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

Ransacking is right. Ten massive commercial metal detecting rallies on the same farm in the decade since 2010!

But WHY? There’s only one possibility: they’re finding a lot. As one attendee said in 2014: “all I can say is what an event … I think last count there where 12 or 13 gold coins ranging from full staters, quarter staters, celtic silver, french gold . medieval gold, guineas and sov’s. a gold posy ring. not to mention a hat full of hammies … also part of a gold torc and an iron age dagger, the list could go on.” And as the organiser said in 2018: “Those detectorists who have been here before can testify the consistency of the fantastic finds these fields have yielded, and many at that!”

And yet … by 2018 only 23 artefacts from there had appeared in the PAS database! Is that OK with you dear Reader? Ten years of industrial-scale exploitation for commercial gain and oodles of knowledge theft? If so you’ll be pleased to know an eleventh event will be held there next September, but this time for a whole week! For £100 you’ll be able to “detect at your leisure, from dawn to dusk” for seven days – and be free to legally pocket all the finds and blatantly steal all the knowledge!

.

Something like this, but for seven consecutive days from dawn till dusk. Unfathomable behaviour winked at by the British authorities.

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

All the press needed to report was that “a condition is included in any forthcoming planning consent to secure the investigation and recording of the archaeology.” But they added this nonsense: “Archaeologists are warning that an area earmarked for 100 new homes needs to be checked for artefacts before building begins. Cross Road, Deal, is near to a historic goldmine, owing to the discovery of an Iron Age warrior during excavations in the eighties.” 

It’s now certain that nighthawks will be attracted and will steal as many artefacts as they can. The article even includes a map for their convenience …

.

.  .                                 Goldmine

.

How sad that PAS is keen to tell journalists that nearly all detectorists are living marvels but neglects to stress that many looters are constantly looking for targets. And all because they’re frit that Wayne, Olly, and Baz will take umbrage.

.


Coincidentally, Paul Barford has today highlighted a similar issue. Writing about a Treasure Act prosecution he pointed out some press misinformation and asked: “When are the PAS going to arrange information sessions for the British press so we see less of this nonsense?”


.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

As discussions continue on Treasure Act reforms there’ll be a bit of chat about what progress PAS has made. But that. sadly, is all it is, chat. See this from Farmer Brown, six years ago: has anything truly changed since then? Of course not. If there’s going to be a change it had better be radical.


 

Dear Fellow Landowners,

It was a rumbustious night down at the Black Sheep and Wellies on Friday. I and my farming pals celebrated that a detectorist has just written on his blog: “I will also be letting the farmer know that all items found excluding treasure items belong to him, if there is anything that he does not [want] after the recording of the finds I will let him know I am interested in acquiring them”.

He might have added “once he’s obtained independent advice on them“ but still it’s a step forward and I’ll give a bag of mangel-wurzels to any detectorist, archaeologist, lawyer, philosopher or priest that can show why ALL artefact hunters shouldn’t be doing it too. Anything else, like getting the farmer to sign away 50% of his property while still undiscovered (which most detectorists and the whole Archaeological Establishment encourage landowners to do) is plain wrong. Imagine finding your granny had let someone clear her loft when she was out in exchange for 50% of what they said they’d found – and that the Government had urged her to do it!

He’ll get a ton of criticism for what he’s doing but on the other hand he can console himself with the fact he’ll be treating farmers in a fairer and more honorable and respectful way than many thousands of his colleagues as well as English Heritage, the British Museum, the Portable Antiquities Scheme and many others. (Heaven help their grannies!)

Regards,

Silas Brown,
Grunter’s Hollow Farm,
Worfield,
Salop

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

 

 

 

What if you find a hoard but the FLO is on holiday? PAS has just said this is OK: “If the findspot is public and it is not safe to leave the find in the ground, you may feel that you have to lift it yourself.” No! Even though there’s a danger some of a detectorist’s mates might come back at night and steal the hoard that’s not an excuse for him to dig it up himself. Ever.

We’ve said so before (e.g. in November 2011 and in both July and November 2015) but PAS doesn’t listen to amateurs unless they’re detectorists. But we’ll repeat it here: if you want to be regarded as a history lover, a responsible detectorist, a potential reward recipient – or even just a half-decent citizen,you MUST take on the role of guardian on behalf of the State and spend sufficient time and money to ensure its security. What sort of entitlement-obsessed person wouldn’t?

Here are some of the blindingly obvious ways it can be done: Detectorists can wait in their cars overnight, security firms can be hired to work nights, including at Xmas, lighting rigs or generators can be hired for £37.50 per 3 days, a farmer’s flatbed trailer can be parked over the find.

 

““there was no way we could guard that hoard overnight”… Oh really?

 

In 2011 the Salisbury Museum director was glad a detectorist had stopped digging the Tisbury Hoard but said you could count on two hands the number of Bronze Age hoards which have been recorded professionally by archaeologists in this way”. Have things changed in the subsequent 9 years? Hardly, and it won’t until PAS stops giving detectorists a perfect excuse for digging up hoards or graves in future: “I was alone, my phone battery went flat, so I got out my long spade and “did the right thing” OK?” The bits are in this bag!”  What a damn scandal!

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

..

Given their well-known willingness to support damage to Oswestry Hillfort’s setting, you might think they’d also be pro-metal detecting. But actually, they subtly signal the opposite:

  • “Metal detectors can be valuable archaeological tools when used responsibly”. On the face of it, that would please detectorists and PAS but significantly they say they are valuable archaeological tools, not acquisition aids!
  • “Metal detectors are sometimes used to check the spoil for any objects missed”. Indeed. But again, they are careful to say detectors are useful in archaeological excavations, not detectorists!

.
So it’s pretty clear what they think. But in case there’s a scintilla of doubt this statement makes it crystal clear, beyond all argument or denial:

“Metal detecting on land owned by Shropshire Council is not permitted”

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

 

.

Is it a hole left after someone stole a 4,000-year-old rock art panel? Or a hole left after metal detectorists dug up a hoard without waiting for archaeologists? The former happened recently in Galacia. The latter has happened hundreds of times in Britain.

But which is it? It’s impossible to know because holes left by stolen culture all look the same. But there IS a way to tell, eventually: in Galicia, the culprits will be punished. In Britain, they never are.

 

.

[PS: It’s actually the Galician hole!]

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

 

The Bill is making rapid progress through the House. It requires dealers to report even small transactions to the government and keep extensive records. This is all entirely true, except it isn’t happening in Britain, it’s happening in the States and not in the House of Commons but in the House of Representatives.

But it will benefit Britain. If some of the hundreds of American detectorists who pay £2,000 for detecting holidays here decide to reimburse themselves by taking finds home to sell, US dealers will have to check where they came from, whether they’re Treasure items and whether the farmer is aware – and was paid!

.

What level of shame should Britain be feeling over the fact it is Trump’s America, not Britain which is putting a lid on our heritage cookie jar!

 

 

 

.

Dear Fellow Landowners,

It’s that time of year when thousands of us will be offered a bottle of whisky to thank us for allowing people to detect for the past year. But before you swoon in a flood of rural gratitude may I suggest you respond by saying:

“How kind! However, it would warm the cockles of my heart far more if, instead, you reveal to me, right now, your eBay trading name.”

(It’s very clear some people are paying a very high price for their whisky!)

Seasons Greetings,

Silas Brown,
Grunters Hollow,
Worfield,
Salop instead

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

.

Of course, as a “Green” she’ll be bitterly attacked by those with a vested interest in exploitation. Which brings us to Central Searchers. They say the reason so few finds from their rallies get recorded is that the FLO [Helen Geake]has a standing invite to our digs but we never see her.

But that’s nonsense, they can easily report finds whether an FLO is there or not  (and incidentally, four FLOs attended their summer rally!) The real reason is their notorious Rule 14: “finds can be retained by the detectorist alone as long as its value is no more than £2,000“.

You can guess the sort of people that attracts. And even if something worth far more is found it’s likely the farmer will still get nothing – for guess who says what it’s worth? (And of course, in those circumstances, neither the farmer nor PAS will be shown, lest the alarm is raised. No wonder FLOs hate attending.)

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

 

,

A mischief-maker has altered a news article about metal detecting by replacing each mention of “treasure” with the phrase “rare egg finds”…

“The county played host to a total of 37 rare egg finds last year, according to figures co-released by the British Museum and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. It is part of a surge of interest in rare egg hunting which has seen more than 1,000 rare eggs discovered across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in each of the last five years.

The newfound popularity of rare egg hunting can be traced back to the passage of the Rare Eggs Act in 1996, formalising the ways someone could be paid for their discoveries.”

We understand the British Museum is to join in the fun by holding annual Rare Egg Collecting Conferences at which they will praise the responsibility of the finders and jubilate about the finds, in particular, the very rare ones.

 

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

 

 

Archives

February 2020
S M T W T F S
« Jan    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829

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 10,201 other followers

%d bloggers like this: