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Anger as TV show endorses metal-detecting 'plunderers'
Quote:A new television series describing the exploits of metal-detecting Britons has come under fire from archaeologists fearful that it will encourage treasure hunters who can damage ancient sites.
The British Museum has become embroiled in the controversy after opening its archives to the programme-makers and providing expert help.

Diana Friendship-Taylor, the chair of Rescue, otherwise known as the British Archaeological Trust, said: "We are, frankly, astonished, that the British Museum is prepared to lend its considerable weight to the furtherance of a method of historical inquiry which belongs in the distant past, and which has as much relevance to the practice of modern archaeology as the use of the cranial trepanation has to modern medicine.

"The apparent endorsement of this destructive activity by a body such as the British Museum will do nothing to lessen its impact on our buried archaeological heritage."


Quote:There is ample evidence of the damage done to archaeological sites by artefact hunters operating both with and without the consent of landowners and there is also good evidence that sites under excavation are being targeted by such individuals in their quest for saleable objects. Even when the object is not a ?fast buck? obtained through the agency of on-line auction sites or the less than reputable end of the antiquities trade, the accumulation of private collections of objects ripped from their archaeological context is of little or no value in archaeological terms. We are, frankly, astonished, that the British Museum is prepared to lend its considerable weight to the furtherance of activities of archaic concept and damaging to the practice of modern archaeology. We urge the British Museum to break off negotiations with the television production company involved and to issue a strong condemnation of the practice of artefact hunting at the earliest opportunity.
says Diana Friendship-Taylor, the chair of Rescue.

People may remember the earlier thread... here:

Well.. the wonder is... who is doing what to whom... why and how. :face-huh:
At the end of the Rescue meeting held on April 2 2011, during the open discussion, it was mentioned to much eyebrow raising that ITV producers were in discussions with the head of the PAS (Roger Bland) on creating a new programme called “Britain’s Secret Treasures” revolving around metal detectorists, finds and “treasure”.
More text on the subject is provided here: (courtesy of BAJR)

and a (sort of) view from the "other side"

Will the BM receive any monies from this programme? Will any monies received filter down to the PAS? In a climate of cuts one has to ask what the motive was for collaborating on this programme.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
Usual one sided arguments and a convenient lack of understanding of metal detecting. I presume that the authors will also be enlightening all to the loss of archaeology through commercial excavations, development and agriculture to name ,but a few of the agencies of destruction ?
You will be glad to know that I am under attack (again) ah, me.. nothing like taking a story and using it to continue a personal attack.

It is sad that a story that demands more questions asked - and does demand further questions - can be used as a vehicle for vendetta. It seems that once again we UK archaeologists are all artefact hunter loving huggers. Smile

I think however, that rising above this, it is worthwhile reading his posts.

Ignore the anti-connolly/BAJRite stuff and ask, what is going on. (ps... I am not an_archaeologist, that is only MR B trying to accuse via association - if he wishes to challenge that , then that's his perogative with evidence of course)

It is worth noting that I have never been a supporter of Rallies, and neither am I a supporter of artefact looters. I am however a supporter of people who find and locate information that is added to our record. :face-approve:

Evidence is a great thing, and I could not help but notice that this was not forthcoming in the article, that Rescue sadly just used

Quote:While metal-detector enthusiasts have unearthed some of Britain's most valuable historical discoveries, their actions can create "collateral damage" to the sites they plunder, preventing serious archaeologists from studying artefacts in situ
Evidence please...

Quote:"The apparent endorsement of this destructive activity by a body such as the British Museum will do nothing to lessen its impact on our buried archaeological heritage."

Remember that this is the offical statement from the BM

Quote:The British Museum last night dismissed concerns about the TV series. "The museum has made it clear that its co-operation is dependent on the issues involved in the discovery of objects by the public – especially metal detectorists – being dealt with in a responsible way," it said.
So... there is a story here... one that need to be seriously investigated.. BUT.. lets remember that detecting carried out responsibility actually enhances. Many new sites have been located and archaeologists called in to continue the work. So.. the more this happens the better, BUT our shared enemy is the nighthawk or should I say the site burglar.. a real thief of our heritage.
Yes i have seen the comments made by the archaeoblogger and as always they are selective to suit his own particular agenda which we all know is to class everyone who disagrees with him as an enemy. Why let the truth get in the way of a good blog - simple as that. It is unfortunate that the British Archaeological Trust should seek to damage their image/reputation by engaging in such prejudical comment, assuming it was correctly reported as such in the first place. Back to the bad old days of the CBA STOP Campaign and similar unevidenced claims and speculative comment.

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