Archaeo-blogger Nathan Elkins has accused CPO of "intellectual dishonesty" for questioning the assumption that archaeologists promptly and carefully excavate and record everything of significance at their digs.
According to Elkins,
"The point is, Tompa, that you paint exceptions, some true and some anecdotal, as rules and prevailing trends. That's what we call intellectually dishonest. Try a broader perspective for once."
But poor professional practices are important to consider when archaeological fanatics like Elkins, David Gill and Paul Barford regularly attack the Treasure Act and PAS because they allegedly encourage "unscientific excavations" by amateurs wielding metal detectors.
And what of recent news of significant Viking and Egyptian finds not from the field but from storerooms where the artifacts in question had lain for a century or more? Or information that coins from Roman contexts excavated over a century ago are still awaiting proper publication and study?
Are these exceptions or rules and prevailing trends? And if the latter, perhaps reports under the Treasure Act or PAS are more "scientific" than stale information dug up a century or more ago by trained archaeologists. They are certainly more timely.