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"Tense Truce: Detectorists/Archaeologists"

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  • "Tense Truce: Detectorists/Archaeologists"

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/...archaeologists

    Do not let your state make detecting illegal! It is happening in many states.
    Professor Shellman

  • #2
    It is happening up here as well Tom. http://signalhfx.ca/the-legally-murk...n-nova-scotia/
    I made quite a lengthy reply to this article #5. and some idiot archaeologist started spouting off.
    Bruce
    In life there are losers and finders. Which one are you?

    Comment


    • BabaORiley
      BabaORiley commented
      Editing a comment
      Leave it to the archies...

  • #3
    Ya know guys and gals - we've seen this same theme in the arrowhead/artifact hunting community and AH.com has had many posts about the inter-relationships, or lack thereof, between the collectors and archaeologists and historians. Same themes different mediums of search is all. I'm not convinced there is an easy answer to this dilemma. By the way Bruce, that was a great article and an equally great find. Tom - after reading your article I'm thinking there's a bit of a storm brewing on the horizon in Britain between detectorists and archaeologists.
    Last edited by Scorpion68; 12-18-2017, 05:12 PM.

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    • #4
      Well if I can't have it ( lacking the time and resources) neither can you. Ah phewy! They won't admit it but most of their research was made possible by the discoveries of the avocational collectors.
      America could stand to have a program like Britain's and by the way that show is pretty good.
      Last edited by gregszybala; 12-18-2017, 06:11 PM.
      Searching the fields of Northwest Indiana and Southwestern Michigan

      Comment


      • #5
        So if we slam archaeologists on here, it's OK. But if we support their point of view at all, it's poltical? Got it, lol....
        Rhode Island

        Comment


        • CMD
          CMD commented
          Editing a comment
          Was not even thinking of your comment. However, maybe everyone will be best served if I simply exit the forum. But, at least know that I was referring to the comment "idiot archaeologist" and not your comment at all. And there is nothing wrong with that comment, since it was an honest opinion.
          Last edited by CMD; 12-19-2017, 10:41 AM.

        • CMD
          CMD commented
          Editing a comment
          In other words, when I read negative comments here on the position taken by archaeologists, the first thought that popped into my head was "I posted an article which expressed the point of view of archaeologists toward both casual collecting and looting on federal property and it was deemed to be political and the thread was shut. Now here we have the opinions of collectors toward the attitude of archaeologists, yet this is somehow not political."
          When in fact it's actually just the opposite point of view. But I went out of my way to point out all the many ways the two camps, pro and amateur, have actually worked together, as I did not want to seem to be coming across as anti-collector. I should have just said that I can appreciate where the pros were coming from in this instance, and simply let it go at that. And really, I see both sides as you and others do, Greg. Sorry for misunderstandings. Very sorry I opened my trap at all.

        • gregszybala
          gregszybala commented
          Editing a comment
          Me too, we need to find a way to have discourse concerning artifacts despite the what's going on in America today.

      • #6
        Originally posted by Scorpion68 View Post
        Ya know guys and gals - we've seen this same theme in the arrowhead/artifact hunting community and AH.com has had many posts about the inter-relationships, or lack thereof, between the collectors and archaeologists and historians. Same themes different mediums of search is all. I'm not convinced there is an easy answer to this dilemma. By the way Bruce, that was a great article and an equally great find. Tom - after reading your article I'm thinking there's a bit of a storm brewing on the horizon in Britain between detectorists and archaeologists.
        Very true, Chuck. This quote from the article above can just as well apply to the hobby of hunting for Native Anerican artifacts as metal detectorists:

        "The problem lies in fundamentally conflicting aims. Archaeologists primarily value information about the past. Objects are important, but only within their archaeological context – their relationship to structures, deposits and the full range of finds – contributing to the wider understanding of a site or landscape. For metal detectorists, the primarily focus is the objects themselves, the collection of which by detectorists divorces an object from most of the information which makes it valuable to an archaeologist."

        Since I was trained as an historian, though I only practiced the sport briefly, I've always had the attitude that information trumped material objects. That has actually made it more difficult for myself at times, since I've enjoyed the hobby of hunting stone artifacts my whole life. I'm a pack rat by nature, and deep time is what I actually collect:

        Meteorites: the deep time of the solar system.
        Fossils: the deep time of life on Earth.
        Artifacts: the deep time of man.

        But I'm very aware that educated amateurs can contribute in very valuable ways, and the word "educated" is central in that respect. Myself, I'm torn in both directions. It's not a one way street. But, if supporting archaeological views is political, then so must slamming them be political. Which is not the end of the world, it's OK to have diversity of opinion.
        Rhode Island

        Comment


        • Scorpion68
          Scorpion68 commented
          Editing a comment
          I guess, in a way Charlie, that's why I'm glad all of my artifacts are surface finds and already out of context. Mine would not help an archaeologist much by way of history. Nonetheless, I have taken all of my finds over to the State archaeologist at Big South Fork NRRA for a look see and to see if he could help me id some of them, which he did. I'm also going to see the archaeologist that is supervising a dig over in Pickett State Park as he was curious about the Dovetail my Granddaughter found. I think many of us work hand in hand with archaeologists and historians because for one reason - we want to preserve the history of Native Americans and do so by collecting their artifacts. If by chance one of my arrowheads was deemed of sufficient significance that they wanted to put it in a museum or something of that nature, I'd give it up and be glad that I could make a contribution. Not so sure about my Granddaughter though. :-)

      • #7
        In the people's republic of Illinois it is illegal to disturb the soil for the sole purpose of retrieval of artifacts even on your own land. this even includes bricks or things from early settlers. No joke, how do these kind of laws even get passed?

        Comment


        • Scorpion68
          Scorpion68 commented
          Editing a comment
          You probably don't want to know but you can bet it wasn't done by public referendum otherwise there'd have been a lot of public debate. I, for one, don't believe the government should be telling me what to do and not to do with my land or on my land. I understand common sense issues - but when it comes to digging for artifacts or items located by a metal detector, that's where I draw the line. If you have the owners permission or it's your own property - you should be able to legally proceed.

        • tomclark
          tomclark commented
          Editing a comment
          The State makes up "laws/legislation", then agencies interpret and enforce them. In FL there was a big fight, Collectors couldn't/wouldn't get it together to fight. Some tried hard but we lost bigtime to these regulatory agencies, archaeologists and public opinion from news articles dissing collectors. I must admit that a lot of the damage was done by collectors trespassing, leaving holes even toppling trees, digging out the river bottoms, selling. All of these problems came up in discussions at meetings. I say a few bad apples made it much harder than it should have been. You cannot pick up an isolated artifact from state lands or waters now, it's a misdemeanor. If you dig it up, fan it up....it's a felony. Anything over 50 years old..... like ME! Huge busts on sellers a few years back but now it seems like the selling frenzy is back on again....you can bet it's all being watched and recorded.

      • #8
        In this thread from a few years back, I brought the forum's attention to how the discovery and documentation of an important intact battle site from 1676, was made possible by an alliance between local archaeologists here in RI and Ct., and a metal detecting club from Ct:

        https://forums.arrowheads.com/forum/...5%E2%80%931678

        Many examples of cooperative ventures between amateurs and professionals in the areas of archaeology, paleontology, and I'm sure many other areas of interest. I'm most familiar with fossils, and artifacts, but, in fact, in meteoritics, planetary geology in other words, the pros absolutely depend on amateur collectors of, and commercial hunters of, meteorites. Without collectors and dealers, the science of meteoritics would not have half the extraterrestrial samples it has.

        I understand the competing values, but most amateurs in all these fields very much appreciate the advancement of knowledge, and are only too happy to contribute when possible, IMHO.

        As for my comment above involving politics, well recent experience, couldn't help it, lol. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander.
        Rhode Island

        Comment


        • #9
          I didn't find this article to be bashing archaeologist really at all, and it seemed presented in a fair and unbiest perspective from both sides and simply summarized professional/amateur relations in the past and present... The article did not take a stance on any current legislation, it also didn't reference any current political figures. That's how its different from the threads that were recently closed. There's really no reason to drag those recent events into this thread. Discussing legalities of artifact collecting is not really political unless your lobbying for or against change to existing law or expressing a biest opinion towards currently proposed or introduced legislation. I didn't really see this article do those things although the resulting conversation may drift that direction, and if it does take on those aformentioned political undertones then it should be treated with the same nessacary steps as those past closed threads. Its really pretty simple. Not complicated, nor biest, nor taking sides. If a thread is based in political opinion its closed, if the conversation turns political its closed. Expressing general support for conservation is not political, expressing general angst with proffessionals is not political as long as it does not cross the line into dissecting current legislation or current political figures in my opinion... Just the way I see it!
          Josh (Ky/Tn collector)

          Comment


          • #10
            In further review of this thread the article is not political at all but rather Toms statement after the article wich enters the political realm and honestly doesn't at all match the gist of the article wich is talking about past and present relation of profesionals/amateurs in Britain. It says nothing about current legaslation in the U.S wich Toms statement suggest.

            So the conversation was made political and in that case it should be shut down likewise to those past threads. Imo
            Last edited by Kyflintguy; 12-18-2017, 10:12 PM.
            Josh (Ky/Tn collector)

            Comment


            • #11
              Josh - IMO I didn't take Tom's post as a political statement but more of a heads up for us to be vigilant about issues that may adversely affect our hobbies. The actual legislation process of that issue could become political but I don't see that here YET! What I do see is the continuing discussion amongst us collectors about our relationship with others that have a similar aim at preserving NA history. I think we all understand the need to have artifacts evaluated in context to be able to determine it's contribution to history. Some of our more experienced/professional collectors are capable of doing that. I, myself, am not. That's why I'm glad all of my finds are surface finds and already out of context.

              Comment


              • #12
                Maybe Toms statement was a general head's up to issues that effect our hobby Chuck. But as Charlie said we must enforce the forum policy of not taking on political agendas. The same as we don't condone buying and selling on the forum. There are other places for those things. We cannot pick and choose wich we allow and wich we don't because of our collector oriented base. If a thread moves into the political realm it should be closed. Urging collectors to become politically active in legislation falls into a political realm. The article didn't suggest we become involved, rather members here are advocating for laws they see as conducive to there hobby. Doesn't matter if we agree or disagree with that movement, its political. So as Charlie states what's good for the goose is good for the gander... Although I disagree with him on the reason for why this thread crosses that threshold in that its not about agreeing or disagreeing with Archies but rather upholding the standard of avoiding political based threads that target active legislation. If you support those laws that allow us to collect great! If you support laws that conserve artifacts great! Do I need to know your opinion on those things? Nope! Do I need someone to suggest how I should vote or what political agenda to watch out for? Nope, I can make those choices privatley and can be opinionated without pushing my preference on this forum.
                Josh (Ky/Tn collector)

                Comment


                • gregszybala
                  gregszybala commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Then we need to clearly define "political" as it relates to this hobby and the statements or conversations that come up concerning artifact collecting.
                  "Do not let your state make detecting illegal! It is happening in many states." Is that necessarily a political statement or a call to all to safeguard our hobby? Is it political as it stands or does it become political when someone makes an opinionated statement based on their political leaning? To determine what is and what isn't based on that statement in my opinion is a far cry of a "political" statement. Others may think differently, please lets get this out in the open so we all know what is or isn't politically correct when it comes to the discussion of our interests here.

              • #13
                I have had both good and not so good relations with archaeologists. But honestly more good then not.

                JMHO. Recall the conversations we had here with the archaeologist from Tn. who wanted better relations with collectors? It became obvious then, and really, I should think it would actually be the norm, that collectors often do not have friendly thoughts toward archaeologists. I think the reasons are obvious enough.

                Now, as far as my own comment regarding politics, well, kinda sorry I brought it up, but I was thinking of the article I posted that shared the observations of archaeologists and First Nation members towards looting and casual collecting on federal lands. That thread was closed. Now, I understand it rubbed some the wrong way because it did also involve a recent political decision in a country, the United States, where partisanship has resulted in the existence of the culture wars.

                I'm over the fact that my thread, that presented the archaeologists viewpoints toward collecting and protecting cultural resources, was closed. But I just could not help but point out when we attack their viewpoint, we are, in essence expressing the opposite view to their own. And so, I said what is good for the goose is good for the gander where talking about these issues are concerned.

                But, lest I be misunderstood, I do not believe this thread by Tom needs to be shut down at all. Not at all! We CAN talk about two(or more) sides to this issue of pros and amateurs without anger exploding everywhere. Because it's angry comments or attacks of members on members that do, and should, get threads closed. That has not happened here, and there is no reason to believe it will.

                I even went out of my way to point out the many ways collectors in at least three hobbies, meteorites, fossils, and artifacts, act cooperatively, and where the pros actually appreciate the contributions of amateurs. And I will be back in a second with another stellar example. Don't shut the thread. We should never allow ourselves to get to the point that we assume we cannot have a civil conversation about these things. We did not shut down the threads involving the Tn. archaeologist. Why the heck close this one. I was simply pointing out that because so many amateurs, of whatever collectible, resent the pros might have made it more natural to shut my thtread when it did not really have to be shut. At the time, my thread simply pointed out how pros feel about looting and about protecting. Surely, none of us here would take the position "let's say yes to looting"? So, please, just chill. There is nothing wrong with differences of opinion.
                Last edited by CMD; 12-19-2017, 10:04 AM.
                Rhode Island

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                • #14
                  Wtf~!
                  Last edited by tomclark; 12-19-2017, 10:00 AM. Reason: Just about had it.
                  Professor Shellman

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                  • #15
                    Please note that I did not jump into this thread with the message "the archys are always right when they speak out in opposition to collectors", be it detectorists, artifact hunters, fossil hunters, etc. On the contrary, I pointed out examples where common ground was found. That is not a vote for shutting conversation down. Folks have every right to speak out strongly against the pros if that is how they honestly feel. And, as I stated, that attitude should probably be the more expected attitude on a forum of amateurs and collectors. I know I am fine with it, because I can criticise the attitude of some pros as strongly as the next guy. It's just that I can also understand both points of view.

                    Now, here is the story of one rank amateur paleontologist who changed dinosaur studies in the United States, and absolutely dropped the jaws of professional paleontologists in the process. Meet Maryland resident Ray Stanford:

                    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...=.4d4263f4fbb1

                    Last edited by CMD; 12-19-2017, 10:06 AM.
                    Rhode Island

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