You are currently browsing the daily archive for 10/01/2011.

This an opportunity to learn more about Fyfield Down (Site of Special Scientific Interest) with Peter Keene, formerly senior lecturer in geomorpology at Oxford Brooks University.

“The ability to ‘read’ landscapes or to have ‘an eye for the country’ adds a new dimension to our appreciation of our surroundings. On this walk, from Avebury via Overton Down to Clatford Bottom across the Fyfield SSSI we shall learn through discussion and investigation of the evidence that is observable in the field how the landscape, with its layers of chalk, sarsen rocks, streams and dry valleys, evolved in this part of the Marlborough Downs.”

The walk begins in Avebury at 10:30am on Saturday, 16 July 2011. More here – http://www.wiltshireheritage.org.uk/events/index.php?Action=2&thID=607&prev=1

By the end of today, 10th January, with the year hardly begun, our Artefact Erosion Counter will show almost 8,000 recordable archaeological artefacts having been removed already this year by artefact hunters with metal detectors from the fields of England and Wales. It is a conservative estimate and we believe there is reason to think it should actually be a lot higher. On the other hand, according to the Portable Antiquities Scheme a maximum of only 2,300 of those finds will have been reported to them (a large number with inadequate levels of detail).

It is easy to simply scoff and deny the figures are true, and thousands of metal detecting artefact hunters and the Portable Antiquities Scheme do exactly that without ever having offered a scintilla of explanation why. But  unlike thousands of metal detecting artefact hunters and the Portable Antiquities Scheme we have taken the trouble to look at the available evidence and have based the Counter squarely upon that.

Here is the Counter, together with the evidence that underpins it and some reflections upon the issue. We think it speaks for itself – as do the denials.

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More Heritage Action views on metal detecting and artefact collecting

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