Saturday, June 27, 2015

"Insulted" by Serious Questions on Artefact Hunting

Detectorist Dick Stout tells all. He explains on Peter Tompa's blog the origin of his prolonged hate campaign against two individuals in the blogosphere:
stoutstandards said... [...] for the record I wish I had never heard the name Paul Barford. You see it was he that found my website, and for whatever reason, decided he needed to insult me (and a close friend, who happened to part of the post he took issue with). That was my introduction to PB. [...]  June 27, 2015 at 5:40 AM
For the record, the earliest post about Mr Stout's blog on my own is this one: "Detectorists: "a Stake Through the Heart of this Rotten and Putrid Heritage System"  Sunday, 1 May 2011. I cannot work out which "friend" of his it insults or indeed why he considers it insulting using his text as a source of information. The promised appearance of these "minutemen" never materialised - a figment of somebody's imagination, but a useful pointer to the Luddite  attitudes responsible artefact hunters in the UK are up against. 

But I suspect the post to which he refers may be a later one, about the looting of the bodies of Civil War fallen in the US and Mr Stout's expressed resistance to the idea that certain historic sites should be preserved and not abandoned to an artefact hunting free for all:  'Fitting the Stereotype' Monday, 16 January 2012. Again, if it is considered "insulting" to say we should not loot known and sensitive sites like this, then it shows again what kind of attitudes any attempt to introduce responsible artefact hunting and collecting are up against.

Or perhaps his "first post" which he found so "insulting" is actually the third, "Focus on Metal Detecting: Where are these Artefacts Now?" Monday, 16 January 2012 about a photo I found on his blog when looking up the background to the battlefield story - perhaps Mr Stout would like to explain why "where are these artefacts now?" is "insulting". It is a perfectly valid question about artefact hunting in general, what happens when a personal collection of dugup artefacts is dismantled. In the UK, hundreds of thousands of artefacts have been dug out of the ground and recorded, a much larger number have been dug up and not recorded. This is what the heaps of artefacts seen on Mr Stout's friend's living room floor put us in mind of. Perhaps, instead of feeling "insulted" that somebody raises this important issue, Mr Stout would do better to address the question raised. After all, when an artefact hunter passes away, these unrecorded artefacts either end up in the trash (or get melted as 'scrap'), or they surface on the market as undocumented material.  These are all three matters for concern.

Instead of sharing this concern, Mr Stout subsequently engaged on his blog and elsewhere, together with Mr Howland, on what can only be properly called a nasty vendetta.

This is on a blog called Stout "Standards" which had a section called "who we are"  trying to highlight "positive" news stories to make out what nice guys metal detectorist are, tellingly it does not appear on the new version of his blog where he and John Howland engage in a concerted campaign of the nastiest of mud-slinging against archaeologists, the CBA, and individuals such as "Warsaw Wally/Willy" (sic) and "Heritage Harry" (sic). It said: 
"I think it could help many of you when facing local or state restrictions. It's a collection of letters, articles and personal entries that tell the world what our pastime is about, and just who we really are".
No, Mr Stout, it is another type of behaviour which stands out more in the public eye as showing exactly who detectorists are.

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