Official! – Tekkies make huge contribution to the past

Yet again, the UK’s metal detectorists get the thumbs-up from officialdom. Recently released official figures show that the average payment to finders of Treasure amounts to £2,671 each.

The total amount paid out was £643,683. Thirty-five per cent of the landowners or finders donated their treasure finds to museums waiving their right to payments for the public good have been applauded by a Government minister.

The Daily Telegraph reports UK arts minister Michael Ellis as saying “I applaud the large number of interested parties waiving their right to a reward for treasure cases, with individuals foregoing their share in 86 cases this year. These donations have allowed museums to acquire find that they may not have otherwise been able to, thereby allowing the public to enjoy and experts to study them”.

In referring to a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) study which showed that 1.5 per cent of adults in England had taken part in metal detecting in the last year, Ellis said: “This increase in detecting has contributed hugely to the extension of our knowledge of our past.”

Experts at the National Museum Wales say they have a year-on-year rise in precious items reported, such as Bronze Age and mediaeval artefacts, of which about 90% are found by metal detectorists.

Dr Rhianydd Biebrach says, “We have certainly noticed over the last few years that the amount of treasure finds reported in Wales has increased,” adding “I guess it’s partly the popularity of metal detecting which is growing. It’s had a lot of publicity from things like [Channel 4’s] Time Team and the BBC series Detectorists.”

Interestingly, para 1.5 of the DCMS Statistical Release for Reported Treasure Finds 2016 & 2017 (Provisional) under the sub-heading Mode of Discovery, reports that :

“A large majority (94%) of treasure finds were discovered by metal detecting. A further 4% (45 cases) were archaeological finds and 1% (10 cases) were from field walking or searching the foreshore.

So what are we to make of these official figures? With orthodox archaeology providing just  4% of Treasure finds has to be a cause for concern. Is it due to poor excavation skills, incompetence, or something more sinister? Can it be due to a surreptitious collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological record by rogue or excavators feeding the illicit antiquities market with artefacts, or setting up personal private collections as hedges against inflation?



The salient point of the DCMS study showed…“that 1.5 per cent of adults in England had taken part in metal detecting in the last year…” 

NOT as one archaeological numpty reports…

“1.5% of the current population of England is 795,200 people,” then to clarify  that figure for  dimmer followers, adds thoughtfully, “Nearly eight hundred thousand people(!)” 

The numpty misses the point entirely – either through an inability to digest data, or  deliberately, so as  to bolster a spurious agenda – the 1.5% quoted by the DCMS refers to the adult population, NOT the current population of England.  Two wholly different sets of numbers.





3 thoughts on “Official! – Tekkies make huge contribution to the past

  1. If you mean who I think you mean, weIl, I couldn’t a sh*t what he appreciates. You’ll have noticed these are OFFICIAL FIGURES that I’ve quoted, not fact-free guesstimations working for a propagandist agenda.

    Happy New Year ‘Ole Pal. Could 2019 be the year a money order for $20 drops on my doormat?

    Best to you and Fay.


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