I don't have difficulty accepting the validity of metal dectorists
as a useful tool in archaeology, and the "thrill of the search and
pleasure at finding something" is I think what motivates most
archaeologists, whether they dig or discover written evidence,
unfortunately there is no oversight for metal detectorists as there is
for archaeologists, and therein lies the problem. If finds are turned
over to publicly owned museums with details of the provenience that
clearly is laudable, butI am surprised, given your enthusiasm for the
hunt, that you don't care what happens to an object once it's found -
surely that IS the excitement - that you've contributed to a piece of our
heritage that has, or may have meaning for our heritage?
>Why do Metal Detectorists detect?
>If it's the thrill of the search, the pleasure of finding something, it's
>surely irrelevant to them what happens to an object after it's found - and
>therefore whatever happens to the Treasure Act is equally irrelevant.
>If it's because they want to keep, or to sell, what they find, then sorry,
>but when what they find could be of immense value (and I'm not talking
>financial here) to our understanding of our heritage and past, it
>shouldn't be able to be kept in someone's living room, or sold to the
>highest bidder, without publicly owned museums having a chance to obtain
>them. Nobody's threatening to take away Detectorists rights to detect,
>and nobody's trying to take away their right to get a fair price for their
>finds if they're entitlled to it - but important parts of our heritage
>should not be at risk of being lost to the wallet of the highest bidder,
>or the whims of any private collector.
>(And before you ask, Archaeologists dig because by doing so we can enhance
>our understanding of the past - and proper care of finds in publiclly
>accessible hands is the a vital part of that. And yes, public museums
>have whims on occasion - but they are at least open and accountable to the
>public at large).
>Must go now - got to clean the blood off my trowel before polishing my
>jackboots. (and at least we now know why Indiana Jones always carried a
>whip - it helped with the oppression...)
>> Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2010 09:41:59 +0100
>> From: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Further support for extension of Treasure Act
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> I would be very careful for what you all wish for, it might just come back
>> to haunt you. Your professional arrogance will undoubtedly lead to a fall.
>> It would pay you to take a look at countries where detecting is banned or
>> unrealistic restrictions are in place, invariably these are areas where
>> finds are still being made but never get reported or recorded.
>> For a group of people who claim to have a passion for learning about the
>> past, you actually draw very few if any lessons from it.
>> At the moment you have the good will and co-operation of the majority of
>> detctorists in the UK, which is growing all the time, you really are
>> seriosuly putting this at risk!
>> On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 9:13 AM, Mike Heyworth
>> <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> > An editorial in today's Guardian newspaper calls for an extension of the
>> > Treasure Act to cover "significant single objects not made of gold or
>> > silver":
>> > http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/13/treasure-trove-crosb
>> > y-garrett-helmet
>> > Mike
Hon. Secretary Los Angeles Branch, Oxford University Society
Board Member, Archaeological Institute of America
President, Droitwich Brine Springs and Archaeological Trust, U.K
Affilliate, Cotsen institute of Archaeology, UCLA
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818 766 7780