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'In Pursuit of Treasure' - presented by Mike Pitts

Mike Pitts presents a Radio 4 programmme on Sunday 7th February at 1.30pm.

Looking at metal detecting and night hawking

Edit 3/2/2010:
Further to the above information which I heard mentioned on the radio last night, I have just noticed that more detailed info has been posted on the Heritage Action Journal.
tjj Posted by tjj
2nd February 2010ce
Edited 3rd February 2010ce

Comments (1)

(I've posted this on the forum but perhaps it is better here)

An illuminating thirty minute radio programme presented by Mike Pitts - for anyone not completely clear about the controversy surrounding metal detecting.

It opened with the argument for both sides; the archaeologists believing that finds should be properly found (i.e. excavated), conserved and kept safely in a museum. Whilst ethical detectorists believe, with some justification, that the past belongs to us all.

I warmed to Tony Robinson (who took part in the programme) when he spoke of the ‘elitism’ which may exist in archaeology. When it came to nighthawkers, however, his tone changed and he was very clear that this was theft which often involved serious violence if met with a challenge. There was an account of night hawkers turning up at one scheduled ancient monument with a tipper lorry and JCB.

It was enjoyable hear Terry Herbert, the finder of the Staffordshire hoard, tell of the fun he had watching archaeologists retrieving some of the artefacts – how, when realising the true value of the find, the mobile phones started going to employ security. Mr Herbert also spoke of his fear that night hawkers would get wind of the dig before it was all retrieved though thankfully this did not happen.

The programme is Radio Four’s podcast of the week - much recommended.

tjj Posted by tjj
7th February 2010ce
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