Friday 4 December 2020

Repeatedly Plundering a Site of 'Archaeological Interest'

On a metal detecting forum near you, we learn how useless PAS is at outreaching too the public: 'My farmer has found yet another surface find' post by pengles Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:40 pm:
First of all, apologies for the picture quality and the fact it has no scale with it. One of the local farmers where I have a permission found this coin on the surface a few weeks ago whilst working in a field and would love to have it ID'd. He took the picture (clearly shakily) and sent it to me to try for an ID as he is quite elderly and keeping away from people in this present climate. The area it came from is a site of 'archaeological interest' and I've found several pieces in and around the field in the past. It has been heavily detected for many years (not by me) but it looks like I'll have to have a wander back up there again when the crops have gone.
...and lockdown regulations don't forbid it. First question: Why did the farmer ask a metal detectorist and not send the picture to the local FLO? That is what the FLOs are there for. Why did the artefact hunter not send him to the FLO? What outreach has PAS done, pre or post lockdown specifically to farmers and farm workers? That is actually a serious question.
Second question. "A site of archaeological interest" and "Pengles" seems to think it had been emptied out, but since the farmer has found something showing there's more to loot, he'll have to have a wander back up there again to see what else he can hoik, can't have a site of archaeological interest left unemptied, can we? It is worth paying attention to the fact that the PAS's pathetically inadequate Code of Best Practice for Responsible Detecting in England and Wales makes no mention of whether it is "responsible" or not to completely trash Sites of Archaeological Interest, though quite how anyone would think that trashing them is in any form "best practice" beats me. But then, I'm not a metal detectorist nor do I work in the PAS.

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