So why have we gone all Canadaphile? Well, it’s because they’re so refreshingly keen to protect Canada – see above. And they really mean it, for look at this ! Doesn’t that sound great?! Two Americans targeting Canada’s archaeological sites for a populist, far from professional reality show and Canada’s archaeologists stepping in and saying no, you can’t do that without an archaeologist being present! Basically they’re saying Canada’s buried heritage belongs to everyone, not two people. As one of them puts it: “We need accountability and we need an on-site archeologist appointed by the province and for the treasure hunters to cover the cost.”
Meanwhile, back in Britain, not two but hundreds of Americans target our archaeological sites annually without archaeologists being present (they come on organised detecting holidays specifically catering for them) and other detectorists from scores of countries across the globe attend detecting rallies here, also without archaeologists present. (One wonders just how much of a United Nations gathering the recent archaeologist-free rally to remove objects from the site of Weyhill Fair was?!) And of course relentlessly, week after week, thousands and thousands of British people are out (legally) targeting (unprotected) archaeological sites either in groups or on their own without an archaeologist being involved or even informed.
But have you heard lots of British archaeologists demanding “We need accountability, we need on-site archeologists and we need treasure hunters to cover the cost”? Nor me. Canada stands on guard for its buried heritage. Britain doesn’t.