Sunday, 30 December 2018

Unreported 'Metal Detecting' Reaches Crisis Proportions in England and Wales [UPDATED]

Hannah Furness, arts correspondent, 'Payday for metal detectorists as average treasure find now worth £2,671' Telegraph 29th Dec
Wikipedia (UPDATE: Wales now
added to the picture for Liz Howe,
even though the DCMS Survey
 was of England)
They may be stereotyped as amateur hobbyists, spending their evenings traipsing through fields for the love of the search. But the life of a metal detectorist can very well pay off, it seems. The average treasure find reported to the authorities and valued last year made £2,671, it has emerged, a total value of £643,683 across 241 items. It is the first time the valuation committee has released figured for the average find, as the number of reported treasures continues to rise each year. 2018[...]
But it is not, is it? Most of the finds that are hoiked out by increasing numbers of these people are not recorded, the PAS is working at capacity, and the number of finds recorded year by year has remained more or less the same for the past ten years or so. So in fact the net effect is a loss of information as more and more artefacts are being emptied from the archaeological record into people's pockets.

Not everybody gets the implications of these figures"
Referring to a DCMS study which showed that 1.5 per cent of adults in England had taken part in metal detecting in the last year, [Michael Ellis, arts minister] said: “This increase in detecting has contributed hugely to the extension of our knowledge of our past.”

1.5% of the current adult population of England is 674 700  people. Nearly seven hundred thousand people (!). The PAS has a capacity to deal with the finds made by just several thousand people. The shortfall is several hundred thousand. Surely, even the most diehard archaeological supporter of collecting must admit that this situation cannot go on.


Tool Guider said...

“This increase in detecting has contributed hugely to the extension of our knowledge of our past.” - Absolutely. So true. As my first metal detecting device Garret Ace 250, I have gathered huge information to select a best device for me. Thanks for the great info.

Paul Barford said...

So, Tool, you never actually made it to the next sentence did you? But I see the written word is not really your forte. Your own penultimate sentence makes no sense, in any case it would be "the best" not "a" best, wouldn't it? Are there many more complete Tools like you in artefact hunting?

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