Wednesday, January 29, 2014

PAS and Treasure Act Records over 920,000 Archaeological Finds

Last week's news of the new Bulgarian and renewed China MOUs overshadowed good news coming out of the UK-  the Portable Antiquities Scheme and Treasure Act have now recorded over 920,000 archaeological finds.

It's thus too bad that our own State Department appears to be only interested in helping to prop up corrupt systems in places like Bulgaria and China that only benefit connected insiders.  Why not instead promote the system in place in our friend and ally, Great Britain, one that actually engages the public in helping to record and preserve the past?

The proof is in these numbers.  We know how many archaeological finds the public has reported in Britain and Wales.  How many do you think have been recorded in places like Cyprus, Greece and Italy?

It would be interesting to learn more about such figures from some of the "models" for the anti-collector archaeological establishment, but, of course, these are not readily available, if they are kept at all.


Anonymous said...

One only has to look at Mr. Barford's last blog post to understand how he feels about detectorists.

I have read the article multiple times and it seems the culprit was "caught" by a metal detector, and no where did I see where it said he was using one?

Apparently all Mr. Barford was concerned about was the headline.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Yes, he obviously does not like them even where metal detectorists comply with the law fully.

That certainly seems to be the case with that famous helmet. He's even suggesting with no evidence whatsoever from what I can tell (except such helmets are also found on the Continent) that the find was faked!

Paul Barford said...

I find it odd that Mr Stout neglects to mention here yesterday's post on his own blog about the setting up of a Portable Antiquities Scheme in the USA

Obviously before the USA starts dictating to the rest of the world that they should adopt "the English method" (and legislation), then it would behove them to adopt it themselves. I am sure collectors of every type in the USA would see this as a step forward in their own country's approach to artefact/relic hunting.

So why not promote the idea in the US for all it is worth, the ACCG, IAPN, PNG, and the FMDAA working together with the arrowhead collectors and pot-diggers? Change the law in the US, set up a PAS(US).

as Mr Howland (personally devoted like Mr Stout to working "with" heritage professionals) observes this:
"... can only benefit and bring archaeologists, historians, collectors and detectorists, closer together for the good of all. Why Not a Portable Antiquities Scheme for the US? No reason at all…"

Paul Barford said...

Mr Stout and others might find it helpful to refer to the original account, it would make more sense then. 'Crotone, scavava nell'area di Capo Colonna Arrestato giovane e recuperati molti reperti' Il Quotidiano della Calabria  28th January 2014.

According to the Italian newspaper, the man was indeed actually caught metal detecting on an archaeological site. Obviously, if Italy had a PAS, then there would be no problem, him digging holes all over the archaeological site to take out the "relics", would there? Or would there? Discuss.

Cultural Property Observer said...

I think we are getting a bit off topic, but it's my understanding that once a site has been scheduled in the UK, detecting on it is illegal and subject to criminal penalties.

I think the issue I have with your approach is that you consider any site where anything old is found to be an archaeological site, when that really is not the case in most people's minds.

But going back to my original post, has there been any figures published in Italy, Greece or Cyprus of the number of finds reported by the public? Or, for that matter archaeologists? Or, is it almost nothing when it comes to the former and the latter is locked up somewhere or not even collected centrally?

Paul Barford said...

"once a site has been scheduled in the UK, detecting on it is illegal and subject to criminal penalties"
This is Italy, all sites are currently protected by law, so if you recommend that Italy or Bulgaria or wherever sets up a PAS instead of import restrictions (so we are still ON topic), then how do you propose getting round that? Remove the protection? Why?

How many archaeological sites have been reported by members of the public in the United States of America (or Canada for that matter)? Have there been any figures published? Or for that matter archaeologists? Or, is it almost nothing when it comes to the former and the latter is locked up somewhere or not even collected centrally?

Cultural Property Observer said...

Yet again you evade the question. Interestingly, an Italian cultural official stated at a CPAC hearing they were contemplating a system akin to PAS, don't know if that was real or he thought that was something the CPAC would want to hear.

The problem with Cyprus,Bulgaria etc. is that they try to "protect" far too much and just end up doing an awful job at it. They also allow metal detecting but somehow think people either won't find anything or will turn it over to the authorities without any realistic prospect for an award.