Wednesday 10 February 2010

BBC Radio Discussion prompted by Staffordshire Hoard (three days left)

In a BBC Radio programme available online, "In Pursuit of Treasure" (2:30 pm, &th Feb 2010) archaeologist and broadcaster Mike Pitts "delves into the sometimes murky world of the metal detector, from harmless amateur history buffs to criminal nighthawkers, and discovers how metal detecting is changing our national heritage. He hears stories of in-fighting within the metal detecting community, bust-ups between landowners and detectorists and battles inside the archaeological establishment. Mike hears from the man who found a multi-million pound Saxon hoard and the farmer who has been threatened and attacked for the treasures beneath his farm". Features Mr Herbert and a dramatic rendering of his "treasure finder's prayer", Roger Bland, Tony Robinson, Helen Geake, Jude Plouviez, the Icklingham Haul (John Browning), Wanborough, metal detectorist violence, Charlotte Bronte and a host of others. There is an annoying New-Agey spin focussing on the "spirits of yesteryear" and superstition which I find puzzling, but still worth a listen, not least for the attempts to rationalise the reasons behind the hobby and the accents of the speakers. But hurry, the online version is only available online for three days and seems not to be downloadable.

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