Two good articles.

Portable Antiquities Scheme finds at the British Museum.

You might think that the archaeological objects we see in museums are all found by archaeologists, using their skills and knowledge to locate potential sites and then digging carefully into the earth to find them. 

Many objects are indeed found this way, but some are found by ordinary members of public, such as metal detectorists sweeping their apparatus across farmland, or a walker strolling along a familiar field. They are not experts – so how can they find out more about these objects?


Being a detectorist has its moments to treasure.
Like all the best hobbies, metal detecting is far more about human interest than getting rich quick. For most of us the true value of the things we find is human. These are the relics not of famous kings and saints but of ordinary people.
(source: Mark Wallace

Saturday 3 January 2015.


  1. This example of personal abuse, comes courtesy of archaeologist(?) Paul Barford and his bag-carrier, Nigel Swift. It plumbs new depths even by their standards:-

    "Treasure Means "Never Have to Work Again"

    This puts 'living off the state' in a totally new light. Lenborough Hoard, not-in-it-fer-the-munny, but....

    "this means I will never have to work again - it's a massive weight off my mind".

    Working for a living rather than profiting from flogging off the nation's archaeological heritage tends to be (source:'Amateur treasure hunter finds £1million hoard of 1,000-year-old Anglo Saxon coins - after a whip-round for petrol to get there' Daily Mail, 1 January 2015).

    Heritage Action take the idea to its logical conclusion in their "Heritage Shorts":

    Maybe we should now make “Treasure Hunting” one of the activities we should be encouraging Jobseekers to indulge in? We could keep paying them Jobseekers Allowance on condition they spend at least 40 hours a week searching and then stop if they hit the jackpot. Everyone’s a winner, innit? The rest of the world would be even further impressed by how enlightened Britain’s portable antiquities policies is."

    Let's not forget, these two clowns are the very people the Council for British Archaeology cuddles up to! Personally, I hope the finder never has to work again and enjoys a full metal detecting life. Good luck to him.


    John Howland

    1. Here here John, totally agree with you, along with I reckon 95% of the population. This is another find of a lifetime and why shouldn't the finder enjoy in the fruits of it.

  2. The irony in all this, is that while these non-entities bitch at finders of hoards, and trot out the usual claptrap: "Working for a living rather than profiting from flogging off the nation's archaeological heritage," they conveniently forget archaeologists have been living off the heritage for years. Most, if not all archaeological units are, um...well... Limited Companies. Better still, the archaeological lobby engineered a situation whereby these private companies are called in before any building work can take place. Now that's nice work if you can get it...and they do!

    John Howland