Tuesday 16 November 2021

PAS's First Million (UPDATED - British Museum Hides the Statistics from Public?)

           The Detector Lie

Getting close to a real landmark with PAS recording... 1,553,446 objects within 999,335 records. Let's forget the "let's count all the potsherds in this shoebox from a ploughed out pit individually" and "all the coins from inside  the intact pot in this hoard" numbers and look at the number of records made. Still less than a million, but edging there... over the past three months, the FLOs have been managing an average of 100 records a day - which means that by this time next week there should be 1000000 records. Yeah.

There's a bit of a problem for those who want to use this as a symbol of PAS "success" and that "most English and Welsh detectorists are responsible" ... My Revised Artefact Erosion Counter that (nota bene) nobody has yet falsified, and is still the best available estimate in the absence of any other, says today that some 9,681,409 finds and groups of  associated finds have been hoiked by artefact hunters (that's just the ones with metal detectors) since the PAS began. So that translates into a rate of "one-in-nine responsible". not very impressive, is it? But Bonkers Britain will soldier on, until it's all gone. Then the archaeological establishment will express in shocked surprise: "oh!".

UPDATE 19th Nov 2021

Oh! Look at this. For 25 years the staff of the Portable Antiquities Scheme have been honest about the number of records they've made for all that PUBLIC MONEY. Just a few days ago Barford in far-off Poland wrote a blog post pointing (quite rightly, of course) that their trite "number of objects" pseudo-statistic is not representative of the scale of activities of the so-called "Responsible Detectorists" in England and Wales. This morning we find that they've now changed the front page of the database (screenshot above at 7:00 AM Polish time today)! If that is how things are to look from now on, I am glad I do not work for such an institution that (in these days of rampant government sleaze in the UK) HIDES from the public that pays for it what their money is actually buying. Shame on you FLOs, the lot of you for putting up with it. More than your jobsworth is it to suggest the PAS should be more, not less transparent. 

It is a shame also with the current levels of the spread of the disease that although the page (in fact page name) promises "Current government advice on searching for archaeological finds (with a metal-detector, field-walking or mudlarking) in England during COVID-19", the link  to that information is today dead. No need top worry about covid any more, eh tekkies? The PASD homepage promises something it does not deliver, which is, I feel, utterly symptomatic of the Portable Antiquities Scheme as a whole. Their website has not changed substantively for about a decade and they cannot even keep it up to date, but the moment somebody points out an issue we should be discussing, they are pretty quick to delete the evidence. For those who want to know what the page looked like before they decided to hide this all-important statistic, here it is... you'll note the "join the conversation" bit down at the bottom right (opposite the British Museum logo, because its the BM that runs this fascadism).   Well, let's "join the conversation" about this then, are you up to it British Museum? 

First of all, you need to reinstate the counter of the number of records made so everyone can see exactly what it is you "want" (?) to have this "conversation" about.

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