Perhaps you can tell me what the objectives of the Metal Detectorist
fraternity are? And if there is actually any such fraternity (or sorority -
is there such a thing as a siblingity?). Why do they walk around muddy
fields with an electronic broom? What is it that the majority of them get
out of their hobby?
This is NOT an attempt at sarcasm, it is a genuine query.
I assume that many of them are fascinated by old artefacts and enjoy
learning about the societies that produced them. I also understand the
thrill of discovery.
But why would a person with a strong interest in learning about the past do
things which prevent further discoveries being made, which is what the
effect of the isolated extaction of metal artefacts does.
By discoveries, I do not mean simply other artefacts, in isolation, but the
discovery which arises when the relationship between artefacts is clear,
which was laid beside which, or below which. Is the metal bit you dig out of
a hole actually in a different coloured soil - perhaps at the bottom of a
pit or a post hole? What relationship did the metal object have to the stone
object which your machine did not detect and which still lays undiscovered?
It is the relationships and associations of the different artefacts within
the different soil strata which gives the clues to what was actually
happening in the past. The individual object itself, taken in isolation, is
virtually valueless except for typological studies - which though of great
use in themsleves can only tell a small part of the story.
So why, why do those who are interested in the past act in ways which
prevent us learning more about it?
I can only assume that they do not see things that way, and would be
grateful if you could express the arguement from the other side.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gary Brun" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2005 6:32 PM
Subject: SV: : More MD? finds on ebay
> Paul Barford wrote:
> "This is an archaeology discussion list for among other things "general
> discussion of issues relating to archaeology in the United Kingdom". The
> points I and others have been raising cover a number of aspects of the way
> artefact-collection interacts with the archaeological record and its
> long-term protection as well as with the archaeological world. I see no
> reason whatsoever for banning detectorists from such discussions here, but
> ask that they actually realise that here it is indeed the ARCHAEOLOGICAL
> conservation aspects of detecting which are likely to be the main ones
> Glad to see that a guy who swings the dreaded metal detector is welcome on
> this discussion list. :-)
> I for one joined to try and get to understand the differences between both
> parties and also to understand a little more about archaeology. But on
> this discussion forum their is a lot of sarcasm and if we are honest
> personal attacks against both parties. It seems to be very one sided and
> that does not lead to healthy debate.
> I do understand the archaeologists point of view and I do think that both
> Archaeologists and Metal Detectorists need to get their house in order.
> When it comes to PAS... This is a step in the right direction even if you
> think the funding is not correctly spent. Its defiantly better than
> being done at all. I could trawl the internet and come up with many
> stories from archaeological digs etc... But where does that get us. Just
> straight back to the basic pointless "tit for tat" arguments.
> Instead of focusing on the negatives all of the time... What are the
> positives of the PAS scheme.. Can you see any???
> Have PAS not achieved more in recent years for the benefits of Archaeology
> or is it better to go back to way things where before... Where there was
> nothing recorded?
> England is a free country and a democracy. Metal detecting is allowed and
> is the right for every citizen... But you must educate the new comers
> the hobby... Because at the moment you cant get rid of them, as you say in
> previous post you estimated nearly over 10,000, and this number will
> continue to grow. So sarcastic comments or blinkered outlook will not help
> the situation.
> Gary Brun