The Erosion Counter has just passed 12,500,000, showing 500,000 artefacts have been dug up in just 21 months. We’ve always said 70% of them don’t get reported but the Portable Antiquities Scheme disagrees, saying only 66% aren’t reported. We’ll settle for that.
Here’s what it means: if each unrecorded find is an inch wide then our country is allowing 4.5 miles of artefacts to disappear unreported every year. Or if you prefer, in the 18 years since this spiffing system began, they’d stretch from the PAS office in Bloomsbury to English Heritage’s office in Swindon.
Makes you proud to be British! “This arrangement has proved to be successful and has grown and been nurtured by responsible detectorists within my organisation who have striven to make the Portable Antiquities Scheme the success it is today and the envy of the world. Long may this be the case.” [Evidence by the National Council for Metal Detecting to the DCMS, June 2012]