Heritage Action's Heritage Journal is the place to go for some sensible words written about artefact hunting ("metal detecting"). I recommend the discussion here, the latter part. Nigel Swift is a great writer, this post in particular a good example of Swiftian style drawing on a great deal of reflection. The other reason why I was so taken by it was Peter Twinn's statements. Pete and I go back a long way, way back to when I used to "engage metal detectorists" in discussion. He was one of a number of keyboard-tapping tekkies with whom in the old days I used to have some huge online verbal punchups which I found enormously helpful in challenging and shaping my views on artefact hunting. Pete was a good opponents as he was a better writer than most of the rest. He was also unusual in the "metal detecting" world as he was encouraged through his contact with the PAS to go and study archaeology. It is quite gratifying to see Pete now writing things which have me nodding my head in agreement (rather than shaking it in disbelief). Sadly he is the only one of that original group of stalwart naysayers on the metal detecting forums that seems to have shown any real change of approach in that decade or so. PAS was set up at great cost to instil "best practice"; it has worked in the case of Pete Twinn and a handful of others (Corinne being another notable example), why has it not really worked at all with the other few thousand? The HJournl discussion gives a few views on that topic. Worth reading.