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Help BAJR and the PAS at Thornborough
Yup... BAJR is offering (ha..ha) a few select people the chance to work with me and help the PAS at Thornborough Henges..

There is to be a Metal Detecting Rally to the North from 8th - 10th September.. and by happy coincidence thats just before the BAJR conference.. so if you fancy a couple of days out on the survey and a chance to see the Henges up close and personal.

I have talked to the organsiaer of the RAlly and they are excited about the opportunity for archaeolgoists and detectorists to meet and show that we are both human. The big thing here is the potential for locating flint scatters.. but we will be 'working for the PAS in helping to record and report the finds that come in, photo the find, identify, plot, record etc.

This will be an opportunity to see at first hand what a rally is.. to make a difference and to show that if we all work together we can actually do some good work.

I am afraid places are limited and nope I have no budget.. but intend to go out detecting as well, being trained by detectorists to use the equipment..

essential... a tent (unless I can find a nearby B&B that I can afford) an open mind and some knowledge of flints, finds or recording would be v useful...

We will work the 8th and 9th, then back to York for Saturday Night for the pre conference yatter...

interested? email me... I will want to talk with you and discuss it further.

cheers :face-stir:

I have to stress that I have talked to/been contacted by the Timewatch, CBA and PAS as well as Andrew Morrison at the Yorkshire Museum (who wil be overall coordinator for us)

Another day another WSI?
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
[quote]Originally posted by BAJR Host

There is to be a Metal Detecting Rally to the North from 8th - 10th September.. [...] The big thing here is the potential for locating flint scatters.. but we will be 'working for the PAS in helping to record and report the finds that come in, photo the find, identify, plot, record etc.
Its really not at all clear to me from this announcement what is intended and what its goal is and who is organizing it.
Could you define more closely what you mean by "metal detecting rally" here? Is this some kind of Yorkshire Museum (or PAS/CBA??) community archaeology project? Why then would it be necessary to "report and photograph" the finds collected in this project on site, are the individuals taking part going to take them away? (If so, what happened to "Our Portable Past" as a model for working with artefact hunters?).

Neither do I really understand why one would need a metal detector for "locating flint scatters"? Surely gridded fieldwalking is the tool you need for that and to make a proper record (a record, that is, not of "the finds" so much as their context).

And if it really is a "metal detecting rally" adjacent to this somewhat emotive site and in this landscape which so many have campaigned so long and hard to protect, do you really see no problem in taking part and lending it legitimacy?

Paul Barford
It seems quite clear to me and looks like a v positive thing. Well done David. 'Our Portable Past' is a model for cooperation in the context of field archaeology and survey programmes - not Metal Detecting Rallys which are a quite different animal. I see no contradiction here, and our local FLO regularly attends these events (when invited) to make sure that what ever is found is recorded. Surely it would be much worse if this were to go ahead without any involvement from David et al. Obviously you don't need a metal detector to locate flint scatters, but a load of people systematically waling across a ploughed field with metal detectors in their hands could (if they knew what to look for) locate flint scatters. In recording flint scatters you generally make a record of both "the finds" as well as their context otherwise it is meaningless - i.e. is it Mesolithic or a scatter of gun flints! I doubt that either the CBA, PAS or BAJR have 'organised' this rally - I would suggest that it is organised by detectorists. However, what do you suggest? That the archaeologists just stand by and tut or that they at least try to get something positive out of what is after all a perfectly legal activity? Finally, as you've seen to edit your question to which this is my response I thought I would. But nothing has changed. Tut. Smile
Well, this is what is not clear to me, is it a rally and the archaeologists going along to salvage what they can (in which case why do you call it "v[ery] positive"?), or is it a properly organised community archaeology project planned as such from the beginning by Yorkshire Museums with gridded fieldwalking of flint scatters, and thus an example of that much-vaunted "working together"? David's announcement suggests this is a case of the latter, but I dont see how it can be if its a "rally" as you assert. You have I assume read "Our Portable Past", so you can see what model is there proposed, and why - here of all places - do you think archaeologists should go along with and accept anything less?

Paul Barford
"The purpose of this policy is: ....not intended to cover hobby metal detecting (for which see Code of Practice for Responsible Metal-Detecting)" Our Portable Past, June 2006: Statement of EH Policy and good practice for Portable Antiquities etc. [u]in the context of field archaeology and survey programmes</u> (including the use of metal detectors). You'll have to check with David really, but the use of the term 'Rally' here does suggest to me that this is firmly in the 'hobbyist/detectorist' camp. The v positive comment I stand by regardless - as I made clear - it is better to cooperate with detectorists than stand by and tut. I'm sure BAJR will clarify and would be surprised if your concerns cannot be met.
Thanks Vulpes, you hit the nail on the head. It is an example of a positive action working with people - I am of the mind that only by interacting with others does understanding come about. BAJR and anyone who joins me, will be working with the PAS, to help with the recording of finds/scatters etc.. to locate and identify, and to learn from detectorists.

The "you can't" attitude won't go anywhere.. - as they say... tis better to light a candle than to complain about the dark. I am now under any miscomprehension that 100% of detectorists present will become archaeologists, but then thats not the point... it is to begin a process of understanding both ways... I am happy to work with (for) the PAS - who are often accused of mot having enough people for the task.. well... here I am... and the organiser has welcomed my presense.. as well as agreeing to teach me how to use a detector properly... through knowledge comes understanding.

ommmmmmmmmmmmmm !:face-thinks:

Another day another WSI?
Good grief, this is a metal detcting rally with the detectorists offering the chance to for archaeologists to come along and openly record the finds (contrary to the usual accusations of them being lost for all time) and yet again Mr Barford finds something to whine and whinge about.

It is worth noting than one is metal detecting one is also effectively field walking, many surface finds are made, especially flint scatters.

Personally I think this is a very positive move and I only wish I was attending this rally.

Quote:quote:Originally posted by Steve-B

Good grief, this is a metal detcting rally with the detectorists offering the chance to for archaeologists to come along and openly record the finds.............Personally I think this is a very positive move and I only wish I was attending this rally.
I feel adding archaeologists' cred and co-operation to a rally is one thing but adding it to one that is within the Thornborough landscape is another, and this isn't clear yet. Do you know which fields are involved, Steve or David?
Cant help you there Nigel as it is not a rally that I am attending or have been involved with.

Quote:quote:Originally posted by vulpes

"The purpose of this policy is
"...the policy is also recommended as an appropriate model for archaeological projects [...] undertaken by other agencies". So is this going to be an archaeological project, is archaeologiocal information being systematically sought here, or just entertainment? And if the latter, is this a justifiable use of a piece of the Thornborough landscape over which there was such a struggle? I have just been told that the rally area will most probably go right up to the edge of the scheduled area of the middle henge.

Wherever it is, does giving this escapade an air of legitimacy by archaeologists turning out in whatever numbers to salvage what they can actually give the message that we should be sending about the way we "manage" the heritage?

An archaeologist hears a group of foresters planning to go to the jungle to knock the heads off little statues of Buddha on a Cambodian temple to sell to San Francisco art dealers. So it would be OK for them to go along with them, because on the fresh breaks they can see what kind of stone they are made from? Since that would produce lots of new information (stone trade patterns, technology), would that too be a "very positive" move? Personally I cannot see it that way ... and from an archaeological point of view, I really do not see the difference here.

Quote:quote: The "you can't" attitude won't go anywhere..
and neither will the "anything goes", where do we draw a line? The Thornbourough landscape becomes fair game at the edge of the scheduled area? So what was all the fuss about at Ladybridge which is outside the scheduled area? The tekkies can have their eBay goodies, but Mr Tarmac can't have his pebbles and those quarrymen's jobs are under threat...

Quote:quote: I am happy to work with (for) the PAS - who are often accused
of mot having enough people for the task..
Excuse me, but is this not exactly analagous to those archaeologists who - so that archaeological information is not lost - work for crap wages which keeps the wages down? If the UK government has decided (as it has) it will encourage this kind of use of the archaeological record by artefact hunters and collectors, then let it back up that policy by properly meeting its real cost. If the PAS is understaffed to do the job, its not going to make the politicians exactly jump to put the required resources into it if anyway it "muddles through" by asking people to help out for free and all the archaeologists assess this ad hoc situation as "very positive" is it? More realistically, seeing this, they are more likely to shave a few percent off the PAS budget as a result and see how much they can get away with.

I really do think that from an archaeological and ARM point of view, the whole matter of these rallies is far more complex than people try to make out; its not JUST a matter of whether we get to see some or even all the goodies is it?

Paul Barford

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