Well I think we all know which site Neil is talking about, and this very question had occured to me during the TV programme in which it was shown...
Quentin has broadly noted what the Treasure Act Code of Practice 1996 (Revised) says - although it is worth looking at the relevant paragraphs in greater detail (see http://www.culture.gov.uk/global/publications/archive_2002/treasure_code.htm).
There seems to be two main sequential, but interlinked (hence the difficulty), questions to decide here:
1) for the Coroner (see paragraphs 8 and 14 to 16 of the Code) - having previously declared items recovered from this site as treasure, the coroner will need to decide on the question of associated finds, and whether they should be defined:
a) as Treasure through qualifying as associated objects representing part of "...the same find as another object if it is found in the same place as, or had previously been left together with, the other object", and/or
b) should be treated as an entirely separate treasure case/s
c) are not Treasure
2) for the Treasure Valuation Committee and Secretary of State - the question of circumstances of discovery, and following this and in response to the above the eligibility for rewards in the context of an archaeological investigation
On the latter question paragraph 78 states:
"78. If a finder does not remove the whole of a find from the ground but reports it, thus affording the opportunity for the archaeological
excavation or investigation of the remainder of the find, the original finder will normally be eligible for a reward for the whole find and
not just that part which he himself had removed from the ground, although the Secretary of State will need to examine the individual
circumstances of each case."
Paragraph 81 then goes on to clarify what should happen where finds are made by archaeologists or 'anyone engaged on archaeological excavation or investigation':
"81. Rewards will not be payable when the find is made by an archaeologist or anyone engaged on an archaeological excavation or investigation. In cases of uncertainty archaeologists are recommended to require any individuals for whom they are responsible, or to whom they have given, or for whom they have sought, permission to search, to sign a statement waiving their right to a reward. If there is doubt as to whether the finder was an archaeologist (or a person engaged on an archaeological excavation or investigation) the Treasure Valuation Committee shall decide. This will not affect any interest that the occupier or the landowner may have in any reward. The proportion of any reward payable to an eligible landowner (or occupier) is 50 per cent. (See also paragraph 52.)"
So pertinent questions to ask might be, should or could some/all of the finds be defined as being 'part of the same find'? were the detectorists actions being coordinated/supervised directly by an 'archaeologist' or were they free to detect how, where, when and what they wanted? was there a project design or other documentation for the project which specified the use of metal detectors as a means of archaeological prospection?
Not sure if this gets you any further in this case, but there are clearly lessons to be learned in making sure that any archaeological investigations utilising volunteer detectorists are covered by appropriate agreements and waivers - I imagine some of you may have already drafted such agreements and I would certainly be interested in seeing examples.
Research and Conservation Officer,
Council for British Archaeology,
Bowes Morrell House,
Tel: 01904 671417
Fax: 01904 671384
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