Wednesday, 9 February 2022

The Consequences of Platitudes

Hampshire FLO Jenny Durrant ( @Durrant_Jenny 15 g.)

Recently finders have told me of coin hoards being taken away in handfuls from the ground, of nighthawked finds being 'found' on club digs, of bragging about not reporting treasure. This is THEFT. Know something? Notify the police - anonymously, by phone or online. Please.
David Roberts @DavidRobertsArch  
Zablokowano Cię Nie możesz obserwować ani czytać Tweetów użytkownika @DavidRobertsArc.
Huh. More usefully:
James Sainsbury @JSArchaeology 1 g.
W odpowiedzi do @Durrant_Jenny i @DavidRobertsArch
I hear about this far too often down in Sussex and in a few examples this is done with the support of the farmer/landowner too. *Something* drastic needs to change, and soon. @MatthewPope did a brilliant lecture on this and other issues last night. Can't go on like this!
Dan Robertson @robertson_btn 12 min
W odpowiedzi do @Durrant_Jenny
I’m sure @timloughton , @mikeheyworth et al might like to be aware of this. Such thefts deprive society of our shared heritage. @JSArchaeology @MatthewPope @Sussex_Heritage @CBASouthEast 

I do not know what David Roberts had to say about things, but it always amazes me that after all the time we've had a PAS to actually empirically measure how capable the metal detecting community of England and Wales  are of being responsible, we still find people who are apparently surprised by the revelation that the "most detectorists are responsible" mantra is simply untrue. time and time again. Mr Robertson might like to reflect on why, according to him, the people he mentions might "not have heard" about this earlier? Artefact hunting with metal detectors of course is pretty new, it's only been going on on quite a massive scale since the 1970s. What we need is some kind of effective "liaison" to judge scale of irresponsibility, yeah? The problem is that the PAS leads the rest of British archaeological establishment, media and public, to think that there is a "majority" of "responsible detectorists" (sic) reporting everything, when the evidence we do have contradicts such platitudes. Nobody has yet disproved the assertion that just over eight out of nine reportable artefacts dug up by artefact hunters in England and Wales are NOT being "responsibly reported", simply pulled out of the ground and pocketed (and what about in Scotland?). That is knowledge theft. Is it not?

And what is also archaeologically irresponsible is British archaeologists (especially publicly-funded liaison bodies) that spread unsupported platitudes instead of reaching for the actual facts and numbers and keeping the British public informed about what is happening to our portable antiquities heritage. And those archaeologists who (ignoring other voices) simply repeat as facts the same platitudes without checking.

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