Sunday 16 September 2012

Yesterday at the Offley Polish Commercial Artefact Hunting Rally


Here they are, the Poles turned out in force. I can't see the PAS tent here. They are camped in a field just to the north of the main searching area.

It turns out that Lilley Bottom Farm Offley, Herts where the Polish metal detecting holiday is being held is in fact Crown Estate land. Although I have heard of the permits that individual artefact hunters can purchase from Crown Estates to search for artefacts on the foreshore, I was not aware that the Crown Estate issues them for commercial rallies. How much do they cost then? To whom would the finds be shown to avoid infringing the "Glasgow Fourth"? ("There's a group of rather muddy metal detectorists here to see you Ma'am, shall I show them into the Audience Chamber or will you receive them by the Tradesman's entrance?"). Her Majesty may wish to be shown or even given everything that is found, it would be good to know if that was stipulated in any permission letter - and has this been shown to PAS who handled other finds earlier made on these sites?  Or did the Queen say "Help yourself to my stuff and take it all back to Poland when you go"?  

Anyway, here's a picture of some of the brave foreign heritage heroes with their artefact location tools, their pinpointers, finds pouches and spades coming back to camp along Lilley Bottom after a day doing what they cannot do at home seeking instead to find themselves a bit of valuable ancient treasure in the archaeological record preserved in the English countryside. And it's all part of UK 'policy' on artefact hunting and collecting.

Photos: Courtesy Heritage Action [(c) Heritage Action 2012]

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