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Historic England’s latest Heritage at Risk report includes 2,000 archaeological sites they’re protecting. But there are some omissions. Not listed as “At Risk” is Stonehenge (which they favour damaging because the Government wants them to) and also tens of thousands of non-scheduled buried archaeological sites and scatters which tens of thousands of detectorists will be looking for today.

Here’s a tool they’ll be using: https://www.lidarfinder.com. It’s designed by archaeologists to aid conservation but it also makes depletion simple. The essence of all artefact hunting is maximizing the chances of finding “productive” archaeological sites and Lidar ruthlessly reveals where those sites are.

Take a look at your home area and zoom in. Did you know all those archaeological features were there? We doubt it, but your local metal detectorists will. Shouldn’t Historic England be publicising to the public the wider reality of Heritage at Risk, see below, and how easily – as happens in other countries – far greater protection could be given?

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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