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Historian David Starkey is supporting the campaign to keep the Staffordshire hoard local –

“Archaeological finds don’t come any bigger than this….It’s so important, and the figures – 1,500 objects, 5.5kg of gold – it’s big, big, big…… It must stay here, together and intact, to be studied and displayed here in the West Midlands, the foundation of whose history it will now become.”

Fine, Dr Starkey, 1,500 objects is certainly big, big, big. But what about the other 10.68 million (including vast numbers of marvellous ones no doubt) that metal detectorists have taken home as their own or sold? Shouldn’t archaeologists have had the chance to have seen all those and to have decided whether the best should have been deposited in the local museums for local study and local display for the benefit of the locals whose local history they comprise? Aren’t those objects a vastly bigger bigger bigger part of local (and national) history and shouldn’t you be campaigning for those as well? In most cases they comprise history that hasn’t just been lost to local people but to you and everyone else as well!

We understand your position vis-a-vis local heritage Dr Starkey but what is your position on mass historycide?

We feel he could hardly deny we have a valid – indeed inarguable – case, nor could Margaret Hodge, Minister for Culture and Tourism, who also supports the campaign – “It is only right that it should be kept and displayed here in the West Midlands for future generations to enjoy.” In our submission, and that of most archaeologists and politicians abroad, Britain’s treatment of its archaeological objects is fundamentally wrong – so gross inconsistencies in the public pronouncements of prominent British historians and government ministers are bound to arise in consequence. Is it not time Britain stopped  putting its prominent historians and politicians into embarrassing positions?

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Wiltshire metal detecting rally flouts archaeological guidelines

Metal detecting at the end of the noughties: bad just got worse

Metal detecting: a letter to English Heritage

Metal detecting: £3.2 million reward for reporting the Staffordshire hoard should have been £32 million claims detectorist!

Legalised metal detecting? “No thanks, we’re French (and we give a damn about our resource!)” – Official.

Nighthawking: much ado about the wrong thing.

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