PAS funding is declining relentlessly. The gaps left by departing archaeologists are being filled by artefact hunters. Despite PAS’s brave face about it at this week’s Conference, that’s a bad thing surely – for detecting will carry on but the education and mitigation by archaeologists the Government said were the two reasons for letting it do so are shrinking. We suggest detectorists stump up some cash as it’s PAS that has kept them in existence. £3 a week each would provide thirty new FLOs. Trouble is, PAS has been asking them for voluntary donations for exactly 3 months now and only a dozen people have responded.
So our suggestion wasn’t serious, it was simply to illustrate that if ever-decreasing outreach and mitigation is considered unacceptable then there’s no viable alternative to regulation. New PAS will have twigged that so hopefully they’ve said so to the Government. When 99.9% of detectorists decline to support PAS voluntarily and 70% of them decline to report their finds, the case for action makes itself. I wonder if the new management has decided that whitewashing doesn’t serve the public interest? A tweet this week from a PAS archaeologist is worth noting. It’s horse’s mouth when for once the horse isn’t being gagged:
“Been FLO here for 10 years. Today detectorist told me generally detectorists in the area don’t trust PAS/BM because they get nothing back.” “Totally sick of hearing this“.