Saturday 11 February 2012

Focus on Metal Detecting: Matter for Concern...

Over on the "metal detecting" Facebook page, they are still discussing the Bulgarian metal detectorist who posted up his finds, some "Thracian gold" and "Roman armour from a grave" among other things.
Samantha Jane Nye
has discovered that its against the law in Bulgaria.
David Mortimer-Kelly:
"I totally agree with all the comments made. I have a group of 20 friends that I detect with and I make sure that all of our finds of any consequence are reported and recorded by our PAS Officer here on the Isle of Wight; and we all have a good reputation thereby. Why dig something out of the ground for it to be sold on? Because it's a way of making a living and they couldn't care less if it gets stuffed in a safe, only to be seen by the 'Privaleged' few. I know detectorists who never show anyone what they've found for fear that it would be taken away from them, and that's just what would happen if the authorities were to find out that they haven't reported what could be a major and important find. It's a jigsaw with missing pieces."
Samantha Jane Nye:
"Exactly david too me metal detecting is a hobby not a way too make a living..its up too us as detectorists too find history and report it...could change so much than what we know too be tru really annoys me when they dont go threw the right it gives us all a bad name when it comes too getting land...".
David Mortimer-Kelly:
"Tell me about it, I organise our rallies and seek permission to search from the landowners accordingly, but if other unscrupulous detectorists have given them a bad impression then it becomes increasingly difficult to get a favourable response".
Andy Gixer Galloway:
"unfortunatly there is a very small minority that do it for financial gain and it will never be stopped because people are willing to pay alot of money for some artifacts".
But there's always one, isn't there? Peter Woodland:(Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, so what does he know about it?)
"If it was not for detectorists then all these artifacts would just stay in the ground and decay. At least he puts up the pictures so we can see what was found. The obviously cultural artifacts should go on public display, but a few coins for the guy putting in the time and effort is ok by me".
So, the problem is not so much that (if these finds are real) the archaeological record has been plundered for collectables - but that if people start to find out about of non-recording artefact hunters, it will be difficult for Samantha and David and all the rest to get out and get bits of their own.

Photo: Samantha Nye is shown getting some fresh air exercise (and a dugup silver coin) in the February 2012 number of Relic Hunter .

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