George Chaplin states that
> Valetta will not save even 1% of the archaeology being removed
> every year. The reason for this is that most of it comes from
> unknown sites.
which suggests that he has not actually considered what the document
proposes. By definition a place which produces archaeological material is
potentially an archaeological site and by the process of producing that
material become 'known'. Valetta has article 2iii requiring the signatory
nation to initiate mandatory reporting to the competent authorities by a
finder of the chance discovery of any elements of the archaeological
heritage and making them available for examination. So far Britain has
failed to achieve this. Article 3 then controls the further exploitation of
that site, Britain has deemed it fit to totally ignore Article 3. Further
articles concern the making of means available to support the collection and
collation of all that information. If applied wholeheartedly (and not
half-heartedly as it is in GB) the document has the potential of achieving
much more than Mr Chaplin suggests and should not be so lightly dismissed.
What is wrong is not the document itself and the ideas (ideals) it embodies
but the way it is put into action.
I think one of the problems is that for many archaeologists "saving
archaeology" (in this context) is still about getting one's hands on the
goodies, rather than a deeper concern about the contexts from which they
were removed. We should of course be more concerned with the sites and not
just the metal components of the assemblages which have been found by the
devotees of the metal detector approach to the past.
I am not clear however what is a "new site" for Mr Chaplin if they can be
found on the
> air photo's, the 1st edition OS map and other sources being made
> available online.
It would seem that he is discussing the exploitation of sites which should
already be on the SMR. If in some regions they are not, should the
detectorist be able to take advantage?
> Regardless of how you feel about it, detectorists, and other
> amateur archaeologists are here to stay,
let us differentiate please between the detectorist--collector and the
amateur archaeologist. There are many of the latter who on ethical grounds
would be very upset to be confused with the former.
> More engagement is my advice. How many societies have a
> detectorists club?
and how many archaeological societies would be more inclined to exclude
antiquities collectors from their ranks on ethical grounds?