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What’s Missing? Reality, Resources and Reactions David Connolly (BAJR)
What do we already know? <ul><li>Number of Detectorists in the UK? </li></ul><ul><li>10,000 or  20,000, 30,000, 60,000, 10...
In the Dark? <ul><li>Nighthawking Report </li></ul><ul><li>Numbers are unknown </li></ul><ul><li>The scale is unknown </li...
Question of Scale. 23 sites nighthawked in Norfolk Area 10320 Roman sites alone.
Nighthawking <ul><li>“ More work is needed to stop the loss of our history to thieves. The heritage sector has to do more,...
Detecting Defensiveness  <ul><li>The great conspiracy? </li></ul><ul><li>A site can be scheduled, if they record finding a...
The Big Rally Debate <ul><li>Water Newton, Thornborough, Corfe, Stirling Rallies.  </li></ul><ul><li>Some real stats! – Fr...
Rallies.. Something for the future <ul><li>The are a reality  </li></ul><ul><li>They are legal </li></ul><ul><li>They can ...
TT Finds.  What’s missing? <ul><li>2005 & 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Evaluations – 2261 (AIP) </li></ul><ul><li>Arc...
A bit of weekend Detecting <ul><li>No solid statistics again… just extrapolation  </li></ul><ul><li>How can we tackle a is...
Case 1 <ul><li>Suffolk  </li></ul><ul><li>6 hours  (inc. coffee) </li></ul><ul><li>10:00 - 14:00 Thick mud miserable day 7...
Case 2 <ul><li>Suffolk  </li></ul><ul><li>8 hours (2 days) </li></ul><ul><li>Foil - 3  Shotgun caps - 5  Scrap lead - 7  S...
Case 3 <ul><li>Lancashire  </li></ul><ul><li>4 hours  </li></ul><ul><li>1 bullet case  5 copper grots 2 buckles 1 7.5 oz w...
Case 4  Case 5 <ul><li>Yorkshire  </li></ul><ul><li>6 hours  </li></ul><ul><li>2 x Edward cut silver pennies 1 x trapezoid...
Unreported Hoard!
Summing it all up  <ul><li>We learn from each other if we listen. </li></ul><ul><li>We can be guilty of prejudice based on...
 
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What’S Missing

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What’s Missing?

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.

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What’S Missing

  1. 1. What’s Missing? Reality, Resources and Reactions David Connolly (BAJR)
  2. 2. What do we already know? <ul><li>Number of Detectorists in the UK? </li></ul><ul><li>10,000 or 20,000, 30,000, 60,000, 100,000 and 250,000 </li></ul><ul><li>In 1980 the figure was 180,000 </li></ul><ul><li>NCMD figure = 20,000 (1996) </li></ul><ul><li>30,000 detectorists (Dobinson/Denison 1995. </li></ul><ul><li>In truth we don’t </li></ul>
  3. 3. In the Dark? <ul><li>Nighthawking Report </li></ul><ul><li>Numbers are unknown </li></ul><ul><li>The scale is unknown </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions ? </li></ul><ul><li>Er… it’ s er… </li></ul>Common Sense
  4. 4. Question of Scale. 23 sites nighthawked in Norfolk Area 10320 Roman sites alone.
  5. 5. Nighthawking <ul><li>“ More work is needed to stop the loss of our history to thieves. The heritage sector has to do more, and work with farmers and landowners, with the law enforcement agencies, and with legislators. Otherwise it will be too late. Archaeological finds are, after all, a finite resource.” </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Mike Heyworth 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>This is all true </li></ul><ul><li>But who are missing? </li></ul>?
  6. 6. Detecting Defensiveness <ul><li>The great conspiracy? </li></ul><ul><li>A site can be scheduled, if they record finding a few hammered coins </li></ul><ul><li>A reported site will be taken away by archaeologists if you record </li></ul><ul><li>Recorded finds are used to prevent detecting </li></ul><ul><li>CBA intends to ban detecting </li></ul><ul><li>PAS is just a cover for a clever ruse to gather enough information to enable politicians to ban detecting </li></ul><ul><li>Detectorists won’t talk to arkies as they won’t listen </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t have to record - </li></ul><ul><li>Parish level recording is adequate (but we don’t mind using 10 figure references from SMRs) </li></ul><ul><li>And on and on…… </li></ul><ul><li>These are now unusual statements and are challenged by other detectorists. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Big Rally Debate <ul><li>Water Newton, Thornborough, Corfe, Stirling Rallies. </li></ul><ul><li>Some real stats! – From Water Newton </li></ul><ul><li>320 detectorists over two days </li></ul><ul><li>348 coins - 237 artefacts 585 total </li></ul><ul><li>9 TT items </li></ul><ul><li>Named recorders – 208 </li></ul><ul><li>No name given – 64 </li></ul><ul><li>Reported they found nothing – 15 </li></ul><ul><li>89% recording level. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Rallies.. Something for the future <ul><li>The are a reality </li></ul><ul><li>They are legal </li></ul><ul><li>They can be turned into opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>They can be too big. </li></ul><ul><li>Resources can be channelled here. </li></ul><ul><li>Telling people what to do is not as likely to succeed as consulting as equals. </li></ul>
  9. 9. TT Finds. What’s missing? <ul><li>2005 & 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Evaluations – 2261 (AIP) </li></ul><ul><li>Archaeological TT finds = 53 </li></ul><ul><li>Public = 30 </li></ul><ul><li>Detecting TT Finds = 1171 </li></ul><ul><li>What does that mean? </li></ul>
  10. 10. A bit of weekend Detecting <ul><li>No solid statistics again… just extrapolation </li></ul><ul><li>How can we tackle a issue ? </li></ul><ul><li>The BIG question - has a site ever been damaged so badly, that it is no longer possible to research it? (battlefields excepted!) </li></ul><ul><li>Of course the more the topsoil of a site is depleted of finds then we have the potential to miss vital evidence… </li></ul><ul><li>Resource PAS to provide the service that works – however – add a bit of reality </li></ul>
  11. 11. Case 1 <ul><li>Suffolk </li></ul><ul><li>6 hours (inc. coffee) </li></ul><ul><li>10:00 - 14:00 Thick mud miserable day 7 lead lumps 3 Blank Buttons 1 Aluminium foil 7 non ferrous scrap 1 blank pre decimal half penny 2 musket balls 1 hammered of Henry / Edward  poor obverse  york mint reverse Please excuse spoon </li></ul>
  12. 12. Case 2 <ul><li>Suffolk </li></ul><ul><li>8 hours (2 days) </li></ul><ul><li>Foil - 3 Shotgun caps - 5 Scrap lead - 7 Scrap copper/brass - 8 Non scrap: Crotal bell - 1 Medi pot shards - 5 Neolithic flint debris - 16 </li></ul><ul><li>(all recorded 10 figs and liaised with FLO) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Case 3 <ul><li>Lancashire </li></ul><ul><li>4 hours </li></ul><ul><li>1 bullet case 5 copper grots 2 buckles 1 7.5 oz weight 12 buttons 1 shotgun cap 1 ringpull 1 big scrap chunk of lead 1 axe head various bits of iron 4 bottle caps 2 door handle bits of aluminium 6 sheep tubes 1 corroded ring </li></ul>
  14. 14. Case 4 Case 5 <ul><li>Yorkshire </li></ul><ul><li>6 hours </li></ul><ul><li>2 x Edward cut silver pennies 1 x trapezoid buckle 1 x James 4th billion penny 6 x microliths 3 x flint scrapers 4 x flints 1 x George 4th shilling 1 x Victorian fair ring 1 x medieval spindle whorl 8 x 19th/20thc buttons 1 x Charles 1st bodle 1 x Victorian pin i think 12 x pieces scrap copper alloy slag 1 x copper alloy pot leg 2 x copper alloy pot sherds 2 x pennies 1947 1945 1 x very large iron chisel 1 x iron buckle 1 x Victorian cricket design buckle 16 x Shotgun bases 17 x copper alloy undiagnostic fragments </li></ul><ul><li>Nottingham </li></ul><ul><li>4 hours </li></ul><ul><li>3 x spoons </li></ul><ul><li>3 x lead shot </li></ul><ul><li>Lump of Lead </li></ul><ul><li>2 strap rings </li></ul><ul><li>1 buckle </li></ul><ul><li>Lead bag seal </li></ul><ul><li>1 x Military button </li></ul><ul><li>6 x 18 th -19 th century coins </li></ul>
  15. 15. Unreported Hoard!
  16. 16. Summing it all up <ul><li>We learn from each other if we listen. </li></ul><ul><li>We can be guilty of prejudice based on.. </li></ul><ul><li>PAS has made a difference </li></ul><ul><li>Detectorists contribute to the record. </li></ul><ul><li>We can spend too much energy and resources on the negatives… forgetting the opportunities that there are. </li></ul><ul><li>We live in the real world. Stay in it. </li></ul>

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