Saturday 16 August 2014

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Detectorist at the Door, Not Telling

In archaeology, work is often carried out in accordance with a research design based on knowledge of what information a given piece of the archaeological resource is likely to be able to supply. Artefact hunting is about hoiking collectables, none of that research design malarky. For the average artefact hoiking oik, "research" means finding places with the most collectable goodies for the minimum walking and digging. Metal detectorists love online sites (preferably free) which give information that can be used to find these 'productive' sites. One metal detectorist is telling a forum about some LiDAR data he's found on the internet which suggests the presence of an archaeological site (timesearch, Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:10 pm ). "There must be lottsa finds for me to hev there", he thinks to himself, so he wants to hoover over it with his finds-sucking machine to see what goodies he can despoil from this part of the archaeological record and walk off with. There is a problem though. When he was thinking of going over to speak to the landowner to get search permission, he was told by "his farmer":
she has seen a detectorist on there. All I can do is ask the [adjacent] farmer, without showing him what I've found on LiDAR so he can't tell someone else."
So, this artefact grabber is keeping the landowner in the dark about what is on their farm so that he, not another oik, can ransack it for personal gain. This is another example of the type of 'Detectorist-at-the-Door' dishonesty employed by artefact hunters when seeking permission to enter a third party's lands and take away their property, keeping them in the dark about the implications and details of the transaction.

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