Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Feb-2 2012: Portable Antiquities Wishes Looted Finds Database....

Portable Antiquities wishes the web resource Lootbusters:
"Good luck! Hope the Polish axis of one eyed mantra leaves you alone".

Dorothy King, creator of the page, replies: "Paul & I are on the same side in that similar aims".

One would have thought that since the Portable Antiquities Scheme was set up to do archaeological outreach about people finding stuff and what should be done with it, that organization and I were also on the same "side" with "similar aims". It would seem not.

The PAS quite obviously would prefer to be "left alone" to get on with being "partners" to those that exploit the archaeological record for collectables for personal entertainment and profit without anyone looking over their shoulder. It is, however, precisely in that part of its current activities for which I think it should be held accountable to us all.

But then, am I not expecting too much? How can one possibly account for that? So they content themselves with ignoring discussions like that begun last year by Professor David Gill and insulting one-eyed Barford among themselves, and hope not too many other people start ask awkward, but pertinent, questions. Well, I hope they do, before it is too late to stop the enormous damage being caused by these Bloomsbury policies.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Feb-1 2012) Who Will "Outreach" to Landowners with “No reporting – No permission”?

The new Stop Taking Our Past (STOP) campaign being promoted by British conservation group Heritage Action (see here) couldn’t be more beneficial as it simply asks farmers to ensure all finds made by artefact hunting metal detectorists get reported. The campaign takes a stand which can only be beneficial for archaeology, archaeologists, landowners and the public. They write:
Unlike the original STOP campaign it’s not going away so hopefully every landowner in Britain will hear about it. We’d really appreciate some help though. So as we said before, if you’re a history lover, archaeologist or ethical detectorist please spread the message – “No reporting – No permission”. Why wouldn’t you?

It would be good to see now the appearance of a webpage detailing the damage done to the archaeological record and the public's knowledge about the past caused by artefact hunters and detectorists taking and not reporting what they've taken away. Obviously Heritage Action are more than capable of producing such a piece of public outreach about portable antiquities. But there IS, isn't there, an organization in England which over the years has been getting a lot of dosh for doing precisely that and has been accumulating quite a bit of experience in talking to the public as well as the media on (one presumes) precisely that. How about it PAS ladies and gentlemen? Will you fall in behind Heritage Action and help them promote the message that artefact seekers reporting finds to the PAS (to yourselves!) is the only responsible way forward? Or will you give it a miss and leave it up to them to do?