I want to revisit the Tallahassiee Democrat article “Arrowhead hunters face felony charges” (see last update), and I’m doing this because of two comments that were probably not read in their entirety and because I think it’s important! I’m aware that this will probably fall on deaf ears since most of you are busy perusing the ‘look at me’ videos and photos out there in tekkie wonderland but what else is new. Enjoy them because they may be the only things left of our hobby in the not too distant future.
If you haven’t read the Tallahassee article please do so and read on….
If you read the ‘Isolated Finds Program’ (highlighted above) Jim is referring to you will find this statement:
Florida’s Isolated Finds program is an excellent demonstration project for collectors throughout the country. As most archaeologists are acutely aware, artifacts are eroding out of sites and being permanently lost in lakes, reservoirs and along rivers throughout the United States. Many of these artifacts are on state or federal land and their collection is generally forbidden by law. The mind set is that it is better for these artifacts to be lost for perpetuity than to allow their collection and curation by interested avocational archaeologists is naïve and easily exposed as a greater evil. Artifact collectors need to be allowed to collect artifacts in a responsible fashion on public land.
I find it appalling when government deems itself the keeper of all things, especially when that government is asking you and I for our hard-earned money to keep it running, and lest they forget they work for us, NOT the other way around.
Now there may be more to this newspaper article than is shown but forget that…. I want to know why the hobbyist cannot enjoy a leisurely day out looking for arrowheads or spear points on public lands? They once could but someone, or some group of individuals had enough clout to persuade the state of Florida to change that and the answer shows up in paragraph 5 of the Tallahassee article….
“Florida forbids artifacts from being removed or disturbed when found on public lands. The prohibition is to protect “our only window into the time before written history,” according to professional archaeologists”
You see they are professional. You and I? Mere amateurs, unskilled, uneducated and not fit to participate in any activities that might encroach on their endeavors. Bottom line those public lands can be bulldozed, paved over, sold to the highest bidder or deemed suitable for whatever the government decides to do with them, but you and I can’t touch them?
When are we going to wake up?