After the recent cross blog debates I think there have been a few valuable lessons to be learnt. We were challenged by Paul Barford to question the members of the bajr archaeology forum on the subject of if metal detector is at are adding or subtracting to the historical record by removing metallic finds from the topsoil layer of a site.
Paul had always based his arguments around the fact that we take finds out of their context and also that we take away part of the picture if archaeologists were to ever do a professional dig on that site.
Well as it turns out Paul was very wrong, over on the bajr forum I was told that archaeologists do in fact skim the up too 50cm of topsoil off the site before commencing with the dig. This top layer is then put in a spoil heap and often left as there is not enough time to sift through it all. He also said metal detecting is a great thing as long as we record the items we find, items that would be generally scraped away with the topsoil.
For anyone interested the link to the bajr forum answer is here
It feels great to be be told by an archaeologist that we are doing a good job. It also puts to rest any argument Paul and Nigel throw our way.
I have also noticed how quiet Paul Barford has been about this whole subject, almost as if his smugness has been taken away. For a long time he has though people believed the lies he spouted and his twisted versions of how things are. Well now the proof is here we are doing a good thing and as long as we keep recording our finds and find location spots we will continue to be doing a good thing.
I Also noted Paul has not linked my posts too his blog for a change and tried to ridicule me. I guess this is a sure fire realisation that he knows he is wrong and has been spreading a lot of bs, something he won't want his dedicated readers to witness so he can carry on twisting things for their gullable minds