by Nigel Swift

I was shocked recently to find a number of companies will hire high performing metal detectors for relative peanuts. Whether and how much the Minelab GPX 5000 could be hired in UK is uncertain but £45 a day is normal in Oz.

GPXs can go down to 18.5 to 24 inches, far below the ploughsoil, and over twice as far as the great majority of machines used in the official search for the Staffordshire Hoard. As we have explained many times, that performance gap makes nonsense of claims the full hoard has been recovered.

Yes, at £3,500 the GPX is expensive, but what if any scruff can hire one for a night for very little? For years we have shown, repeatedly, that the hoard field has been nighthawked, repeatedly, and if it is happening at a tiny hiring cost what a disgrace that archaeologists haven’t revisited the site, this time with the proper equipment!

Not rabbits. So where’s the official comment?


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting