Metal detecting-Good or bad?

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  • Created by: Emily
  • Created on: 30-05-11 09:37
  • Based on the Radio 4 programme Costing the Earth-Digging up Britain-February 2011
  • Staffordshire Hoard, Frome Hoard, Crosby Garret Helmet have all been found by metal detectors.
  • Metal detectors used on archaeological site.
  • Breakthrough on technology-Detect down to 18inches now, more archaeological evidence can be found now.
  • There is a code of conduct but it does not have to be followed.
  • It is possible to tell the type of metal and possibly the object by the sound that it makes. 
  • But you have to be careful because there are many minerals in the ground that may affect the result. 
  • Plough depth is no more than 12 inches so disturbing anything below this is damaging.
  • Metal detectors argue that it is protecting artefacts is protecting them from modern agricultural techniques.
  • Finds should be reported to the Finds Liaison Officer however it is not illegal not to.
  • Metal detecting can lead to the damage of the context, if it is removed and the context is not properly recorded then it could damage its use and a lot of information. Loses history of the artefact.
  • Night Hawking-Illegal removal of artefacts, usually at night, via metal detecting. Basically theft of artefacts. They have no permission to go there. Puts into disrepute those that are actually doing it right.  
  • There is a lot of looting of protected sites-The actual number is unknown because it is kept quiet.
  • English Heritage report on Night Hawking has been done to try…


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