JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for BRITARCH Archives


BRITARCH Archives

BRITARCH Archives


BRITARCH@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

BRITARCH Home

BRITARCH Home

BRITARCH  February 2006

BRITARCH February 2006

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Re: PAS website advertises UKDFD?

From:

Paul Barford <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sun, 26 Feb 2006 15:17:48 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (55 lines)

 James Holloway suggests:
> The very best that could be said -- if indeed all these finds
> are coming from disturbed contexts -- is that the actual damage
> done is negligible, since the sites were unlikely to be thoroughly
> fieldwalked <
I disagree James, to my mind this is not the "best that can be said".

(a) the evidence we have suggests we are talking about the depletion of the
record by artefact hunting of a scale of tens of thousands of objects
annually [though as I have argued consistently we obviously need urgently to
have reliable figures about the scale and patterns of this].

(b) a more general acceptance of the "anyway nobody will probably get around
to investigating it at any time in the future" argument would be a godsend
to all those developers wanting to get out of funding any mitigation
strategies in advance of development.

(c) whether or not some time in the future the surface/non-intrusive or
other investigation of any one of these exploited sites - even if just a
surface scatter - will form part of some future investigation strategy would
be difficult to predict now. [How many archaeologists of 1906 would have
been able to predict precisely what sites we would be interested in 2006?].
Surely this is the whole rationale behind the PARIS paradigm at the heart of
Valetta and the developer funding around which archaeology today is being
built. Willingly exposing sites to this kind of exploitation, for whatever
reason, seems to me that an odd discrepancy in the ideological basis of
British archaeology - not apparently the product of "joined-up thinking".

(d) The decision whether to investigate a site and how can only be taken if
we have a picture of where the site is and what it contains, which of course
we cannot do if the person discovering it (the artefact hunter) fails to
report it, and throws a lot of the artefactual material away (like the case
of the Shimpling villa lead discussed on PASF) before reporting it.

Over the long term and given the scale of this type of exploitation, I think
one cannot regard this type of deliberate erosion of the record as
"negligible" - at least before gathering reliable figures on its scale and
pattern, figures that we do not yet have.

As for what is coming from "not very deep" and "disturbed contexts", it is
notable that the majority of the newsworthy metal detected "goodies" (and
hoards especially) used recently to trumpet the successes of PAS/Treasure
act seem likely from the published accounts to be coming from below plough
level. The bigger the metal object, or concentration of objects, the greater
the depth from which they are "detectable". Many of them are therefore
coming from contexts not currently threatened by farm machinery, and from
which the common heritage would surely benefit more by them being excavated
under more controlled conditions.

And the reasons why findspots are not recorded and reported more frequently
has less to do with the technicalia as the whole self-centred set of
ideologies behind artefact hunting. But its working on changing these which
is one of the five aims of the PAS, so far with only limited success.

Paul Barford

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JISCMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998


WWW.JISCMAIL.AC.UK

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager