In a message dated 17/07/2006 12:42:19 GMT Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
Surely you would not have a problem with promoting brand-new-to-archaeology
fieldwalkers, geophysical surveyors...
Not at all if they increase knowledge, create minimal erosion of the
resource and provide ample mitigation for whatever erosion they do cause - which is
the actual position with them at present.
, excavators (the latter very destructive if done irresponsibly)
Quite. Which is why archaeology regards excavation as a last resort, to be
done sparingly, with maximum mitigation and no random or recreational or
collecting or financial element.
This continual seperation of metal detecting as an entity completely
unrelated to archaeology is not good
But it IS unrelated if it doesn't operate under the self-restraint which
archaeology has imposed upon itself, see above. Other than a tiny portion of the
hobby it is NOT a field survey technique it is a hunt for artefacts for self
gratification on whatever random bit of land that permission can be obtained,
with mitigation being the exception, not the rule - and even that being
mostly given extremely sparsely and grudgingly and requiring millions of pounds
worth of persuasion to obtain. The hobby is not the good bit that you wish to
emphasise, its mainly the other bit. Promoting it to kids, even with a
"responsible detecting" message strikes me as unwise as I don't understand why the
responsibility message is likely to be heeded by them. What notice do they
take of health warnings on cigarettes and alcohol? Do you really trust them to
be responsible with metal detectors as a result of anything PAS says? I
don't. If PAS's statistics showed that adult detectorists had heeded the message
en masse then maybe, but even that hasn't happened.