Friday 28 May 2010

Twywell/Slipton Commercial Artefact Hunting Rally

Heritage Action describes a Central Searchers commercial artefact hunting rally at Twywell/Slipton, Northants as a Bank holiday Crassfest…. Well, goodness me, if they are going to be metal detecting on medieval earthworks (for preserved Ridge and Furrow is nothing less) and Iron Age barrows under pasture ("Adjacent to the parking area is a Saxon burial site [...] so a good area to search"), then that is a perfectly adequate label. Grave robbing also comes to mind. They say as if it's an excuse: ”We have now run out of cropped land to search…" [so the responsible thing to do would be STOP until more becomes available].

HA also discusses a club rule that the proceeds of the sale of only those finds worth more than £2,000 will be split with the landowner. It is not however not explained what happens if the finder does not want to sell it, do they have to give the landowner £1000 to keep it? Who is to know if they just pocket it? Also who values the non-Treasure find and whose valuation is binding?
So what think you dear reader? Does it seem like a Rule designed for a gathering of people whose main interest is “history” – people that British archaeology should flatter and get itself in “partnership” with? Or does it seem like a Rule designed to attract primarily acquisitive people, out to grab what they can get? Is it fair or unfair to call such an event a crassfest that brings profound shame upon our country? You choose.
And what about any archaeologists going along to record the finds on this bank holiday weekend, what do they think?

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