À prominent National Council for Metal Detecting official, JC Maloney, has just expressed both sides of the metal detecting argument in a single sentence. Asked how often people find “hammered coins” he explained: “Certain parts of the country they are relatively abundant, within these areas are “hotspots” trade sites, hoard sites, long gone villages, fair sites etc”. Yes, that’s the whole aim of detecting. Finding hotspots where the finds are most plentiful and only moving on when they dry up. But that’s also the whole problem, something Britain has painted its archaeologists into a silent corner about. A hotspot is the very place that shouldn’t be randomly denuded to the point of extinction. The exact place. Not the adjoining field. Not the one over the road. That precise one, beyond all argument. And these….
That’s information about Kington, Herefordshire, a village selected at random, as shown on a national database of “hotspots” designed for purchase by metal detectorists. It shows 274 mostly unprotected archaeological and historical sites within a 10 km radius. If you live near there and feel like trying your luck on a bronze age site this afternoon you have 86 to choose from.