Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Irresponsible Artefact Hunting, How to Deal with it?

Daylight Knowledge Theft
An archaeologist colleague sent me this:
[...] on our way back we stopped near Castle Howard - surrounded by ridge and furrow in a little hamlet. I commented on the archaeology to the owner who said that he regularly gets metal-detectorists who are looking for the medieval manor - and that they were making some good finds. But nothing on PAS database. {...] can give you details if you are interested.
The details would however be of just one of thousands, possibly tens of thousands of sites which are being stripped of collectable finds up and down the country every year, with next to no reporting going on. That is the implication of the Heritage Action Artefact Erosion Counter. The detectorists may be 'looking for the manor', but when they find it, chances are it will be well and truly done over to pocket or flog off all the metal artefacts and coins from it, rather than any serious research on the patterning of the surface evidence for its nature, layout and extent. Another element of the archaeological landscape will be trashed, some private pockets filled, as more people simply drive past.

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