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BRITARCH  February 2005

BRITARCH February 2005

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Subject:

Re: Response and taking responsibility - Katy's aye

From:

Andrew Whincup <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 11 Feb 2005 23:57:23 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (55 lines)

I'm a little confused...

>A few days... [snip] ...then the eight of us at least deserve some kind of 
>explanation from
>those who know better why that is (over in the Britarch 'detectorist
>debating dungeon' please so as not to annoy people who do not see this
>question as in any way related to British archaeology today).

Is this a transcript of the forwarded message that arrived (in my mailbox, 
at least) in garbled form?
If so, is it from yourself Paul?
If so, where was it originally posted such that it had to be forwarded here?

Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

Are you concerned over a lack of interest or concern over the issue of rogue 
metal detectorists? If you are then I believe you have the wrong impression. 
The destruction of our archaeological heritage is one of the most important 
issues facing archaeology today. It is one that I believe many of us care 
passionately about, or we wouldn’t have joined the list in the first place. 
It seems clear that SOME metal detectorists are involved in destruction or 
theft of archaeological material and that some action needs to be taken to 
prevent further destruction taking place. As such, a debate on what action 
needs to be taken is an important one and that Britarch is the right place 
for such discussion to be taking place.

However, the debate here does not appear to be achieving anything. The main 
posters in the debate seem to have set out their beliefs and standpoint some 
time ago and the discussion has now stagnated. Worse, some of those posters 
now seem to be engaged in a personal slagging match in order to get their 
point (which has now been lost in the depths of time) across. As such the 
message has been muddied by people partially reiterating old arguments or 
merely hurling abuse. The metal detectoring issue has cropped up a number of 
times while I have been on the list (since about May last year), and often 
seems to produce a lot of posts that clog up the list without actually 
saying very much. Not only that, but I have also found it difficult to keep 
up with the sheer volume of posting generated. I for one have felt slightly 
excluded from the argument.

I feel that your assertion that the new forum is a “debating dungeon” is an 
unfair one. I believe that Jonathan set up the forum in order to start with 
a clean slate. It is a chance for the protagonists to set out their 
arguments in a clear fashion so that the rest of us can chip in with our 
(potentially valuable) tuppenceworth. Rather than trying to move to debate 
below our radar so that we can ignore it, it’s a chance to inject some fresh 
life into the debate.

I find the idea that we don’t feel this has anything to do with real 
archaeology, or that we don’t care, slightly offensive. Given the state the 
argument has reached it doesn’t feel like there is much I can add to it, nor 
that there is much to be gained by contributing. I have joined 
Birtarch-debates and look forward to contributing to it.

Andy

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