Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Have Permission, Spade, Got me Some Barrows....

Over on Andy Fudge's Facebook page, we can see some so-called "responsible detecting" and crowd-sourcing "citizen archaeology" going on. Or we might consider to what use a super-fine toothcomb can be put in malign hands:  
Neil Green to Metal detecting 11 hrs
ust doing a DTM Lidar on my local woods and noticed two mounds and then a road leading to some rough fields. Would these be barrow/Tumulus? [emoticon] [emoticon]
I would say there is a bit more than that going on there, but the artefact hunters seem focused on the possibilities of a bit of antiquarian barrow-digging, like Stephen Whitehead, who writes:
If the mounds are at the tip of the hill, then go for it 
Actually, that's not where barrows tend to be, but anyhow, who's going to reason with a metal detectorist? So Mr Green is heartened by the responses:
 Neil Green Cheers guys, will crack on with these woods soon! - Yep I have permission
Does he now? My problem with this is about whether those earthworks, not just the mounds are known to the local  archaeological services. If they are, then they should be scheduled (note, not a single "responsible detectorist" on that FB page raised that issue).

If however in the dense woodland they have not been noted - so therefore are not scheduled, then surely the proper response of anyone (actually, not notionally) "passionate about history" and "preserving the past" would not be to go over there where he has "permission" for detector and spade use, but with a camera, tape measure and surveying pins and make a proper non-invasive earthwork survey (plenty of books on the subject for amateur archaeologists) and take that to his local archaeology service and ask them to take the newly-discovered site under protection.  Isn't that what proper "opportunities for active public involvement in archaeology" (PAS aim three) is actually all about?

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