Saturday 25 January 2014

Focus on Irresponsible Artefact Hunting: That Permission and Split-the-Cash Division

How to write a finds agreement section of a search permit with the landowner:
...with a copy of "the Searcher" turned to the "Identification and valuation desk" and "Saleroom scene" pages no doubt. Maybe the petitioning detectorist routinely leaves a copy with him to look over, so the landowner can see how much the average non-treasure find (buckle, fibula or average piece of grot) is valued there as being worth. I've got one open in front of me now, mundane objects, not coins: 30 quid, 120 quid, 120-150 quid, 45 quid, 90 quid, 70 quid, 20 quid, 40-50 quid, it all adds up.

How many farmers, countrywide are appraised of this sort of information BEFORE they sign that agreement? How many are appraised of that information (honestly) each time they agree to sign over yet another day's haul of bits and pieces from his fields?

Even if the detectorist himself does not sell the many accumulated bits, his heirs probably will, and if the finds are kept loose with no labels who gave permission to take them from where, that money will never get back to the landowner (or their heirs). And it should, shouldn't it?
It is strange, is it not, that in the typical "finds agreement templates" published on many UK artefact hunting forums and websites, it is precisely these issues which are omitted.

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