Friday, October 7, 2011

Not All Welsh Detectorists Want A PAS Anyway

In a rather belated discussion about the threatened demise of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, a member of the "Detecting Wales" forum, one "Jeb" from the mountainous areas of North Wales is unworried by the prospect of the PAS disappearing. "So what???" he asks.

He considers that the UKDFD, created by detectorists for detectorists, is more "compudent" and easier to work with and can replace the PAS. Jeb considers that what the PAS is "really there for" apart from "record your finds" is that it could be there as a "spy, to see how many detectorists are actualy recording their finds as well". He suggests that the function of the PAS is to determine who is finding what where
"and is there enough of a GR to pinpoint to nosey Arkies whats being found of any great importance so that they "could" if they wanted to, approach that farmer and ask, suggest, impose, or persaude that farmer ,to put any further metal detecting searching on a hold or a complete stop maybe?"
So in other words, attempt to protect significant sites from being trashed by artefact hunters hoiking out random objects merely for entertainment and profit? Sadly that is precisely what in all of its decade and a half of public-funded existence PAS has NOT been doing, but it is interesting to note that here is a voice indicating that if the PAS had been having greater success in preserving sites, it would not have the backing of at least part of the "metal detecting" community.

Of course the UKDFD cannot replace the PAS as from the beginning its database has not been constructed in a manner to be compatible with the software of the Historic Environment records that the PAS is intended to feed data into in order that the information can be used for resource management and research purposes.

Jeb says "No to a Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales".

Vignette: in the mountains, looking down into the abyss.

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