Most Detectorists... exaggerating agian Paul... one or two visit the BAJR
forum in an attempt to help build bridges.
Having said that I do not intend to respond to you or Nigel again on this
matter as you are both pure poison, your only interest is to block any and
all attemps at constructive dialogue.
How your peers tolerate you I have no idea.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Barford" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 10:44 AM
Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] A MD day at the Thornborough Henges
Steve Burch adds helpfully:
> And of course this tirade has nothing to do with the fact that you
> have recently been banned from the BAJR Forum does it Paul....
Well, actually I would have preferred to discuss it over on the BAJR Forum
with its author, but in order to prevent that, its author has indeed blocked
my account over there on his own pro-artefact hunting Forum the day before
he posted his report:
David's pretext for his actions and previous repliess to comments about
artefact hunting are there for all to see. I have nothing to hide.
So, since you've drawn our attention to that thread, perhaps we can ask some
Britarchers' opinions now most of the detectorists have migrated over to
This whole ‘artefact hunters rescue finds from plough damage’ thread runs
through David Connolly’s “report”. Impressed by the apparent bad state of
the ‘Langdale’ axe found at Thornborough, David writes about modern
> “in the next decade the axe would cease to exist as an artefact - it
> would be crushed rolled, ploughed, rolled, crushed rolled etc etc until
> the axe was now a series of unrecognisable pebbles which would
> have no use at all to anyone”.
His argument being “better out than in” – ie carte blanche for artefact
hunting on ploughed archaeological sites.
[This is of course similar to the argument being used by Tarmac’s
archaeologist to justify quarrying after full rescue excavation of the
archaeology threatened by the plough rather than an ineffective
'preservation in situ'].
I dont think any of us are in any doubt that sites and finds are damaged by
the plough. The argument that this is happening everywhere at an increased
pace however cannot be used as an argument for increasing the pace at which
we encourage metal artefacts to be taken by artefact hunters and collectors
from the archaeological resource under the pretence that by scattering them
in personal collections they are “rescuing” them. As Renfrew has remarked
the “giving them a good home” argument applies to stray dogs but not
I questioned David Connolly’s interpretation with regard what was happening
I did this on the basis of the photo of the object on UKRally which does not
match his verbal description of the degree of damage. I also found a picture
of a gold coin from the same rally posted there which shows no sign of the
high degree of recent plough battering which David alleges on the
Thornborough finds as a whole, leading to him formulating his conclusions.
The eBay photos of both sides of the axe show even more clearly (to my mind)
that almost all the flake scars on that object have the appearance of
patinated old ones and may have occurred before the object was finally
buried damage (one on the butt has a rounded edge and seems to be from the
shaping of the blank). One flake and one transverse scar seem to be newer,
but hardly basis for the interpretation that the object would shortly become
a “pebble” – still less that this will happen within a decade as David
asserts elsewhere in the BAJR thread, but refused to discuss further there,
locking the thread.
In reply to my comments on BAJR that not all the information was necessarily
recorded in the 2-3 minutes the object was in the hands of the PAS before it
vanished into artefact-oblivion, David Connolly wrote (specifically of this
> “As to the find wandering off.. it has been recorded nd the PAS know
> exactly where it is.... details have been sent to All parties in the area
> and if anyone wants to take it further they can”.
Well, only if they can trace the person who now buys it on eBay, just three
days after the rally. Go on David, put in a bid and save it for the nation
in case in those 2-3 minutes the PAS did not record everything the future
investigator will need to know.