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United Kingdom Detector Finds Database
#1
http://www.ukdfd.co.uk

I should like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and to explain a little about the UK Detector Finds Database (UKDFD).

You may have heard about this initiative and be aware of some of the criticism being levelled at it. The formation of the UKDFD has understandably raised a number of questions, and I should like to address some of these by offering some first-hand factual information.

My name is Gary Brun and I have a long record of active support for the PAS. That support continues because I firmly believe that the voluntary recording of detecting finds is in the best interests of everyone, not least the hobbyists themselves. I am also a founder member of the UKDFD scheme. I see nothing inconsistent in my support for both of these schemes; in fact I believe that each plays an important part in encouraging the recording of finds. This is a view shared by all of us involved with the UKDFD, and it was with the intention of increasing the level of recording that the scheme was established.

The UKDFD seeks to encourage recording among detectorists who currently, for whatever reason, choose not to record their finds elsewhere. It also facilitates the recording of certain types of find not eligible under the current scope of the PAS. It is certainly not in any way designed to compete with the PAS - quite the contrary - recording through the PAS is actively encouraged. The UKDFD is also endeavouring, subject to the consent of recorders, to make its records available for direct transfer to the PAS.

I believe the UKDFD is an honourable and extremely worthwhile venture and I wanted to present you with the facts first hand.

Gary Brun

http://www.ukdfd.co.uk
Recording OUR heritage for future generations.
#2
Hello Gary and welcome. If, as you point out, you support PAS but that this initiative seeks to do things that it can't (like recording finds outside it remit), would it not have made sense to discuss ways of enhancing or broadening the scope of PAS with those running it? After all, how many people are goint to record their stuff twice, or alternatively search two sources for all the data?

D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

The ability to dig a site is insignificant next to the power of the Force
#3
Hello D. Vader
Thanks for the welcome.... seems strange talking to a movie star Big Grin
Sorry about the length of the post but I hope I manage to get my point accross. It would be a lot easier if we were face to face talking. The written word is not known to be one of my greatest skills:face-thinks:


UKDFD MISSION STATEMENT

The UK Detector Finds Database (UKDFD) is a hobby-based initiative, which has the following aims:

To promote a recording ethos within the hobby and encourage those detectorists who would not otherwise record their finds to do so by making use of the UKDFD self-recording facility

To bring about an increase in the number of detectorists recording their finds, and the overall number of items that are recorded

To make available a facility and encourage the recording of post c.1650 finds, many of which are not eligible for inclusion on the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) database

To provide an easy-to-use and supportive self-recording environment for detectorists, which employs the latest technology and methods of communication?

To make the UKDFD database accessible as an internet resource for the identification and research of items recorded, and to preserve that information for the benefit of future generations

There is a difference in the two databases
There are significant questions that our critics should be asking themselves too...

1. Are UKDFD (and the PAS) recording exclusively for the benefit of archaeologists and heritage professionals?
2. What proportion of the total number of UKDFD (and PAS) users are likely to be archaeologists and heritage professionals?
3. Should we not cater for the wishes of the majority of our database users?
4. Did PAS consult with pre-established databases like the CCI and the EMC when they constructed their coin templates?
5. How would a PAS-cloned UKDFD encourage detectorists who don't record with the PAS to do so with its clone?
6. Why should we emulate a database that is widely believed to be very flawed (unless you're an archaeologist)?
7. Why should UKDFD emulate data collection methods reliant on costly and outdated methods of communication?

You see that we believe that the information and heritage belongs to everybody not just archaeologists. I am not knocking archaeologist as I have a lot of respect for the profession but some of you do live in a square box and can not step outside that framework. The UKDFD is a fantastic achievement by volunteers (we don?t have ?8million) to collect and record data that would not have been collected for what ever reasons and to pass on that data if the recorder wishes it to be so. Please take a visit over to http://www.ukdfd.co.uk and take a look at some of the excellent ID.s and the way it is structured. Everybody can understand (Joe Public), try the search system and print out a record.


I am sorry but ?credit where credit is due? Many people in your profession ask for responsible metal detecting but only when its maybe meets certain ?biased criteria? is it classed as responsible.

It must also be known that I have great respect for your forum owner and his forward thinking and his ability to ?step outside the box?. Keep up the good work.

This post is not meant to inflame and is written with honesty and goodwill as its only intent.

http://www.ukdfd.co.uk
Recording OUR heritage for future generations.
#4
My main objection to the way in which finds are recorded, both here and in the PAS is the lack of Grid References which makes the finds next to useless in the eyes of most archaeologists. There are several parishes that I look after that have significant numbers of finds, but no grid references. If I had detailed locations, the finds could be used to plot former settlement patterns which is extremely valuable to us planning archaeologists.
Is the recording of grid references going to be one of your main aims for encouragement? I understand many of the objections MDs have to recording GRD but it still remains that most PAS records are useless to me because of it :face-confused:
#5
Quote:quote:My main objection to the way in which finds are recorded, both here and in the PAS is the lack of Grid References which makes the finds next to useless in the eyes of most archaeologists. There are several parishes that I look after that have significant numbers of finds, but no grid references. If I had detailed locations, the finds could be used to plot former settlement patterns which is extremely valuable to us planning archaeologists.
Is the recording of grid references going to be one of your main aims for encouragement? I understand many of the objections MDs have to recording GRD but it still remains that most PAS records are useless to me because of it

Hi Hugh.
I can understand the need for good NGRs and on how they can help with research.
The UKDFD allows the recorder to register all the details and we encourage and will continue to encourage recording of grid references. The database will only show you Parish Level, as you know the reasons why many detectorists like to keep their find spots secret but people can apply for the information? see ukdfd.co.uk for further details.

This is where the problem arises out of encouraging people to record grid references?.
There is a long history of lack of trust between government bodies and archaeological folk within the detecting community as well as metal detectorists themselves and some see the PAS scheme as a body that is set up to take over the running of the political agenda of heritage in the UK or in other words make PAS the hub to government funded archaeology in England and Wales and to cover the Valletta agreement. That the information given will be used against their ?legal right? to enjoy their hobby. I know there are a lot of points for discussion here from both sides of the fence but I would rather not go into that as you know they have been discussed on many different forums.

It?s a very complicated subject to cover but UKDFD is not set up just for archaeological academics as I stated in my previous post above.


The UKDFD has given the recorder a few choices regarding their data.

1. They can share their data with the archaeological record.
UKDFD will pass the information on to the HER/PAS (say every quarter/ annum.. this hasn?t been negotiated yet)
2. UKDFD can pass on the recording details after 10yrs.


On a personal note and I have stated it on many forums? I would have everyone record to NGR 8-10 figures but I can?t force feed people my views as many like to do regarding this subject. Free choice is the key here.

For education and trust too filter its way down the system will take time but we are doing ?OUR? bit to collect as much information as the recorder will allow. The key here for us is that the recorder has ?full control of his own data? and this will win over some of sceptics to recording and the lack of ?trust? within the detecting community to anything governmental.


http://www.ukdfd.co.uk
Recording OUR heritage for future generations.
#6
I knew there was paranoia within the MD world about PAS, but didn't realise it went as far as that [:0]
I think (personally and I don't mean to offend) that this boils down to the fact that many MDs still don't realise that the artifacts are not all that important, and often us archs couldn't care less about them. It is the context of the artifacts that is important and it is that which many arcaheologists fear that MDs are damaging. Of course there are some archs who are blindly opposed to MDs, but there always will be.
I agree that there is a right to metal detect, and don't believe that any kind of licencing would solve anything. There will always be people who break the rules as there is in archaeology.

I am happy to see that you intend to work closely with us HERs and PAS, and hope that when the time comes we have a good working relationship. I also hope that this does not undermine PAS, but there will always be room for flexibility (I hope) on all sides should problems occur.
#7
I completely agree with Hugh here. Rather than a useful research tool the database just becomes a digital show and tell gallery of goodies. Info passed on ten years down the line ain't no good when the site is lost to quarry/development/road construction/agricultural sub-soiling in the meantime. Gary, I commend your views on grid refs - how do we persuade others to a similar position?
#8
Quote:quote:Originally posted by achingknees

Gary, I commend your views on grid refs - how do we persuade others to a similar position?
If they know there will be no restrictions because of their recording then they will probably begin to record with high fig ngr's.


http://www.ukdfd.co.uk
Recording OUR heritage for future generations.
#9
Quote:quote:Originally posted by Hugh

I knew there was paranoia within the MD world about PAS, but didn't realise it went as far as that [:0]
I think (personally and I don't mean to offend) that this boils down to the fact that many MDs still don't realise that the artifacts are not all that important, and often us archs couldn't care less about them. It is the context of the artifacts that is important and it is that which many arcaheologists fear that MDs are damaging.

I can?t say I speak for the metal detecting community as a whole so I didn?t want to make people feel like I am a spokesperson for the hobby. I?m not elected in anyway ? I just stand up for what I hear and think. I am sure some people will come back and say words to that effect shortly anyway. Wink

I don?t think we could call it paranoia as I know within your own ranks there are many that feel that the PAS system will be the ?hub? for British Archaeology.

As to offending me? it takes a lot to do that and discussions on metal detecting don?t usually rank it that category until they get personal.Big Grin
Your opinions regarding context I understand well? but why spend ?8million on a database if you can?t give a fig about them?


http://www.ukdfd.co.uk
Recording OUR heritage for future generations.
#10
PAS is only part of the "hub". The number of records in PAS is truly insignificant to those held in the HERs and NMR. The NMR already has it's public face, the PASTSCAPE site, and many of the HERs either have, or will have, internet access. They are of course already public access datatbases, it just takes a while (currently 3-5 weeks on the NMR) to get anything out of them. Then there is the MAGIC website which is fantastic Big Grin.

These may soon be replaced by the Heritage Gateway project which intends to combine these, along with building records, into one public access database. This will then be the hub of British heritage, although I think it'll be a huge waste of money and time and a pointless duplication of work (personnal opinion, not that of my employer etc).


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