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Detectorists at “Scotty’s Bellingham Dig” started finding treasure. So they brought in a JCB – and a massive free-for-all ensued:

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Detectorist Andy Holbrook (who runs a 23,000 member forum (Edit: a leading light in) said: The way they went about this is a total shambles and god knows why they got the farmer in with his JCB. The area should of been cordoned off untill a FLO or county archaeologist could be there to excavate it properly. God knows how many coins were found and highly doubt any will be handed in “

Yet a FLO (who hadn’t been there) assured him (and the public):Don’t worry Andy Holbrook, it’s all in hand. Yes, the use of the excavator was pretty poor, but was done without the organisers knowledge or consent. All efforts were made to get archaeologists on site as soon as possible. All the hoard related material has been reported, or is in the process of being reported. Nothing is being lost.”

So, a new low? PAS has already claimed non-reporting isn’t damage. Is it now becoming more of an apologist for bad metal detecting practice than metal detectorists?

PS: The 2 quotes above are verbatim and here’s another about The Searcher: “In light of what we saw in the original video, The Searcher Magazine will not be publishing any report relating to this “Hoard”!  Go figure, but the PAS’s assurances: “it’s all in hand” and “Nothing is being lost” look plain silly in contrast. It’s to be hoped someone in PAS will see that.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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