Monday, February 16, 2009

Stew and Trace in Nighthawking Report

Those still following Monmouth "detectorist" Buffy's ramblings on what a thoroughly nasty person I am for questioning the current UK policies on artefact hunting and collecting will note that a few days ago 14th Jan (in a post called Godwins law or Barfords Law?) I was held up to his fellow "metal detectorists" as a class obsessed snob (or something) for referring to two of their fellows as "Stew" and "Trace". Buffy expresses his solidarity with them: "Why would anyone want to do this other than to underline some cultural and social separation in order to manipulate the readers opinion[?]". The present author is a bad guy: "the mere mention of 'Metal detectorists' seems to bring about a change in Mr Barford revealing a deep seated social and class based resentment that manifests itself in the aforementioned manner".* Anyway to come back to solidarising with "Stew" and "Trace", Buffy will see now that the case to which I refer is one of the case studies in the Nighthawking Report which came out today.
Anon 2009 Nighthawks and Nighthawking: Damage to Archaeological Sites in the UK and Crown Dependencies caused by Illegal Searching and Removal of Antiquities, Strategic Study Final Report, Oxford Archaeology for English Heritage). Buffy's fellow metal detector users Stuart and Tracy Nighthawker are on page 68-9 and also mentioned in several newspapers today. I am sure however that they are well gratified to see Buffy is at least still on their side.

*Actually it is aimed at those in the pro-collecting lobby who (on the basis of arguments marshalled by US coin collectors) try to present all collectors of portable antiquities as erudites engaged in serious research which will add to archaeological knowledge. They clearly are not. Not by any means all of them, it was the PAS and the Hawkshead Review which have has been talking about the social background of artefact hunters.