"Bring on Valetta"
Valetta will not save even 1% of the archaeology being removed every year.
The reason for this is that most of it comes from unknown sites. Most
detectorists specialise in finding unknown sites, only a few criminals
target known and protected sites. The task of identifying new sites is made
easier every year, with air photo's, the 1st edition OS map and other
sources being made available online.
Once a detectorist has found a new site the question of reporting it crops
up, one gets the feeling that detectorists adopt a similar attitude to many
archaeologists on this matter - get the work done first, then report.
Regardless of how you feel about it, detectorists, and other amateur
archaeologists are here to stay, their discovery rate appears to be far
higher than the professions. As an amateur myself I have discovered some
350+ new sites in the last 18 months, most of these would make a detectorist
drool. Yet the job of involving the profession seems an impossible task.
Speaking as a discoverer of often interesting but unknown features (but
usually showing characteristics that allow some form of dating estimate to
be done), I would say in general the system works to prevent amateurs from
registering new sites.
More engagement is my advice. How many societies have a detectorists club?
Actually, that's an idea, perhaps I'll set up a detectorists club for our
local area, anyone got any advice?
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