Monday, June 3, 2013

There's Definitely Something Wrong with the PAS System in Wales": UK Detectorist

Over on a detecting forum near you, some UK metal detectorists are currently moaning about the "service" provided to them by the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Perhaps somebody should tell them that PAS was not set up for their exclusive convenience and legitimation of their exploitive hobby. I cannot see the PAS itself doing that, though. So we get remarks like this:
“going by the right channels seems a lot of hassle i could not be dealing people who do not do there jobs efficiently i dont blame people for not reporting there finds if this is the way they get treated"
or this kind of thing:
“The rudeness and antiquarian attitude of the representative in London certainly framed my attitude to PAS in that I now have 73 items in my possession that are legible for the scheme but until that guy apologises in public and it is in written form I will not record a thing.”
I like especially the accusation of "antiquarian attitude" coming from an artefact collector ! It seems detectorists are at last taking notice of the message of this blog and they themselves are noting a sad truism:
There is definitely something wrong with the system in Wales as according to the statistics on PAS regarding the amount of finds added to the database in 2012. Somerset had 1825 while the whole of Wales added just 240..... 
One "finder" countered with this:
“For your information a collection of about 200 Flints from one field in Herefordshire were with the PAS for five years when I finally had them back before Xmas. They still have not made there way onto the database.” 
So, assuming that these "flints" were indeed archaeological objects and not natural frost-shatters, PAS Wales could double their "number of finds" statistics as and when it suits them. Of course by number of objects rather than number of meaningful records.