As we’ve often said, the British system makes it simple for crooks to make loads of money simply by lying to PAS about findspots. If they want to nighthawk or to cheat on finds agreements with farmers they can simply launder finds by falsifying the findspot. But some FLOs deny it happens:

If there’s something dodgy it’s usually immediately clear. We’re not amateurs at this. I repeat: we do not launder finds/artefacts” … “Plus there’s even a little info box we can fill in on the database if we’ve any spatial doubts”. But in truth, if a Claverley artefact is “relocated” to Clevedon thereby gaining a dishonest metal detectorist a financial advantage then no-one, including the FLO and the farmer, can possibly know.


So let’s have no more silly denials, PAS does launder finds. Unwittingly, obviously. Facing up to it and acknowledging it is the fault of the system would be more constructive than demanding proof or denying it.


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting