Thursday, 23 September 2010

Heritage Action issues a sincere apology to metal detectorists.

Well, it was bound to happen wasn't it? After all the attention the heritage group Heritage Action (surprisingly almost single-handedly) has just issued a sincere apology to metal detectorists:
We are very sorry to say we have missed marking a very auspicious occasion a few days ago…..

The moment when our Erosion Counter indicated that the number of finds removed from our fields and taken home by metal detectorists (the great majority not being reported) since the Portable Antiquities Recording Scheme was set up slipped past the FOUR MILLION mark.

In our own defence we’d have to plead the fact it all happened in complete silence, and no-one else (including PAS) mentioned it – and anyway our figures are not only speculative but “completely ludicrous“.

Or are they? By how much would they have to be wrong to make the losses acceptable? But it is the supporters of artefact collecting which would like people to think that the HA erosion counter is ticking away at an unreal rate - but if you work it out, what it shows is that each ('statistical') detectorist adds just 30 recordable items to their collections from the fields of Britain over a year. As we saw the other day, some metal detector using artefact hunters can find five to ten Roman coins and goodness knows what else in a single weekend. If anything, I think the HA erosion counter is an underestimate.

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