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To utilise resources in the most efficient way, one must understand the issues that these resources are trying to address. Gathering the information required to make informed decisions is perhaps the best way to deal with the next step in Portable Antiquities, their place in academic research and public heritage value.
Exploring the UK systems and preconceptions, this paper deals with the realities in the field and uses the authors previously gathered information along with statistical analysis that compares the two main processes of artefact collection – detecting and commercial archaeology.
Drawing on a wealth of recent analysis and fieldwork, the purpose will be to reassess the directions taken, and argue for a focussed approach that acknowledges both the benefits and harsh realities when it comes to dealing with portable antiquities collection, sale and recording in the UK.
The final consideration will be to find ways in which to ensure the maximum recoverable knowledge - which includes the views of the primary source of these items; the detecting community, with proactive contact with all relevant bodies and groups to gain a first hand insight, rather than unworkable impositions.