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Re: [ANE-2] taking sherds from sites in Israel?

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  • Clark Whelton
    ... Joe Zias My house is built on land that was settled by Dutch colonists in the 17th century CE. For years my wife has been telling me that in the spring
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 2, 2007
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      >>>>>> Collecting sherds or what is also known as 'sherding' has been
      >>>>>> illegal ever since I can remember as surface surveys are an important
      >>>>>> part of the profession. In fact, some scholars believe that areas
      >>>>>> should be rechecked every 25 yrs of so as new material resurfaces
      >>>>>> from time to time....
      Joe Zias


      My house is built on land that was settled by Dutch colonists in the 17th
      century CE. For years my wife has been telling me that in the spring she
      finds shards of old potttery, fragments of glass, clay tobacco pipes, nails,
      oyster shells, buttons etc. that emerge from the earth during the winter
      months. This seemed unlikely to me, but for the last three autumns I have
      raked specific areas clean. In the spring, sure enough, shards and other
      old objects can be found on the surface. How and why this happens I have no
      idea. Perhaps it's the frost. But I would suggest checking the surface of
      archaeologically important areas more frequently than every 25 years.


      Clark Whelton
      New York
    • arenmaeir
      Clearly, one must revisit sites every few years if you want to start understanding it. Experienced archaeological surveyers know that to get a good sherding
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 2, 2007
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        Clearly, one must revisit sites every few years if you want to start
        understanding it. Experienced archaeological surveyers know that to get
        a good "sherding representation" you have to return to a site several
        times during the period of a regional survey. At different times of the
        year (so as to get site exposure with different types of vegetation
        coverage, etc.) and over a period of more than a year, so as to benefit
        from various geomorphological changes. Surveys based on a one time
        visit to sites in a given region, although without a doubt revealing
        important evidence, represent only a small portion of the information
        that is available on surface. In fact, very often, surveys with the
        best information are those conducted over extended periods (in some
        cases, decades), usualy by a local afficianados, in which sites are re-
        visited time and again and one gets a truly in-depth knowledge of a
        region, even if extensive excavations are not conducted.

        Aren
      • Eliot Braun
        Sherding or any removal of antiquities from sites should never be done by anyone unless she or he is licensed to do so and unless there is an archaeological
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 3, 2007
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          "Sherding" or any removal of antiquities from sites should never be done by anyone unless she or he is licensed to do so and unless there is an archaeological report published on it. Each successive removal removes something of the archaeological profile of the site and, ipso facto, diminishes it. Casual collectors should be discouraged. I would recommend, for those who still would like the thrill of discovery and the excitement of finding ancient artifacts on visits to sites to try using a a digital camera, especially with macro capabilities and take photos of objects picked up and placed back where they were found as soon as they are examined. The array of surface material is just as important as its presence on a site (see: Robert McCormick Adams' Land Behind Baghdad and the Uruk Countryside).

          My other suggestion is that, should some very special object be found and the finder is capable of overcoming the lust of collecting, that its place be noted. Then it should be turned over to whatever legal authority is in charge of the site and responsible for curating its antiquities.



          Eliot Braun, Ph D, masquerading as Dr Pangloss
          Ha-oren 12, Har Adar 90836, Israel
          Tel. 972-2-5345687 / 972-2-5704189
          Cell: 972-50-223 1096
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: arenmaeir
          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 8:49 AM
          Subject: [ANE-2] Re: repeat visit to sites


          Clearly, one must revisit sites every few years if you want to start
          understanding it. Experienced archaeological surveyers know that to get
          a good "sherding representation" you have to return to a site several
          times during the period of a regional survey. At different times of the
          year (so as to get site exposure with different types of vegetation
          coverage, etc.) and over a period of more than a year, so as to benefit
          from various geomorphological changes. Surveys based on a one time
          visit to sites in a given region, although without a doubt revealing
          important evidence, represent only a small portion of the information
          that is available on surface. In fact, very often, surveys with the
          best information are those conducted over extended periods (in some
          cases, decades), usualy by a local afficianados, in which sites are re-
          visited time and again and one gets a truly in-depth knowledge of a
          region, even if extensive excavations are not conducted.

          Aren






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • cejo@uchicago.edu
          ... Which reminds me to remind you all of: Robert McCormick Adams: Land Behind Baghdad http://www.etana.org/abzu/coretext.pl?RC=20303 Robert McCormick Adams:
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 3, 2007
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            > ...The array of surface material is just as
            > important as its presence on a site (see: Robert McCormick Adams' Land Behind Baghdad and
            > the Uruk Countryside).

            Which reminds me to remind you all of:

            Robert McCormick Adams: Land Behind Baghdad
            http://www.etana.org/abzu/coretext.pl?RC=20303

            Robert McCormick Adams: The Uruk Countryside
            http://www.etana.org/abzu/coretext.pl?RC=20309

            Robert McCormick Adams: Heartland of cities
            http://www.etana.org/abzu/coretext.pl?RC=20243

            -Chuck Jones-
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