This and That and Bubba Too…


All quiet here on the home front…was hoping for a more positive response to my last post but so far nothing but sarcasm.  You can always tell who you real friends are when you are down and out and looking for a little monetary support.  What a bunch of parsimonious bastards friends.




Forgot to mention last update the passing of Jerry Tyndall, founder and president of Nautilus Detectors. So far this year we’ve lost Jack Gifford, Jerry and Charles Garrett.  Makes this old man feel just a little bit older…..


And now this uplifting update from the Malamute Saloon…..

European Jack-Boots….A Warning! You Are Next! 

by John Howland

Should the ‘Valletta Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage’ be elevated from ‘convention’ status to become law in the UK, the hobby of metal detecting along with amateur archaeology, will be snuffed out overnight forever. This draconian, elitist nonsense is typical of the Council of Europe (CoE); an unelected, undemocratic bunch of nasties. Their wretched Valletta Convention seeks to protect and enhance the status of ‘professional’ archaeologists by making them, the ONLY members of society permitted to search or dig the past and for them, the ‘past’ is yesterday.

The Council for Independent Archaeology (CfIA) is rightly concerned for their amateur members, and the long-term health of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The following extracts are taken from their website. The Valetta Convention is not in the interests of Britain’s amateur archaeologists, or detectorists, a fact mercifully recognised by Britain’s Conservative Party. However, the convention was ratified by the British Labour Party when they were in government in 2000. With a General Election looming in the UK, that fact ought to be deliberated upon by anyone owning a metal detector. I have, and will cast my vote accordingly.

From the CfIA website:-

The Valletta Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage was promulgated at Valletta in Malta in 1992. This is a deeply worrying document, as Article 3 appears to set out to outlaw independent archaeology. However in Britain the then Conservative government failed to ratify it and it was only with the advent of the Labour government that in 2000 it was finally ratified. This set the alarm bells ringing, particularly over Article 3 which appears to outlaw amateur archaeology, saying that the ‘excavation should only be undertaken by qualified specially authorised persons’.

The Council for Independent Archaeology therefore sent out an Open Letter to the Government in Defence of Archaeology, and rapidly achieved over 1,600 signatures. The Government replied that the wording did not mean what it appeared to mean, and that the Government did not believe that further legislation is needed. The CIA remains deeply unhappy with this statement and is pressing the government to make a formal Reservation with the Council of Europe as to this article. The Council believes that the whole convention is deeply flawed and in these pages seeks to analyse the convention to demonstrate its weaknesses; we also provide the basic texts about the Convention and the British Government’s replies.

Article 3 is the heart of the problem.

It reads:

‘… each party undertakes … to apply procedures for the authorisation and supervision of excavation and other archaeological activities in such a way as … to ensure that excavations and other potentially destructive techniques are carried out only by qualified, specially authorised persons … to subject to specific prior authorisation, the use of metal detectors and any other detection equipment or process for archaeological investigation’. [My highlights]

This is a remarkably comprehensive statement, calling not only for the licensing of excavations, but also for the specific authorisation of excavators. It also bans not only metal detectors, but also all geophysical surveying equipment, even though these are entirely non-destructive. The Council for Independent Archaeology has sponsored the production of a very effective Resistivity meter, of which over 100 have now been sold, mostly to local archaeological societies. It would appear that these would be outlawed should the Valletta provisions be put into law.

This set the alarm bells ringing, particularly over Article 3 which appears to outlaw amateur archaeology, saying that the ‘excavation should only be undertaken by qualified specially authorised persons’.

Though some opponents to our hobby attempt to divert attention towards metal detecting as damaging, and not the significant contributor it is to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the heritage generally, Article 9 of the Valetta Convention, is, like patriotism, the ideal refuge for scoundrels. This is the CIA’s take on Article 9:-

Article 9 – the promotion of public awareness demonstrates well the rottenness at the heart of the Convention. It sets out to acknowledge the existence of the general public, but it does so in a way that is insulting to citizen archaeologists. The article sees the role of the public as being simply people who need to be made aware, – no more. They are not seen as being the major agents in the preservation of the past – virtually all historic buildings for instance are actually owned and lived in by ordinary people – yet the Convention sees their role as limited to being ‘educated’ and to being ‘allowed access’ to ‘important elements’ and ‘suitably selected archaeological objects’. This arrogance is insulting and wholly unacceptable and the whole article needs to be totally re-thought and re-written.

Give the CIA website a look. They might one day need our support. I’m unsurprised the detecting press and media have not yet cottoned-on to what’s going in the wider world.

This slime-ball cocktail eventually finds its way across the POND to the US to be kicked around by a real bunch of weirdos. There are Senators who avidly drink-in this crap.

Have a nice day!




Filed under Metal Detecting

7 responses to “This and That and Bubba Too…

  1. Thanks for bringing this report to our attention John. Myself and I expect thousands of other detectorists never knew this so called ‘Valletta Convention’ existed, With your post above you have brought it out into the open where the detecting community can now see where the banning of metal detecting might come from so action can be taken. You can bet your post will snowball and when the CFIA sends another open letter to the Government they will achieve thousands more signatures in support.

  2. “In what way could little fat men with metal detectors become “qualified persons” if the PAS was issuing the authorisations?” No prizes for guessing correctly the author of this piece of garbage.

    Nevertheless, it illustrates perfectly the kind of mentality possessed by some supporters of the Valletta Convention. The term ‘professional’ in some cases refers to payment received, as opposed to any criteria of excellence of performance.

    I imagine the US has signed up for this BS too?

  3. When did they put themselves on a pedistal to make them better than anyone else. The last time I checked, detectorists have found more and have brought a lot of history to light without the help of so called archies. I’m sorry, they need to get off their high horse and start working together for the betterment of history and items of historical nature that are found. They must be brainwashed in college by professors who think they are God all mighty.

  4. Er…’think’?
    One particular arkie who allegedly ‘worked’ with treasure hunters in East Anglia in the 80’s, was deeply suspected of supplying ‘trusted’ thieves with sites ‘of interest’ and subsequently took a ‘cut’ of the illegal, and often, night-hawked proceeds.

    I know the identity of this man; once met him, and can tell you, he was the slimiest piece of shit I’ve ever come across…bar none. What’s more, when we met, he KNEW that I knew his game. He never crossed me. My regret is that he escaped prosecution.

    At the meeting in question, a leading defender of the hobby, whispered in my ear…”That bastard’s a wrong ‘un.”

  5. This is all very scary. I am told that in Turkey, you can only metal detect at the beach and no one is allowed to dig anywhere in the country. In a related story, my older brother told me once that down in Central Mexico, people will buy a home and immediately tear down all the walls and begin excavating the entire floor as there is a pretty good chance you will encounter Aztec and older artifacts that can then be sold in the black markets for many times the price of the house. Alas, it seems the governments out there are ever so quick to equate stuff like that with a poor slob out in the park with a metal detector. In an unrelated note, the Kitco doohickey on your blog home pate has been dead since January 21, 2014. I thought you should know.

    • When I worked at Garrett we regularly had customers from Mexico, who would come in to the factory and purchase the Master Hunter model with the two paddle deepseeking attachment. Never haggled over price and always paid in cash. Used to wonder where they were going and what they were looking for….

      As for the Kitco link I apologize. Try it now….

  6. Hi Pulltabminer:

    You are right on the money!

    During WWII the British parachuted ammunition boxes stuffed with gold sovereigns for the Greek partisans. Many of these boxes have yet to be recovered, and sales of Two-Box type, deep-seekers, are on a par with the numbers of chainsaws sold in Florida!!!!! You get ma drift?
    I know a Turkish archaeological ranger and he hunts daily with impunity. Money talks, and ethics walk, and the same, I am told applies in Greece. Bent arkies willing to do a deal are rife and will help, for a price, do the paperwork to get stuff exported. Egyptian officials are not easily outclassed either.

    Better in our hands than ISIS? You betcha.

    Rock on

    John Howland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.