I received an email from someone who chastised me for trying to sabotage the working relationship we have with the archaeological community, and that I should make an effort to understand them, and where they are coming from. I emailed back and asked for more details about this “relationship” we have, and was he involved in any such effort. He emailed back and cited the effort back in 1984 at the Little Big Horn, and the one shown on the Task Force’s website (recent Montpelier work), and no he was never “privileged” to be involved in any such effort.
If you follow my website or blog it will come as no surprise that neither John Howland or I have a great deal of respect for the archaeological community, nor they for us. That’s because we have been there, done that, and come to the conclusion that they want nothing more than for us to disappear from the face of the earth.
Try Googling archaeological groups, associations, societies, whatever, and then type “metal detector” in their search area. What you will find are mentions of metal detectors being used to pilfer and loot. Oh you will also find a mention or two of an instance where we assisted them in some task, not on the same level mind you, but as in “we will tell you what to do, so please listen to us”, or “if it beeps, just let us know and we will take it from there”.
Well I for one will not be dumbed down or be thrown into that class, and I will not subjugate myself to that type of servitude. You can if you want, but if you think it will enhance your standing in the arkie academic world, you are sadly mistaken.
I try to read all I can when it comes to metal detecting/archaeological partnerships or associations, and ultimately it is the detectorist who is drooling at the thought of being included in this group, as though he will be allowed to witness the second coming of Christ. All the while being taken down a few levels by those running the show.
How long will we keep trying to be “one of them”, one of the “elites”, one of their “equals”? This attempt to connect, this effort at reconciliation, this effort to be accepted, has been going on for a long time, and yet here we are in the same straits we were 40 years ago….
What really irritates the archaeological community is, thanks to the internet, we are suddenly getting noticed. Suddenly being appreciated for what it is we do, and what we have found. Mind you, they weren’t able to find these treasures because they were waiting for a grant, or government handout, while we were having some fun, and in a few instances found things that changed our lives for the better. Of course this drives them nuts as well, because no one should enjoy themselves, and no one should ever think in terms of getting rich. Well to that I say UP YOURS! We paid hard earned money for our detectors, we were given permission to search the site, and what we find is really none of your business unless we care to make it so. Likewise, in case you haven’t noticed, we also eat and breathe exactly like you.
Always remember, to the archaeologist we are “raping” the land, destroying history, leaving nothing for future generations…. The list goes on and on, but ultimately the fact remains that we almost always announce any historical, dramatic finds, almost always share them, and in many instances donate them for future generations. That too of course
drives them nuts, and they always find a way to discredit our good fortune.
I know that what I am saying here will be taken to task by one Paul Barford, who currently works 24/7 out of a dark room in Warsaw. Well Mr. Barford, save your thoughts, and give your keyboard a rest, because neither John or I really care about how you feel or what you think. If and when I see comments from those who disagree with you shared on your site (un-edited) I might give some thought to changing my mind. Until then I will simply reply with an ole New Jersey expresssion, “I’ve got your know it all, better than thou, righteous attitude, RIGHT HERE”! You do the visuals…..
Lastly it’s a big world out there, lots more treasure to be found, and we have every right to search for it. I refuse to look up the “neighborhood archaeologist” each time I want to go treasure hunting, just as he, sure as hell, is not going to call me when he’s “doing a dig”.
I am tired of being looked upon as a lesser being in the academic world, and I wish the rest of you involved in this pastime would wake up, and stop being lured into the illusion that you will someday be “included” because you never will be. If, however, crumbs make you happy….then bend over, take what they give you and smile!