Let’s have a look at what this means in real terms. Barely literate internet auction seller danny 1970000 has what looks like a bronze statue of Diana for sale to the highest bidder.
THIS IS A STUNNING ROMAN STATUE LARGE 114 MM PART OF MY COLLETION MORE TO FOLLOW COMPLETE UK FIND NICE GREEN PETINA NO RESERVE“danny” of Beccles, Suffolk, England clearly has a metal detector or sells items found by others who have. Over the past few weeks he has been selling a substantial number of little metal items all from his “own collection”.
Well, interestingly enough, last week he had another, a statue which looks like it is of Minerva
THIS IS A STUNNING ROMAN STATUE LARGE SIZE 108 MM PART OF MY COLLETION MORE TO FOLLOW COMPLETE UK FIND NICE GREEN PETINA NO RESERVENow let us assume that "metal detected object collector Danny" is telling the truth here, that these are truly ancient objects and found in the UK. Maybe David Connolly as an archaeologist would like to reflect on where he would go himself if he wanted to find such a figurine. They are not two-a-penny in fieldwork on the average Romano-British site. My thought is that if they are authentic, these finds suggest that “Danny” or his supplier has come across a votive deposit which he is now emptying onto eBay.
Now a merely “recording archaeologist” (for example a PAS-partner of artefact hunters) would pat "danny" on the head, say “
that’s nice Danny boy, if you would be so good, my dear artefact seeking partner, and give me some idea where you found this, a six-figure NGR will be sufficient, that’d be nice, now scamper off you history-hunting rascal, my old mate, and enjoy finding more”..
To my mind this is indeed being “pro-collecting”. To my mind a deposit like that which “Danny’s” finds seem to suggest is being emptied onto eBay deserves preservation for proper investigation under controlled conditions to add to our knowledge, not merely some token “recording” merely so some collector can increase the money in their paypal account.
“Pro-recording archaeologists” are doing nothing (NOTHING) to stop the erosion of Britain’s archaeological heritage through the exploitation of the archaeological record as a source of collectables. They are condoning and encouraging collecting and not trying to combat it. They are giving it an air of social respectibility instead of standing up and saying that this is not how a finite and fragile resource which most of us value should be being treated by a minority of self-centred individuals largely focussed only on their own material gain. And that is where I and Mr Connolly simply do not see eye-to-eye. Should real ornithologists be "partners" with egg-collecting nest-vandals in order to "record" where Ospreys HAD been nesting? This is a conservation issue not one of personal rights.
Mr Connolly congratulates middle class metal detecting enthusiast "Buffy the hampie slayer" on his blog for "pulling the cheesy mat from under the clay footed one....." and encourages him to "keep it up". I would like to ask him what is clay-footed about the arguments against encouraging this kind of exploitation of the archaeological record for personal entertainment and profit? He is welcome to comment here.