You are currently browsing the daily archive for 14/01/2023.

For many years in scores of articles we have expressed our conviction that because archaeologists used inadequate equipment in their searches much treasure material was left in the Staffordshire hoard field, prey to better-equipped nighthawks. The resultant losses are incalculable but it now seems they may have been even greater than feared. See this apparent bombshell from Wikipedia:

“For 1,300 years the treasure lay undisturbed, and eventually the landscape evolved from forest clearing to grazing pasture to working field. Then treasure hunters equipped with metal detectors – ubiquitous in Britain – began to call on farmer Fred Johnson, asking permission to walk the field. “I told one I’d lost a wrench and asked him to find that,” Johnson says. Instead, on 5 July 2009, Terry Herbert came to the farmhouse door and announced to Johnson that he had found Anglo-Saxon treasure.”

So not just Terry Herbert but an unknown number of metal detectorists had been searching the field (legally and without reporting finds) for who knows how long before the archaeologists arrived. It’s hardly fanciful to think that if the archaeologists discovered 4,000 items then metal detectorists, whether legal ones before them or nighthawks subsequently, will have discovered many others.



Our pleas to the authorities to go back, with appropriate modern equipment, and do a proper job have always been ignored. Yet if they do so they WILL find more. What’s the problem?


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting


January 2023

Follow Us

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Facebook

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10,807 other subscribers

Twitter Feed

%d bloggers like this: