Mid-Week Meandering…

BIG BAD BILL

Well tropical storm Bill has just arrived and exactly how much rain we will get is anyone’s guess, with estimates from 3 to 12 inches possible. Not good, especially with our lakes already full and local rivers at flood stage.  So, if you don’t hear from me in a few days time, please call the coast guard and tell them I’m afloat somewhere.

What a difference a year has made!

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PAS GOING THROUGH CHANGES

Thanks to budget cuts the Portable Antiquities Scheme has now been placed under the British Museum’s Department of Learning, Volunteers and Audiences.  Likewise PAS keeper Roger Bland has stepped down.  Here’s hoping the PAS does not face even more scrutiny. If anything were to happen to this program it would be disastrous for all parties.

bland

Roger Bland

Of course there are a few archaeologists out their licking their chops and drooling, hoping against hope that the entire program is scuttled. Our friend, Warsaw Wally, the bench warming, second string archaeologist, pretends to care, but only of course if the program meets his requirements and expectations.

If you are interested in this situation, and you should be, you will find the following links useful…

Roger Bland Leaves British Museum

PAS Under Threat?

UK Treasure Endangered by Budget Cuts

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THE METAL DETECTING MANUAL

by Dan Hughes

My good friend Dan Hughes has been encouraging me to reprint my book “Metal Detecting – the Hobby”, and as a result I am indeed considering it again.  He sent along his book, The Metal Detecting Manual, suggesting I contact his printer for assistance.  I have done so and things are now looking much more promising. Thank you Dan…

Hughesmanual2

Anyway, I am embarrassed to say that I never bothered to order Dan’s book and now realize what I was missing.  It’s extremely well done, and covers every aspect of the treasure hunting pastime.  Its laid out in easy to read form and I highly recommend it to anyone with a metal detector. For ordering information click HERE.

Let me also suggest you subscribe to Dan’s In the Treasure Corner podcasts. They are never long, always informational and a fun listen…

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TO BETTER UNDERSTAND HOWLAND?

I believe it was Frank Long, a tekkie friend in the UK, who shared the following on his Facebook page and I thought I would do the same here.  Hopefully it will make Bubba’s updates a little clearer….I think?

BritishExpressions

 
“Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspirin and aches, or June and moon, or good people and noble ventures”….M.F.K. Fisher

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Mid-Week Meandering…

  1. Big Tony

    Dick, first things first – gas in the cars and charge your cell phones, and by a good pair of waders.

    Maybe you are right about PAS – those articles make it look like it’s on the chopping block. I wouldn’t be surprised if they outsourced the IT part to India like many IT jobs were here in the US – like the one I had.

    Good luck on Dan’s and your books! You both are interesting characters of this crazy hobby.
    Those British expressions do help understand J. H. and his writtings! And if you don’t like what I posted here then “Sod Off”

  2. I can’t imagine not being able to keep what I find detecting. Is it “better to have had treasure and lost treasure ,than to never have have known treasure at all ?” I dunno about that.

    It seems to me that the PAS was/is looking for a solution. I don’t know how one can figure ” fair market value ” of an (dug) item when it is illegal to have a fair market that would determine value. When money and resources are pumped into something to find a solution that can sometimes be a never ending task. Of course if the problem were eliminated there would be no need for a solution.

    If people were allowed to keep what they find it might mean more people would see and experience more of what life was like 300 or more years ago. If the PAS would study and share their information on an item without retaining ownership a fair market value could continually be established in the marketplace. Therefore “fair market” would not be a problem in need of a solution.

    If an item were registered, but not confiscated, there would be information about it available for reference. Having to store items confiscated from finders would not be a problem in need of a solution.

    I can see the point of interest in how things were. I don’t think the PAS can currently eliminate any problems but the free market may. If the PAS would concentrate on documentation,verification etc. without having to force someone to give up an item,that would be the best route. Perhaps the PAS should be looking at the problem.

    • Gary, have to tell you my man, you totally lost me!!

      • The goal of the PAS is — ” Welcome to the Portable Antiquities Scheme website
        The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a DCMS funded project to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. ”

        The best way to do that would be to work towards letting someone keep their finds while ” voluntary recording ” If people are taking a chance that their find may be determined to be estimated as being over 300 years old they may not want to participate.

        The PAS states that– “These unrecorded or unprovenanced finds meant a loss to knowledge of the archaeology and history of England and Wales. ”

        My point is that the PAS could better achieve their goals by working towards a situation where people are allowed to keep their finds regardless of age.

      • Gary, the PAS allows for items to be recorded, and if a local museum wants to purchase them they must offer a fair market value. No one is obligated to accept the offer and surrender their finds.

  3. I was under the impression that finds that are over 300 years old are considered ‘treasure ” and they may not be kept by the finder. Are they not obligated to accept an offer and surrender their finds in that situation ?

  4. I”m certainly not questioning the expertise or motives of the PSA. My point is that in addition to what they do I think it would be helpful if they promoted a stance of ” finders keepers ” I think people would welcome verification of their finds but I won’t go into that too far as it could become a blog of it’s own.

    “…metal-detector finds
    on their own are not enough to lead to a site being
    scheduled, although such sites may be scheduled if
    other, more detailed, information about them exists “–PSA

    The PSA is about ” more detailed, information about them “

  5. Dr Bland has done wonders for the PAS and taken it to world-beating heights. I wish Roger well for the future. Now the PAS baton is being passed on to another with impressive credentials. Only Barford, or one of his dim hangers-on (known as haemorrhoids in impolite treasure and certain archaeological circles) would lick their chops at its demise. But that ain’t gonna happen…it was an ersatz rumour put about by he who hates the PAS with a vengeance.

    There’s no way the UK government is going to throw away such a brilliant scheme that far eclipses anything the likes of Barford or his buddy, Nigel Swift (who some feel is dimmer than a nun’s nightlight) commits what is laughably known as the blog-shite, Heritage Action.

    It’s the old Luddite story of those who can’t come to terms with the fact they are out of step, and have been are wrong all along – mug punters if you like! I have often wondered what dark forces drive Barford in his cranky campaigns against the US, UK/US collectors, detectorists, and ‘Uncle Tom Cobbley and all’, and almost everything else that falls short of hard-line Communism . Now, following his latest imbecilic rants, I feel sure I know; but the laws of libel forbid me from saying so, though these have been previously ventilated elsewhere on the internet.

    Then again, it’s Barford being Barford running true to form. At least the new PAS chief is not credentials-coy (like Barford) and is a whole lot more distinguished in archaeological terms than the ‘Warsaw Wannabe’.

    Indeed, Barford lags well behind hobbyists who demonstrably outstrip him in terms of debate, lucidity, and intellect. It must gall him that he’s been passed over for high office but I rather suspect his enthusiastic sojourn on the other side of the Iron Curtain in 1986 put paid to any hopes of advancement, along with today’s post-Communist Poles who don’t want to know him, and not to mention those in the UK who’ve shivved him in the back. After all, to stab someone in the back you have first to get behind them. Doubles all round!

    Like death and taxes Barford will always be with us…so let’s enjoy this losers’ brand of eccentricity.

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