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Steve,

I really would like to know what detectorists have done or plan to do to 
about the problem of 'machine weilders' (see below) who by purporting to be 
detectorists bring detecting into disrepute.

>From: Lynn Alexander-Briggs <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Underwater "nighthawking"
>Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 12:06:28 +0000
>
>Steve,
>
>Is it not correct that in detecting now those who set high standards are 
>outnumbered by 'metal detecting machine weilders' who consider and present 
>themselves as detectors but are either ill educated or continue to dig with 
>seemingly wilful disregard of the damage they do and that both the latter 
>constantly bring down the reputation of detecting. I see a distinction 
>between detectors and those who are not.
>
>I would like to know how you think detecting will acheive high overall 
>standards throughout the detecting community and what timescale detecting 
>is working on so that bad practice is eradicated. What measures does 
>detecting have, or plan to put in place, to bring this about? Is there any 
>reason why it would not be better for detectors to seperate themselves from 
>the 'machine wielders' and encourage them to become detectors?
>
>Lynn A-B
>
>
>>From: "Steve@DDL" Despite the niaivaty of my questions when I posted the 
>>link to the video I had hoped to encourage a discussion along the lines 
>>that Guy has described in his post:
>>
>>"I totally agree, however I was not addressing those points but rather the 
>>best way to affect change is by encouragement to change rather than 
>>ostracizing a group of enthusiasts.
>>I was not condoning bad practice but arguing about the way to change for 
>>the better."
>>
>>I really do think that this is an approach that could well yeild long term 
>>results.... ostracising will acheive nothing in either the short or long 
>>term.
>>
>>Steve
>>
>From: "Christopher Cumberpatch"
>><[log in to unmask]>
>>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 9:55 AM
>>Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Underwater "nighthawking"
>>
>>
>>>    I wonder what the point of this argument is?  The merest glance at 
>>>any history of archaeology will demonstrate that the subject has advanced 
>>>rapidly in terms of both its theory and methodology (see books by 
>>>Trigger, Lucas, Thomas, Gerrard etc).  The techniques used by 
>>>archaeologists in the 1930s, '40s and '50s bear relatively little 
>>>relationship to many of the techniques used today.  The nature of the 
>>>interpretative frameworks employed are, if anything, even more different 
>>>and are infinitely more sophisticated today.  Are we expected to wallow 
>>>in inherited guilt because in the early days of the discipline some 
>>>practitioners used methods which we would reject completely today?  On 
>>>this argument, doctors emerging from medical school today should be 
>>>condemned because (to take the obvious and somewhat hackneyed example) 
>>>some doctors in the 1930s regarded eugenics as a legitimate area of study 
>>>and basis for practice. Should modern mental health practitioners be 
>>>judged because of the use of lobotomy to treat mental conditions in the 
>>>1950s?  Obviously not.  I would imagine that most archaeologists have, in 
>>>the course of their careers, encountered excavation records which are 
>>>wholly inadequate because of what we would now see as inadequate record 
>>>keeping or erroneous assumptions regarding the nature of site formation 
>>>processes and archaeological stratigraphy. While we do what we can with 
>>>such data, indulging in (metaphorical) self-flagellation is hardly 
>>>useful. The point is to learn from earlier errors and to refine our 
>>>techniques with the aim of producing richer sets of data which are 
>>>susceptible to both broader and deeper levels of analysis and 
>>>interpretation.  It is to be regretted that the metal detector and other 
>>>artefact-hunting fraternities seem to fail to understand this aspect of 
>>>archaeological enquiry and to persist with a methodology which can 
>>>contribute relatively little to archaeological understanding of the past.
>>>
>>>Chris Cumberpatch
>>>
>>>
>
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