You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category.

Someone on the Let’s Go Digging commercial rally FB page has just said about a Finds Liaison Officer:

“Kurt Adams cost Let’s Go Digging possibly the best and most productive site they ever had. He went behind the scenes and made arrangements for himself and the local History society to take over the investigations as to a potential major historical discovery”

No, he acted correctly. He’s not your acquisition agent, he’s there to maximise the amount of knowledge which can be extracted from that site for the public. Your use of the ugly phrase “productive site” gives your game away. It’s the knowledge, stupid, not how many artefacts you can get for yourself, and that can only be extracted professionally else much will be lost.

Do you get it now? Detectorists assume “I found, so I must have a stake in ownership and extraction”, but it’s wrong and childish, as is the constant use on their forums of possessive pronouns, my farmer, my permission, my find, my treasure. None of it is true. Nothing in the fields is ever theirs, it all belongs to the farmer or occasionally society, and in the case of “a potential major historical discovery” they have no moral right to take their spades to it. That would be to knowingly destroy history.

.

There is only ONE way to properly extract important knowledge for Society, not two. (Perhaps PAS hasn’t made it clear enough?)

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

.

UPDATE ON TODAY’S ARTICLE:

It appears that 51 people have turned up to today’s Let’s Go Digging commercial metal detecting rally at Corse, Gloucestershire, and only one has decided to stay away in view of the serious public health implications. So 98% of participants have decided that all that matters is that “it’s legal innit”, perhaps an indication of the sort of attendees random pay-to-dig events attract.

Worse, because next week’s event will no longer be allowed the organiser has speedily arranged an alternative one on adjacent land (60 acres of pasture) on TUESDAY, so just before the lockdown “to prevent a medical and moral disaster” begins.

Let the authorities take note, in due course.

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

Yet more tricky words! Historic England says the Durrington Pits investigations were adequate to ensure that any features of a similar nature to these within the DCO limits would have been detected.English Heritage says the documentation is “sufficiently robust” to address concerns about “the features“.

So in both cases the reassurance is only about Durrington Pits type features, not the dozens of other types of archaeological features that may be there. Why? Because, as Vince Gaffney and Paul Garwood have said, Highways England has “insufficient baseline knowledge and understanding” of what is in the path of the new road. “In short, they do not know what is there“.

The public is being grievously ill-served. The certainty of massive destruction was implicit from the start in any plan to dig up a mile of World Heritage landscape yet its promoters are avoiding admitting it using what looks like carefully co-ordinated verbal trickery. It’s phenakism, pure, and simple.

.

They have a strong chance of winning, for at the same time they are supporting hiding Stonehenge from millions of travellers they are planning from next March to raise the cost of spending an hour inside the circle for a family of five to an eye-watering £190 !!

It’s worth reflecting that if they get their way neither the millions who travel on the A303 nor the few who pay a fortune to go inside the stones will ever see a rainbow over the monument again. And that will be forever. How’s that for destroying Outstanding Universal Value?

 

 

It occurred to us there isn’t a club or code of conduct for detectorists who just want to metal detect for the love of history alone. Surely, among 27,000 detectorists, there are some who want a club like that? So we’ve made one!

.

.

It’s the first detecting club dedicated to promoting the public’s interest alone. It’s purely for detectorists who believe anything they find belongs to the landowner (or if special, to the country) not them, and who gain their pleasure from gaining the historic knowledge alone. What’s more, they believe the knowledge surrounding artefacts is everyone’s so shouldn’t be withheld or destroyed.

Those simple beliefs are the essence of this club: If we dig, it’s in pursuit of knowledge, not possession. Without that guiding principle, we don’t think it would be right for us to rummage in the public’s historical back yard.

We should stress this isn’t another version of “responsible detecting”. It’s better described as “acceptable metal detecting” for we’re pretty sure, if you speak to any archaeologist, they’ll think it’s the best. Accordingly, since every week hundreds of new people take up metal detecting, in the next few weeks we’ll suggest some of the things they should do if they want to align with our notional club and to act acceptably, in the public’s interest.

.


.

HERITAGE JOURNAL METAL DETECTING CLUB GUIDANCE FOR MEMBERS

1. Getting permission                                                            

    • Please don’t rush to the nearest farmer and ask if you can start. Remember, the knowledge you may unearth doesn’t belong to him or you, it belongs to everyone and he may not know whether it’s appropriate or safe to detect in his bit of society’s historical back yard.
    • So first, (as Historic England advises) contact the Local Authority Archaeologist and local Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officer and say “I’m thinking of asking for permission at a particular farm or area – is it OK? They may say yes/yes except certain places/maybe yes but come back when you can be more specific/ or no.
    • Please abide by their advice. They represent society. Why would you rummage in society’s backyard without society’s permission?

    2. Talking to the landowner

    • You can ask, but please don’t try to persuade. The very first thing you should do is to give him the contact details of the archaeologists you spoke to as he should be advised by them, not you. That’s a basic element of fair-dealing: a decision shouldn’t be influenced by someone with a vested interest. However well-meaning, they may have an unconscious bias.
    • Next, you should give him a signed undertaking that says: we dig for the pleasure of knowledge, not possession, and anything we find belongs to you, the landowner (or, if it’s special) to the country) and consequently, we don’t want a find-sharing agreement, we only ask that everything recordable is shown to the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
    • If he asksare you a member of the NCMD or FID? we suggest you say yes (if you have needed to for insurance cover) but no with regard to following their codes of conduct which are vague and involve find sharing agreements which you don’t want or a clear commitment to showing everything recordable to PAS, which you do.
    • If he asks do you follow the official Code of Practice for England and Wales we suggest you say: broadly, yes, although its recommendation to get a finds agreement to avoid future problems is irrelevant as you don’t wish to own anything.
    • If he asks what about treasure rewards we suggest you say you won’t accept one as doing so would mean your declaration that you dig for the pleasure of knowledge, not possession would be rendered hypocritical, but if he wishes to accept a reward that’s up to him.
    • If he asks what will happen to the finds we suggest you say that’s up to him as he owns them (unless any belong to the country) but can he please show them to PAS (or we will, on his behalf). Thereafter, he could keep them as a collection (we could tabulate them for him) or offer them to a museum or give them to his  local archaeology group, parish council or school.

    .

    NEXT WEEK:   3. Conduct in the fields

    .

    __________________________________________
    More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
    __________________________________________

    mmm.

    `

    “A new national disgrace” is the only way to describe this joint letter to the Guardian in 2017 by the leaders of three supposedly conservation bodies:

    .

    (1.) They say “the A303 continues to cut through the world heritage site, making exploration of two-thirds of the site unsafe, causing pollution and damaging the ancient landscape”. Yet pollution won’t be reduced one iota by the scheme, and the only new damage to the ancient landscape will be the massive new damage caused by the scheme they are promoting! As for the A303 bisecting the site making exploration of two-thirds of it “unsafe”:  their solution, it turns out, is to build massive new “green bridges” over a new road to connect the two halves of the landscape – when everyone can see that a couple of pedestrian tunnels under the existing carriageway would work just as well, be cheaper, simpler and far less obtrusive and destructive!

    (2.) Then there’s the picture that accompanies the letter. It’s Visual Fib No 8 for it shows just 4 vehicles, but looking massive, and Stonehenge looming unrealistically close. Was that effect deliberately achieved by taking the picture from the very edge of the road and with the camera on the ground (see the blurred grass)? Should the authors of the letter have disowned the image as misleading, either before or after its publication?

    .

    Ad nauseam, for decades, hundreds of press reports have said: “the great majority of detectorists are responsible”. Well, this week the largest detecting forum has run a poll:

    .

    .

    So only 43.5% say they do. Imagine the knowledge loss that implies! But at least the false narrative has been nailed at last – by detectorists! Here are just a few of the people who should take note, and desist:


    Michael Lewis, Head of PAS: “most metal detectorists are responsible
    Steve Critchley, NCMD: “the vast majority of metal detectorists are responsible
    Jill Chitty, CBA Head of Conservation: “The vast majority of metal detectorists are very responsible
    Mark Harrison, Head of Heritage Crime, Historic England: “The majority of the metal detecting community comply with the rules
    Jane Harrison, Country Land and Business Association: “the majority of metal detectorists are compliant with their code
    National Trust policy statement: “most metal detectorists report their finds
    Norman Smith, Rally Organiser: “Most metal detectorists record their finds


    Let’s hope they and the press will now stop misinforming farmers, taxpayers, stakeholders and legislators.

    .

    __________________________________________
    More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
    __________________________________________

    A Detectorist (on Twitter): “Please show me a law that says everything should be recorded? I’m all for responsible detecting and recording but draw the line at being called thieves.”

    A Non-Detectorist replied: “Well, that’s the point. “Not reporting” is a crime against society as it steals society’s knowledge. That’s why we have civilisation. So people behave well even when there’s no specific law requiring them to.

    Of course! So why did the loquacious PAS officials on the thread then go quiet instead of agreeing? Could it be they were frit of offending detectorists?

    The Founders of PAS had no such hesitancy about truth. Baroness Blackstone said the aim of PAS was “to change public attitudes to recording finds so that it becomes normal practice for finders to report them“. So “normal practice”. Not “some at least will be responsible, hurrah!”

    After all this time (and expense) shouldn’t civilised behaviour be universally known to be the required norm in metal detecting? Why should detectorists still be able to say”“Please show me a law that says everything should be recorded” without PAS explaining it’s not to do with law, it’s to do with being a half-decent citizen?

    .

    __________________________________________
    More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
    __________________________________________

     

    Archives

    November 2020
    S M T W T F S
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    2930  

    Follow Us

    Follow us on Twitter

    Follow us on Facebook

    Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 10,420 other followers

    Twitter Feed

    %d bloggers like this: