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A recent comment from a metal detector, ‘Bruce’, on one of our older articles stated the following:
I talked to our FLO … who recommended me to join an amateur archaeology group. I liked this idea as I didn’t know there were such things (i.e. its not made known to the majority) so I’m looking to join one next year.
To be brutally honest, the fact that someone engaging in metal detecting and talking to a Finds Liason Officer isn’t aware that there are such things as archaeological societies is frankly astonishing! Particularly when you consider that many metal detectorists state that they have such an intense interest in the history of the objects they discover.
So to help those poor souls – and yes, many of them do find their way to this Journal courtesy of links in their forums – we will embark upon a short series of posts over the coming weeks highlighting some of the local archaeology societies around the country in the hope that they will consider joining their local society, to learn a bit more about ‘hands-on’ archaeology, what can be learned when things are done properly, and why just hoiking shiny trinkets out of the ground with no consideration for context is such a bad thing – a recent news item in British Archaeology magazine highlighted the fact that context is all, with news of a Roman hoard that was apparently buried a hundred years or so after most of the coins were in circulation.
For those who have a genuine interest, the Council for British Archaeology has an extensive web site, and is a good starting point for finding out about local societies and organisations. We shall be selecting organisations from this list and highlighting some of the work they do, and the opportunities and facilities they offer.
If you are a member of such a society, and would specifically like your work to be highlighted in this short series, please contact us.