Monday, 29 March 2010

UK Detectorist Forum Publishes Information Useful to Researchers

One of the moderators from the UKDN detecting Forum (one "Puffin") decided it would be a good idea for the benefit of any metal detectorist within reach of the M6 who fancies a bit of nocturnal artefact hunting to post a Google Earth image of the "Staffordshire hoard" findspot near Browhills nine km to the east of Cannock. "Puffin" says the site is "known to locals". Well, its known to more than that. It was pretty easy to put together the information legitimately available online (the farmer's name and therefore address, the photos of where the police set up a roadblock to stop people visiting the site and the background of the film that was put out on the internet of the digging - though the video makers tried to camoflage it). The location of the site was known in Warsaw a few days after the news broke. The image of "Google Earth" that accompanied that text was not - for obvious reasons - the actual site. So, are the police still guarding the crossroads?

The site is an obvious place to search for artefacts, a low spur overlying the place where the old straight road from Lichfield a major nearby Early Medieval centre crosses a boggy stream valley. Probably an early estate centre lies just below the hoard find site.

Anyway, why should it be just the metal detectorists who have access to this information? Here is the link for those with a desire to find out more about the place where this important piece of evidence about the landscape history of this part of the midlands was found, to do their own exploration of history - preferably without a metal detector and spade please.

As the findspot of nationally important archaeological evidence I hold that Treasure findspots should automatically be scheduled with a suitable buffer zone around them to curb treasure-seeking around these findspots.
Vignette: Puffin without his metal detector (RSPB)

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