Yet again grubby detectorist oiks have attacked a scheduled monument with metal detectors. This time, Old Sarum.

Note our use of the term “grubby detectorist oiks” not nighthawks. The latter term lets off the hook every detectorist who ever got permission but didn’t report what they found, thus stealing our and posterity’s history in exactly the same way as the grubby oiks on Old Sarum – but,  because they out-number them so greatly, vastly more damagingly.

It would be nice if the archaeological Establishment and the police made that point instead of pretending that nighthawking was somehow more culturally damaging than legal non-reporting. It isn’t, not by a factor of many thousands.


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting