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Paul Barford has recently said “It’s not about a “love of history” but a consumerist “love of HAVING”.  Blimey! That’s a bold claim when detectorists can validly say “He can’t possibly know what we’re thinking”.

However, there’s other clear evidence he’s broadly right in that the number of finds reported is implausibly small relative to the number of detectorists. But the truth of that is rarely acknowledged publicly. What’s needed, to settle the matter, is some different, concrete evidence that can’t be denied or ignored. He seems to have hit upon exactly that when he says:

“As you can see, this spade has got a nasty serrated edge for cutting through roots and anything else that’s there to get to the good stuff. Of course if you are following the Code of Best Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting in England and Wales and keeping off pasture and out of undisturbed woodland etc, then you’ll not need that.”


Who can deny it? A huge number of detectorists have one of those. Why? PAS rarely calls a spade a spade in public but not mentioning – and not totally condemning – the use of serrated spades by metal detectorists is really not telling the public a very significant truth.

See here


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting


October 2020

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