Inspector Mark Harrison, Heritage England’s Head of Heritage Crime, just commented about artefact thefts at Corbridge Roman site:
“We recognise that the majority of the metal detecting community comply with the rules relating to the discovery and recovery of objects from the land, but there are still a significant number who don’t.”

So an acknowledgment that artefacts are stolen by detectorists not an exotic separate species labelled “nighthawks”. However, the other false mantra, that the majority of detectorists “comply with the rules” remains – despite the fact that at any one time there may be 24,000 active detectorists yet in 20 years they’ve only told PAS about 1 million finds. Go figure!

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Sustaining this “false news” means landowners aren’t told that most finds from their fields will be lost to science. In addition, officialdom is reluctant to criticise – thus for example it was we not them who shamed Britain’s largest metal detector store into desisting from selling night vision gear! That was beneficial no doubt but the prevailing paradigm precludes anyone saying so.

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