Frank Jones has an Irish Metal detecting webpage. He writes:
There are many reasons that people start metal detecting. Some because they have retired or just want to improve their health. Maybe you just have a passion for history. There are so many great benefits from the hobby, you will learn more about history, coins, artefacts, farming, soil conditions, and the land than ever before.Not archaeological artefacts however, just artefacts lost in the past in the soil, you see? There are two photo galleries careful not to show anything that can unequivocally be claimed as an archaeological artefact.
The forum is careful to note, that even though they find exclusively non-archaeological artefacts buried in the soil: "We Do Not Sell Or Trade Our Finds On Ebay". So where do they sell all those duplicate sixpences? Furthermore, "we do not promote, whether by advertising or otherwise, the sale or use of detection devices for the purpose of searching for archaeological objects". Well now, that is exactly what Mr Jones has been doing in his comments on Heritage Action's blog. More hypocrisy from artefact hunters.
Listen to a metal detector user denying point blank that you can ever find an archaeological artefact with a metal detector:
Metal Detecting Debate posted by "M Der" 9th May 2012
Ron Byrne (AMDAI) Amateur Metal Detectors Association Of Ireland is trying to come over as the mega-anorak, finding great pleasure in digging up tin cans and cleaning up the countryside (heard that before, haven't we?). He claims nobody can understand this kind of metal detecting: "I've been doing this turty years and I've never come across anything of archaeological importance (and if I did I would repart it)" So.... if they never find anything worth recording, why the fuss about setting up a PAS to replace the current reporting system?
Eamonn Kelly on the other hand has a different view of what artefact hunters do: "they are not going out there looking for bottle tops and tin cans" (look at the insulting and sarcastic captions that appears on the screen here and then subsequently - "Respect and Trust" eh?). These comments get sillier and sillier (and typically more personal and nastier - metal detectorists) as the film goes on, showing precisely the depth of the lack of understanding by its author of what actually is being said. From 11 minutes, Kelly makes some good points worthy of note. Mr Byrne then jumps in and threatens Kelly with a slander case over something he did not say. Metal detectorists are not going to get far with their offer to "work with" people if they show they have not the foggiest what it is that work involves (take a look at those captions) and keep reacting in an aggressive fashion to imagined sleights.
What do you think? Artefact hunters or bottletop hunters? Why would one need a PAS for tin can and ring pull searchers?