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“As in any hobby or organization you have a small rouge (sic) element this includes detector users, archeologists, and no doubt some Heritage Action employees”

We were amused by the above slip of a detectorist’s pen in a Comment to our piece on detecting on ridge and furrow  (we haven’t published it there as the discussion seems to be sterile). But perhaps we’re entitled to react to the much cited claim by detectorists that there are rogue elements everywhere.

For the avoidance of doubt it should be clearly understood that neither archaeologists nor Heritage Action members have a nighthawking wing. Nor do they favour grabbing things for themselves. Nor not reporting them. Nor selling them.

Since all detectorists are guilty of between 1 and 4 of those things (and most of them are guilty of at least 2 according to PAS), attempting to say there’s a comparison between the behaviour of detectorists and that of archaeologists and Heritage Action members is a bit silly.

The difference is clear. Detectorists exploit and remove for their personal benefit. All of them. Very very very few other people involved with heritage matters do that. Only one group that is interested in heritage needs to blush, and it’s not archaeologists or Heritage Action members.


More Heritage Action views on metal detecting and artefact collecting


The Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum will be holding a lecture on Tuesday, the 11th October 2011 at 19:30 entitled The Knowlton Prehistoric Landscape Project – We know a lot about Round Barrows don’t we?

More here and at The Knowlton Prehistoric Landscape Project.


April 2011

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