Sorry to return to this question, but it seems that i should have written
something else too.
> Robert R. aka Edward Thompson:
> > Can I ask you do you personally hold any artefacts coins pottery
> > anything at all if so how did you come by them.
which I answered, but now I would like to ask what was the point of the
question? Am I suspected - despite all I have written here - of being a
hypocritical compulsive hoarder of antiquities? This is of course an old
detectorist accusation against our profession, alleging "of course many
archaeologists secretly have collections of artefacts". I know this
unfortunately to be true of some colleagues and strongly disapprove of what
I regard as a breach of professional ethics and also think the number is
smaller than the detectorist stereotypical generalization would suggest (how
do you define "many" and how do you define "archaeologist"?).
I would now like Robert R to tell us whether he or a member of his family
"personally holds any artefacts, coins pottery anything at all", how many
and how he came by them.
I think we must recognise that there is an odd urge many of us have to
collect things, and in a way the term I used in a previous message of
'trophy hunting' may not be far from the mark why that is and why so many
collector's societies do indeed tend to be male-dominated. There are however
many things one can collect (and people do collect) which of course includes
some types of cultural property but does not involve or contribute to the
destruction of part of a non-renewable resource as the collection of
archaeological artefacts taken from the ground does. Now we frown (or
should do) on the collection of items made from products derived from the
death or exploitation of members of endangered species or indeed collection
of certain types of items involving the depletion in numbers of unthreatened
species (wild flower picking, bird-egg collecting). How depleted does the
archaeological resource have to become by this activity (coupled with other
destructive processes) before there is a more general awareness of the
nature of this process and its effects and the tide of public opinion begins
to turn against this manner of exploiting the remains of the past?