Saturday 6 November 2021

X-Marks the Spot, to "dig" or "Not to Dig"?


         Archaeology; "We can't see a    
     problem....  Is there one?"

Long ago, Heritage Action alerted us all ('Archaeology (and avoiding it?) made simple!' 07/02/2016) to the regrettable fact that the commercially available artefact hunters' "productive site" finding resource ARCHI, compiled in part from material gathered by archaeologists was launching:
“the first British archaeological sites Android App“.They say it will “take us all to the next level when it comes to doing what we love” and have offered us access to a prototype “to discover and explore our nation’s rich heritage!” But therein lies a profound mystery. We are told that when done responsibly metal detecting is harmless and beneficial. So why would detectorists be being offered details of 190,000 sites of archaeological significance on their phones? To make sure they avoid them?
Neither before, nor since, have we ever heard this resource being discussed in any detail by the archaeological establishment. Like HA, I wonder how many of the covert and open supporters of collaboration with artefact hunters have any close acquaintance with it at all. Obviouisly, it is too much to expect that the Great British Portable Antiquities Scheme could inform the Great British Public what the opinion of the Great British Archaeological Establishment is of this manner of treating the Great British Archaeological Record. Probably they still think it is none of the public's business and "not worth the bovver" and they've "got better things to do" than keeping the public informed.


Vignette: Head-in-the-sand, the 20020s posture on anything that involves discussing the future of a resource.

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