From a local paper, great news for both history lovers and thieves…

They’ve made “significant and exciting finds”. Of course, we know local thieves will have seen this and that the travelling ones elsewhere will have picked it up on Google News – and indeed that the precise location will have been plastered all over many of the detecting forums (which say they’re against nighthawking).

However, we’ve blocked out a few details to illustrate the difficulty of publicising any archaeological dig in a country that smiles so kindly on unregulated metal detecting yet apprehends and punishes so few wrongdoers in that community.

Consider this: detectorists never tell each other where they’ve found stuff, and PAS leans over backwards not to publicise detectorists’ find spots because detectorists know what will happen if they do. Yet many of the digs of archaeologists are publicised in the press for the information of every nighttime scruff. Unjust and crazy? You decide!

More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting