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Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Printable Version

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Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - BAJR - 23rd September 2010

I was being slightly (well a bit more) cruel ih the sweet track example... (though to my credit I did put up the link so that the full context could be seen) What I am trying to get at, is that 3/4 of it is written off... and 500m of it (1/4) is now managed in a way that is not permenantly sustainable... costs a lot and in the end preserves some soggy wood.... to what end? the rest of it is allowed to decay.... so whats the difference?

I agree wholeheartedly with the helmet being as much use as a concrete lifebelt without the important context. at least ditches can't be brought from other places! The importance is in the location and associated finds.

What I am still trying to argue is that preservation is situ is somewhat of a smokescreen.

However, back to the 'helmet' Its pretty... it draws the crowds of shuffling masses who coo over it, without knowing why... give me the pottery scatter any day... as it places the pretty things into the context they need.

Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Steven - 23rd September 2010

UO1 said:

Quote:It all about curation. I get up in the morning and say that I am an archaeologist. I believe that there is a demand for my product and see that product as being produced from observations made in context. Steve gets paid to get up in the morning to believe that the archaeology belongs to the state. A sanctimonious bureaucracy has grow up from this situation which demands an archive where things like the details of the project bureaucracy become part of that archive and as hosty has pointed out even a project that found, in his opinion, nothing was for what ever reason seen as unsatisfactory, by some dubiously appointed authority, for curation. But this authority has absolutely no responsibility to the “museum”. The thing that could be a death mask proves conclusively in a democratic, what the public wants world that they want shiny things and not hostys seven pillars of nothing there. The state should stop inventing curators who don’t live in museums who don’t have the responsibility of storage and entropy to deal with, but who think that their standards and guidance’s are justification in themselves.

Unfortunately archaeologists also have a long way to go to take over the museums from the bunch of charlatans who control them. The evolution of commercial archaeology not only created the pusedo curator it also cut archaeologists off from museums.

Don't presume what I believe, you don't have the imagination! Speak for yourself NOT for me!

As I work for a heritage group we are also responsible for storage of archive and records which we do on behalf of tax payers so your post is clearly based on your limited experience (of perhaps a single county or something). Your grasp of the complexities of curation are astonishing for somebody responsible for very small watching briefs and producing a basic coherent record to fulfil a client's planning condition. Well, amazing a man who can't operate a spell check, with a shoulder chip because his reports get refused lecturing people about museums and their relationship to archives and planning authorities! Talk about ignorance with a capital I. As for sanctimonious, have you read your own posts, I haven't seen such smug, ill thought out drivel since I had my last laugh at the Daily Express "have your say" bit on their website.

So you don't dribble nonsense about what I believe again, I actually believe that the ownership of archaeology isn't the important thing. In fact I'm a developer lead funding advocate and I don't agree with draconian laws governing state ownership of artefacts. I think the important thing is to preserve heritage as much as possible and to record it where it needs to be so that people can study it.

The reason your reports might get refused is you fail to grasp the very simple idea that your records have to be appropriate for further study or critique, or testability and are not just a vanity product for your ego!

Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Unitof1 - 23rd September 2010

Sorry Steve I did not realise that you are a real curator and go about identifying helmets before they go to auction. This heritage gruop does it have any archaeologists in it (I only have a very linited view of what goes on in the big wide world)

(PS its was hostys reports that were all rejected not mine. If I don’t find anything I try not to write them)

Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - BAJR - 23rd September 2010

Here I have to stand up.... It was my report (singular) made all the more amusing as I was a) a development control archaeologist in a past life, whose job it was to check work and reports... and well b) I had not found anything.. Smile So nothing really to say.
Return to topic... :face-topic:

Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - northerner - 28th September 2010

my carefully thought out comment was just deleted by the computer....typical!

so briefly, unit, your comments about a metal detecting gallery at tullie house, bit harsh i think, museums are full of stuff not retrieved by commercial archaeologists? but the museums still show them, why? because they bring the public in.. and as an institution needing to make profit i think they are doing the right thing. Esp now with funding cuts etc... and besides, there will always be people out there using metal detectors... educating them is a good thing, at least we then stand a chance of seeing what they have found and sometimes we find amazing sites, Cumwhitton burials for example... couple more years of ploughing and they would have been scattered across the field, as it was, following the report to the PAS a full exc was done,
and if the people of carlisle want to donate their money so the ''roman'' helmet can come to tullie house then fine let them... whether it is real or not it wont have encouraged anymore people to go out detecting than any other find has done, so we either put up with it, and help educate people or hope the governement bans them (which lets face it, is never gonna happen).

And anyway, I reckon that a metal detectorist taking somethng out of context is no worse than some of the shocking evaluations I've seen over the years....

Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Mike.T. - 28th September 2010

You've completely contradicted yourself. On one hand you acknowledge that Metal Detectorists have been responsible for finding numerous Archaeological sites, then you say that you hope the government will ban them ( you're right it'll never happen ). So which is it ?

Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - northerner - 28th September 2010

no, thats not what I meant at all.... I was trying to make the point that education of detectorists is the best thing, I put the banning them issue to prove my point that we shouldnt be so elitist and smug in the way, as a proffession, we look down on people who are just interested. My personal opinion is that encouraging people to detect and report is a good thing, I used 'we' to generalise on the whole profession, and sayin it will never happen was supposed to encourage those who look down on detecting to realise they need to change their ideas and be pleasaed that somethnig like the PAS exists.... not ridicule their ability to ascertain the provenance of an object such as the cumbrian helmet

Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Unitof1 - 28th September 2010

Lost Artefacts.

[SIZE=3]A stock-take last November revealed that
more than 150 finds from the Castle Green excavation had vanished, including
the rare Roman armour. News of the disappearance has only recently been
made public. The finds had been stored in six boxes at Shaddon Mill - the former
HQ of Carlisle Archaeology.
was the roman armour worth anything?

murky waters

Northerner whats wrong with calling Tullie House ?museum? and art gallery a metal detecting gallery or possibly an art gallery? Why mix this bronze death mask in with material from archaeological contexts. Do you really think that the best place to archive archaeological material is in a metal detecting or art gallery? I dont.

Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - northerner - 28th September 2010

firstly, I'm pretty sure that archived archaeological material is never just thrown in with random finds? Museum displays arent aimed at archaeological proffessionals are they? So including something that looks nice in a display shouldnt really be an issue. All a museum does is presents the history of an area to the public in a nice way, do the public really care if something was found during excavation or by a metal detector... er i suspect not... will having any of these one off finds on display in Tullie house affect the known archaeological record of any area? not really.. its not like its redated Hadrians Wall has it?

secondly... you are basically saying that if something is not found by a qualified archaeologist it has no importance at all, I dont believe that, When you write your DBA's, do you ignore any HER entry that is a findspot?? seeing as a lot of them are not from within arch investigations? and are the results of someone finding something out walking or digging their garden or metal detecting? Because I dont and i know if i treid that one on I'd get my reports returned for ignoring them, ignoring something that could suggest activity within in area.

All I see in these kinds of discussions is the attitude that has always annoyed me... that an awful lot of archaeologists see themselves as better than everyone else, this comes out in peoples attitudes to things found by the public, community archaeology and relating commercial works back to the public... and at times it makes me ashamed to be an archaeologist,

I'm not even going to post my original comment on the millenium dig finds as ill prob get my post removed..... apart from to say it was shocking to hear they had gone but its surely another reason to educate people about the significance of finds and their context above their monetary value.....

Metal detectorist to auction Roman helmet - Unitof1 - 28th September 2010

Possibly what I am trying to say is that we all, public included, take museums for granted when in fact they are in trouble, out of control and that we as archaeologists/ commercial archaeologists probably now more than ever obviate a lot of responsibility when we “donate” our archives to a store and possibly in a few cases the museums take archaeology for granted.

If there was a museum which said that it only accepted archives from archaeological sites that’s where I would as first stop archive my material.