So said Josefina Vazquez Mota. Nevertheless, some in the anti-collecting/detecting posse are undeniably skilled claptrap merchants who rarely cease trying – albeit unsuccessfully – to pass off synthetic data as serious stuff when it’s simply 24-carat conjecture usually of their own making. Imagine my delight when an international team of six eminent and distinguished academics impressively demolished Sam Hardy’s anti-metal detecting Research Paper.
The distinguished scholars : –
Pieterjan Deckers, Department of History, Archaeology, Art, Philosophy and Ethics, Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium
Andres Dobat, School of Culture and Society – Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark
Natasha Ferguson, Treasure Trove Unit, National Museum of Scotland, United Kingdom
Stijn Heeren, Department of Archaeology, Classics and Near Eastern Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Michael Lewis, Portable Antiquities Scheme, British Museum, United Kingdom
Suzie Thomas, Department of Cultures, University of Helsinki, Finland
who, having read and inwardly digested Hardy’s ‘Quantitative Analysis of Open-Source Data on Metal Detecting for Cultural Property’ annihilated his hypothesis – a speculative piece – based in part, on the farcical Artefact Erosion Counter (AEC), now widely recognised and broadly derided as half-baked, fact-free dogma masquerading as fact.
Few have sympathy for Hardy’s predicament. Peer censure was long overdue. Why he thought the AEC’s contrived figures represented a pure seam is beyond comprehension. What value one wonders can be put on anything he writes or has written? Precious little perhaps.
I quote one of the many significant points in the six academics’ demolition job, ‘The Complexities of Metal Detecting Policy and Practice: A Response to Samuel Hardy, ‘Quantitative Analysis of Open-Source Data on Metal Detecting for Cultural Property’: –
“Essentially, Hardy’s methodology is geared towards inferring the necessary quantitative variables to resolve the following formula for each of the territories he wishes to compare:
(number of licit detectorists x intensity of detecting x number of archaeologically valuable [‘reportable’] finds / proportion of unreported finds) + (number of illicit detectorists x intensity of detecting x number of finds) = cultural damage
The implicit, basic assumption underlying this formula is that the number of finds recovered by metal detectorists, but not recorded by archaeological professionals, equals irrevocable damage to the cultural heritage of an area. As Hardy states, ‘metal detecting is far more destructive than archaeological excavation’ (2017, p. 2). We argue that such a categorical statement is fundamentally wrong.”
Hardy’s cod formula looks impressive at first glance to the casual observer but it’s chock full of unknowable data; for example, the numbers of unreported finds cannot be made quantifiable because they are – using his words – ‘unreported’ thus unknowable. It’s all utter bunkum and now the world knows it. Undaunted, Hardy rambles on, et al, ad nauseum. Hawking this sort of excrement not only does an unwarranted disservice to archaeology, but to anyone daft enough to be taken in by such rubbish.
Undoubtedly, his nonsense appeals to the usual gobby, shysters hell-bent on discrediting the UK’s widely admired PAS. Gleefully, the only casualties are the antagonists.
You’ll find the whole demolition job here:
PS. Though there were SIX academics involved in destroying and exposing Hardy’s hypothesis, one avid AEC supporter – an undistinguished oik who likes to be known as “an archaeologist” – counts only FIVE! Unsurprising I suppose, when the pisspoor maths so splendidly reproduced in the AEC’s ersatz data has rubbed off on the ignorant klutz.