BAJR Federation Archaeology

Full Version: To metal detectorists, we're all a bunch of pinko commies :p - a pointless rant
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I just came across http://www.treasurenet.com and its forum of treasure hunters. I tend to get a little obsessed reading forum posts, even from years back, just to see where people opinions lie. This one, I found hilarious. Back in the state, my home away from here, it hadn't occurred to me how nasty the rhetoric against archaeologists actually is among the treasure hunting "community!" People claiming we are a bunch of left wing socialists with no interest other than taking away every red blooded American's right to plunder their backyards for the ever-so-sought-after "horde" of some pirate's gold. No joke. The language is of the same type we saw from the Tea Party around the same time and it makes me wonder if many treasure hunters in the states see view treasure hunting as the same type of constitutional issue as any other issue stretched by America's far-right. Especially in this thread here: http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.php/t...666.0.html where the issue is in Florida, 2008 when the state began redefining its stance on coastal treasure hunting in state waters. The response by this community is a petition to protect the rights of treasure hunters, (despite all artifacts older than 50 yrs BP being illegal to dig without permits). Then there are discussions on how to find the "enemies of archaeologists" in government to remove funding for state archaeology and grants, and thus regulation. When one considers that Odyssey exploration brings so much media attention to this issue it scares me to think the public might be more likely to get behind TH than proper archaeology because of the amateur opportunism it offers. Of course, this is the basic divide between professional archaeology and treasure hunting.

One major reoccurring point I found quite interesting is the argument that THs should be allowed to continue as "amateur archaeologists" on the grounds that it is impossible for professional archaeologists to dig up every parcel of land in America (or anywhere) anyway, so they could do the work for us. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but it is very clear by reading such statements in the TH community how much of a public disconnect there is between what they think we do and what we actually do. Clearly it is not realized that the point is to not dig up every artifact on Earth, and of course their own bias roots from a direct get-rich-quick profit motive. I mean, there's engineers on there attempting to make homemade GPR carts to avoid the rental fees and enable limitless historical record exploitation.

This is a pretty pointless rudimentary rant against treasure hunters. But I've got no other outlet to vent Smile

p.s. I'm sick of the phrase "treasure hunting"
I often find nasty comments about archaeologists, but then I often find nasty rhetoric against detectorists.

in a nutshell. I once created a game where you chased them around a field with a hammer. then I thought, hell BAJR... get to know 'them' and they actually got to know me. in general, getting to know each other was the secret.

and since then, more collaboration and a bit more respect.

yeah sure we have the die hard haters... but the more people work together the better. And at the end of the day I have always been an archaeologist, who is unstinting in this and amk respected by most detecorists and most archaeologists for this. you can't ask for more than that.

Ask the PAS about BAJR's contribution Wink

I despise treasure hunters as well... but I like working with people who care.

Nice rant though! Wink :face-approve:
To some...........its all about the money.
Others are jealous.
Many are indoctrinated.........by the TV, by their club members or by all this talk of 'I know this bloke that found the middlam jewel...now he's rich.'

However, according to many.....

'anyone can do archaeology, after all its only digging for some broken pots or gold, isn't it. Did you know anyone can be an archaeologist, you don't need any qualifications or nuthin. I fancy a go at that. Get myself a metal detector and a spade. Who knows, this time next year I could be rich! Don't know what all those stuffy beardy wierdies are on about. Its only old stuff, what an earth can be learn't from the past? i reckon all them jumper wearing oddballs are just worried they'd be out of a job and wanna keep the treasure to themselves'

---------------------
'This belongs in a museum!'
'So do you!'
BAJR Wrote:I once created a game where you chased them around a field with a hammer.

Is it available as an app?

}Smile
It is very sad for me to hear that in America Zsilver you have you cant touch old things laws

Quote:[SIZE=3]despite all artifacts (sic) older than 50
yrs BP being illegal to dig without permits
[/SIZE]

I would have thought that the American constitution would not have spotted that human right violation. The freedom to dig holes and pick things up. We have similar fascist laws here. Basically the past is being subsumed in your society by shocking fascists who believe their power comes through nationalism. I see that so called archaeologists have incredible powers in your country. Are these government civil servants calling themsleves archaeologists or can self employed ones go around molesting children. I found this evidence of how bad it is getting in the land that used to belong to some arbitary thing called a race.

http://www.metal-detecting-ghost-towns-of-the-east.com/metaldetectinglaws.html

but see that it is restricted to government lands. If you don?t like it there you can come to south britromanangledanenormland but places are filling up fast

http://www.englanddetectingtours.com/html/england_detecting_tours_introd.html

as you can see the fascist have extended their control over the past to private lands:

http://www.englanddetectingtours.com/html/england_detecting_tours_terms_.html

its not often we export anything to America but I imagine that you will need a permit on private land there soon. Suggest that you hold onto your guns. As a point of interest I presume that with your freedom of free speech that if you say out loud that you intend to pick things up on federal land that you should be incarcerated. That?s how it works here.
@ Unitof1

I don't know what to say to that because I can't tell if that was net sarcasm...other than you (sic)'d my American spelling of artifact! I can't help it, I was born this way!
I was born this way -nature or nurture? Sorry the i makes me want to harden the a. but then maybe it should be spelt rtyfact
Sorry I don’t like nationalism in archaeology. I don’t think that archaeology should use nationalism to protect archaeological contexts, mostly because I don’t think archaeological contexts should have any higher value than what an individual wants to pay to find and dig them. I like the fact that archaeological contexts are dissolving before our eyes and that you grab them as you can. I laugh at anybody who thinks that they are protecting some unknown for some unknown future permit holder. Don’t be beholden to the state for your archaeology it just makes archaeology explaining to others what the law of the land is and you will find that civil servants want that job. Lifes too short.
Well, I can definitely agree that I do not think nationalism is a good rationalization for just about anything, save maybe, keeping jobs in your own country as opposed to sending factories overseas, etc ( a whole different issue). With archaeology, while I do not like that our funding is tied to governing bodies who will typically fund only what is "significant" to the modern observer, i.e. a politically un/informed society, I can't see another way at the moment because it is fused to so many other larger problems with capitalism as a whole - how things are valued is one of them. Under capitalism value is almost strictly a monetary attribute to any thing, living (healthcare), dead (funeral industries, taxonomy :o) ), inanimate (consumer goods, housing, antiquities trade), etc - you know what I am getting at.

For us, the industry is valued in terms of its historical or "scientific" relevance which in turn creates higher land value for property owners or heritage value for tourist economies and the National Trust. It is telling that here in the UK the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport are all lumped into one category as two of those categories, media and sport, are in fact billion pound industries, whereas culture is something, I believe at least, something that transcends economies in that economies are cultural and not vice versa. Therefore the official government position inherently positions archaeology as something that needs to be justified in terms of revenue and not in terms of human cultural and intellectual value - which is ultimately what I imagine the majority of archaeologists set out to enhance in the first place (which is why we work for relatively low pay compared to other professional industries). There of course is the issue of property development which adds another massive dimension to how archaeology is valued monetarily - which I can't speak about because I admit I haven't had any experience doing CRM Sad This is just the way it is right now and until you change the culture of capitalist valuation of society and history then thats the world we have to live in. It doesn't make archaeologists fascists because they have to deal those cards they are dealt. I doubt any archaeologist gets excited about having to justify artifactual material they know in their hearts is priceless yet sell themselves essentially in terms of "culture producers" who are skilled at raising property values because of their keen data collection and interpretation, or who have to justify research projects in terms of how "valuable" and "worthwhile" the investigation will be to the interested (funding) party. Its just a crap situation if you are of the tribe who views history, archaeological remains, etc as something important beyond a cheap price tag and in terms of world heritage for the sake of world heritage. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge, etc. Maybe I am just naive and overly optimistic, I don't care.

But what else do you do. So we take away the state archaeologists in America and tell the Museum of London that their archaeologists wield too much power. Then metal detectorists run amok, driving to the very problem of viewing the past as profit, and the rest of society suffers. The reverse should happen. People should be vetted to become professional archaeologists and we should follow Ireland, in both the US and UK, and outright ban metal detectoring. The condition should be that what lies beneath our feet is so precious that it either stays there, or is taken care of by people who know what they are doing and can transmit that information into raising our culture of understanding. Likewise, journals and publications should be more accessible to the public, less expensive to the point where you have to be an affiliated with a university, or rich, to have access to even basic information about the past. Increase public representation on sites to make knowledge production something engaging and relevant to people, while at the same time increasing respect for us and our life's work. Etc you know the deal from there...
Yes ------------ until then all we can do is 'save what you can'
ZSilvia went on to say :-

"People should be vetted to become professional archaeologists and we should follow Ireland, in both the US and UK, and outright ban metal detectoring. The condition should be that what lies beneath our feet is so precious that it either stays there, or is taken care of by people who know what they are doing "

Mmmm, shall we also seek to ban invasive agricultural techniques in case they damage those precious things and then what about development archaeological briefs which only allocate a maximum of 10 % excavation of some features ? Should we ban that as well and go for 100 % excavation from the grass roots down and then what about those areas in a development that are not the subject of archaeological evaluation ?

Lets get back to the real world and stop ranting on its getting boring.
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