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Subject:

Re: Sustainable archaeology - was archaeology v. treasure?

From:

Paul Barford <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Mon, 30 Jun 2008 00:07:25 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (44 lines)

Gary Brun writes:
> Seriously... do you think the HER & PAS will record
> every roman nail and every bit of iron dross they find?<
HERs will maintain as part of their archives the information, yes. If PAS 
does not do it too when the information is passed to them, so that it can 
then be passed on to the relevant HER, then as a middleman they are letting 
the responsibly fully recording tekkies down. Better to deal direct with the 
HERs then, so this information is properly curated.


> At least records are kept<
Are they? I think the scale of that was what was in dispute. They really are 
no good to man nor beast until they are deposited in a proper archive.

> if some took time too see how much information is
> being lost due to erosion and chemicals <
if some took time to look more closely at what is being claimed and what the 
evidence is actually for it... For example compare Rod Blunts carefully 
selected 'shock-horror' examples with the full assemblage published by David 
Connolly from the 2007  "Water Newton" rally. 
http://www.scribd.com/doc/2071208/FullWN07Report
Have a good look at the photos of each of the objects found. How many look 
like the ones Rod Blunt selected? What percentage? Answers on a postcard 
please. The farm where this rally took place lies right in the middle of one 
of the most intensively farmed areas of the UK, replete with artificial 
fertilisers and heavily mechanised. The state of the finds does NOT support 
the "let's hoik it all out now" model preferred by the pro-collecting lobby. 
The vast majority of the range of 300 000  metal finds in the PAS database 
(and the UKDF one) are equally devoid of the sort of features Blunt (2005) 
tries to claim are endemic. Not to mention eBay. This really is clutching at 
straws.


> Yet...  it seems that many within the archaeological
> community refuse to see  this because we are metal
> detectorists.<
[playing the "elitism" card and the "victimisation" one].
No the problem is that both of these are palpably false arguments, not 
because you "are" metal detectorists, but because when you look beyond the 
superficiality and spin, there are grounds for believing that the actual 
effects of the hobby on the archaeological record are not at all what its 
supporters claim they are.

Paul Barford

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