11 August 2016

Myth: Treasure Hunters Are Greedy


Mark Snell said...

Yes, I have heard that for most of my adult life. The artifacts that I have found over the last 40 years were used to teach courses at West Point and Shepherd University. They are another form of "primary sources." When my students were able to "touch" history, it brought the era that we were studying alive to them. I despise indiscriminate relic hunting, especially for profit. But one only has to look at the NPS's employment of volunteer relic hunters at Little Big Horn. Their work changed the way historians interpret that battle.

Also, look at how relic hunters have been able to find the exact spot where Corporal Alvin York performed the deeds that let to his Medal of Honor: http://sgtyorkdiscovery.com/

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Mark.

"They are another form of "primary sources." Yes, as you no doubt are aware, most of what we know today about accoutrements, artillery shells, etc. has come to us from the efforts of relic hunters.

I'm ambivalent about "hunting for profit" - as long as it's done legally. Museums sell items all the time. That's a profit motive. There's nothing inherently immoral or unethical about a profit motive. That being said, I've never sold anything I've found and have no intention of doing so.

Yes, some archeologists are finally coming to the realization that relic hunting is a valuable resource. The folks at Montpelier have a great program. Thanks for the York link, I was not aware.