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There have been reactions to last week’s launch of our new (notional) club and before we flesh it out further here are our comments about those:

It’s an obvious truth that our simple Code of Conduct, “detect only to gain knowledge and only for the benefit of the public” is far less damaging than “responsible detecting” and produces more knowledge for society as it involves no finds agreements, no rewards, no taking artefacts home, no profit motive and no acting without the assent of local archaeologists.

Just one archaeologist has said it’s “pointless” because no detectorist will agree. But that’s insulting to those who we know do agree and who already act like that. So we think it’s actually a no-brainer. Of course, it won’t appeal to most detectorists but so what? It’s well worth promoting as for more than 20 years detectorists have been told a sub-optimal, compromise code is the maximum to which they should aspire. They should be reminded there’s a far better way to behave than that, like tens of thousands of amateur archaeologists already do without fuss or complaint.

Various detectorists (but not all) have reacted badly to it, exhibiting the same fury they employed against all previous proposals for reform including by PAS, ourselves and the latest Institute of Detectorists one, namely that it will create a two-level hobby with the ones at the bottom (them!) losing out. All we can say to that, is YES, the sooner the better! PAS has been trying to get them all to be “responsible” for 2 decades yet most still aren’t so it’s high time to admit, like we and the Institute of Detectorists imply, that most will NEVER co-operate and only the others matter. Morlochs and Eloi spring to mind !



More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting


October 2020

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