Monday, 22 January 2018

Saturday, 20 January 2018

The Uses of Heritage

“And I said to her, if you give the EU £40 billion, I will
let you borrow an embroidered cloth that depicts the
French beating the English. And she said yes!

Meanwhile, there are severe reservations about moving the Bayeux Tapestry from the point of view of the state of preservation and conservation needs.

Quaint UKDFD Supporters, Gotta Love Them

 Traer Scott 
It's sort of like looking at little puppies, they look so cute, innocent and tumble around in the basket like they have no brains, awwwww.... but enough of that, now it's time for substantive comment from the artefact collecting community on the pay-to-view UKDFD like only metal detectorists know how. Alongside the usual ad hominems and hate speech aimed at those questioning what is going on in the metal detecting community by the unfulfilled inadequates that metal detecting seems to attract in some numbers, we also find those that attempt to make substantive remarks. Like comments Jim Crombie who commented on the new UKDFD. He ventures:
 This UKDFD creation can only do a lot of good for the hobby and metal detectorists in general. Being a hobbyist myself I hope government continues to enable the hobby to continue and be regulated as it is. [...] The UKDFD’s webpage will encourage metal detectorists to record finds of interest to the authorities and help finders of metalwork identify what they have dug up. Towns, villages, parishes, counties all over the UK will have instant access to a facility that provides up to date historical information about any area within the UK. Looking forward to viewing the UKDFD’s new site.
What a shame he did not visit the site first before writing about how jolly useful it will be. But like the puppies, maybe he's not learnt to read big words yet. When those 'authorities', 'towns, villages, parishes, counties all over the UK' get their access.... the money will be rolling into the UKDFD coffers. Somehow I do not think this actually will be doing artefact hunting the 'good' Mr Crombie anticipates.   Another tekkie, one Micheal also commented on the same topic with even less understanding of what has been said about it:
An excellent idea whose time has come John… [...] And with the mapping that this project has undertaken, there will be a more complete analysis of where and when items are found. Hopefully patterns can be extrapolated Micheal
I suspect Mr Micheal has confused the UKDFD (which has not up to now had a mapping facility) with the PAS, which has. I'd like to ask Mr Micheal who he thinks will be doing this 'mapping' with data that the people who have now seized control of them want to charge them to even look at them. I am also curious what purpose he thinks these maps would serve if the UKDFD database has 47000 objects and the PAS one (free to use) a much larger sample thirty times larger.

Then we have this comment from another from over that side of the sea who can't quite seem to work out what is what either. Here's John from Ontario (AKA Geobound):
John not being from the UK, but fascinated and intrigued to see what has been found, I think this idea is fantastic. I’m sure there is an awful lot of time and energy put into compiling these lists, maintaining these lists and investigating the artifacts found, so a pay per use only seems fair and logical to me. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I’m going to head over to the UKDFD site and sign up.
One born every minute. If Geobound headed over to EBay.UK, he can see thousands of metal detected finds for free. The same goes for the PAS run by archaeologists and provided as a public service, but nobody with a metal detector over there has heard of it of course. In Ontario, it seems it's too difficult to grasp the idea that the 'time and energy' that went into finding these artefacts and posting them up on the database is not that of the people now pocketing the money that have taken over the results of other people's work and records and photos of other people's property. Anyway 'Geobound', have fun looking and dreaming. Here's another fugitive from reality (Nettie commenting on the Launch of the new UKDFD):
I have used this UKDFD site for years and found it invaluable for research when I first started detecting … and have missed it being available while update being carried out…. a lot of time and energy goes into running a site like this and it costs money when updates are required … I voluntarily donated in the past and am very happy to pay a small sum (approx the cost of one dig ) to be able to carry on using this facility.

But the purpose of 'that facility' is to record items taken by the detecting community so that the other stakeholders (members of the British public and academics) can see what has been taken, that is the whole purpose of this record (as an alternative to the PAS). That is wholly negated by making every member of the public and every professional that wishes even to see what is there paying up in order to gain this 'privilege'. Mr Nettie may feel 'very happy to pay a small sum' to legitimize his exploitive hobby, whether non-collectors will be so 'happy' to pay-to-view the results is a wholly other matter, and the one that these self-centred cognitive orphans do not seem to even see.

Looking at the timbre of the comments so far, I think really we do not need to bother what the sort of metal detectorists that are grouped around John Winter's blog 'think' about anything, the equally inarticulate puppies are more satisfying to watch as they slump around aimlessly in their own cocoon of entitlement.

Newborn Puppies posted on You Tube by Chronicle Books 27 mar 2013

"Responsibility" in words, and then the Sad Reality About Literacy.

Incendiary found, advice pls (Post by 'panzer'',  Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:29 pm)
I was digging a belting signal in an open field, relatively remote, and started to come across blueish clumps of crytallised gunk, bit more clearance showed it to be a 1kg WW2 incendiary with a heavily damaged aluminium casing with a rather nice bronze tailfin still attached. I had my little one with me so decided to rebury it for another day. I am making an assumption that this has been soaking up rainwater for 60 yrs and is likely very much inert, well the crystals certainly didn't fire up when exposed to the air anyway. Whats the guidance on this? I feel a call to EOD would be an over reaction in this case? The tailfin would look rather nice on my mantlepiece though [emoticon]
Oh, oh, isn't their that aaaa, you no, woss it called? You no, that Codey fing... the Code of, of..., um, Responsible... yeah, thass it, Responsible Metaldetecting! Woss that say then? Bury it and hope nobody hits it when hoeing the spuds next year? Gor Blimey!

Vignette: 'Burning man', courtesy of a sawdust-for-brains-detectorist who can't follow even a simple code

Is this Really a 'Way Forward'?

I have on more than one occasion given an account of my concerns about the privately-owned UK Detector Finds database run since 1st September 2005 by a group of renegade tekkies in protest against the discussions then going on about the original official Code of Practice for Responsible metal Detecting in England and Wales. And yes, I said it would not survive as an informal body run on a shoestring by volunteers. It is still here, though, but in a vastly altered format. Gary Brun announced yesterday the launch of its newest incarnation, the new UKDFD. :

After going on about the 'successes' of the original voluntary scheme, they have decided to fund their costs by charging a subscription:
We have sought to spread the cost equitably across the various types of user, and minimise the impact on those who already pay to record. [...] All who wish to view the records and use the database will need to register and purchase a Membership Plan. These start at £15 per year. Those who also wish to record will need to buy a Recording Package. These start at £5.  [...] Further details of the subscription arrangements can be found on the new website.
So much then for the UKDFD as an alternative for the PAS.  I wonder how many tekkies support this as a way forward.

Let us note that this heritage paywall now involves all the 47000 items originally 'recorded' there under a different form of regulation- when the recorders thought the results of their work would be a permanent record visible to the general public for free. They must now feel cheated that the showcase has been removed from public view. In the same way, all those landowners who donated their property (the artefacts found on their land) to the finders on the understanding there would be an open access public record have been cheated - because the money generated by people accessing information about those objects is now going into the pockets of the UKDFD team, and not a penny to the landowner. Have they all been contacted to ask if they would like a cut of the proceeds?

In my opinion, this is a massive shot in the foot for the hobby. It is pretty startling to note that there are detectorists so "responsible", they'll pay more than fifteen quid a year  in order NOT to use the PAS as a form of legitimation-of-the-hobby-by-'recording'. That sends a pretty nasty message to Britain's main stakeholder community - the non-collecting public - that they'll have to PAY to see what the heritage pocketing Treasure hunters have taken from them. A non-public 'record' is information hidden from the public. I do rather think this move will ultimately go against the detecting community as a whole.

 It also suggests to me - unless I have missed something, and if so UKDFD organizers please enlighten us - that the 'Revised Code of Practice..." is now shown pretty conclusively not worth the paper it is printed on. And let us recall that it was from the publication of the original PAS/CBA 'code' that the UKDFD took its beginnings.

But maybe there is a message here for the PAS - start charging for membership packages for recorders. Why is it that you expect the public purse to pay your salaries and expenses, when the UKDFD shows that it can be done at the cost of the database users themselves? In 2016 there were 326,502 users of the PAS website, in addition to 10,633 registered users. If the PAS had membership packages at 15 quid a shout, they'd raise more than 5million quid for operational costs. That'd even pay for a proper Welsh PAS too. Maybe the UKDFD ("recording Our Heritafge for Future Generations') has shown Whitehall the way the PAS should be going. After all, each detectorist probably pays that much a year for batteries and petrol. All they need to do is put a few more duplicate collectable metal bits on eBay and they'll soon cover the costs - just look at the valuations in 'The Searcher'. Or perhaps the sum can be deducted from Treasure rewards. Why should the British public any longer foot the bill for the legitimation of collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological heritage by artefact hunters and pocketers?

Detectorist Supports Preventing Stakeholders Seeing what Collectors Take Behind a Paywall

'Partnership' buggered; Public screwed
 out of information about their
lost heritage
John Winter replies to my comment underneath the Gary Brun announcement on the pay-to-view-the-heritage-taken-from-you UK Detectorists Pocketed Finds Database:
John 20 January 2018 at 12:43 pm Yes. I wholeheartedly support this initiative and fail to see how it is a ‘shot in the foot’ The database is an alterative (sic) to the PAS and all credit too (sic) Gary Brun who has created one that is superior in many respects to what is currently available. Many detectorists use both means of recording. The records are not ‘hidden’. I hope Gary sees this and responds accordingly. You use emotive language to suit your own ends … how you can interpret this as a ‘scam’ is beyond me. But, par for the course and your negative comments were expected.
Records that are not publicly available are not a public record, are they? Heritage-pocketing artefact hunters are enriching their private collections at the expense of the heritage that belongs to all, and cannot claim that a private pay-to-view database showing some of what they have taken is any form of making that information available to anyone. It's just a commercial scheme, and yes the pretence that this is in any way "responsible" artefact hunting is a scam, A scam John. I would hope the PAS will creep outside their comfy comfort zone to comment on that aspect of it.

 So, can you (or Gary Brun) give us the statistics on the number of the 47000 objects that are now hidden from view are objects more than 300 years old and actually recorded on both the UKDFD and the PAS Database?

It is not difficult to be superior to the old UKDFD which was always rather clunky and dysfunctional. And yes, I do look at a pirate database created in order to (a) be a thorn in the side of the PAS, (b) scatter the data on pocketed material, and (c) provide a divisive 'alternative' ('by metal detectorists nur fur metal detectorists') with a critical eye. I also remember even if you have forgotten the manner in which UKDFD set out to sabotage the PAS forum by a trolling campaign - including posting doctored porn pictures on it (which they managed to succeed in - the forum was closed because their misbehaviour was costly to police and creating a bad impression in a public space of the detecting community).

Nur Fur Detectorists: The Red Pill about Artefact Hunters' "Contribution" to our Knowledge of the PASt

If we look at the pricing details for the use of the data entered in the past and currently on the UKFD we see that grabby detectorists with their smug feeling of entitlement think it is perfectly 'fair' to charge a member of the general public who's interested in seeing what a crotal bell looks like fifteen quid for the 'privilege'. But look at the red rectangle. The membership package for a 'professional' will cost them a hundred quid. That seems to be pretty symptomatic of the real degree to which artefact hunters are engaged in 'creating new knowledge about the past' through a partnership with archaeology.  Here's what they say about their entitlement to charge us for even seeing what has been pocketed from the archaeological record:

I have a better idea. Let archaeologists demonstrate to these patronising creeps their 'integrity' by simply boycotting their commercial database. That is entirely within the terms of the current Code of Conduct of several major archaeological bodies, to have nothing to do with extralegal commercial transactions involving decontextualised archaeological material. The very idea!

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