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An academic writes: Empirical studies increasingly testify to the capacity for archaeological and cultural heritage sites to engender wonder, transformation, attachment, and community bonding among diverse individuals…… Following political theorist Jane Bennett, these sites have the power to ‘enchant’ and, in so doing, they are seedbeds of human generosity, ethical mindfulness, and care for the world at large.”

….. which prompts the question, have they read many detecting forums or been to a rally or looked on EBay?! Of course archaeological and heritage sites have the power to bring out the best in whoever engages with them. For instance, here’s Sir Mortimer Wheeler outreaching to the public 85 years ago:

But now, although many archaeologists still outreach to the general public the English Heritage Outreach Department is long gone and the main outreach body is the Portable Antiquities “not offending the perpetrators” Scheme which begs for sharing but bolsters taking. As such it presides over things that are largely the antithesis of “seedbeds of human generosity, ethical mindfulness, and care for the world at large.”

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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