Monday, 16 December 2013

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Twerps in a Field Posing as Archaeologists



Roger Gamblin and forum members items unearthed in Newport (Shropshire Star)

"Historical artefacts dating back to Roman times were among the items discovered in an archaeological dig in Shropshire" witters the Shropshire Star ("Roman artefacts are unearthed in Shropshire dig", December 16th 2013), repeating the witless PAS mantra. Roger Gamblin of the metal detecting forum Detecting England replete with finds in a tobacco tin, naff nationalistic sweatshirt and two silly hats, one on top of the other (photo) was among the 23 people "armed with metal detectors" hoiking finds out of  67 acres near Newport on Sunday. The reporter learnt that these "archaeologists" hoiked several hammered coins (one dating back to the early 1300s and two around the 1500s) and  two Roman fibulas dating to around the second or third century "during the dig".
Those taking part formed part of a metal detecting forum that was set up in July by Roger Gamblin, of Oswestry. Mr Gamblin, 50, said: [...]  “A friend of mine from Cardiff is a bit of an artefacts expert so they will go to him and get recorded. [...] “We charge everybody who attends a dig £8 which we give to the farmer who owns the land. 
This friend of his who records the club finds, what is the set-up? Does he then pass the records on to the HER or PAS? There are no comments under the article remarking that artefact hoiking like this is not an archaeological dig. Neither do I expect there will be, the PAS has been liaising away so long that the distinction between archaeology and artefact hoiking have become blurred in the public mind, and probably in archaeological consciousness in the UK too. So here you are Britain, your new "archaeologists". 

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Back in the 1970's, wasn't even a thought about someone picking up an ancient coin or two.
Now, with 'austerity', everything is suddenly a precious relic.
Nonsense. Give the people meaningful jobs with a decent wage, and you won't have to worry about them finding your precious 13th century pennies.

Paul Barford said...

So Sarah, you think they're all dole scroungers doing it for the money?

well, I can't give them jobs, but if you contact that nice Mr Cameron, perhaps he'll be interested in your Plan To Save The Country.

 
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