You are currently browsing the daily archive for 14/11/2012.


US archaeos take the Mick over Stonehenge
It’s lucky the Stonehenge fence is soon to be removed. Look at this leaflet on a table at a recent archaeological outreach event in Texas. Who says Americans don’t do irony?!

Philately celebrates megaliths
Stamps have been issued to celebrate Jersey’s archaeological history. Five stamps have been issued featuring images of dolmens from across the island.

Glasgow Uni shines a light
Glasgow University has produced a stonking good article on why people refer to illicit antiquities rather than illegal ones. One passage in particular shone like a beacon:

“Writers in this vein emphasise the point that while the criminal justice system tends to operate a strict binary distinction between criminal and non-criminal (or guilty and not-guilty), in reality some actions can be harmful but not illegal (Passas and Goodwin 2004).  This is often because the criminal justice system has not yet caught up with the movement of contemporary sensibilities around harm (Hillyard et al. 2004). Some social actions may therefore be generally condemned, usually due to the perceived harm they cause, while not (perhaps yet) being illegal—they are ‘lawful but awful’ as some commentators have put it (Passas 2005).”

Excellent. Perhaps it is time Glasgow added “metal detecting” to their growing list of definitions. There would be illegal metal detecting (which is illegal) and illicit metal detecting (metal detecting without reporting to PAS, which is legal but officially described as harmful).

But of course, they would also need to define the middle bit – metal detecting that does include reporting to PAS. That definition presents the mother of all ticklish problems for in Britain such activity is labelled as “responsible” but abroad it’s still considered wrong and unacceptable. So come on Glasgow, you can’t possible have definitions that don’t include metal detecting. But how will you define it? Like PAS does or like all your overseas colleagues do?

Some Snippets


November 2012

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