Sunday, 13 May 2018

Let us Tell it Like it Is



Watcha don't know
It can't hurt you
Endless wonders

Won't defend you

Belinda Carlisle


I hear that at a UK heritage conference a few days ago it was said that we shouldn’t criticize Collection-Driven Exploitation of the Archaeological Record by artefact-hunting metal detector users 'as it provides data for PhDs'. Strewth.

Why are not more PhDs written investigating whether the claims made about PAS are actually based in reality? After all if you are going to use random objects selected by a collector engaged in a specific activity and for a totally different reason as 'evidence' in an archaeological enquiry, surely the first step is to ascertain the actual usability of this group of objects as such. A bit of solid source criticism is sorely lacking among 'discovery'-orientated UK archaeologists. I'm going to guess that few PhDs are written subjecting the claims of the pro-collecting lobby to a solid analysis and checking them against the reality is most probably for exactly the same reason as there are few (no?) PhDs written in British universities on whether the claims made by the likes of Erich von Daniken have any basis in reality.

It seems to me that the uncritical academic support of PAS in Britain is simply intellectual dishonesty. Who wants to contest that with me?

Vignette: Costume doll collecting is not 'citizen ethnology'.

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