Merthyr Tydfil Detectorist Excavations
British metal detectorist Anthony Thomas has apparently discovered significant indications of Roman civilization in Merthyr Tydfil, a town in Wales with a population of about 59,500, situated approximately 23 miles (37 km) north of Cardiff.
Local historian Anthony Thomas, 45, has found a series of crop marks believed to date back to Roman times.
The find has been hailed as a discovery which could "rewrite" the history of the town. Mr Thomas first noticed the "unusual, rectangular crop marks" after studying aerial photographs of the land.
He contacted the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust (GGAT) who confirmed that it could be Roman, most likely linked to metal working in the area. The location has not yet been revealed so more exploration can be carried out.
Undistinguished former archaeologist Paul Barford, an English teacher in Warsaw now on holiday in London, reacted predictably and almost violently to this news as a sort of archaeological sacrilege:
Telling it like it is?
Well, that depends upon one's perspective. To Barfy and his ilk, this is archaeosacrilege punishable by whatever sort of ultimate punishment archaeology can devise, e.g. becoming the object of Barfordian blog-scorn.
This observer, not afflicted by such delusions regarding the supreme importance of archaeology, views the actions of Mr. Thomas as being quite reasonable and responsible.
In a way it is regrettable that the ancient British tradition of trial by combat was discarded during the 19th century. Mr. Thomas appears to be a very well set-up gentleman who, according to Barfy, is employed as a "bouncer."
It would be interesting indeed to be present at a confrontation between Barfy and this incarnation of his imaginary image of a "loutish British metal detectorist."
Somehow I doubt whether this particular detectorist would take Barfy seriously enough for actual combat to occur. A "bouncer," to be successful, needs practical and responsible good judgement. It is necessary to distinguish between a real threat to the peace and dignity of the community, and a loudmouthed nuisance.