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[For more on Dr Hardy’s conclusions put “Sam Hardy” in our search box].

Two weeks ago we highlighted a bombshell from Sam Hardy of UCL, the fact that laissez faire regimes don’t reduce metal detecting damage, only regulation does. But there’s more….. Both PAS and we have long assumed there are about 8,000 licit detectorists but he has concluded there are 24,300, three times more. If so, our Erosion Counter is massively understated and the 72,000 finds recorded by PAS each year is a very low proportion of what is found with 9 out of 10 detecting finds in Britain being lost to science.

It is to be hoped that a copy of his paper has found its way to the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group. We hope that something else will find its way to them as well: we intend to add the following to our Erosion Counter, some revised figures based on Dr Hardy’s estimate of detectorist numbers. Is it all too shocking to be true? Don’t blame us, we have been saying things are only one third as bad…..

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Based on Dr Sam Hardy’s estimate, a running total of the number of recordable archaeological artefacts removed from the fields of England and Wales by metal detectorists (92% without being reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme).
Total per day: 2,385
So far this year: 216,500

Since the start of the Portable Antiquities Scheme: 17,664,000
Total since 1975: 38,250,000

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