You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Metal detecting’ category.

The Council has posted this:


Permission for metal detecting
Following some incidents, we are currently reviewing our policy on detecting and so are not granting any permissions on Council-owned land at this time.


;

Incidents? The mind boggles. But what we do know is that their previous policy, their Metal detecting Guidance document (PDF) was shambolic. ( https://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/media/927037/Metal_Detecting_Guidance.pdf

Much of it is copied verbatim from the detectorists’ 0wn NCMD Guidance, carefully worded to only pay lip service to responsible behaviour. Thus, there’s no insistence that all reportable finds should be reported to PAS nor the fact everything found belongs to the Council and must be delivered to them!

They might as well have said, “Fill yer Boots”! By contrast, compare the metal detecting advice in Doncaster, where archaeologists, not detectorists wrote the policy. No theft from the Council or knowledge-theft from the community there!

;

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

 

Leaders of the CBA have co-signed a letter published in The Times criticising the UK Government’s proposal to cut funding to the 43 UK Universities that deliver archaeology degrees and pointing out that

“Contemporary archaeology is founded on meticulous excavation and state-of-the-art scientific analyses using the principles of physics, chemistry, biology and statistics — everything from satellites to scanning electron microscopes — thus blending the sciences with the humanities through questions of identity, power and belonging. An archaeology degree course provides grounding in the sciences, scrupulous training in fieldwork and a feeling for the debates embracing our history” …and much else.

Agreed, and yet, the CBA is supporting an increase in Treasure reward “bribes” given to metal detectorists, 90% of whom lack the comprehension or sense of decency to donate their Treasure finds to museums for free!

Money is tight, of course. But should we be regretting a reduction in spending on Archaeological education while supporting an increase in the payment of Dane Geld? Apart from the moral considerations, which are obvious, should not the CBA be applying some cost-benefit analysis?

,

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

Is damaging an ancient site still vandalism if you say you’re doing it “to benefit the public”? It’s a question that was clarified last June at Doll Tor, Derbyshire, arguably Britain’s most picturesque stone circle.

.

The fact that “some of the smaller stones had been moved to sit on” caused huge indignation. How dare anyone change a public asset for their own benefit? But what if the culprits, when caught, mounted the defence that “We did it so the wider public would have more convenient places to sit”?

Would that defence work? Or would a judge say “no, that’s no excuse for blatant vandalism and citing “public interest” to justify it merely displays arrogance, especially when the changes can never, ever be undone”?

English Heritage, Historic England, the National Trust, and Wiltshire Council ought to be forced to explain how their behaviour at Stonehenge differs from the behaviour of a couple of little scrotes at Doll Tor. (You may have noticed: they haven’t done so, as they can’t.)

 

Someone has sent us a comment saying: “Some countries pay their blood donors….but the UK and the World Health Organisation say this is not a good method.” We agree, and by the same token offering treasure hunters, the option of a reward instead of voluntarily donating finds is also not wise for, unfortunately, more than 90% of detectorists insist on being paid in full.

Worse, the Treasure they are paid for already belongs to those who are paying for it and is sometimes taken to rallies and “laundered by findspot description” having been stolen by nighthawks or (more often) withheld from the landowners who would otherwise have shared the reward.

So, to be clear: it’s like Tesco’s rewarding people who bring them pork chops or Britain paying oodles for blood, knowing that some of it has been stolen! We’re “making progress,” says the mantra constantly served up to stakeholders, taxpayers, and parliament. Are we? And the evidence?

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

By Nigel Swift

We have got somewhere. They have not. Bitter, twisted, and deluded.

Blimey! I was surprised by such an attack on those of us who are metal detecting sceptics by an archaeologist on Twitter this week. The claim “got somewhere” is hardly supported by the poor reporting rate to PAS or the fact tens of thousands of UK detecting finds get sold on eBay. Nor by the fact that in 2013 our accuser said he wanted detecting licensed yet 8 years on it still hasn’t been.

But there’s yet more proof that progress isn’t happening. All 27,000 detectorists avidly scan the ground surface while detecting, so they are also Field Walkers and could be expected, if anyone is getting somewhere, to adhere to the BAJR Guide to Field Walking. But here’s what that Guide specifies, followed by a tick or a cross to indicate if metal detectorists comply with them. Hoist. Petard.

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

This bit of nonsense, putting a mask on the Long Man of Wilmington, “as a joke” …

… has prompted lots of “official” condemnation.  It’s “an affront to those who maintain this heritage asset for the enjoyment of all” [The Police] and “We’re incredibly saddened that someone has deliberately damaged the Long Man of Wilmington” [Simon Dowe, chief executive of Sussex Archaeological Society}.

On the other hand, crass and unfunny though it is, it happens to be reversible whereas 20,000 detectorists not reporting their finds is also crass and unfunny but also massively damaging, and in every case entirely irreversible. So where’s the cacophony of official condemnation of THAT?

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

 

by Nigel Swift

The UK is to revise the definition of treasure “to protect its rare artifacts“! That sounds like great news. But is it? People who keep and hide nationally important objects that belong in museums unless they are paid are to be offered even more ransoms? Wouldn’t “rewards” in such circumstances be better described as “Yobs geld” and the proposal to increase them as Yobs geld Extra?

.

.

So the term “treasure reward” misleads. But there’s more: “Authorities hope that an expanded definition of treasures will prevent many amateur finds from being illegally sold into private collections.” Who told them to write that?

The reality is that nighthawks and those who wish to defraud farmers can now take an even larger range of criminally sourced important artefacts to metal detecting rallies and there legally “find” them, thereby laundering them by findspot description and claiming even more rewards from the taxpayer. See? Yobsgeld Extra will increase nighthawking.

And so our British talent for damaging our own interest continues. Anyone care? Anyone told DCMS or APPAG?

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

 

 

Despite the pandemic and the parlous state of national finances, expensive reforms to the Treasure Act are imminent and the public is being misinformed about them.

Here are four true headlines and one truth:

.

 

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

 

 

In 2005 we  published the Heritage Action Artefact Erosion Counter (HAAEC), providing a real-time running total of the likely number of artefacts found by detectorists. Evidence from various surveys (including detectorists; ones) show that on average each active detectorist finds at least 30.5 recordable artefacts per year and we assumed at the time there were 8,000 active detectorists, hence the rate of “tick”.

The resultant total now stands at close to 6.3 million recordable artefacts dug up since PAS was formed (compared with 1.5 million recordable artefacts recorded in the PAS database.) However, there are now perhaps 27,000 active detectorists and accordingly in 2018 Paul Barford published a revised counter reflecting this growth.

The implications are very sobering and Paul has now prepared the graphic below showing how things will be in ten years assuming the same number of detectorists each finding the same number of artefacts per year.

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

By Nigel Swift

I see that Mike Lewis, Head of PAS and Mike Heyworth, ex Director of CBA have been raising awareness in the Times over the fact very few finds from commercial detecting rallies get reported. They have a huge point. Making loads of money out of Society’s back yard while giving almost nothing back to Society is surely not right? But there’s more than that for them to be scandalised over:

Here’s a rare Roman horse brooch from Leasingham found by a detectorist. He “allowed it to be put on display” in a museum. You (and Messrs Lewis and Heyworth) might well wonder what sort of self-entitled creepiness leads someone to “allow it to be put on display” rather than simply handing it over. That’s because if you (or they) had found it you’d have probably handed it over in a heartbeat. As that would be moral.

Yet sadly, the 0.04% of the British population, who find the bulk of Treasure items, mostly want paying. A lot. Or else. Even in a pandemic, and with the heritage sector skint. Britain really shouldn’t be being blackmailed. Indeed, the blackmail is about to be extended, presumably with the blessing of Messrs Lewis and Heyworth, with even more items never owned by detectorists being made subject to Treasure Act rewards for handing them over. It is being branded as “More items to be saved for the nation” but in fact, it’s “more items are to qualify for being ransomed”.

Why are moral pygmies being further enriched for doing something the great majority of the population would be glad to do without payment? Wouldn’t bigger penalties be cheaper than extending the rewards? If “paying for reporting” is a sensible policy why not pay commercial rally organisers to ensure finds are reported? Reductio ad absurdum, eh? Such a shame Socrates isn’t in charge!

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

 

 

Archives

August 2021
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

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 10,370 other followers

Twitter Feed

%d bloggers like this: