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It would be crass for finds made in work time and the law precludes it. But what about in their spare time, as happened recently? At present, yes, they’re eligible. But should they be detecting at all? We think not, as ethics aren’t portable. PAS clearly agrees, which is presumably why you’ll have never, ever seen an image of a Finds Liaison Officers detecting! Only ex Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey didn’t get that memo!

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Comfortingly, a poll on the ethics of the matter on the BAJR Facebook group reveals that of 464 archaeologists only 6% thought an archaeologist getting a reward for spare time detecting was OK, and then only if he acted like an archaeologist. That sounds fine at first, but we do wonder how you can act like an archaeologist if, as happened in this case, the archaeologist was part of a detecting rally?

PAS tells landowners that most archaeologists (all?) think rallies are damaging and for our part we wonder how the blue blazes random digging and artefact selectivity in anticipation of personal wonga has anything to do with scientific endeavour worthy of respect and reward?

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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