Saturday, 10 March 2018

Questions a FLO Still Cannot Answer?

The FLO local to my family home, or an 'informant' operating on her behalf, was apparently in a Colchester police station on Saturday afternoon making what the officer handling the case called 'allegations' about this blog and this archaeoblogger. I have yet to hear anything concrete about these allegations. From what the PC said, I gather that they may be connected with my post mirroring one by Heritage Action. This concerned PAS staff smiling as they handle finds from erosive Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological record while they can be aggressively- inclined towards those that ask questions about what, precisely, they are achieving. Ms Flynn declined to put forward her own take on what we both said about this when invited to do so on 5th March (I also cordially invited her to my seminar just down the road from her on April 11th to discuss it further face to face, she refused). Instead she has apparently decided to try to make archaeological colleagues debating the heritage a police matter (!). I am reminded of an exchange I had just a few months ago with the same young lady where she demonstrated herself to be utterly unable to explain the logic behind what she wrote about portable antiquities. She had a go at making a patronising reply to my request that she address a point I had made, and recognizing that Twitter is not the easiest venue in which to put forward more complex thoughts and reflections (I assumed she had some) I invited her here. I still do. Here is my post from just before Christmas last year: ' Sophie Flynn (Essex FLO) is Invited to Tell me What's What...' PACHI 17th December 2017. I think these are not questions a FLO should leave unanswered. If the Essex FLO is unable to answer a public question, maybe any other of the 34 FLOs paid from the public purse to do proper public outreach on portable antiquities (in which the whole public is a stakeholder) would like to step in and do her job for her. There is plenty of space in the comments below, and I will publish each and every comment from a PAS FLO (past or present) as-written. Any takers?
☺️Here, Sophie, is a space for you. Send me your comments and I will publish them in full. [emoticon] 

Yesterday, Ms Flynn posted on Twitter some fluff about the TV series 'Detectorists' suggesting that the 'star', McKenzie Crook should mention the PAS and how they are there to 'help',

Given that most of the objects they record now come from Collection Driven Exploitation of the finite and fragile archaeological record by artefact hunting metal detectorists, I tweeted her with a perfectly valid question:

Now, I'll give her her dues. Most FLOs would run a mile from such a question from me. They prefer patting tekkies on the head and posting their finds up on Twitter with cutesey texts (any day now we'll have the 'Twelve days of Christmas' finds going up - HOW many "gold rings"?). Anyway, she tried:
19 godzin temu
‘Help’ with the admistration of the Act, ‘help’ people discover more about their local history and heritage, ‘help’ responsible detectorisrs understand the opportunities they can bring to the study of archaeology... the list goes on Paul, but I shan’t bore you [smiley emoticon]

FLOs do not read this blog, so they do not know what position I occupy on precisely these issues. That would explain why an otherwise intelligent girl (I trust) gave such a dumbdown answer. So what is she trying to say...  and does not what she said raise more questions than she answered? I replied in several tweets:
23 minuty temu
Forgive me if I am wrong, but surely the PAS was set up 20 years ago not to deal with Treasure, which the Act establishes goes through other channels, but to deal with NON-Treasure material. Somehow that distinction seems to be lost - with Treasure now being reported twice

Meaning in the Treasure Reports (which is what the Treasure Act requires) and the PAS database, which is extralegal, not in the Act, duplicates effort and information and merely serves to bulk out 'finds reported' numbers. As for her second point...
38 minut temu
W odpowiedzi do There's more to "local heritage and heritage" than a few loose coins pulled out of a field somewhere. We left the object-centric view of the past in about 1870 - PAS promotes a very atavistic 'view of the past', don't you think? Not a boring question - quite a fundamental one.

The third issue is indeed a pretty fundamental one, not only about the terminology, but the loopy ideas hiding behind it...
36 minut temu
W odpowiedzi do What is "responsible", please, about any form of *Collection Driven Exploitation of the Archaeological Record*? Can looting in Syria, Egypt etc be made "responsible' by installing a PAS-clone in Damascus or Edfu? Or Central America? Fundamental question, have you an answer?

I think she must have, as she apparently has no qualms about working with these people (because she took the job). Will she be bold enough to share it with us?  Then those alleged opportunities which supposedly mitigate the huge damage done:
37 minut temu
W odpowiedzi do What "opportunities" does Collection-Driven Exploitation of the basic body of evidence by rough and ready means (eg carrier bags and wallpaper scrapers in fading light at Lenborough) "bring to the study of" real archaeology? Most metal detected finds are NOT reported, as we all know

So, even the 'opportunities' she (apparently) sees have been offset by a far larger number of missed 'opportunities' and this has been going on for twenty years.  And to conclude, her parting comment
37 minut temu
W odpowiedzi do " I shan’t bore you [emoticon]".I assure you, you will not bore me if you give proper answers to my questions, its the superficial ones which we've all heard mindlessly chanted like a mantra so many times before that are the boring and intellectually bankrupt ones.

36 minut temu
W odpowiedzi do I invite you to make use of my blog's comments section for a proper reply, no space on Tewitter:

Right, start holding your breath... now. No, don't. She's probably awaiting instructions from Bloomsbury.

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