David Connolly writes:
> the PAS explorers section to which he refers .. says
> this "The sites where early Anglo-Saxons lived have
> been discovered not only by excavation, but also by
> looking carefully on the surface.
Yes David, I think we all here know what "fieldwalking" is. The point being
made was what kind of specifically archaeological outreach the presented
material was. It is aimed at 7-11 year old schoolkids, In what way is the
average primary school teacher using it in a lesson going to use it to give
a fuller picture of "what archaeologists do" to the kiddies? Whether that
was ythe intention ofr not, it seems to be saying is "get your dad to get
you a metal detector and you can find lots of stuff, bring it along and
we'll tell you what you've got".
Is this the kind of "public involvenment" in archaeology the PAS is
facilitating? Encouraging members of the public to become artefact hunters
David tells the critics of this approach:
> You have perhaps to remove the blinkers that seem to
> tunnel your vision...and seem to ensure you get all
> worked up about nothing really.
Hmmm. David, the PAS has a mission to the past on our behalf, and so far has
cost five and a half million quid; do you not think we do have a right to be
able to (indeed should) discuss where its going, like anything else in
British archaeology? Especially if, when you _don't_ take the blinkered
look, but try to see it in its wider ARM context, it does not seem to some
of us at the moment to be going anywhere terribly useful. Its not a matter
of quoting to us the cut-and-pasted PAS five aims, but a matter of looking
just what in fact they are doing to achieve them and with what concrete
effects, seen in terms of the _whole_ British public and not a few thousand
detector-wielding artefact hunters, most of whom (60-80%) are ingoring the
> Archaeology for Everyone.!
Yes indeed, archaeology; but is artefact hunting and collecting actually
archaeology at all? In what way?