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By Nigel Swift

In my opinion there’s a horrible disconnect between the genuine love and respect for the past exhibited by so many decent members of the public and the endless high-profile grabbery of 27,000 metal detectorists. Recent discussion of ARCHI UK, a phone based facility allowing detectorists to pinpoint 190,000 archaerological sites of interest (for a purpose we all know perfectly well), reminded me of my 2015 visit to Kempsey, Worcestershire, where I wrote about and photographed this:

https://heritageaction.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/kempsey-saxon-1.jpg
“It was erected by the locals following the discovery of 42 ancient graves during the construction of the flood defences and it contains the inscription: “Marking the reburial of our Saxon and Mediaeval ancestors 800-1300 BC …

“Not all of Kempsey’s past is cherished though. Some of it is being exploited. Like every village by now probably, Kempsey has been visited by metal detectorists under the unique Bonkers British legal umbrella which says they needn’t tell anyone about 99.98% of the historical finds they come across. One wonders just how much cultural knowledge of its past that has cost Kempsey bearing in mind that ARCHI UK, the database aimed at metal detectorists, lists 271 archaeological and historical sites within 10 km of the centre of the village!”

So, archaeologists of Britain, how about less claiming that Wayne is doing a fine job and a bit more mention of Kempsey?

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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