Unlike anywhere else in the civilised or uncivilised world, Britain has laws that legitimise, partner and encourage ten thousand people to research for, seek out and then randomly target nearly a million entirely unprotected archaeological sites for collectables for themselves and an Establishment that, unlike anywhere else in the civilised or uncivilised world, falsely implies to the public that this does not involve a net cultural loss. Anyone in the Establishment care to deny it? No.
Now, the Portable Antiquities Scheme (a small quango whose continued funding, coincidentally, depends entirely upon taking the lead in the continuing denial of that net cultural loss) has co-operated in the making of a British TV programme glorifying the finds made through this process so looked down upon elsewhere and inevitably therefore expanding it. PAS was set up to contain the net damage caused by artefact hunting and to attempt to obtain some mitigation for it, not to expand the amount of artefact hunting or increase the number of artefact hunters. That’s a simple fact. Don’t hold your breath waiting for officialdom to say Heritage Action are wrong about that.”
“Every year, a staggering 90,000 finds are reported to The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme” gushes the PAS about itself and the upcoming programme with not a word about the far more staggering two hundred thousand plus that aren’t. That’s gross dishonesty by omission is it not? Shame on those professionals who deliberately fail to speak up about such misrepresentation and the perversion of the original aim into an official policy of national cultural self-harm. We’d rather be mere amateurs and maintain our intellectual honesty and self-respect.