Metal Detecting. Beach and Land Metal detecting!

Metal detecting uk. Beach and Land metal detecting.

This is a blog of my finds and experiences as a metal detector in the South East of England.

This blog features tips and advice for beginners, as well as being an archive of my most favourite finds and experiences as a metal detectorist around these parts. Excellent resource sites are also featured here.

Friday, 16 January 2015

History is for all of us.

Hello, Visitor.

This Blog post is now HERE, at my shiny new Blog.



  1. It's a good case and in very many instances, detectorists have found key pieces of material evidence both on and off the archaeological field. This is a good thing. However, there are a number of ppl who keep their finds to themselves for their own financial and personal gain - this is one of the reasons detectorists get a bad name. The other is a little more complex in that some archaeologists reel at the thought of treasure being ripped out of context. Fine- if a coin horde is found in a lone pit in the middle of a field then all well and good. But what if a Anglo Saxon gold pommel et al gets torn out of the ground by a detectorist which was actually part of a wider burial, one packed with organic finds (some human) which the treasure would actually help to date, and incidentally, a metal detector would not pick up. In these instances, a full excavation would be warranted from the County Archaeologist but also in these cases, there just isn't the money. Archaeologists therefore have a problem since a greater picture of the heritage is lost with the extraction of these finds, finds that are better left buried and then extracted by professionals who can place this treasure in a wider context which enables a greater understanding of the heritage and the past in general. Metal detecting is a double edged sword. The PAS is definitely testament to it's brighter keener edge. The organised metal detecting clubs are also definitely a positive side to since they introduce some form of process, record and organisation to the activity. The elitist academics and in some cases, archaeologists ,can frown all they like on the clubs and the individuals, but it remains to say that they are here to stay. The dirty side to the coin cannot be hidden though. A great many archaeological sites have been wrecked by " nite-hawkers" eager for the non-ferrous metals, destroying important features and there-through detailed historical detail. When elitists judge ( sometimes unfairly and sometimes justifiably) detectorists, they do so since they are horrified at what information could have been gained had the detectorist not ripped out the treasure/artefact out of context, rendering the object and the surrounding context difficult (and sometimes impossible ) to date.

  2. Hiya, Tom. Thanks for your reply :)

    Detecting certainly is a double edged sword, and as I mentioned in my post it'd be naive of us to think that everyone in it has pure intentions. I was reading some posts and the negativity aimed at those who are doing the right things (recording finds, contacting FLO's if they feel their finds have a wider context) really hit me. I don't feel it's necessary, and I stand by my comment concerning working together.

    And I understand the concern about the ruining of a site that may have historical value. I feel there needs to be more in the way of education within the Metal Detecting world. Thankfully these days, we have plenty of forums and sites offering advice about good practice. The days of the 90's (where people were 'hoiking' a lot) are in the past, and people really don't have an excuse these days. But that being said, more could be done to get that very important message across, as there's obviously a lot of ill intention out there.

    This is a complex situation, but I feel it's really important to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Your post is well written, and gets some brilliant points across without becoming underhand or snide in any way. We'd probably get to a universal conclusion a lot quicker if more people had your communication skills.

  3. Hi there!
    Thanks for the reply! I was thinking that elitist attitudes to the art of detecting actually does more harm to the discipline in general since it could actually drive more people NOT to declare their finds to the relevant FLO etc which is really sad when you think about it. These elitists really have missed the point if they think they can dismiss detector users as relevant contributors to the heritage sector - the very fact that the PAS exists is actually a response to the fact that ppl will detect regardless. The PAS is harnessing all this really for the benefit of all, academically but also publicly, where finds are, like you so rightly pointed out, displayed in local museums with credit written to the relevant detectors where credit was due. A prime example of this is in Salisbury museum where the new lotto funded archae wing is packed with finds, a great many of which are credited to detectorists! If youre in the west, be sure to check it out!!