Friday 17 July 2020

Designing a Detectorists' Institute

So, it turns out that after 23 years, it is admitted that the PAS was not up to the job (HE Press Release, 'Grant to Help Set Up New Body to Support Metal Detectorists' 17 July 2020).
A £50,000 grant from Historic England is a step forward towards the setting up of a new organisation to support and train metal detectorists in the UK. Working with archaeologists and others in the heritage sector, the ‘Institute of Detectorists’ aims to provide training opportunities to promote responsible metal detecting and examine how metal detecting has been beneficial in the investigation of archaeological sites and landscapes. The project will explore how best to develop such an institute and help to establish an agenda for best practice as well as determining how this can be taught as part of a national training programme. It will also support voluntary self-regulation and provide a platform for detectorists to demonstrate their competence and skills to others.
Keith Westcott, the metal detectorist who is behind the project, has 25 years experience of metal detecting and is passionate about ensuring that the archaeological value of metal detecting is fully realised. [...] The aim of this project is to establish a not-for-profit research and educational body for detectorists. This body would promote responsible metal detecting as a technique that contributes to the understanding, conservation and protection of the historic environment
 What happens to that which is not?

As for the 'agenda for best practice', there are a few ideas here that it would be useful to get some discussion of: Artefact Hunting and Archaeological Responsibility

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