The development team at Minelab excitedly announce that they will soon be bringing artefact hunters everywhere "the ultimate TREASURE detector, the CTX 3030". This revolutionary detector incorporates new and advanced technologies like nothing seen before. "With the CTX 3030, The Future of Discovery is coming to a hunting ground near you very soon!" (Hunting ground is a euphemism in artefact hunting for a "productive" archaeological site). The blurb of the TV commercial says it all: "Untold treasures have been lost throughout the ages. Go detecting with Minelab and you will find the treasures that others have missed. With the unrivalled performance of the CTX 3030 you will experience the future of discovery". Here it is, complete with pirates, some of them with metal detectors.They are detecting on grassland (code of "responsible detecting" anyone?) and have just found a purse hoard of historic gold coins.
We are promised that we can learn "more" about its potential site-damaging capabilities by visiting www.ctx3030.com to view a short preview. The full details will be released on May 11th, before the CTX 3030 goes on sale worldwide May 28th. Then we expect the PAS to join in the discussion of the proliferation of depth advantage machines of increasingly sophisticated search capabilities and how this will be affecting the nature of the body of "archaeological information" that is hoiked out of the ground and more importantly how it will be affecting the below-ground remains when they are used in Britain. That will be May 29th then?
From the chat on the "New Minelab CTX 3030 Detector Forum" (on the "find mall.com" website) it appears that this new machine might have a built-in GPS. 'Oh good', say the supporters of collecting, 'allows recording of findspots'. 'Hang on', says the PAS, 'does this not allow the easy pinpointing of specific spots identified beforehand in the field?' This one would not happen to have a back-lit screen or otherwise be legible in 'poor lighting conditions' would it?
Anyway, reactions are enthusiastic:Big Boys Hobbies says (May 05, 2012 07:31AM)
We all should know more about it the 11th! I can't wait myself! I have reserved a few "hunted out" spots to try in on. Should be interesting!Yes, I am sure we will see many more "hunted out" sites producing more and more finds from deeper down.Some of those finds may subsequently appear on the PAS database, some will not, but in no case will the holes in the archaeological resource they came from be recorded.
The future of "discovery" (taking collectable artefacts) is indeed shifting from the comfy situation fifteen years ago when the PAS was set up when metal detectors were just leaving the Age of Steam and getting more sophisticated electronics. Since then, the policies and approaches adopted by the PAS have not shifted an inch in the intervening period of technical advance. Maybe it is time for the PAS to catch up with the times and what the pirates are up to.