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By Nigel Swift

The Portable Antiquities Scheme has just launched a video featuring lots of Establishment figures explaining how important it is for detectorists to abide by the proper Code of Practice. Good.

But a large number don’t and most of them are members of the Council for Metal Detecting which refuses to endorse the Code of Practice and has published its own, far weaker, code which doesn’t oblige members to report non-treasure items to PAS, but seems to.

I’ve spent many years wasting my breath begging PAS and archaeologists to warn farmers not to be misled by claims of false valour. They haven’t, and this was an ideal moment for them to do so. In my opinion not conning the landowner about your behaviour is the single most important thing a detectorist should be doing for the farmer, science, archaeology and the country yet there’s not a word on the video about that from the professionals.

In my opinion, that’s just not right. It lets everybody down.


A scammer who posed as a United States Navy veteran and defrauded innocent Americans of almost a quarter of a million dollars is heading to federal prison.


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting


November 2021

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