YOU too are an ¹Archaeologist!

I was recently perusing a fine, er, so-so, archaeological tome by a Tekkie named Stout, who’d written on the fly-leaf, “To John Howland,…the biggest b*********r…”. Not only does he still owe me twenty bucks, but  ♦’Barfoodles’ me to boot! Sheesh!

2,000-yr old roman dupondius found on the beach

Like it or not, we are all arkies and all arkies are treasure hunters since they earn their livings from the Past; precisely what the dimwitted gobby elements  accuse Tekkies and collectors of doing! One man’s treasure hunter is another man’s  arkie.

In any case, renowned collections and many museums owe their existence thanks to wealthy collector benefactors. Indeed, collecting is also a  great hedge against inflation.

Our amateur pastime too, involves the excavation and study of the physical remains of the past; casually lost coins and small metallic objects.

That we use metal detectors in our researches  makes no difference; Joe and Jill Public have every right to investigate their heritage, in the way, and in the manner they want. That right has to be assiduously defended. The aura of mystique that once shrouded  orthodox archaeology is slowly being unfolded much to the annoyance of some in that  line of work. No longer can that cadre of  ill-mannered,  loudmouthed self-anointed  ‘experts’ count on public ignorance about what they do to protect them from pertinent questions. Excavation reports and the reporting of finds from digs is a contentious issue, one in which our pastime shines.

Whereas detectorists can either report finds with the  Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) or the United Kingdom Detector Finds Database, there are unfortunately,  hundreds of thousands of uncatalogued finds from excavation sites are languishing unrecorded in museum warehouses across the country. This  catastrophic loss of archaeological data is on an unimaginable scale dwarfing the imaginary loss of knowledge dreamed up by the  ‘guesstimators’  on archaeology’s loonier outer limits who lay their fictitious claims at the doors of detectorists and collectors.

With increasing numbers of people coming into our pastime, guidance is needed to put them on the right path. Dick Stout’s book for example, In Search of Treasure, is an informative guide. He is an experienced Tekkie who knows the pastime inside out. Though I doubt the ‘instant success’ demands of the  YOOTOOB generation will have much truck with his work. I reckon you’ll discover success quicker by reading and inwardly digesting Dick Stout’s wise words, than you will by watching a video; that is not to say such videos have no place in research or lack value. But it was the chapter on what he terms the BIG FOUR that caught my eye, something that oldies and newbies in our hobby ought to take on board…

The BIG FOUR: What; When; Where; and How Long.

The Big Four are the basic ground-rules from which success springs.

For example, Dick writes, “If your community had a yearly carnival,WHEN did it take place, WHERE did it take place, and HOW MANY YEARS has it been taking place?  […] If your town has a picnic grove, WHERE is it, WHEN was it first used and is it STILL being used today? If your community or county once had a one-room school, WHEN was it in use, WHERE was it located, and HOW LONG was it in use?”

He goes on to make the points that whatever the outcome of your researches another facet of the treasure hunting pastime will be revealed; you’ll learn a great deal about your local history. With learning comes power.

When you get permission to explore a piece of land, get the largest scale map available of the area. You’ll find footpaths, springs, and a whole host of other vital information which if interpreted correctly will lead you to success.

My pal Jack Dey’s first beach finds – all found within an hour on his FIRST beach foray!

Interpreted correctly? There ain’t no shortcut. Remember, a metal detector is only a tool that serves to prove – or otherwise – your interpretations of a large-scale map. Success in this game is 90% research and 10% out in the field with  the metal detector. That said there are lots of what the angling fraternity calls ‘tackle queens’ – those who like to be seen using the latest ‘designer gear’ – but have no idea. You get my drift?

……………………………………………….

When people  are crass, loudmouthed, and insulting  about our pastime, it’s not because they are smarter than us, but because of fear, insecurity, and a lack of education.

…………………………………………………..

¹archaeologist  noun: –
a person who studies human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains. 

‘To Barfoodle.’ To behave in an insulting, uneducated, or abusive manner. Can also be an indicator of a low IQ or an under-achiever.

………………………………………………….

A kid from Mississippi is on Harvard campus for the first time, he stops a student and asks, “Excuse me, can you tell me where the library is at?” The Harvard student replies “At Harvard, you don’t end a sentence with a preposition.” The kid replies, “Sorry about that. Can you tell me where the library is at, asshole?”

…………………………………………………..

HOW TRUE!

“You will never get the truth out of a Narcissist. The closest you will ever come is a story that either makes them the victim or the hero, but never the villain.”      Shannon L. Adler

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “YOU too are an ¹Archaeologist!

  1. Thanks for the plug Bubba but when it comes to the $20 I remember it differently. I would share the whole story but Margaret reads your blog and she would most certainly send you up sh&t creek without a paddle..

    Like

  2. Nigel Swift, a.k.a. Heritage Harry, listed the following organizations as groups that side with the detectorist

    National Museum of Wales / PAS Cymru
    Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers
    British Museum / Portable Antiquities Scheme
    Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
    Council for British Archaeology
    Country Land & Business Association
    Institute for Archaeology (University College London)
    Historic England, National Farmers Union
    Royal Commission on the Historical & Ancient Monuments of Wales
    Society of Museum Archaeologists.

    You would think that this and the lack of comments on his blog would tell him that absolutely no one gives a rat’s ass about anything he’s going on about. Same for the guy in Warsaw…

    Like

  3. Whatever are you doing reading downmarket blogs like his? Tut! Tut! But I see your point.

    That so many professional organisations side with Tekkies when it comes to finds agreements (with farmers and landowners) speaks volumes about the excellent reputation for fair play our pastime enjoys. Even the Council for British Archaeology – our oldest of enemies and supporters of Barford’s nonsense – bizarrely agrees.

    It’s just a pity the CBA ain’t so vocal when it comes to protecting farmers from the weekend flint-tool fondlers in woolly bobble hats who regularly strip the ploughed land of valuable evidence. This unabated knowledge theft is a scandal. There ought to be a similar finds agreement in place for these numpties too.

    It’s interesting to note that despite the abusive dogma, pumped out by Messrs Swift and Barford on a near industrial scale, is the fact the august bodies thoughtfully listed by Swift seem to have identified low-brow muck-raking. This when coupled to the lack of intelligent comments they receive on their blogs, is further proof they’re two outsiders and out of step with the real archaeological community.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.