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The Portable Antiquities Scheme website tells detectorists their finds are often the only evidence for human activity which, once removed, will be lost. Therefore. detectorist must report their finds and if they do they’ll be “responsible”.

But look at this fellow. He’s removing the only evidence of human activity. If he reports what he’s removing will he be responsible? Hardly. The term “responsible detecting” is as false and misleading to the public as would be the term “responsible cave art removal”. Yet how many farmers have thrown open their fields to “responsible detecting” on the basis of reassurances from PAS?

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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