Unsurprisingly, the publication of the Erosion Counter in visual form prompted renewed attempts to rubbish it. A detectorist contacted CBA hoping they’d do so but was disappointed and has had to fall back on misrepresentation, quoting Mike Heyworth saying the Counter is “regarded with scepticism and even hostility” but omitting Mike’s crucial next four words: “by some vested interests“! So it’s very clear: CBA does not regard the Counter with scepticism!
Indeed, Mike went further by saying: (a.) “the key question is whether it provides a reasonable basis from which to consider the scale of the loss of knowledge caused by metal detecting when finds are not reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (in England and Wales). I think it serves its purpose in this regard, though inevitably the methodology behind the Counter is open to debate.” (b.) “I regret that it appears to be a minority of metal detectorists who follow the Code of Practice” (which of course is the Counter’s key message!)
So there’s we have it. It’s both funny and important: an attempt to get CBA to say the artefact counter is tosh has resulted in the opposite, two clear declarations by CBA: it considers the Counter “a reasonable basis” and it believes most metal detectorists don’t follow the Code of Practice! We’ve spent many years trying to show how outrageous are the countless press releases and articles that perpetuate the calumny that “the vast majority of detectorists are responsible” and at last it has paid off – thanks to the efforts of a single artefact hunter. Isn’t life funny?
Update 28 March 2013:
Mr V Interest has just informed his readers of what really happened:
“We finally hit the spot with the exposé of the dishonest Artefact Erosion Counter (AEC) and its ramshackle computation. The chief (and most unintentional) scalp was the Council for British Archaeology’s Director, Mike Heyworth. I was somewhat taken aback that he’d thrown his academic weight behind such twaddle. I’m sorry he was made to look a lemon…”
No comment needed.