“Are you a club looking for land? 

“Let’s go digging have land in Wales, Lancashire and Devon that they can’t use. They are offering the land to clubs that might need it as it could be lost otherwise. Interested? Contact Paul at LGD either via Facebook or via their website.”



Yes you read it right. Lets Go Digging, the commercial artefact hunting organisation that offers farmers up to £1,000 to allow their clients to remove archaeological artefacts from their fields, is now offering to transfer such permissions to others.

Let’s hope this latest humiliating blow to Britain’s reputation is temporary. DEFRA Secretary Michael Gove has said farm subsidies after Brexit must be earned. Maybe not letting such events take place on your land will be classed as worthy of being paid a subsidy.

For many years PAS has studiously ignored all our ideas for reducing knowledge loss and protecting the buried archaeological resource. Which is strange, as those two aims are their whole raison d’etre. However, a Finds Liaison Officer has just taken notice and suggests we send a list of our suggestions to see what might be done.  It’s a great offer.

We thought we’d start by sending just one suggestion which goes to the heart of the matter. It’s that we think PAS should make it clear on their website that not reporting recordable metal detected archaeological finds is not merely irresponsible but immoral. Why? Because in a country where, in the 20 years PAS has existed, a small hobby has withheld 13 million bundles of knowledge from the public and science, such a statement is 20 years overdue.

PLUS, we think the gruesome and capacious underbelly of the hobby, see below, ought to be shown to the public and landowners, not ignored by officialdom. Let PAS do a bit more exposing and a bit less praising.





Here’s Donald Trump dramatically throwing a 10,000 page environmental report on the floor saying “These binders could be replaced by just a few simple pages, it would be just as good. It would be much better.”


It’s a salutary warning for Britain. Even the best, most authoritative advice can sometimes be ignored, given a strong enough agenda to do so.

Which brings us to Stonehenge:
It is to be hoped that following UNESCO’s ruling that a short tunnel is unacceptable, Highways England will not produce an amended short tunnel as their preferred route which is still a short tunnel.

Watch this space….

A Personal post by Alan S.

Regular readers will know of my love for all things Cornish – in particular the prehistoric heritage of the Duchy area, which has been covered here from time to time.

I am pleased to say that, although it took much longer than originally anticipated after my first visit to the area in 2002, I am finally moving from the smoke of London to reside in Cornwall!

My nearest major monument upon arrival at my destination will be a major tor enclosure, occupied between 3700 and 3400 BC. The tor is visible from miles around and is a major landmark in the area, partly due to a 90ft Celtic Cross, erected on the summit of the tor as a memorial to Francis_Basset, 1st Baron de Dunstanville and Basset.

I’m talking of course, of Carn Brea, situated between Redruth and Camborne.

Valentine’s Series, Souvenir Post Card

The site was excavated in the early 1970’s by Roger Mercer, when traces of platforms for Neolithic long houses were found within the ramparts. In fact, the excavations coined the use of a new site type, ‘tor enclosure’, of which several further examples have since been identified within Cornwall.

Over 700 leaf-shaped flint arrowheads found clustered around the main entrance to the enclosure have been interpreted as one of the earliest indications of ‘warfare’, evidence that the site was attacked by warriors armed with bows and there were also suggestions that the houses had been burned down.

©Cornwall Historic Environment Service.

The hilltop has been the site of human activity through many periods since, with finds of Bronze Age tools, Iron Age (and much later) mining activity, and even a small number of Roman period finds.

There is a well on the northern slopes which is related to a folk tale of a Giant, who picked a fight with another nearby Giant, ‘Bolster’ who lived on St Agnes Beacon. This story is duplicated throughout Cornwall – the Giants of Trencrom and St Michael’s Mount for instance having a similar tale of combat.

To say I’m excited to be moving to the area would be an understatement, and I look forward to bringing  more news and stories of the Cornish prehistoric period to the Heritage Journal in future months.


Recent advice to colleagues from a well known detectorist: .

“It helps to mark the envelope ‘Numismatic Specimen’ rather than ‘roman coin’ thus helping to deflect the attention of prying eyes.”



Western Black Rhinos became extinct recently, but we still have pictures.

Northern Black Rhinos are about to join them, but we’ll still have pictures.

Thirteen million bundles of knowledge haven’t been reported by metal detectorists. We don’t have pictures….





Back in 2010 we bemoaned the fact that so few prehistoric sites were in Britain’s tentative list for nomination as candidates for World Heritage status. So we suggested….

“If there aren’t going to be any specific prehistoric sites amongst the front runners, we’d probably support The Lake District – on the grounds that it includes many amazing prehistoric sites – and is anyway a marvellously strong contender for a host of other reasons as well.”

We’re delighted to say it made it! UNESCO has just announced The Lake District will be our new World Heritage Site. What with that and UNESCO formally telling Britain the short tunnel at Stonehenge is unacceptable it’s been a good week for heritage.

Sunkenkirk Stone Circle, Cumbria – (Image credit Tim Clark, Heritage Action)


  “We pay up to £1,000 per visit for our members to metal detect your fields…”

Hey, PAS, EH, HE, CBA, NFU, CIfA, ALGAO, RCHAM, BM, APPAG why so quiet?

Are you content that this is happening weekly in Britain but nowhere else, not even in North Korea?


We’ve had this response from a metal detectorist:

“Yes I am very happy that in Britain, detectorists are allowed, and encouraged, to contribute to the PAS. Whereas, in North Korea:-

It is illegal for the North Korean people to leave their country without the regime’s permission, and the regime attempts to restrict the people’s movement even inside their own country.

If you wish to travel to another part of the country, you are supposed to have a specific purpose and obtain permission from your work unit. If you do not live in Pyongyang, the showcase capital where most resources are concentrated, you will likely be denied access.

The regime has also forcibly relocated hundreds of thousands of North Koreans to less favourable parts of the country as a form of punishment and political persecution.

If Heritage Action’s disciples want to compete with the UK’s ‘Tekkies’ in the heritage stakes, then they should stump up the cash: That’s democracy, but I recognise, such a political concept is alien to many of your bag-carriers – poets, ‘writers on the edge’ (of what remains unclear) – who’d apparently like to foist North Korea’s values on Britain.

There’s no dissension in North Korea, in case you hadn’t noticed. Were Heritage Action/Journal to lampoon North Korea’s government under that regime, Nigel Swift, Sandy whats-her-name, et al, ad nauseam, would end up with a bullet in the back of the neck. So, not all bad then, some might say!

I’d reckon, 1K per farmer to hunt is good value.”

Says it all. North Korea is a terrible regime and yet ….





July 2017
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