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A proposed ‘Institute of Detectorists’ is to run a course on “Metal detecting, archaeological principles and the ‘Contextual Detectorist’“. It’s meant for people helping in archaeological surveys and Dr Mike Heyworth an acting tutor, says it’s “nothing to do with any “collection-driven exploitation””

Sadly, that’s unrealistic. Thousands of detectorists tell thousands of farmers they are amateur archaeologists, are “only in it for the history” and report everything to PAS when PAS’s statistics and EBay show otherwise. If they can show farmers a certificate of attendance from an “archaeology” course the opportunity for “collection driven exploitation” will be greatly enhanced.

So today we’re launching our own online course. We were inspired to do so by Michael Lewis of PAS who just opined: “there is a skill to using a detector effectively that comes with experience”. We disagree. The only skill they have is in distinguishing the beeps from “good” digging targets from what they term “rubbish”. Archaeological work requires no such expertise. All beeps matter.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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