Friday 27 August 2021

British Archaeologists Supporting Collection-Driven Exploitation of the Archaeological Record and Smoking

       Metal Detecting is Good for us all: don't believe the sceptics...  
Three weeks ago, a British Archaeologist recently told me on social media "You are of course entitled to your views. I'm of the opinion, however, that substantial progress has been achieved in this field [dealing with metal detectorists] by seeking to help, advise and work with others, and that broadcasting negative assumptions about people without investigation has never been fruitful". Hmm. Heard that so many times before. My 6th August response has gone unanswered. Here it is
Care to enlighten us on those "assumptions" actually made in my post? You may have your opinion, I think that huge damage has been done by current policies on artefact hunting and the unfulfilled hope that "huge progress" will "one day" be made if you all just grit your teeth and wait long enough. As what we can see on the forums and through the blossoming of commercial digging firms, it's just not happening. I see nothing wrong with pointing that out. I see everything wrong with just trying to ignore it, and pointing to a few poster-boy exceptions to the general picture as if they show that the problem is just a matter of waiting a little longer while being as nice as possible to the artefact hunters stripping the fields and hopeful that they'll show us more stuff UK archaeology (PAS etc) is unresourced to deal with.
As I said, archaeologists trot out the mantras, "be nice, they'll come round", "progress is being made" .. and think that simply by saying the palliative words in a self-assured way, they've convinced everyone that the problem has been dealt with. Well, I disagree, but oddly enough, they shrink away from the discussion the moment you try to engage them in discussion about how they can believe one thing while being (surely) aware of other facts that directly contradict in a most obvious manner the validity of the mantras.

It's like the 40-a-day smoker who thinks the health warnings are for wussies and do not apply to him, because he knows of one guy... who... and "lived to be ninety". They listened to the old malboro' ads and all the rest of the propaganda once put out by the tobacco lobby and refuse to acknowledge that their comfy beliefs that they, personally, will be OK (bar a bit of a cough, eh?) is based on false premises and ignores a whole load of stuff.

Just as current attitudes to collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological record in British archaeology are based on an entanglement in a set of arguments and justifications and an exclusion of those that do not fit their pre-conceived notions that they have no intention of examining and challenging.    

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.