ARCHAEOLOGISTS TO SHOW US HOW TO DO IT ‘THEIR’ WAY
I saw the following link yesterday and after reading it through a few times and I wanted to share my thoughts….
ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
First off this to me is just another example of the archaeological community offering a crumb to the detectorist.
The cost for this class is $165 for the two days and that apparently does not include lodging. So add in that and of course your travel expenses. Why doesn’t Modern Heritage or Minelab pick up the tab?
Next you will be required to sign the following ‘ethics pledge’.
“I will neither purchase nor sell artifacts. I will not detect on any property without written permission of the land owner. I will record all discovered sites within 30 days with the state site files. I will keep records on the location of all materials I recover. I will not excavate any targets below the topsoil/plowzone. I will not disturb any human remains. I will report sites threatened by development or other actions to the state archaeologist or state historic preservation office. I will share data and knowledge with professional archaeologists. I will partner, when feasible, with professional archaeologists to assist in the preservation and study of archaeological resources. I will strive to be a responsible avocational detectorist. I understand that violation of this pledge may result in my name and contact information being removed from the APP database of responsible avocational detectorists.”
Maybe I missed something but where is the pledge for the archaeologist? I would personally never sign this pledge despite the “professional recognition” being promised. I can read between the lines and I am fine without that certificate or accreditation.
Next I found the following offensive….
“This class is intended for avocational metal detectorists who are serious about working with professional archaeologists”
Was it really necessary to insert the word “avocational” (as in amateur) and come on, when have detectorists NOT been serious about working with archaeologists? We’ve been trying for years and years to no avail. All that has happened is we’ve helped them do their work and in the process we lost more and more areas that were once available to us. So let me ask….when will the archaeological community be serious about working with us? When will they speak up and tell a city or town council that the park they have closed is not really of any historical significance? The answer of course is never. They want it all.
One of the topics in this course will be “A discussion of why partnership is advantageous to both parties, and ultimately benefits our historic resources and heritage”. Willing to bet that the advantage will be theirs and not ours. Just a hunch….
Then we have “The delineation and the ethical expectations for both professional archaeologists and avocational detectorists.” The key word here is ‘delineation’ as in “let’s be clear it’s our way or the highway. You will be told to do what we tell you and not one thing more.”
I know what I’ve said here will result in a lot of negative responses but it’s based on my 40 years of detecting and experiences with archaeologists. I no longer pee my pants or drool over the possibility of working with them. When “they” decide to step up to the plate and help “us” then I may change my mind. Until then I am not a second class citizen or detectorist and I am tired of pissing in the wind.