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Controversial Battlefield Achaeologists

Article about: Gents, I am a recent member here. I was born and raised in Richmond, VA and I still live here. I have read in absolute amazement all of the threads in this forum and I have to say, y'all are

  1. #1

    Default Controversial Battlefield Achaeologists

    Gents,

    I am a recent member here. I was born and raised in Richmond, VA and I still live here. I have read in absolute amazement all of the threads in this forum and I have to say, y'all are doing a fine job indeed of preserving history.

    I wonder sometimes at the maligning of the amateur battlefield detectives by the "authorities". Being a history buff myself, I am all too aware of the fact that but for private individuals, much of what we know about our past would have surely been lost. I myself used the faded recollections and scant evidence preserved by relatives to track down and reunite our family with our German relatives, with whom we lost contact as a result of WWII. Though I was born 25 years after the end of the war, I still had pictures, letters, and family stories to help me in my search.

    I have been to the many battlefields and museums in Virginia, and the collections are full of items preserved by amateurs. . .picked up on battlefields or found long after the war was over.

    I think perhaps the idea that only the "professionals" are equipped to preserve history is a late twentieth century phenomenon which has grown with the "nanny-state" mentality so prevalent in Europe and in some cases, the United States as well.

    I tip my hat to you all. Y'all are doing an amazing job preserving history for future generations. Please continue to document your finds so that those who come after you will know where these items were found as well as understand their significance.

    You are preserving human history, and you are a credit. No army of beaurocrats could come close to the job you are doing.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Controversial Battlefield Achaeologists

    Excellent post, I agree completely.... if these battlefields weren't dug, and the items found weren't subsequently preserved by "diggers", then all of this history would simply have been left there to rot away into nothing.

    Can't help but wonder how long it will be until the first "they're all gravediggers!" post shows up though Those people never fail to pop in an uneducated post or two...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Controversial Battlefield Achaeologists

    As long as those who encounter human remains deal with them appropriately and respectfully, I see no problem in battlefield digging. The work of such members as Sebastien and his digging around former Stalingrad is fascinating to me- through his work, history is uncovered for us to see, and fallen soldiers are at last given a deserved burial. Here's the topic: http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/battle...mrak-15519-15/

    Mat

  4. #4

    Default Re: Controversial Battlefield Achaeologists

    Quote by jfhudak View Post
    Gents,

    I am a recent member here. I was born and raised in Richmond, VA and I still live here. I have read in absolute amazement all of the threads in this forum and I have to say, y'all are doing a fine job indeed of preserving history.

    I wonder sometimes at the maligning of the amateur battlefield detectives by the "authorities". Being a history buff myself, I am all too aware of the fact that but for private individuals, much of what we know about our past would have surely been lost. I myself used the faded recollections and scant evidence preserved by relatives to track down and reunite our family with our German relatives, with whom we lost contact as a result of WWII. Though I was born 25 years after the end of the war, I still had pictures, letters, and family stories to help me in my search.

    I have been to the many battlefields and museums in Virginia, and the collections are full of items preserved by amateurs. . .picked up on battlefields or found long after the war was over.

    I think perhaps the idea that only the "professionals" are equipped to preserve history is a late twentieth century phenomenon which has grown with the "nanny-state" mentality so prevalent in Europe and in some cases, the United States as well.

    I tip my hat to you all. Y'all are doing an amazing job preserving history for future generations. Please continue to document your finds so that those who come after you will know where these items were found as well as understand their significance.

    You are preserving human history, and you are a credit. No army of beaurocrats could come close to the job you are doing.








    Your nice Jeff......XXX
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Controversial Battlefield Achaeologists

    I believe that there are highly skilled archaeologists, historians etc from the professional, academic worlds as well as from the "amateur" or non professional realm. I think it is important for both sides to realize the value of contributions from those outside their peer/professional group. That said, I'm sure that the original poster (from Virginia) will be very aware that while some things of historic value have indeed been saved by battlefield relic hunters, many important items have also been irretrievably lost from Civil War and Native American historical sites that were picked over by greedy or careless weekend souvenir hunters.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Controversial Battlefield Achaeologists

    Quote by tud jones View Post
    I believe that there are highly skilled archaeologists, historians etc from the professional, academic worlds as well as from the "amateur" or non professional realm. I think it is important for both sides to realize the value of contributions from those outside their peer/professional group. That said, I'm sure that the original poster (from Virginia) will be very aware that while some things of historic value have indeed been saved by battlefield relic hunters, many important items have also been irretrievably lost from Civil War and Native American historical sites that were picked over by greedy or careless weekend souvenir hunters.
    To be sure, those unscrupulous individuals do exist and sadly, always have. However, my compliments are directed at the good work being done in the field by the responsible, and respectful, members here.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Controversial Battlefield Achaeologists

    There's dishonesty and greed in every trade and activity, no surprise there.... one should however be able to see past these few rotten apples and acknowledge the overwhelming positive outcome of the seemingly often professional activities of these "amateur archaeologists"/ "diggers"/"relic hunters".
    The ones critisizing this activity online seems largely to be doing it on impulse, based on hastily drawn conclusions, and are more often than not proven absolutely wrong in their wild accusations.

    I, also, have nothing but praise for the members on here that are helping preserve our more recent history in this manner

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