John Woodgate writes:
> 200 x 200 mm is quite a big lump of metal. That must be uncommon.
It would be a smallish pot full of coins, a pot, bag or box of nails, a
piece of folded chain or chainmail, a group of craft tools or agricultural
ironwork, several wheel fittings, a piece of iron bloom, an anvil, a cluster
of bits of discarded lead window came, several pieces of metal tableware
stashed together ....and a host of other things. The point is surely not how
common concentrations of metal this size are, but they do occur and if they
do and the detectorist digs down to them through this depth of stratigraphy
it is destructive.
Now of course, going on what has been said here by the spokesmen and women
for the detectorist community, we may assume that a "responsible
detectorist" NEVER digs down deeper than the topsoil layer into
archaeological stratigraphy, even if there's a loud bleep showing something
deeper. Indeed perhaps we should accept that no responsible detectorist
needs to buy such a machine as they do not need to be able to detect deeper
than the base of the topsoil. It would seem therefore that this is one
criterion by which one can differentiate the "responsible detectorist" from
the ones that damage archaeological sites, do they own one of these
detectors? Did the website say how many had been sold?