John Hooker wrote:
'Can you clarify a couple of things for me? Were these coins evidence of
scattered hoard such as silver denarii from the Republic to the mid 3rd
cent? or were they 3rd to 5th cent. bronze radiates, Ae 3-4, minimi etc.
more indicative of a settlement? or something completely different? I
wonder why a site containing anything out of the ordinary would be so
advertised (poor, corroded small Roman bronze have virtually no
I am not sure what relevance the type of coin has to the argument but in
fact they were mainly 1st and 2nd century bronzes which were later
declared Treasure. The point is that information on the site became
widely available within a few days over the internet leading to the
'Is detecting legal on common land (needing no permission)?'
No, it is not.
'Can an archaeological dig "stake a legal claim" on land otherwise legal
detect on while these digs are taking place?'
Not sure what you mean by this, but we had full permission from the
landowners. Incidentally, all land in Britain is owned by somebody and
the fact that it is common land does not mean that anyone can do
'Could you not have fenced off the area and installed volunteers to
during the night hours? -- or enlisted a commercial security company? I
have even seen roads barricaded here to prevent an archaeological site
being disturbed by the curious, and such digs are sometimes done in
We did fence the site but there is a limit to what you can ask
volunteers to do in terms of nocturnal guard duties and commercial
security companies are too expensive.
The point is that we hadn't expected to be raided so quickly or at all.
Certainly in Surrey there is a constant backdrop of metal detecting much
of which goes unreported and over the years this must cumulatively be
doing tremendous damage to the heritage. All I was trying to say was
this 'downside' to metal detecting should not be ignored when the
positive aspects are emphasised.