Tuesday 26 May 2020

UK's DCMS Issues Guidance on searching for archaeological finds in England during COVID-19''

This is really rather odd, the DCMS has issued a guidance note (26th May 2020) specifically on:  Guidance for members of the public (including metal-detectorists) searching for archaeological finds in England during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is no discussion on why it is a good thing that members of the public are searching for archaeological artefacts to collect which is what I'd expect from an organization charged with looking after the nation's heritage.
If you choose to leave your home to search for archaeological finds, including metal-detectorists, field-walkers and people searching the Thames foreshore (mudlarking), you must follow this advice. [...] This guidance is designed to help individuals search safely while also continuing to be alert to the safety of others. [...]  This guidance has been written with advice from the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme on how to report your finds and to protect in situ archaeology (sic). 
That last bit is not true. Protecting in situ archaeological evidence means not deliberately digging it up willy nilly for collection.
Reporting your finds Due to current social distancing requirements, you will have to report finds in a different way to ensure that you and your Finds Liaison Officer remain safe. You are currently unable to physically hand your finds into your Finds Liaison Officer, and as such, there will be new systems in place for reporting. Finds Liaison Officers will aim to provide advice on reporting via phone and/or email. [...] At the current time, it will not normally be possible for Finds Liaison Officers to meet directly with finders to record finds. However, you can still share your discoveries for recording. You should contact your local Finds Liaison Officer. They can support self-recording and provide advice on the digital reporting of important finds. 

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