In 2014 we asked whether “Metal detecting” has fallen prey to kakistocracy – government by the most unqualified or unprincipled citizens. Far be it for us to cast aspersions but it is now more than two years since Central Searchers took over the Federation of Independent Detectorists and that Federation’s Code of Conduct still doesn’t say a word about reporting finds to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and Central Searchers still runs rallies with a notorious crook-aiding rule (farmers get no share of any find worth below £2,000, as secretly judged by the detectorist!)
Add to that the fact that an official from the only other detecting organisation, the National Council for Metal Detecting, recently advised his colleagues to lie to French farmers about what they were looking for, and it’s hard to see how kakistocracy doesn’t rule the activity.
And all the time the Archaeological Establishment pretends it hasn’t noticed. Bizarre. Would they do that if members of their own profession were interacting with the archaeological resource in that way?