Richard Tyndall <[log in to unmask]> wrote (in <LISTSERV%20030
[log in to unmask]>) about 'private collecting by
archaeologists: was in praise of metal detecting: was (no subject)
private collections', on Thu, 17 Jul 2003:
>More insidious than even this is the habit of metal detectorists of
>stripping fields of non metal objects which might indicate the presence
>of a site. We have come across two sites in the last 4 years (one roman
>and one medieval) where the detectorists collected all the pottery as
>they searched the field and then dumped in in nearby hedges when they
>were done. In one case where we managed to talk to the detectorists
>without them knowing who we were they said that this was done
>specifically so that other people coming on to the site later would not
>know there was anything there.
Consider why they had this paranoid attitude. Competition from other
detectorists is undoubtedly one factor, but antagonism with the
professional archaeological 'system' is almost certainly another.
I have met this sort of thing many times, as I am sure that others have.
'Defeating the system' can range from 'borrowing' company office
supplies to armed robbery. Benign managements cope with the former by a
liberal policy, with safeguards against abuse. Of course, armed robbery
isn't something that attracts compromise.
An open-handed, and, more important, an open-hearted, attitude to MDs
would greatly reduce abuses, I feel sure. For the incorrigibles, legal
sanctions are the only remedy.
Regards, John Woodgate, OOO - Own Opinions Only. http://www.jmwa.demon.co.uk
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