Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Let's Go Digging Up 100 Acres of Freshly Cut Pasture

Chris 'Gloucester dig, Slimbridge 16th July 100 acres of freshly cut pasture' Let's Go Digging [up Archaeology for Personal Entertainment and Profit],  June 14, 2017.
The postcode for this dig takes us to the heart of Slimbridge near to the village church of St John the Evangelist which dates from the early 13th century and is a grade I listed building. There are 6 Roman roads identified in this area and various Roman villas. The following write up, with special thanks to Slimbridge Dowsing Group says it all really! We have the area, hopefully we will have the finds!
The fact that the Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting says keep off pasture dig seems not to have affected these people's decision about where to take their members, who'll presumably not be a bit interested in what the Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting says either. Water off a duck's back for this crowd obviously. Their idea of good practice is something else. This instruction from the organizers says it all:

Please note: We expect all items considered treasure for the finder to provide identification and a contact number. Whilst it is not our responsibility to report items of treasure found on our digs, we will advise the finder to do so and expect confirmation it has been done.
 Not a word though about reporting with the PAS. That's because The Treasure Reward is held out to landowners as the reason why they should allow these grabby people onto their land in the first place. This is all being done for profit, profit, personal profit - at the cost of the heritage, at the cost of the public purse from which the Treasure ransom comes, and the organizers pocket large sums week after week, a nice little earner. And of course everyone asserts that nobody is in metal detecting for the money - except those that are. Targeting known sites of Roman villas and roadside settlements and around Grade I medieval sites is a sure way to allow each participant to fill their pockets with finds worth hundreds in aggregate on the portable antiquities market. This is simply disgusting, and the British archaeological establishment stands around with its hands in its pockets watching - the PAS in the front row.

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