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A farmer is being blaggarded on a forum. Can you guess why: “I’d tell him where to get off!/ he’s taking the YouKnowWhat/ this sets a dangerous precedent/ could spread like a cancer/ As he seems so greedy I would agree & only show him your trash & grots/ Everybody these days want’s something for nothing!/ cheeky so and so/ he may simply be an arrogant pig head.”

Greedy, arrogant pig head

Greedy, arrogant pig head

His crime? He says they can have ALL the finds from his land up to a value of £50 but he’d like to keep anything worth more. What a monster!  Keep in mind, it’s all his anyway, and (according to them) 99.9% of finds are worth below £50 so he’s actually giving them nearly every item, adding up to lots of money and more than enough for any “hobbyist” to collect and study, So much for “in it for the history”! (One of them even reveals a way round it, just as Farmer Silas Brown has warned about: “make sure every thing you find is worth £49.99”. That’s theft, fraud or looting but you need wits or morals to realise that – so how many times has it happened?).

And it’s not just farmers they claim equal status with, it’s archaeologists. Look at this contribution: “When the day dawns that archaeologists donate their time for the love of history and refuse any payment and the associated professional glory of being involved in high-profile digs then I’ll accept their criticism of any gains I make from detecting”


Archaeologists: in it for the money?

Er, no. The vast majority of archaeologists, particularly at the digger level, are extremely poorly paid – often barely above minimum wage levels and often donate their time for free. That’s what “in it for the history” really means. It’s a vocation, not something they hope to get a lottery win out of. Got it?  In addition, try to get your head round this if you can: they’re paid to recover knowledge for the benefit of the public. When detectorists search just for the public’s benefit, only in selected places where it will be beneficial to the public, always entirely  in accordance with the public’s standards of Best Practice – then, and only then, can they claim some sort of equivalence with archaeologists. Until then they are actually more like chancers, working for their own benefit but painting themselves to each other and at the gates of anyone with a random bit of land as something else.


My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch……
“Trolls”. That’s what we’re being called for publishing this article. But look who is saying it – a member of the “Somerset Artifact Seekers” who (until we recently forced them to cancel it) had a rule that said everything they find that isn’t Treasure is entirely THEIRS!

Don’tcha just love ’em? Heroes all !



More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting



January 2015

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