Wednesday, 6 July 2016

What You'll Find Inside a UK Metal Detector Dealer's Shop

Regton's sell metal detectors. They proudly show a 360 degree shot of the inside of their shop. Nigel Swift spotted this on the wall.

This can be seen as a quick prompt how to find somewhere to test out the machine you've just bought on some known ('productive') Roman sites just up the road. Artefact hunters do not "find new sites" as often as they strip out for their own use what is left of known ones. Anywhere else in Europe such sites would be protected, in Bonkers Britain anything goes. Now look at the PAS database for the number of Roman finds reported to the Scheme from these sites.

Portable Antiquities database data automatically mapped

If artefact hunters are following the pointers given by Regton and detecting these sites or their close vicinity, they are not reporting what they take.

UPDATE 8th July 2016
Metal-detector-shopkeepers gonna be Metal-detector-shopkeepers I guess. One "Nigel" from Regtons has published this comment on a metal detecting blog well-known for being populated largely by ill-informed senior citizens from across the Ocean:
Nice one Mr B, firstly thank you for showing an interest in us once more[. O]ur hand drawn picture shows crudely the interesting ancient settlements in our vicinity, this is for interest only. You however have published a far more accurate map of a larger area complete with find spots, how utterly irresponsible for posting a detailed map of Roman Britain showing major finds (Hope Ordinance Survey don’t catch up with you).
How awkward for claims to support the scheme seen on the firm's website that the retailer fails to recognize the distinctive style of the PAS database. He can take his comments about "responsibility" to the PAS. I guess the map is hung there "for interest only" to the same degree as the two cases of artefacts on adjacent walls labelled "found with metal detectors" and the cases of other collectables by the door. Not at all intended to encourage buyers to "go out and find likewise", are they?


Anonymous said...

Perhaps I can add that the site is conveniently close to the shop, about 20 miles away, so when they deny it was their intention to point to it as a product test bed for those in a hurry that night, as they will, we can all bear that in mind.

It's also worth noting that the site is extensive but sub terranean so future research there is likely to be confined to artefacts which means the knowledge loss caused by random, unregulated, selective artefact hunting would be particularly high. It's the largest metal detecting shop in the country. One wonders how many of Britain's irresponsible detectorists and nighthawks have seen that map? Most of them?

Paul Barford said...

One highly visible - and not only because of his considerable girth - metal detectorist refers to this place as "where I shop"
If and when you visit the UK make it a point to stop at Regton Ltd., and tell Nigel Ingram I sent you. His shop will knock you over. Be sure to peruse the goods in this 365 tour… VIRTUAL TOUR – REGTON, LTD., BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND

Paul Barford said...

That's "365" [sic] of course. The rotund aggressor confuses circles with years.

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