The 'scrap metal subsistence diggers' trope has been continually trotted out for the last few years by those unwilling to contemplate cleaning up the no-questions-asked market in dugup antiquities (see a Canadian example here). It is worth noting that my five-year old challenge (of Sunday, 12 April 2009): 'Testing the scrap seekers myth' has not been taken up. It seems no collector glibly using this model as a prop is willing to put his money where his mouth is and attempt to prove that what he claims "is happening" is even feasible. I think it might be useful to consider why, and what that tells us about the state of the debate with dugup artefact collectors.
Vignette: Will collectors put their money where their mouths are and show us one can subsist on digging scrap metal from historic sites? Digging is hard work in the climates of many source countries.