CYBERIA A fully-preserved, 20,000-year-old woolly mammoth has been lifted from its icy grave in Siberia and carried by helicopter to a cave 150 miles away. It's the first time a mammoth has been removed from the ground in a state that will allow extensive analysis of its hair and soft tissue.




[ Editors Note -- "April is the cruelest month," wrote Eliot in "The Wasteland." Correspondents today evidence October the second runner up ].


>Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 19:23:32 From: Rick Mc Donald HAHA, touche.

>>From: To: Archaeologists are very earthy... but we do wash our hands before dinner. No doubt about your digs, I suppose... but please, leave out my knickers. I hardly know you.

>>>From: Rick Mc Donald Obviously Excrement means manure or as you say Shit. My mistake, thought you guys were a bit more high tea than that. Rick P.S. I've been on digs that would make you "Shit" your little nickers.

>>>>Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 17:59:00 From: To: excrement means shit. probably pure slander (or at least humor) on the part of SWA when considering the role of treasure hunting... especially as treasure hunting relates to professional archaeology done under permit and in consultation with interested parties. you found the statement on the Anti-archaeology page of SWA obviously -- we are trying to send up treasure hunting.

>>>>>Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 17:56:03 From: Rick Mc Donald Subject: Excrement ... of Treasure Hunting to the web? Im sorry but I trully dont understand that statement on your website. Please clarify. Thanks Rick


>Subject: (no subject) Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 19:55:56 EDT From: To: What I and a lot of other want to know is, what are the museums and Archaeologist doing with all the artifacts the have in their back rooms or collection. Artifacts we as Tex payers have a right to see or will never see. Our tax monrys pay for these people to do their work, and we should have more insight into what they do and less power on peoples lives. I as a metal detectorist would love to work with them and see where the artifacts go and I don't mean into their our collection. We as metal detectorist find more then they do. We can help each other if they would get off their high horse and see we can make a difference working together. Vin


Subject: Re: Archaeologist opinion Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 21:15:00 From: dogyears To: Apparently, the metal detectorists have finally found the SWA anti-archaeology page. SWA has received several e-mail messagess on the subject today. Funny, the Anti-Archaeology page has been up for several years.... even more odd, none of the metal detectorists have noted that SWA also makes fun of archaeologists on that very page. The site is maintained by a professional archaeologist with a real job in archaeology and many years in the field. The site is not meant to be an academic venue. The site takes a very non-traditional approach to connect with the public. It is not even pretending to be an 'be all you can be' commercial. Sorry. The site is for archaeologists of several types (academic, contract, avocational etc) as evidenced by those listed on the e-mail list. They connect with one another through the materials that they submit to the site. The site redistributes the materials. Gaps exist. It is a volunteer effort. If the public want to join in, that's OK, the site welcomes them too... The site is geared to Southwestern archaeology, and thus indeed, there is a bias.... while some metal detecting is done by professional and avocational archaeologists in the American Southwest, the use of metal detectors in the Southwest is not as common as practiced elsewhere... some of this trend has to do with the nature of deposits, the types of sites that archaeologists focus on, etc. SWA doesn't focus on any one technology, so we wouldn't trumpet the successes of metal detectors anymore than we would trumpet the use of metric measuring tapes and quarter-inch mesh harwarecloth screens. Technology is great, but we are more interested in the preservation of the resource, then, interested in what you can do with materials once they are properly excavated. Furthermore, SWA is interested in doing archaeology in a consultative fashion - within the context of communities of interest persons and groups that shape a consensus of how the work can best be conducted, displayed and interpreted to serve the community. We know that collectors exist. We wish them well. Some we advise take heed. We remind them that certain laws exist in certain times and places that make it illegal to dig or collect. We celebrate the rule of law. When anyone skulks about on sites and gets caught and convicted for breaking the law we celebrate their demise. It does not matter if they have a metal detector in their hands, or if they were digging with a stick. We judge people on the basis of their actions, not the equipment in their hands. Wouldn't you agree that citizens should obey the laws and celebrate the active reduction of criminal and civil turpitude?

>>Richard Haygood wrote: > I checked this site out and while I didn't go through all of it, much > seems more like an overzealous graduate student's "internet > project" than a truly professional grade information site. What I read > is full of opinion posturing as fact and blatant stereotyping. > It really kind of cracked me up and seemed to be trying to play the part > of a "Be all you can be, join archaeology" commercial. > > As regards metal detecting, if the site were truly a clearing house for > archaeological information, it would present both pro and > con views of collecting and metal detecting. Just as has been done at > various conferences over the years. I surmise that > whoever runs the site can't be too well versed on the current situation > since they fail to make any mention of the work between > avocational metal detectorists and professional archaeologists at > numerous National and State Parks across the U.S. in the last > 10 years. Obviously this was either ignorance (thus very unprofessional) > or an intentional and very subjective deletion of facts. > At least some of you know my background, and I can say with confidence > that not all archaeologists march in lockstep with the > ideology enunciated on that site. > > I also found the treatise on the nature of the "collector" very amusing > but childishly stereotypical. It reminded me of some of the > drivel that came from the straight out of college "fresh fish" I used to > have wielding shovels on some of my crews. The pros and > cons of collectors and collecting have been argued for years with good > and bad points scored by both sides. Any intelligent > discussion should reflect a balanced view but the site falls far short > of that. Collecting and collectors can provide a rare > concurrent study of an anthropologic phenomenon quite unique to our > times. These guys might be better served by stepping > back and taking a serious look at why people and cultures value > collecting and less time just bashing it. > > Get with it SWA, I agree with you on some points but join the real > world. The spectre of the metal detecting "boogey men" is > really stale and hardly worth spending much time on.


Subject: Report Illegal Activity Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 22:09:58 EDT From: Hi, I would like to report an illegal activity. You are attempting to portray yourselves as citizens sensitive to the needs of the public. There in lies the crime. You attempt to put off an air of "I'm better than you" to anyone who threatens your existence. Treasure hunter's are as a whole, responsible, and contributing members of society. Sure, there are bad apples. But, doesn't the field of archaeology experience a bad apple now and again? Sure! We, as treasure hunters, do not threaten your existence, but enhance it. If it weren't for the curious person digging, your like would have never ventured beyond digging in your own sandboxes. Granted, there are many times that a person with a metal detector "robs" you of your glory, but how many times has a crook/grave robber/ archaeologist robbed us of our heritage simply to supplement their private collection? More times than you would care to mention, I am sure. Signed, Look in the Mirror, Mike.