Holedigger Pete the detectorist from Kent really has problems grasping what the problem is with the way artefact hunting goes on in the UK. He thinks the problem is with getting the right kind of propaganda. Like many metal detectorists he thinks that if metal detectorists stress what good and nice guys they are (ambassadors for the hobby - not something Mr Holedigger has been consistently good at in the past), then everyone will turn a blind eye to everything else. A sort of black and white dichotomy, they do not assault old ladies, so everything they do must be OK. So last night he sent me this rather pathetic comment to my discussion of the ‘Dunelme hoard’ fiasco.
Holedigger Pete uk has left a new comment on your post "Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Hurried Hoard Hoiking...": Hi Paul, why don't you say anything good about people detecting? We do other things like raise money for charity, the club has raised over £5,000 for a children's hospice over the years. Last Christmas all members brought a present for the children of the hospice. This year we have raised money for breast cancer as this has effected (sic) my life. Tomorrow I hand over £160 raised by club members for breast cancer so as you can see we are all not that bad as you make out us to be. Just to let you know calling us baboons make us laugh as you are no better than us. All the best Pete.Many dictators have been portrayed by their propaganda as friends of this or that group, Stalin and Hitler for example with children, Stalin, the peasants. Most of us are intelligent enough not to be misled by the imagery in these cases. A small one-day commercial artefact hunting rally might charge £10 quid from 100 participants ( £1000) on a site offered by a farmer for free thinking he's being generous because the proceeds "go to charity". Yet if 95% of those people finds a few bits and bobs which (by the valuations proffered by "The Searcher") are worth a minimum of fifteen to twenty quid each, then they are going home laughing. The heritage loses a whole lot more from so-called "charity rallies" pilfering the archaeological record. I really do not see why from a conservation point of view we should be awarding any kind of collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological resource any kudos points at all. The activity is erosive, and is typically carried out in a damaging manner, wherever the money generated by commercialising it goes.