Sunday 18 May 2014

UK Metal Detectorists: Farmers could have lost 500 million pounds

The metal detectorists on England, and for the moment Wales, may not like Farmer Brown (they say it's because he does not speak with an Oxbridge accent), but it is hard to deny that he does have a point.
If ever landowners got the idea that a bottle of sherry at Xmas and a couple of framed coins were a shameful and patronising sop, and that the Government hadn’t told them they were losing vastly more than that, well…..
He assesses the likely value of that going on what we see in the "valuation of your finds' sections of Treasure Hunter and The Searcher:
12 million recordable artefacts since 1975 at only 20 pounds each is 240 million pounds. Do I hear a cry of “Nonsense”? Of course I do! So lets say only 5 pounds each then and add the 299 pound ones that get taken home without being shown and the 1000 pound ones that get valued at 299 pounds and taken home without being shown and oooh look, now it’s more like 500 million pounds! And that’s "nonsense" too, no doubt, but isn’t.


P2Pinvested said...

The tides turning, check my latest blog post.

Paul Barford said...

the link:

Paul Barford said...

Hmmm, I rally do not see what this is about. The club uses the NCMD "code of conduct" not anything better, and the items I looked up on their gallery (the Gold coins for example) appear NOT to be in the PAS database. So on what hinges the suggestion that they are being any more "responsible" than anyone else?

P2Pinvested said...

Because they are the first club I have personally seen that have gone out and searched land knowing full well that they wont be leaving with any finds. Would you not say that it is progress and a step in the right direction? After all, if they were not in it for the history and were there for the money they would not be on that dig. Hopefully a few other clubs may follow suit.

Paul Barford said...

This is obviously some kind of one-off event.

The thread mentions some "centre", presumably whose land it was, maybe leaving the finds for "education" was the search and finds allocation agreement?

It would be "progress" if their website did not look like it does, but as it is, I think you are reading too much into a one-off event of uncertain context.

In any case "other clubs following their lead" is not really my idea of protecting the archaeological record, just digging the stuff up, and leaving it lying around somewhere is not preservation.

P2Pinvested said...

If you check the comments on my blog post you will see Steve has made a comment saying to keep my eyes open for another dig of this sort coming up, so a one off, no.

With all due respect Paul I believe your view of protecting the archaeological record is by detectorists not digging. That is not going to happen, so maybe a glass half full rather than half empty scenario is needed to be taken here. It is certainly progress of sorts.

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