Friday, October 17, 2008

Mr Lincoln shares his thought (I)

Richard Lincoln, Canvey Island shed retailer tried to post the following comments to my "Portable Antiquities and Heritage Issues" blog as if nothing had happened. I rejected it because I really do not think discussion with him would lead anywhere. For the record this is what he sent.
Sheddy has left a new comment on your post "Excluding the stakeholders": The strange thing is that I think you and I share a common point of view with regard to the P.A.S., we both regard it with an amount of contempt. I am not fully au fait with the reasons you may have for your animosity toward them, but allow me to tell you mine. The database they have is flawed on a basic level. They only record finds which date from pre 1725. The reasoning they give is that after that date the historic environmental record is substantial enough that finds after that date are superfluous. this is something that I disagree with vehemently. Todays incidental finds are tommorrows archaeological record. If it is not recorded now, then it is lost. A partial record is as useless as no record at all.The database they have is unsearchable by those who you call "stakeholders". it is searchable by academics, that is those who have had formal archaeological training. To myself and the vast majority of other metal detectorists the search feature is of no use. As such it renders the whole of the database useless to the "stakeholders" for research purposes. So if the P.A.S. is assembling a database that is inaccurate and therefore, and what information that is there is not accessable, then what is the point of its existence?
Although I feel uninclined to discuss this in any detail (and it raises a number of points I fundamentally disagree with), I must point out that it would be incorrect to say that I feel "contempt" for the PAS. I think it is necessary, I'd like to see it prosper, but I'd like to see it developing in a different way than it has - that is my right as an archaeologist looking at Britain's biggest public archaeological outreach programme.

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