Saturday 29 January 2022

Selling off the PASt in Brexity Bonkers Land


In Brexity-Bonkers land, off the edge of Europe, the state broadcasting company celebrates the commercial trashing of the archaeological record by Treasure hunters:  

Some reactions:

Dr Tess Machling #Dig4Arch @Tess_Machling 14 g. W odpowiedzi do @BBCBargainHunt @KnowlesEric i 2 innych użytkowników
"...which was then bought from auction buyer by generous soul who gave it to Yorks Museum (where it should have gone originally)".
How on earth can anyone justify selling shared heritage of these islands for profit??
| How on earth can so-called reputable auctioneers sell it?
(readers may remember, this is what happened) and.... here's Charlie,
Charles Hanson @HansonsAuctions 14 g.
W odpowiedzi do @noddinggoth i @BBCBargainHunt
Delighted this lot we sold is now at @YorkMuseumTrust To uncover and tell a story and let it come to light and breath again for the public to see is why I love history. I respect the past and people and all comments appreciated. It’s not about financial value
Says the man who profits from the sale.... except it is not the objects that tell a tale, but the archaeological context they were ripped from by Treasure hunters. 
Dr Lauren McIntyre @noddinggoth 14 g.
Well then why not encourage the finders donate it to YM in the first place?? Why sell it to someone else for thousands of pounds? Because you wouldn't take a cut then?

and the answer? 

Charles Hanson @HansonsAuctions · 14 g.
Hi , museum in first instance declined a purchase when it would have been a lot lot less expensive . I have a duty of care to respect history and give it an awareness in my role of rejoicing at history
I wonder how York Museum Trust would react to that. Now moralising....
Charles Hanson @HansonsAuctions
W odpowiedzi do @Tess_Machling @BBCBargainHunt i 2 innych użytkowników
Collectors respect history and that’s important. Preservation in finds educates our understanding of the past and such recorded finds add value to a sense of history which must not be lost and inspires history to live on
Just meaningless waffle. Loose phrases. Collectors collect, some collect motorcycles, some beer mats, others gollywogs, Barbie dolls or vintage Lego, vinyl records of groups from their youth. That is not "respecting history". What is more important than Bill Bloggs of Swanage collecting Constantinian bronze coins and second-century brooches is that sites are not trashed by artefact hunters looking for them to sell.  It is the proper methodological investigation of those sites that "educates our understanding of the past". The recording of the loose hoiked finds from this hoard "add [considerably less] value" to what we could have learnt from knowing more about their context. There is no "sense of history" in a plumb-bob and other stuff that has no proven context or associations. "Not losing our sense of history so that it may live on" is the call of ultra-Right nationalist  everywhere.  At least somebody understands what Mr Hanson ("I almost became an archaeologist since my passion is [...] to live in the past,* breath it , understand it and respect it") seems unable to articulate: 
Talla Hopper@TallaHopper 12 g.
W odpowiedzi do @HansonsAuctions @Tess_Machling i 3 innych użytkowników
Finds torn out of their context destroys valuable archaeological information about their deposition. Their history is lost.
Well, it's not quite like that, but she is right that Mr Hanson has got it totally wrong. Respecting the past means having nothing to do with the process of selfish individuals trashing it for personal entertainment and profit. "Respecting the past" does not involve providing a market for Treasure hunters. 
Dr Lauren McIntyre @noddinggoth 22 g.
Pretty disgusted @BBCBargainHunt for promoting sale of archaeological finds found by metal detectorists. Nobody should encourage looting archaeological sites. Unsurprising to see @HansonsAuctions lining his pockets. Suppose it's a small mercy he wasn't selling human remains again [...] It's a shame because there are plenty of responsible detectorists who work alongside archaeologists. This relationship is beneficial for everyone and most importantly, the archaeology!
That last bit got my hackles up, so I added: "That "plenty of" is of course in fact a minority of the hobby as a whole. Latest estimates suggest could be upwards of 27000 active detectorists in England and Wales, how many show the majority of their finds to the @findsorguk? Ask them and please post the answer here". Paul Blinkhorn (one of the very few British archaeologists looking clearly at artefact hunting and not afraid to express an opinion on it) clarified helpfully: "In 2019, just over 4k individuals reported something to the PAS. 90% of them were MDers, so if there's 27k of them, over 85% of MDers didn't report anything to the PAS, so the vast majority either find nothing or they're not "responsible"". How can you be an artefact hunter that does not find anything? I do not think you'd call yourself an angler if you never catctch a single fish, or an apiarist if all your hives were totally empty.
Win Scutt's ArchNews @Archaeology_ws
This is an important issue for the ethical code of the BBC @BBCPress which should not be promoting the sale of antiquities nor the looting of archaeological sites #HeritageCrime

Hmm and TV like Britain's Secret Treasures? 


* "Live in" or "live off" it? 

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