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

In Mexico they’ve just created a new division of the Federal Police which will recruit officers with knowledge of archaeology and art to tackle theft of cultural artifacts. The training of officers is being carried out with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA). It’s a bit like the efforts the British police have made, albeit rather more robust.

But there’s a crucial difference between Mexico and here. In Britain mining for archaeological and heritage items is a big industry, and almost entirely legal and sustained, encouraged and promoted from the public coffers. Here, we even pay scores of Portable Antiquities Scheme employees to attend hundreds of crass grabfests up and down the country (over 500 so far – see here ) smiling yet knowing full well (but never admitting to the public) that a high proportion of finds aren’t reported to them (which is blatant cultural theft of cultural artefacts) or to the owner (which is blatant criminal theft of cultural artefacts).

Mexicans, eh? They know nothing! (Incidentally, the redeployment of three Detective Constables from antiques to investigation of the Grenfell tragedy leaves London, the world’s second-largest market for art and antiques, unsupervised by any specialist police officers).

..

.
__________________________________________

.

__________________________________________

The National Council for Metal Detecting [NCMD] has issued a statement:
“It has been brought to our attention that on one of the metal detecting groups in Britain, a short video was posted with incorrect messages about the oncoming European Council for Metal Detecting [ECMD] Conference in Norfolk. In this film, Mr. Marek Zacharko claimed that the British delegates from the NCMD will attend the Conference in a special role in order to “train” ECMD members. We have asked for official clarification from the NCMD and we have been assured by them that the comments made by Mr. Zacharko were his own personal interpretation and were made due to the fact that his command of English is quite poor (he is a foreign national living in Britain) so he misunderstood what was said about our Conference during an NCMD meeting that he attended. We welcome this explanation and are looking forward to meeting and working with NCMD delegation, which will be present in Norfolk in exactly the same role as other delegations from 11 different countries.”

Which is strange, for the NCMD “hosted” the ECMD’s inaugural meeting and ECMD was entirely their idea: “The concept of an ECMD was the brainchild of Trevor Austin {NCMD Chairman] who had worked tirelessly since 2012 to try and establish a common European organisation to represent the interests of detectorists across many parts of Europe …… The conference was organised entirely by a sub-committee of the NCMD.”

Just why the NCMD is now denying paternity of a Europe-wide lobbying body is a matter for speculation. However, we suspect it has realised that post-Brexit, when British archaeological voices in support of unregulated artefact hunting are heard far less in Brussels and Strasbourg, Britain will be seen far more as the uncultured man of Europe. In turn, that just might persuade Britain’s legislators to act.

.
__________________________________________

.
.
__________________________________________

[For more on Dr Hardy’s conclusions put “Sam Hardy” in our search box].

It’s no secret we think it’s a scandal that detectorists don’t report more of their finds but it’s sometimes hard to convey the sheer scale of the loss. But this might put it into context:

.
.
.

.

Poor Egypt! 33,600 museum worthy artefacts have been lost over 50 years! On the other hand, on the basis of Dr Sam Hardy’s calculations, in Britain over the past 42 years it seems that about 38 million recordable artefacts, vast numbers presumably museum worthy, haven’t been reported by detectorists and have therefore been lost to the public and science. Aren’t actions, not soothing selective words, urgently needed?

.
__________________________________________

.
.
__________________________________________

As everyone knows, selectivity is akin to lying. What then should be made of the succession of recent stories praising detectorists for having donated their finds to museums when the reality is that more than 90% of them don’t do so?

Instead they are paid handsomely. That’s the law, so they’re entitled, but you might think there’s a distinction between legal entitlement and doing what’s right, and it would do no harm at all for the difference to be made clear, not obscured. Here’s a very typical recent example (from Ely Museum) of it being obscured …..

.

The public had just paid for its own property. Why present it as a triumph, when it was avoidable? Much better if the reality was clearly expressed:

.

When did the Truth ever hurt? Might not the number of selfless “donors” be thereby increased from the current very low level?  And might not claims such as “only in it for the history” and “citizen archaeologists” start to look less like calculated fibs designed to mislead landowners and taxpayers?

.
__________________________________________

.
.
__________________________________________

Dear Fellow Landowners,

Detecting is becoming big business. TWO organisations are now offering up to £1,000 for access to fields. But if you’re approached be warned: no archaeologist in Britain or the world approves of commercial exploitation like that. Plus, the Government now says post Brexit we must earn our subsidies and that is bound to include protecting archaeology.

Clearly allowing hundreds of strangers onto a field to collect all the artefacts for themselves will damage or even destroy its archaeological value. Unlike damage to nature that can never be put right so you could lose subsidies not just for a while but forever. So you risk losing vastly more than £1,000.

Regards

Silas Brown,
Grunter’s Hollow,
Worfield,
Salop

.

Would you expect a subsidy if you were taking money to allow dozens of strangers to do this?

.
__________________________________________

.
.
__________________________________________

“Are you a club looking for land? 

“Let’s go digging have land in Wales, Lancashire and Devon that they can’t use. They are offering the land to clubs that might need it as it could be lost otherwise. Interested? Contact Paul at LGD either via Facebook or via their website.”

https://www.metaldetectingforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=94091#p837186

.

Yes you read it right. Lets Go Digging, the commercial artefact hunting organisation that offers farmers up to £1,000 to allow their clients to remove archaeological artefacts from their fields, is now offering to transfer such permissions to others.

Let’s hope this latest humiliating blow to Britain’s reputation is temporary. DEFRA Secretary Michael Gove has said farm subsidies after Brexit must be earned. Maybe not letting such events take place on your land will be classed as worthy of being paid a subsidy.

.
__________________________________________

.
.
__________________________________________

For many years PAS has studiously ignored all our ideas for reducing knowledge loss and protecting the buried archaeological resource. Which is strange, as those two aims are their whole raison d’etre. However, a Finds Liaison Officer has just taken notice and suggests we send a list of our suggestions to see what might be done.  It’s a great offer.

We thought we’d start by sending just one suggestion which goes to the heart of the matter. It’s that we think PAS should make it clear on their website that not reporting recordable metal detected archaeological finds is not merely irresponsible but immoral. Why? Because in a country where, in the 20 years PAS has existed, a small hobby has withheld 13 million bundles of knowledge from the public and science, such a statement is 20 years overdue.

PLUS, we think the gruesome and capacious underbelly of the hobby, see below, ought to be shown to the public and landowners, not ignored by officialdom. Let PAS do a bit more exposing and a bit less praising.

.

.
__________________________________________

.
.
__________________________________________

Recent advice to colleagues from a well known detectorist: .

“It helps to mark the envelope ‘Numismatic Specimen’ rather than ‘roman coin’ thus helping to deflect the attention of prying eyes.”
.

.
__________________________________________

.
.
__________________________________________

Western Black Rhinos became extinct recently, but we still have pictures.

Northern Black Rhinos are about to join them, but we’ll still have pictures.

Thirteen million bundles of knowledge haven’t been reported by metal detectorists. We don’t have pictures….

.
__________________________________________

.
.
__________________________________________

 

 

  “We pay up to £1,000 per visit for our members to metal detect your fields…”

Hey, PAS, EH, HE, CBA, NFU, CIfA, ALGAO, RCHAM, BM, APPAG why so quiet?

Are you content that this is happening weekly in Britain but nowhere else, not even in North Korea?

____________________

We’ve had this response from a metal detectorist:

“Yes I am very happy that in Britain, detectorists are allowed, and encouraged, to contribute to the PAS. Whereas, in North Korea:-

It is illegal for the North Korean people to leave their country without the regime’s permission, and the regime attempts to restrict the people’s movement even inside their own country.

If you wish to travel to another part of the country, you are supposed to have a specific purpose and obtain permission from your work unit. If you do not live in Pyongyang, the showcase capital where most resources are concentrated, you will likely be denied access.

The regime has also forcibly relocated hundreds of thousands of North Koreans to less favourable parts of the country as a form of punishment and political persecution.

If Heritage Action’s disciples want to compete with the UK’s ‘Tekkies’ in the heritage stakes, then they should stump up the cash: That’s democracy, but I recognise, such a political concept is alien to many of your bag-carriers – poets, ‘writers on the edge’ (of what remains unclear) – who’d apparently like to foist North Korea’s values on Britain.

There’s no dissension in North Korea, in case you hadn’t noticed. Were Heritage Action/Journal to lampoon North Korea’s government under that regime, Nigel Swift, Sandy whats-her-name, et al, ad nauseam, would end up with a bullet in the back of the neck. So, not all bad then, some might say!

I’d reckon, 1K per farmer to hunt is good value.”

Says it all. North Korea is a terrible regime and yet ….

.
__________________________________________

.
.
__________________________________________

 

Archives

October 2017
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
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 9,635 other followers

Twitter Feed

%d bloggers like this: