A detectorist called “Oxgirl” has just revealed one of the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s greatest failures:
“I have a permission where they stipulated all items, unless they fall under the treasure act, must not be reported to PAS.”

To be clear: historic artefacts that don’t fit the definition of “Treasure” – and that’s 99.99% of detecting finds, ranging from single coins right up to the Crosby Garrett Helmet, would be kept secret and lost to science forever.

PAS have told detectorists that if the farmer won’t let them report finds they shouldn’t detect on that land – but of course, a lot of detectorists aren’t exactly blessed in the morality department and openly reject that plea. But far more importantly, PAS haven’t given the same advice to farmers. It wouldn’t take much doing: an article in the farming press simply saying “No reporting, no detecting”. But no, PAS is so shamefully keen not to upset their detecting partners, they say not a word.

It is, put simply, a scandal.


PS:

Paul Barford has tweeted: “The thread (which I’ve a feeling the forum moderators will soon be ‘disappearing’) is called “What would you do[?]” not one (allegedly) “responsible” artefact hunter responds with a simple “walk away”. Lots of wheedling whiny self-justification of “just carry on regardless”. Oiks”

They are indeed oiks Paul.
“Easylife” has spoken for the whole ignorant crew:
“I have no idea what your find was as you have not said, but quite simply just don’t report it then as it is purely a voluntary scheme though it is more ideal to have the landowner’s consent. I personally would have to respect my landowners wishes out of loyalty for being given the permission.”

Damaging the resource by detecting where you can’t report is one sort of oikism. Being an educated archaeologists and failing to tell farmers to ban such oiks from access is worse. Very sad. How much culture is being allowed to be lost to these people daily?

PPS:

May 14 Heading to the to chair Best Practice working group and then on to meet colleagues to discuss advocacy for

13h13 hours ago Are we looking at potential changes to the Treasure Act? That would make a huge difference to losing too many artefacts that should be in museums, not in auction houses