Who Wants a PAS Here?

I think, or at least I hope, that most detectorists here in the states are familiar with the UK’s Portable Antiquities Scheme.  Started in 1996 the PAS allows detectorists to report finds of possible archaeological importance without fear of recrimination, and be assured that these finds will remain theirs or in a few instances be reembursed if a museum, college or institution is interested in keeping them and putting them on display.  The Scheme has been a huge success and a real boon to the tekkies in the UK.

paslogoI ‘personally’ would love to see something similar here in the United States but before we go any further let me refer you to my posts of March 9th, and March 11th of last year. They will shed some clarity (or maybe not) on my position or lack thereof. Would a PAS here be a help or a hindrance?  Would it encourage more detectorists to come forward with their finds or would they be afraid of repercussions?  Would it simply invite more restrictions? Is it even possible or feasible to accomplish something of that magnitude?  And….does anyone really give a rat’s ass about anything but what they are going to dig up next?

I feel pretty certain that relic hunters are not interested, and have stated such many times.  Their rationale is ‘we hunt on private land, have had no problems and have nothing to worry about’.  That’s pretty much the same for those hunting the water. They too are usually immune from any type of restrictions, but will both parties be saying the same thing down the road?  I have my doubts.

Let’s be honest too…if we were to even attempt to push for something like a PAS it would take a unified, well funded group of people, dedicated to following through, no matter the roadblocks, and right now I don’t see that within our ranks.  Our three ‘supposed’ national groups seem to be hibernating at the moment, apparently “working behind the scenes” as they like to say.  Sadly we are now a non-entity, an anemic and impotent group of hobbyists when it comes to accomplishing much of anything, let alone something of the magnitude discussed here.  Oh I know we can rally a few phone calls and emails to piss and moan about this and that, but creating a PAS is not even in the same ball park.


I am well aware that I am stirring the pot again and being overly critical but I think it’s a topic worth discussing.  I may be wrong.  If you are reading this…do you even want change?   Do you really care?  It’s okay if you don’t. Just say so but then don’t bitch down the line when big brother bites your ass and it will happen.  Maybe not now.  Maybe not next year, but it will happen.

So, be brave and tell me what you think….




Found this article on Eddy’s Current’s Facebook page and liked the sound of it. Why not a little humor? It’s a fun pastime and just maybe this will help our image.  I do however reserve the right to change my mind once this show airs. I’ve learned the hard way not to get excited about tekkie TV shows.


And this too is pretty cool….what will the archaeologists in the future think if they should uncover this?

Man Buried on his Bike

The Video




Filed under Metal Detecting

73 responses to “Who Wants a PAS Here?

  1. John H

    Great post Ole Pal. You’re asking the right questions, but the PAS started in 1996, not 1966 (I wish) as stated in your post.


  2. I’m all for it Dick if we can get “EVERYONE” to work together and do it but I don’t see that happening. You have people that are secretive, you have people who don’t give a rat’s ass about law and think they can hunt at night on anyone’s property they care to. The detecting companies also have to come together also in this equation but they won’t. I don’t see this happening in the states. But I agree something needs to be done or our hobby will be a fading thing.

    • Kenny, unfortunately I think you are right. The “everyone” is the problem. As for the manufacturers..I am sure they would be part of the equation if it were a well thought out plan.

  3. bill from lachine

    I’m game we pretty much have the same patchwork of laws, regulations, etc….in Canada as the U.S.

    It’s confusing and completely impossible to administer.

    Heck I thinks there’s even a law on the books in Canada that states anything found under ground with more than 50 years of age belongs to the government….like I’m going to send them my dirty pennies and rusted bottle caps, etc…..lol.

    Regards + HH


    • Sounds like the regulations we have here…


      Especially this: It is the public policy and in the public interest of the State of Texas to locate, protect, and preserve all sites, objects, buildings, pre-twentieth century shipwrecks, and locations of historical, archeological, educational, or scientific interest, including but not limited to prehistoric and historical American Indian or aboriginal campsites, dwellings, and habitation sites, archeological sites of every character, treasure imbedded in the earth, sunken or abandoned ships and wrecks of the sea or any part of their contents, maps, records, documents, books, artifacts, and implements of culture in any way related to the inhabitants, pre-history, history, natural history, government, or culture in, on, or under any of the land in the State of Texas, including the tidelands, submerged land, and the bed of the sea within the jurisdiction of the State of Texas.

      • Dick:
        It is the public policy and in the public interest of the State of Texas to locate…”

        So WHO is doing the ‘locating’? Seems on the face of it, anyone with a metal detector is operating in the ‘public interest’? As for the rest of it, well, I seem to recall that the US and the UK suffered heavy casualties seventy years ago starting on the 6th June 1944, to rid the world of a tyrant who would have thoroughly endorsed everything that Texas Bureaucrats have enacted. JMO!

      • John, Texas is one of those states where you go detecting, keep your finds to yourself and move on. And yes, I know the troll in Warsaw will jump on that but the good ole boys here in the state capital decided that it was the way to go and as a result they lose out. The Texas Antiquities law is the worst of any I’ve seen.

  4. Hello Mr.Stout. Agree with Kenny and Bill but unfortunately
    EVERYONE has their own agenda and don`t want rules or care about them.

  5. Mike Smith

    I am all for a similar system here in the USA. Just a few years back a Congressman from Texas was interested in possibly implementing a similar system here. I am not sure whether he is still in office or not. Jimmy “Sierra” Normandi, Sr. brought this to my attention back in 2010 when I was involved with the FMDAC.
    It is possible with the support of the metal detecting community and manufacturers but to make it happen would take extraordinary people to lead the effort and plenty of time to make it happen.
    Know any people like that?

  6. Lisa

    Since Mr Stout has chosen to root against the Broncos I’m not speaking to him today. Tomorrow, however, I may forgive him and make a wonderful comment.

  7. Mr.Stout as for the tight or together group I wish we did but most folks in the metal detecting community that I see and know have their own cliques and don`t care.

  8. James/Texas

    I would love to see PAS here in America. There is no doubt it would benefit both sides of this issue. I see it as a win win situation. I doubt I will see it happening in my lifetime.

  9. I do not suppose it is worth pointing out that the PAS in Britain was wholly an archaeological initiative in the early to mid 1990s and in the face of much anti-archaeological hostility at the time (looking at Mr Stout’s blog it seems there are areas of the hobby where nothing much has changed).

    It was a compromise put forward by the archaeologists to resolve the growing conflict between artefact hunting and preservation and to propagate best practice among artefact hunters. It was the archaeologists who put out the hand, it is a large group of archaeologists who for sixteen years have been trying to make it work and assess and present the results in the positive light that has earnt artefact hunting its current good reputation in the UK. And it is these archaeologists who for their pains are constantly getting spat at still by detectorists (see the above post with its offensive “flowchart”, see the “Malamute Saloon”).

    It is therefore a bit strange to see the discussion here making out that if a PAS-clone was instituted in the USA it would be detectorists and detector manufacturers who would be behind it. That would be more akin to Britain’s UKDFD http://www.ukdfd.co.uk/ which is a pale imitation of the PAS with no institutional backup or clout.

    I see a problem in detectorists like Mr Stout loudly declaiming that they will not work with any archaeologists (“except one”) and then in the next breath suggesting that an organizations be set up at public cost for detectorists to work with archaeologists “finding” and “writing” “history” to everybody’s benefit. The two simply do not make a logical whole.

    Setting up a PAS-clone in the US would be very costly, and there would be no sense in investing resources in it without the guarantee of success. Looking at the attitudes constantly paraded on this blog suggests rather the opposite scenario.

    What a US PAS-clone would have to be to make any sense would be an established professional organization embedded in the framework of the heritage management structures of each state, rather like the Florida Isolated Finds programme was (http://paul-barford.blogspot.com/2013/03/florida-isolated-finds-programme-1994.html – no, no “shitting” Mr Stout, it did exist, ask Ms McIntyre). Here is some local experience – positive and negative – to build on. It was set up more or less at the same time as the PAS but foundered.

    I hear a lot, from this blog in particular, about “who we are” and part of that “who we are” is invariably claimed that detectorists all over the USA are making historical finds which are then duly shown to the authorities so “everybody benefits” from the hobby. That is what you all say, I have no reason to doubt it. I would therefore suggest that if this really is happening already on any appreciable scale, it should be a relatively easy matter to persuade state authorities that instead of the ad hoc manner in which liaison takes place now (if it does), there is a need for a more established system, with dedicated contacts with whom detectorists can work to provide a linking bridge between archaeology and the public.

    Obviously such a programme would also encompass other types of relic hunting, such as those that gather lithic artefacts which reveal the prehistoric utilisation of the land. As an umbrella organization it might act to protect the interests of hobbyist artefact hunters of all kinds in the USA, and even advise on the negative effects of proposed legislative change on the hobby and its ability (working with the Scheme) to add to public knowledge of America’s past.

    • Mr. Barford I was going to take some time and respond here to your comments but decided to let others do that. As for your displeasure with me, it was you who first decided to hurl stones my way when you “happened upon” my blog and decided to insult a friend of mine shown in a photo. Up till that time I had no clue who you were. I have since found out and have no regard for you whatsoever. I have never had a pleasant experience with archaeologists in my close to 40 years of involvement in this pastime, and you do nothing at all to change that. You are rude, condescending and from all that I can gather an outcast even to your peers. As for the “are you shitting me” comment, it was in reference to your use of “Let’s”…..as if you are part of this blog or my future plans. Likewise you will never have a say in any attempt here in the States to organize anything. Your hatred of this country precedes you.

    • The above flow chart is an adapted one taken from your highly offensive ignorant, and insulting blog, yes the same blog in which you insult ALL detectorists with being ‘slack-jaws’. Those archaeological types of your ilk, richly deserve to be spat at!
      No detectorist needs to justify anything to you,
      You are an offensive non-entity. You are a disgrace to archaeology. You leave me with no other opinion, that by your words, counselling is an option.

  10. Big Tony from Bayonne

    I need some background information on the PAS, are they allowed on Federal and State lands? Here in the US you aren’t even allowed to spit on a Federal sidewalk let alone do some metal detecting.

  11. No, I didn’t think it was worth it.

    “decided to insult a friend of mine shown in a photo.”
    Really? What did I say that was so terrible?

    I think if you look, my main interest was what you were saying about hunting civil war battlefields and the Task Force. There is nothing insulting in my earlier posts about this blog – check it out.

    And you think “Malamute Saloon” has not been insulting my colleagues and friends since the day it began?

    And a thousand and one insults and name-calling on this blog aimed at myself and the chairman of Heritage Action since then was about ONE comment about a friend? Is that not a little childish?

    I apologise for the past comment about the friend. Tell me where it is, I will delete it.

    Now are you going to apologise to me and Nigel Swift and delete all your insults?

    For Bill from L. The PAS applies to state owned lands too, as long as the artefact hunter has first gained permission to search there. You can fairly easily get permits for example for the foreshore and Crown Estate.

    • You really have big ones… remember what I said. YOU found my blog and began this battle. Not I. One only has to look at dates…


      • Mr Stout, show me these “insults”!! I see I mention your name in discussion about what you said in the public domain about artefact hunting. Your answer to any disagreement has always been childish insults and name calling. No actual attempt to engage with the discussion though.

        As I say, tell me where I “insult your friend” – your initial excuse – and I will delete it just as soon as I get in from work.

        John, this ‘flowchart” is about “archaeologists’ or “Paul Barford”? What is the “Diplomatic bag” doing there alongside PAS? What, actually is it all about? Can you run us through it, the logic escapes me.

        I think rather it is you who seems to have a problem with accepting something or other:

      • “Your answer to any disagreement has always been childish insults and name calling”… Once again, are you shitting me?

        Look at the link I just offered and then go back to your first post about my website. It’s been all downhill from there. You instigated all of this back then as a result of trolling the internet just looking for something that didn’t fit into your small world….it’s become your occupation. As I said before, you have a big pair.

  12. Sorry that was Big Tony who asked. In England, you can detect on state owned land with permission.

  13. He’s losing the plot…right here on Stout Standards! Amazing stuff. Jeez, wait till he reads the next Malamute Saloon. Hahahaha!

    C’mon, get the bum outta here!

  14. bill from lachine


    Heck looks like I missed some of the fun…..oh well better late than never….here’s a tune to add to the pot…..lol….
    Somehow I thought it was appropriate.

  15. John, beginning to wonder about Bill too…

  16. bill from lachine


    Well you see gents it’s like this……don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes…..just a matter of picking your spots.

    Besides I can see between the two of you Warsaw Wally is pretty much on the ropes……no need to bring my rapier whit into play at this point in time…..I’ll save it for another day….lol…

    Regards + HH


  17. bill from lachine



    Regards + HH


  18. You do know I was being kind using the word “wimp”….

  19. bill from lachine

    No problems mate….lol…ok I’ll toss in a bone just to keep the fires stoked.

    cco: Paul Barford I recently had the good fortune to have a very intelligent exchange with a gentleman concerning a possibly important find in Canada by one of our forum members.

    He followed proper protocol and notified the local museum, recorded the GPS location of the find, etc….he was commended by a purported archeologist for doing so in a professional manner.
    I thanked him and then did an internet search and the gentleman in question showed up as being a PHD in archeology and currently teaching at a local university.

    Lo and behold I do the same search for Paul Barford and draw a blank……was your degree per chance on of those send us $25 and you get a degree from the university of what’s happening now or what???

    Regards + HH


  20. So, 35 happy-slapping comments and counting and still no substantive discussion among the assembled detectorists of the possibility of setting up a National Isolated Finds Programme/Scheme in the US.

    What we do see however is an open display of the sort of anti-cooperative attitudes (imagined “insults”, anti-academism, “diplomatic bag” slurs etc etc) which suggest that if one were set up by federal or state the US authorities, the takeup by US detectorists would in fact be no better than that suggested is the case in Britain by Heritage Action. You all strenuously deny that the picture painted by the Counter is correct, but then show almost with one voice that the effects of having one in the US would look exactly like that. What makes you think you are in any way different from UK metal detectorists in this regard?

    As Kenny Briggs and Lenny said, attitudes within the hobby are such that one may comfortably extrapolate from what we see above that however much money and goodwill the one side puts into it, such a scheme would not succeed in getting everybody working together for the common benefit – more or less what I was saying in the posts on my blog to which Mr Stout takes such exception.

    • The above comment from Mr. Barford is his last here on Stout Standards. For those of you who think I am being overly sensitive or too harsh, I would urge you look through the months of my back and forth with the man and see if you still feel that way. And…if you think I am alone please read the following by Dave Welsh on his Ancient Coins blog site.


      Another blog that he loves to constantly disrupt is Peter Tompa’s Cultural Property Observer.

      Another clue to the man is the number of responses or comments he receives on his blog. Everyone knows it’s a waste of time and anything said will be held back until he can find a way to drag you through the mud.

      Mr. Barford at one time claimed to be an archaeologist but after so many asked for his credentials or educational background he has now changed his “about me” to read:

      “Salad-loving bearded cyclist living and working in the very centre of Warsaw Poland. Since the early 1990s a primary interest has been research on artefact hunting and collecting and the market in portable antiquities in the international context and their effect on the archaeological record.”
      An attempt at a little humor I guess but he hasn’t a clue how to laugh at anything. It’s widely accepted, even amongst his peers, that he is in need of help. I hope he finds it soon. As of this date I will not allow Stout Standards to become a platform for his obsessive and ongoing attempts to degrade our pastime.

    • Big Tony from Bayonne

      Dick, I agree with you on this one. I feel Mr Barford is attacking the US metal detectorists and he truly believes he is speaking to thousands of folks in this hobby! He has no clue on how to get along with real people.

  21. A salad-loving bearded cyclist eh?
    He probably hankers for the Good Ole Days back in 1986, when thanks to the Soviets, Poles hand little meat but lots of greenery to eat, cars were perks of the apparatchiks, and decent razor blades scarce.
    A member of the then Polish Government-in-Exile here in the UK joked with me at a dinner one night, “What’s 200-metres long and eats cabbage?”
    “The queue outside a Warsaw butcher’s.”

  22. Lisa MacIntyre

    Ahhh, Dick, you’re no fun. I personally think you should let him post, even though he does not allow anyone the same privilege on his blog. It allows people to make a judgment based on his responses and posts.

    So on to the PAS thingy. I think it is a fantastic idea. But first I must ask a few hard questions.

    I will use Florida in all my examples…

    Who decides “fair market value”? Should the finder be allowed to bargain back and forth? What if the finder does not agree on the price? Can they just walk away? Do they have an obligation to disclose the provenience?

    Where would the money to purchase such finds come from? States that are cutting food stamps, SS, unemployment benefits, and every social service out there are going to have a very hard, if not impossible, time garnering support to funnel money into this kind of program. We barely get money to support any kind of historical, environmental, or educational programs to begin with. Even in a thriving economy, these types of programs are last on the list for funding of any kind.

    Our state is all about the jobs, jobs, jobs. Offshore drilling? Go for it. Dredging our port for bigger cruise ships? Go for it. Unless our governor could see a way to capitalize on this I don’t know how it could get funding. And we are not the only state to be run in this manner.
    One solution might be that instead of selling” the item to the state, the item is either offered as a donation, or, kept by the finder but allowed to be photographed and documented. Just a thought.

    Do you want public lands included? I am against this for many reasons, most of which have to do with environmental reasons. We destroy beautiful pristine land and rivers in our country daily. Between fracking, pipelines, factories, progress, you name it, we will very soon have destroyed our land beyond repair.

    I think our public lands, what we have left, should remain untouched unless under strict regulations. The public lands I have dug on have many rules and we are checked constantly. We must get permits, submit proposals as to what we plan. Impact on the area is studied and some times we are denied due to an environmental issue. If we were to open up these lands the regulation would be near impossible. I see people doing more damage than good. I would rather it not be found than compromise a species survival, or risk destroying the land. I’m not saying I think all archaeologists that dig up these lands are following the rules. I just think it will be much harder to regulate the flood of the general public in these areas. At least on a public archaeological dig there is some transparency. At least among peers.

    All this being said, I think a PAS version in the US would be a great idea if we could all find a way to make it work. It would take a lot of compromising from both parties. .

    • Lisa, I know I am no fun, but Mr. Barford isn’t either. If allowed to comment here he will only use it as a platform to preach his narrow minded and one sided agenda. He is anti-detecting, anti-collecting and despises our country.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I understand where you are coming from and agree with you in many areas. I think ultimately the answer lies in your last sentence “It would take a lot of compromising from both parties”… I hate to say it but I don’t see that happening in my lifetime.

  23. bill from lachine


    Well thought out post….and as you stated it would be somewhat difficult to sort out all the details.

    Under the PAS regulations there are many off limit sites designated as historical or important(I’m sure John Howland can fill you in as to the total amount).

    The local coroner is the person to make a judgement call as whether or not the item is to be considered as treasure or not based on the law.

    Next step is an impartial evaluation from a recognized expert in the field.

    If it’s of enough historical interest and or museum quality the British museum or other regional museums can buy the article for their collections.

    The purchase price gets split evenly between the finder and landowner keeping in my the vast majority of finds are made on plowed farmers fields.

    All items turned over whether deemed treasure or not get photographed and documented and added to a data base for future reference or study.

    This is a very rough overview of the process and I’m sure that John Howland can fill in some of the finer points and details.

    Regards + HH


    The finder is required within a given amount of

  24. Robbie

    Dick, You should let Mr. Barford post… it will show him as he really is…a person who hates metal detectorists so bad he calls them names. A few he has used———-thugwits, tekkies, coinys, robbers and thieves. He doesn’t post much about the archaeologists who have robbed gravesites. Where do you think all those King Tut items came from?? Not from metal detector users !!! And how about those items archaeologists sell to museums after they record and study them???

  25. And the fun guy in Poland quickly responds to Lisa’s comment is his usual polite manner:


    • Big Tony from Bayonne

      Funny, he is reaching across the pond to get information for his web –
      Our lands are a far cry from several hundred year old relics.
      Yes we had Columbus and several other sea going societies landing hear – but even then they had 1492 years of documented history in Europe.
      Any such agreement here in the US would be really much simpler to handle because….we didn’t have Romans or Norsemen’s pillaging… I could ramble on with a history lesson but please Mr. Barford —-stay home and pester the folks around you….

  26. Lisa MacIntyre

    What a simply pathetic person he is. Can’t imagine what part of his DNA got so jumbled it turned him into some angry little boy that has to call names and make fun of people instead of holding civil intelligent conversations. You cant fix stupid and you cant fix hate.
    Bill…I agree with you, but remember, we have a lot of pre-history here as well. Some of the sites I have worked on date back to around 4300 years ago.

    • Lisa you are so correct. I don’t think the guy knows how to smile, have fun or relax. Constantly agitated and angry. Something very strange going on there.

      And as for the pre-history…you aren’t talking about me are you?

    • bill from lachine


      Yeah I’m aware of the pre contact period thanks to some of our
      ethical detectorists.

      I’m fortunate enough to know a few of the North American experts in the archaic copper culture period.

      All their finds are documented as to where/when found and will be left to a proper institution when the time comes.

      There’s still a lot of missing pieces to the puzzle insofar as native cultures post land bridge until the colonial period and probably neither the amateurs nor professionals will ever piece together the whole story.

      Regards + HH


      • Lisa

        I’m sorry. I hope my comment didn’t off as it now looks. I never meant to imply you thought human history in the US was only a few hundred years. But agreed. We will never be able to find all the pieces. We have made some unusual discoveries as of late that have made us go, “hmmmmm”.

  27. bill from lachine

    Big Tony,

    Paul Barford doesn’t cut it in the archeological community any more than with the detectorist crowd.

    He’s a lightweight trying to fight a heavyweights match…..guess who wins those battles….lol…

    Regards + HH


  28. Lisa MacIntyre

    And not to use Dick’s blog as a forum to fight a nasty person, but, I will not post on his “blog” for two reasons. First, you have to sign in with your personal info. which is laughable. Second, anyone that uses disgusting words like “retards” obviously has no regards for decency so how on earth could he have a rational discussion. On here, even if we disagree we are all adults and conduct ourselves accordingly. I appreciate that from all of you.

  29. It’s great there has been so many comments on this post. Personally, I think recording artifacts should be encouraged, but a voluntary scheme is best for our country, especially for the East Coast where most land is private. Any thought the federal or even state governments would create a new bureaucracy to support such a program is unrealistic given current budget realities. However, an achievable goal might be to have a State University set up a data base which would allow detectorists to log in their finds. This might be a good first step and would no doubt produce some interesting information that could be useful to scholars.

    • bill from lachine

      Good idea…..you bypass all the red tape, etc….and whatever finds get logged is a bonus.

      Regards + HH


    • Peter, appreciate your taking the time to respond here, especially given your ongoing relationship with our pal in Warsaw. Your ‘State University’ idea is certainly something to consider and I hope Lisa will share her thoughts on this. She is an archaeologist, and believe it or not she talks to us and has some appreciation for what it is we do. Thanks again and hope you will continue to comment when you can…

    • Lisa

      The voluntary idea is great. I would be curious as to how many would participate. I especially like the idea of using a university as the repository for those who wish to donate finds. Students could be utilized to organize inventory and documentation. And yes, some interesting discoveries could be made.

    • John H

      Hello Peter:
      You are definitely onto something here! From small acorns…..eh?
      The draconian laws of some States as you will only be too well aware, throttle public participation in history, whilst simultaneously retarding exploration, recording, and worst of all perhaps, encourage high prices for artefacts considering the risks involved in stealing them together with the loss of information that goes unrecorded.

  30. bill from lachine


    No problem….regardless of what Barford says most detectorists are not slack jawed and are quite informed amateur historians doing it on a pro bono basis.

    Personally I detect mostly urban green spaces which have been resodded, filled, etc and anything with a bit of age is completely out of context.

    So my finds don’t amount to a hill of beans insofar as historical significance is involved.

    I just like stirring the pot and also siding with the serious relic hunters who wish to save whatever bits and bites of items they can for posterity.

    Regards + HH


  31. Pingback: Detecting Diva – Mr. Barfords “Spout Out”

  32. Lisa

    I would never put any serious thought to anything mr barford says. You would be surprised at what I find interesting.

  33. I would be willing to work with the local college with our historical finds. Our state historical center was started with finds from the private Detectorist but has been taken over by the DNR and the state archeology people. Detecting on state lands, parks, and waterways is closed by the DNR and State Archeologist.

  34. Steve D

    Some very interesting comments here. I am not convinced that such a program can work here. For many years I said this is what I have wanted to see happen, but now I am not so sure? There are just too many me, me, me detectorists. And as pointed out in previous Stout Standards, hunters, digging taking disposing of what they think is trash? For God’s sake calling yourself a renegade videoing going on private lands, digging giant holes and running off isn’t helping.

    I had always had a problem with what’s is so important about an old coin and what was found with it, what direction it was pointed etc.. But recent years such finds have caused us to stop and rewrite history. But wait, that’s just the problem, we don’t want to really know the history, we (they) want to control history! I am quite sure both sides have squirreled away treasures that could rewrite the books. Lets just try and fight the smaller battles at this point…soon to be popping up near you…

    • Thanks Steve for sharing your thoughts. There really are a lot of variables within our pastime and if you read my blog you know how
      I feel about sharing videos of your adventures online. I think a US PAS is a topic we need to keep talking about, and just maybe with enough interest and enough input from various quarters, a plan can be hatched. Time will tell.

  35. bill from lachine

    Somewhere or other on this thread you mentioned that Paul Barford bought artifacts and resold them to museums I would think at a tidy profit and probably of questionable provenance to boot.

    Isn’t that a case of the pot calling the kettle black??

    Regards + HH


    • Bill, not me….maybe you are thinking of Robbie’s comment. Not sure he meant it as actual fact. If I remember correctly Mr. Barford collects Japanese prints or something along those lines. As for him selling them, no clue.

      • Robbie

        I had posted ..just wondering if he had any type of artifact collectables as most archeaology people I have known,do have even a small collection of something that had been in the ground at one time or another.

  36. Lisa MacIntyre

    Steve. You are a man after my archaeologist heart. I think the points I am frustrated on the most is context and it’s just junk. If I even mention the word context to some people they have a fit. I do, however, think we should do something other than nothing. Is a PAS twin the answer? Not sure yet, but I think it is be worth talking about. It is certainly better than anything being done thus far.

  37. Have been thinking about the college idea and wondered if detectorists would be protected under such a plan. i.e., could their finds be confiscated or could they be subject to prosecution, etc.? There would have to be upfront guarantees for everyone to feel comfortable with it. JMO.

  38. That’s precisely the questions asked in the run-up the UK’s implementation of the PAS. Then again, when you consider that FEW archaeological digs even bother to register their finds with the PAS…one has to ask the question WHY?
    Are orthodox archaeologists complicit in a system of under-the-counter supply to the more shady market outlets? We have to be told. Why aren’t people like Paul Barford, and his bullet-maker, David Gill, investigating this illicit trade instead of whingeing and whining about the PAS. Why aren’t the police?

  39. I feel like I came late to the party reading through all the comments… I agree with a lot of what has been said by Lisa, but I also see where Steve D is coming from. Over the last few years in particular I have seen more and more “get rich quick” types, and less and less people out to dig up pieces of history that have been left behind.

    Living in Australia I guess there aren’t all that many relics to go discovering anyway (other than old coins) as Australia is such a new country when compared to the likes of the UK, USA, Italy, Greece etc. Good food for thought though.

  40. Lisa MacIntyre

    John @ Mr Metal Detector,

    Even though Australia is relatively “younger” than most of Europe, it still has a rich archaeological history with human habitation dating back at least 40,000 years (Mungo Man) with some arguing ancestry of humans dating back to 125,000 years. That’s a lot of history to be uncovered. (Although no species of primate has been found in Australia) Australia is also unique in that the peoples of the Mungo show changes in an environment can be matched with how people have lived there in a continuous record across vast ages. And Australia has seen its fair share of wars. Nothing on the scale of Europe or Asia, but they did happen.

    So my question would be this, and I ask with a white flag, is metal detecting only about finding the artifact that is worth money, or a showpiece? I understand if it is. It makes sense. Of course I understand flora and fauna can not be detected with a metal detector, but burial goods associated with bones sometimes can. In other words, would a metal detectorist be interested in the history of our example of Australia knowing the artifacts would fall into a category more along the lines of simply historical documentation and discovery? Or is the thrill more in the find of that coveted coin or bullet?

    I do have one more burning question. You bring up the point of the “get rich quick” types. How does a detectorist justify trade shows? I am not in any way saying these should be illegal or it is not your right to sell what you find on private property, but then how does one voice, loudly, they are only in it for the history? I hear many people (and not on this forum) say they are only in it for the history, yet they attend, and hold, large shows where these same finds are sold. I know of many detectorists who would never sell their finds, and for those I can justify them wanting to work together with archaeologists in discovery. The ones that sell, however, I have a very hard time finding the common ground.

    Hopefully I am still allowed after this post. 🙂

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