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Situation in the UK for detectorists

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Situation in the UK for detectorists

Post by Dutchie on Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:47 pm

Let me introduce myself, and explain the scope of my question. I am Herman, live in the Netherlands and I take my trusty csope to either the river region south of the Rhine river (where the Limes, the northern border of the Roman empire once was) or to the sandy region north of the river.
Detectorists over here are typically soloists, most of the time I go out on my own, and sometimes with a mate. Detector clubs are non-existant over here, so it's up to you to find your way and gather information. The drawback is that there is no regulated cooperation with local archeologists, so it is up to the individual to decide wether or not to officially register important finds. Some do, some don't, with the expected outcome that professional archeologists have issues with detectorists emptying the fields. Information about protected regions is available on the net, and if you're caught searching illegally you'll be heavily fined.
Some towns and municipalities have totally forbidden searching with a metal detector. Either because of archeological importance, or because of remnants of WW2, or both.
How is the situation in the UK? Is searching more regulated via syndicates, agreements with farmers about who can search which fields and so on? How is the cooperation with professional archeologists? Would love to get some more insight in this..
Cheers, Herman
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Re: Situation in the UK for detectorists

Post by weeder on Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:21 am

welcome dutchie ,

we try not to have anything to do with professional archeologists
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Re: Situation in the UK for detectorists

Post by Dutchie on Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:41 am

Thanks for your reply Weeder. Over here the only way to ensure that we'll be able to go out in the fields in the near future is to prove we're not a risk, but can be a useful addition to archeological research. In my humble opinion of course :-). At the moment the general opinion about detectorists is that we're a nerdish (agreed.. ) group of grave robbers and treasure hunters with no or little interest in common history, and that will have to change. A new law is in the make which will have a serious impact on our freedom to search, everything we can do to be taken seriously can help.. And that includes cooperation with professional archeologists.
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Re: Situation in the UK for detectorists

Post by sandcscan on Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:04 pm

Hi Dutchie! Here in uk we have the portable antiquities scheme ,run by British museums, to assist metal detectorists. The staff of the scheme are very friendly toward detectorists . It is highly beneficial for a detectorist to get to know the liason officer in the area and report regularly any ancient finds. The identity of the detectorist will be recorded together with the information derived from the find and this helps the British museum build up a comprehensive map of our landscape archeology. A detectorist who has developed a rapport with the museum service thus builds a formidable c.v. at the british museum and museums worldwide. This helps the detectorist vastly when seeking new permission to search territory! Stone age tools can be left on site if found as a by-product of metal detecting, museum staff will visit the site to verify if the site was previously an ancient settlement. A really good detectorist is searching for information and knowledge , not just treasure. It is important to remember that all finds made are the property of the public until stated otherwise by qualified persons :-) These days even war time battlefield relics are considered national monuments by many European nations. A relic once dug, is a monument destroyed, persons attempting to track the movement of regiments and even individual soldiers are denied knowledge if relics are removed without records being kept. Hope this helps answer your question a bit, cheers!

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Re: Situation in the UK for detectorists

Post by sandcscan on Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:18 am

Further to my comments on the situation of metal detectorists in the uk, so you understand better Herman, is that recently a registered scheduled archeological site was shamefully looted by hooligans ,sadly using metal detecting machines as part of their equipment. The two thugs were caught in the act and mildly prosecuted although they had caused irreparable damage to this public property. The impact on genuine hobbyists is hard to determine at this time, but, it cant be good. In Norfolk, the metal detectors have a superb record of reporting finds to the museums going back some generations. At the large city club there is a monthly meeting whereby all good finds are brought in to a central location for inspection by portable antiquity scheme people. A monthly trophy is awarded to the finder of the most significant find. The prize is highly sought after! The club is oversubscribed and can take few new members, but, will allow guest members if vouched for by an existing member. Most farmers already have licenced m/ds , or are themselves not allowed to give permission for various reasons.getting new permission can be difficult for the solo metal detectorist, but a new you tube video called : cscope advise for beginners . Well worth a look. At the moment due to cuts in council services affecting libraries and museums, an absolute disaster , the like of which not seen since the burning of the library in Alexandria, have auger poorly for the future. Hopefully the goodwill of volunteers will keep things ticking over till the mess is sorted out.

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