Fund is now in a place to help assist our members fortunate enough to uncover a major find. This fund will pay for an accredited, PAS recommended, archaeologist to perform the initial excavation of the findspot. It’ll help to preserve important archaeological information, whist reducing the period of time that the find may be vulnerable. We have been working on this project for a considerable amount time and are quite excited at the prospect of it finally coming to fruition.  This fund has been developed with the full co-operation of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and we are pleased to say that emergency out of hours contact numbers for a PAS to assist in organising help quickly are now in place. The exact location of the findspot should only be given to the archaeologist who will attend the site to perform the excavation. The NCMD officer who takes your initial call will not ask you for the exact findspot. The officer will pass on your details to the archaeologist assigned to you, so you can offer [sic] directions.
And with which archaeological body has the PAS consulted this with? What position is the PAS to "recommend" one archaeologist over another? What is an "initial" excavation in methodological terms, and what decisions are taken which important information to preserve during it, and what not (because going beyond the 'initial' aim of getting the artefacts hoiked out)? How does an "initial" investigation of the site of a discovery differ from a proper examination of all te evidence it can produce? Will there be soil samples taken and analysed at the cost of the investor? What archaeologist is going to be working directly for (and receiving payment directly from) the National Council of Metal Detectorists, and who owns the archive of the project? Also how the hell do they expect somebody to set up a project 'blind', not knowing where the site is and what the site conditions are? What's with all the phone numbers? The PAS FLO will be woken up in the middle of the Sunday afternoon nap because some oik has found something, they get an archaeologist and "approve" them, then they get in touch with the NCMD officer who will then sign the contracts, arrange the paperwork with the landowner and transfer the money, before then putting the archaeologist in contact with the finder who will "offer directions". Only then will the archaeologist see what they've let themselves in for. Oh yeah, that's going to so work... Bonkers Britain, never ceases to amaze. Now, if there was a permit system...



Unknown said...

You do not live in the UK Mr Barford so why have a blog at all.

Paul Barford said...

I live in Europe. In Europe, blogs are not illegal.

Unknown said...

I didn't say they were illegal, I said why have a blog about the PAS and UK Metal Detecting, when you haven't been living in the UK for many years and haven't been involved with British Archologicaly for the same time.

Brian Mattick said...

"You do not live in the UK Mr Barford so why have a blog at all."

Made me smile. People come from all corners of Europe to Detectorval and other massive UK grab events and loads come from North America for specialist residential hoik-holidays and you, an English person living abroad, shouldn't complain?

And nor should I as I don't exist!

Paul Barford said...

Sorry Brian, I deleted the several posts from the half-brain-cell detector mob suggesting that you were not real. It's odd nobody wants to come here and say how spiffing the NCMD is to use their money to pay for archaeology. But the text above is more than eight sentences long, so that's probably why.

Paul Barford said...

Look "Unknown", if you cant work out how to write here under your own name, why not just give up trying to play with the big boys that can actually spell "archaeologically", OK?

If you look (got eyes have ya?), my blog is NOT "about the PAS and UK Metal Detecting" because it is called PORTABLE ANTIQUITIES COLLECTING AND HERITAGE ISSUES and actually has more global ambitions than an isolated little island off the coast of Europe with warped ideas about how to protect the heritage.

Does "not living in the UK for many years" in some way change my status from human being to... what?

You voted for Brexit didn't you? Please go away, or stick to the topic which is the NCMD and its new idea.

Paul Barford said...

Ha ha... I just checked, the NCMD press release quoted above is eight sentences long

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