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Believe it or not, THIS is included in the Festival of British Archaeology:

The Great Coin Hunt – Metal Detecting for Kids….. Children aged 6 and up drop-in and use a metal detector to discover your own coin hoard. (Cyfarthfa Castle Museum, Merthyr Tydfil, July 27 2012)

Come on British Archaeologists, write to us and explain how that’s a valid part of British Archaeology. Or wise. And while you’re at it, please explain how the similar message of the upcoming “Britain’s Secret Treasures” programmes is going to be other than inappropriate and damaging:

“Look folks! Never mind joining an amateur archaeology society and doing it properly, anyone can buy a metal detector and legally dig without limit on hundreds of thousands of unprotected archaeological sites and thereby be hailed as “responsible” and perhaps become immensely rich!”

Where can the public go without being served up such pernicious messages? Well, the awful thing is most British archaeologists would tell them how it really is no doubt – but only in private. So the public can whistle for hearing the truth other than by persuading an archaeologist they won’t let on what he said.  Unless of course they happened to go to a gathering of amateurs – like our Megameet, a week next Sunday – where openly declaiming that Archaeology has an ethical bedrock that can’t be validly compromised has no career implications!

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More Heritage Action views on metal detecting and artefact collecting

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