Saturday, 14 September 2019

"Our expert guide on how to hunt for treasure in the UK and best places to find it, plus an overview of famous treasure finds".

Interviewed tekkie
 Paul Coleman (Getty)
Twenty years the UK's Portable Antiquities Scheme has been telling the British public website all about archaeological value. Twenty years of outreach, contact, persuasion, dissemination. And the results? Pretty pathetic, it seems. Obviously they'll need another twenty, forty, sixty years to make an impact. Meanwhile the exploitation of Britain's heritage landscape goes on, encouraged by the clueless media, like this website, published by Immediate Media Company Limited (under licence from BBC Studios Distribution): UK treasure guide: best places to find and how to hunt for treasure :
From Roman coins to fossils and priceless gems, stones and metals, there is a wealth of hidden treasure in the British countryside, which is just waiting to be discovered. Our expert guide on how to hunt for treasure and where to find it in Britain [...] According to recent treasure reports, Britain is enjoying a boom in treasure hunting [...] According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport treasure report, in 2016, there were 1,116 cases of reported treasure finds. The provisional figure for 2017 was 1,267 making this the fourth year in a row when the number exceeded 1,000.
The text mentions " What type of treasure can you to hunt for in Britain, plus best places to look, 1 Semi-precious stones..." alongside "history hunting" metal detectorists. So are they looking for history or Treasures? Each historical find however has its value expressed in pounds as well as the usual superlatives. The text is anonymous, which is just as well, because it is horrendously muddled (the Staffordshire Hoard is not seen to be the same as a "Hammerswich hoard", shipwrecks are mentioned twice in te lisrts of categories of Treasure you can go a'hunting for [no mention of permits]). The unnamed author convinces you that if you go Treasure hunting, you need to " Visit the National Council for Metal Detecting (NCMD) for metal detecting code of conduct". Could there perhaps be another one you'd need to visit, where's that then? Hidden away... This damaging text has every appearance of a space-filling hasty pastiche knocked up in a photo library with a pile of books by the Greenlight Press by somebody who has access to an interview with detectorist Paul Coleman - the dug-up-in-one-day-into-a-Sainsbury's-bag Lenborough Hoard, and with some press clippings featuring the by now stock characters, wholesome Dave Crisp, the commercial Peter Welch (runs the 1,000-strong Weekend Wanderers Detecting "Club" commercial company, Steve Critchley former NCMD chair, and Lance and Andy, the main fictional characters in the fictional series Detectorists, who now creep in everywhere. Total disaster, as Andy Brockman (@pipelinenews·14th sept 2019) notes:
Country Fail: an "expert" article about treasure hunting in the UK which fails to mention the legal protection for scheduled monuments, shipwrecks, the Receiver of Wreck, or even the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
What use is a PAS that cannot get the message across any way? How much effort is being expended in Bloomsbury to brief journalists and editors so this sort of mindless fluff is not produced and published? They have finds days, why not press days? 

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