Okay, with regards to the roundtable discussion sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation….
I watched the entire broadcast again, and listened to all the “you stroke mine, and I will stroke yours” comments, but when it was over I realized that we are we are still two drastically different camps, pretending to care about each other, but it’s not working, and hasn’t for many, many years. The one plus is that we have the internet, the technology to continue talking, and hopefully the next “roundtable” will be more balanced and not a four arkie to one tekkie affair.
A few observations and take aways….
At the 6:26 mark Matt Reeves, the director of Archaeology at Montpelier, states “one thing archaeologists feared is that, as an archaeologist, if you worked with a metal detectorist you would essentially be “validating” what metal detectorists do and there would be more metal detecting”. Hmm, well at least he was honest. They have never and will never validate what we do.
Later in the discussion, at around the 49:20 mark, they tackled a question about archaeology’s opposition to collecting, and was there some way to bridge the gap. Their response was pretty much a resounding NO! Apparently no one, except the archaeological community that is, can have a collection of anything historic, be it a relic or coin. Hmm, well, forgive my rudeness, but they can all kiss my ass! I will collect what I want, and yes, even sell what I want if I choose to, and do not need their approval to do it.
If you can’t sit still long enough to view the whole video at least watch the last part, starting at around the 45:15 mark. That will give you some idea of just where we stand with these folks. The fear that metal detecting would become a “legitimate hobby” and their unfavorable view of the PAS pretty much sums it up.
Perhaps down the road things will change, but it will not be in my lifetime. This online roundtable was nothing more than a “feel good” attempt at saying, “hey, we’re at least reaching out to you”, when it reality it was nothing more than an hour-long “we know better than you” promotional show. I will however leave you all to come to your own conclusions.
I know I will hear from those of you who say I am being unfair and being too negative. That’s fine. You are entitled to your opinions. I just have too many years under my belt trying to work with the archaeological community, and you can only piss in the wind so many times…
Finally, if they really wanted to reach out to us why do they charge for the Montpelier program? Seems THEY get paid, and get to use our expertise to further their goals. The participants? Well he or she pays $750 for four or five days, and that does not include meals or travel. That’s just not right.
Here’s hoping you can tear yourself away from that detecting forum to watch….