For many a year we’ve complained PAS has lent over too far not to criticise detectorists when it was called for. To that end there has been too much demonising of nighthawks without explaining to landowners that legal detectorists, through non reporting, do vastly more damage.

But on Twitter this week there’s been a distinct change. One FLO stressed “whilst not a crime, non reporting of non Treasure items still results in the same knowledge loss” and another was even clearer: “Non-reporting is a much larger threat to the archaeological resource than is being posed by criminality.”

So what’s going on? Could it be that PAS, thinking it might soon be Brexited away, has stopped worrying about offending detectorists and, freed from its reticence, has resolved to protect the resource by telling landowners the truth? In particular about exactly how awful mass commercial detecting rallies are? If so then something good could come from the end of PAS. Like this …..

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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