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The closure of university archaeology departments won’t help that process. Nor will the fact that (in the words of David Connolly of British Archaeological Jobs & Resources): “We’ve lost a lot of the Europeans … it’s become almost impossible to get anyone here” and “I would say the country is anywhere from 500 to 1,000 archaeologists short”.

So the Government’s determination to “protect” is arguable. Here are four simple questions which a Government determined to protect ought to be able to answer without difficulty (but can they?):

  1. Where exactly was the secret venue in the Leyton Buzzard area where a hundred people dug archaeology for money yesterday? (We don’t know).
  2. Was it an archaeologically sensitive area and was any damage done? (We don’t know)
  3. What was pocketed to avoid sharing with the farmer? (We don’t know).
  4. Did archaeologists approve the venue or attend the event? (No they didn’t).

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No, not that site. That’s the Leighton Buzzard birdwatching site. They have no reason for secrecy.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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