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Did you see the recent April Fool joke about a detecting rally at Stonehenge? A joke, yet tens of thousands of people DO detect legally on thousands of  other archaeological sites. How come? Because the essence of detecting is maximising finds rates by finding hot spots – and hot spots by their very nature ARE archaeological sites!

So “laissez faire” has delivered to Britain a simple grotesque reality: the vast majority of archaeological sites aren’t protected and of those the more precious they are the more likely they will be collected away to obscurity!

The simple, sad logic of  Britain’s detecting “laissez faire”. Of course, if any archaeologist, official or otherwise, wants to deny it be our guest!

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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