Posts tagged ‘metal detecting’

March 13, 2017

Preconceived notions detract from the scholarly value of analysis

My quantitative analysis of open-source data on metal detecting for cultural property does not consider a single example of illicit excavation or other illicit handling of ancient coins. Yet the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG) has reacted: “Preconceived notions and value judgments detract from any scholarly value of this article.”

Is it difficult to argue that permissive regulation enables metal detectorists and private collectors to “preserve history”, when an estimation of the scale and intensity of metal detecting and the quantity of metal-detected cultural goods suggests that millions of cultural objects are unscientifically extracted then not reported in Europe and North America every year?

March 13, 2017

How many people are metal-detecting and how many cultural objects are they finding?

On Friday, (open-access) Cogent Social Sciences published my estimation of how many people are metal-detecting, how many hours they’re doing it and how many cultural objects they’re finding, whether they’re supplying their own private collections or whether they’re selling into the antiquities trade, supplying the licit/illicit market. Since it’s 21,084 words, excluding the bibliography, I thought it might help to post some notes and some extracts, with the data on the number of detectorists and the number of finds.

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March 10, 2017

quantitative analysis of open-source data on metal detecting for cultural property: estimation of the scale and intensity of metal detecting and the quantity of metal-detected cultural goods

With an urgency that is highlighted by UNESCO’s consideration of “treasure hunters” and cultural trafficking –
regulation on metal detectors and underground monitoring systems
and the imprisonment of (no-longer-police constable) David Cockle for illicit metal detecting, (open-access) Cogent Social Sciences have published my quantitative analysis of open-source data on metal detecting for cultural property: estimation of the scale and intensity of metal detecting and the quantity of metal-detected cultural goods.

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November 16, 2015

Harassment by proxy or not? I ‘can expect a knock on the door any time soon’.

I mentioned last week that cultural heritage campaigners were getting threatened and endangered by metal detectorists and others in the antiquities trade. The people who facilitate intimidation are demonstrably choosing to do so. Are some also wasting police time by reporting campaigners who have publicly discussed intimidation?

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November 9, 2015

Archaeologists, concerned citizens and their families are harassed and threatened by metal detectorists in the UK

Violence against cultural heritage workers, and law enforcement agents who protect cultural property, is a grimly recognised problem in insecure places. And it is at its worst extreme in places such as Syria and Iraq. But it is not only a problem in those places. Threatening (and endangering) behaviour is a feature of the heritage “debate” in secure societies as well.

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June 9, 2015

According to antiquities trade lobbyist Peter Tompa, ‘you can’t find [coins] without a metal detectors’.

On the question of why a lobbyist would characterise cooperation between archaeologists and tradespeople as a frenzy among archaeologists, the lobbyist in question says that it was ‘humor/satire/irony‘. A work of auto-parody? But he has said something else even more curious…

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April 19, 2013

Greece: arrest of metal-detecting antiquities looter in Sithonia, Halkidiki

Greek police arrested a 25-year-old man as an antiquities looter (αρχαιοκάπηλος); they arrested him on suspicion of looting antiquities (and thereby violating the Law on Antiquities and Cultural Heritage). They found 53 small artefacts of various designs and shapes, 45 ancient coins (of various sizes and images, 1 of silver, 44 of other metals) and a metal detector in his home in Sithonia, Halkidiki. There are no more details yet.

March 25, 2013

If landowners waive right to be informed about finds by metal detectorists, is it an unreasonable contract?

Since I ‘totally lost‘ people on Twitter, I’ve had to retreat here to explain myself in more than 140 (or, after everyone’s usernames are included, 80) characters.

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February 11, 2012

10 signs of disintegration in Greece; and its archaeology and looting crisis

Last night, impotently watching Greece implode, I tweeted the most immediate signs of disintegration in Greece. Here, I explain and source those signs; then I show the consequent crises of archaeology and looting.

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