Well done for camping out to protect a hoard. It was your moral duty as you were its guardian, But why spoil it by saying you wanted a reward? People who are held up as amateur archaeologists shouldn’t be holding their hands out. Real amateur archaeologists don’t. Real archaeologists can’t, and before metal detectorists most people didn’t. A contributor to the BAJR forum has just said it well:

Museums still have to find the money to pay a detectorist’s reward … A detectorist with a genuine commitment to archaeology should have no problem turning down the finder’s reward …Class and income should not be part of the equation – it’s a moral decision.”.

Yes, moral. No-one is paid for not exceeding the speed limit or not shoplifting or for helping an old lady across the road. So why this? It’s rarely said but the reward system wasn’t to give rewards but to pay ransoms to stop detectorists acting immorally by stealing treasure finds which didn’t belong to them. All the more reason to make the law strong enough that it would NEVER happen. Simple really. Why should they ask and why should we pay?

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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