Linda Wheeler, 'Archaeology changes understanding of Missouri battle', The Washington Post December 10 2015
But it can't do that if previously at some time in the past some artefact hunters had stripped out and made off with the buttons and bullets scattering them in their private collections leaving no records. These results could be got with a metal detector but only if the metal detector was used in a methodological manner intended to produce these results, and not just to dig up random things to collect. The point is that most artefact hunters do not use their machines in such a way and some are incapable of understanding anyway what they'd have to do to avoid being history-trashers. That's the problem with trying to use metal detector "data" as ersatz-archaeology.