Wake Up Tekkies!

Do you think perhaps it might time to wake up and smell the roses? Maybe get a grip on things? Deal with reality? Or should we all just keep digging holes and making videos? You know, fame and fortune…. Well take a look at what is about to transpire across the pond because it’s coming soon to theater near you.


Of course those of you who took the time to read this will simply shake your head, curse maybe and then go on about your business because after all it doesn’t really affect YOU does it?  Well be forewarned, and don’t say we didn’t tell you.

This is only a first step and it’s meant to deal primarily with the damage and theft of artifacts in Iraq, Syria and surrounding areas, but the implications are far reaching and the wording couldn’t be more explicit.

As I see it, it’s an effort to appease the archaeological community, waste money and help corrupt governments recover what they themselves couldn’t or didn’t care to protect. Once established however it’s bound to spread out into other areas, and that should concern us all.

Happy hunting, happy filming…



Filed under Archaeologists, Metal Detecting

19 responses to “Wake Up Tekkies!

  1. Don’t worry about that bloody stupid Times article. It’s all a case of ‘Dog bites man’ not being news. But, ‘Man bites dog’ = NEWS!

    It’s even doubtful whether the Bill, the so-called, ‘Cultural Property (Armed Forces) Bill,’ will ever make the statue books not with UNESCO and the comrades puffing the Bill’s ‘importance’. Typical of Unesco’s thirst for bureaucracy and red tape and putting the esoteric nonsense of ‘heritage’ above human life. In short, if you’re fired on by terrorists or enemy troops hiding in an ancient ruin and you return fire and cause damage to it, you’ll be in serious trouble with Unesco. Oooooh! Scary!

    The Bill is all about not damaging other peoples heritage in times of war. Huh? The only problem with all this legal bunkum is that ISIS haven’t signed top to it, nor, are they likely to.

    With the UK repealling the European-inspired Human Rights Act following our eagerly-eagerly-awatied BREXIT, when the UK tells the rest of Europe to take a hike, is when we’ll pop the Champagne corks.

    • John, being on that side of the pond you certainly have more insight into this, though I must tell you the wording bothers me. Hopefully, as you predict, the bill will not become law but if it does what is to stop it’s outreach into our pastime? And I am not in agreement with you about UNESCO’s lack of to influence. Who is there to obstruct them?

    • Ooops, sorry, pissed again!
      “The only problem with all this legal bunkum is that ISIS haven’t signed top to it, nor, are they likely to.” Should have read:-

      “The only problem with all this legal bunkum is that ISIS haven’t signed up to it, nor, are they likely to.”

      The utter ridiculessness of the Unesco-sponsored Bill that’s been picked up by, unbelievably, the UK’s Conservative Party, is how on earth is a murderous outfit like ISIS going to be brought to court for the damage it has caused to the ancient city of Palmyra? Never mind the vile torture it’s inflicted….beheadings, burning alive, rape, summary executions et al ad nauseam.

      It all serves to show how archaeologists are so out of touch with reality. The international military too, have a real problem on their hands thanks to Unesco who, I firmly believe, are acting to a hidden agenda. For example, look at some the names who supports the Bill!!!!!!

  2. The Times article is pure garbage.

    The wording of the proposed Bill ain’t much better, but the military has to come to terms with it if it becomes law. As for that ridiculous colonel claiming detectorists do more damage than the military is pure Barfordian.

    The good colonel’s comments must have been reported out of context.

    Unesco’s disciples might like to think its influence is unlimited but there’s some canny opposition out there. It has a record of controversy and scandal; this rag-bag outfit is to my mind little more than a retirement home for former Commies.

  3. Joe

    Never say never, but I cannot ever see the Armed Forces stepping in to abolish the metal detecting pastime, at least here in the U.S. Archies? Yes, but the Armed Forces have way too much on their plate to worry about some guy wearing sandals and black socks looking for loose change on the beach, or in a local park, lol.

    I can surely see this happening when there’s a takedown of a large area, like when we pulled Saddam from power in Iraq, or some other similar situation. In cases like those, there are important cultural institutions that need to be safeguarded, museums, etc., all of which the Armed Forces will try to control, for reasons such as looting, vandalism, and other acts.

    Even in the highly unlikely event a branch of the Armed Forces DID attempt to curtail treasure hunting, would there be any way a smaller niche hobby like ours could ever fight back? The government can afford to spend $80 on hammers, and $15 per nail. I’m lucky I have enough to put new batteries in my detector before a hunt.

    The bigger issue, at least here in the states, are the many local prohibitions, which are popping up in small towns across the country everyday. Whether they are coming to be from the negative attention from the television shows, unfilled holes, or even public (mis)perception of the hobby is anyone’s guess. But THIS is what I believe detectorists should be quite scared of.

    • Okay, so I am overly suspicious or paranoid. I simply don’t like these comments…

      He added that historic artefacts were being destroyed at home. “I’m afraid it happens and is happening right now almost everywhere in the world, from people digging up cultural property sites using metal detectors here in this country, to others doing similar things in Italian archaeological sites,” he said. “That was certainly a spur for us in the United Kingdom to bring forward ratification now.”

      Fears were raised in 2015 about the potential loss of Roman heritage after illegal metal detecting damaged parts of Hadrian’s Wall. Unlawful excavations on National Trust land at Steel Rigg and Peel Crags in Northumberland have been carried out in a practice known as “nighthawking”.

      In 2012 the police began Operation Totem with English Heritage to curb illegal metal detecting after farmers reported damage to crops and artefacts being stolen. The investigation led to the conviction of Kevin Thomas Lomas, 41, for theft from fields in Horncastle, Lincolnshire, and the recovery of a large quantity of coins and other historic items.

  4. Joe

    Dick, I believe there are very real problems overseas, specifically when it comes to nighthawking, and treasure hunters plying their trade where they aren’t supposed to. I even broached this subject myself on the forum a few times. I’m too much of a small fry in this hobby to even begin pondering solutions, however, it is quite simple why it is happening with regular occurrence across the pond, and that’s because…

    The history in the U.K. is vastly greater than ours. Why does that matter, you ask? Well, not only is there obviously more to be found due to the age, but it’s WHAT can be found which is more important.

    Here in the states, a detectorist is lucky (and happy) to walk home with a handful of pre 1900’s silvers, a large cent or a few 3 ringers. All terrific finds, noteworthy to fellow hobbyists, and nice pieces to add to one’s display case. However, from a monetary standpoint, all of the finds mentioned might be worth a few bucks…at the most. Pieces of this nature make up the bulk of a treasure hunter’s digs here in the U.S., and as most of us love this hobby for the history and the thrill of the chase, that’s more than enough to keep us satisfied. However…

    Overseas, the chance of striking upon “the big one” is a very real opportunity, and happens with startling frequency. Us Yanks know that digging a cache or a hoard over here is so rare, it doesn’t even enter into our minds when out in the field. Simply fantasy, like pondering what we would do if we won the lottery. Yes, there are indeed many hidden caches here, but the chances of you or I finding one would be slim to none. And even if we did, a mason jar of SLQ’s does not a retirement make. In the U.K., finding a cache or hoard is equally as tough, but since there are probably MANY more of them due to the age of the continent, and the tremendous prices that those coins & relics could bring, it should be no surprise why nighthawking exists. Not condoning the activity, at all. It’s unlawful and gives a bad name to our hobby. But when there is a VERY real possibility of literally becoming fabulously wealthy at the turn of a shovel, one needn’t question their motives.

    Nobody in the U.S. would risk equipment confiscation, jail time, or even a steep fine to find a bucket filled with Morgan dollars…at least I wouldn’t. But when the next beep could turn into a find that’s worth a few million dollars, is it any wonder that logic, common sense and decency automatically take a back seat?

    The risk/reward factor when it comes to nighthawking is worth the gamble to many in the U.K., and as with anything else in life, when big money is on the line, there will ALWAYS be an unseen, hidden movement that seeks to take some of it, whether via legal means, or non.

    • Joe, understand and get everything you said but I am not comfortable with….

      “But when there is a VERY real possibility of literally becoming fabulously wealthy at the turn of a shovel, one needn’t question their motives….”

    • Joe

      Dick, please don’t misconstrue my point…

      I never said nighthawking was right or acceptable. Rather, I’m simply pointing out WHY it’s done, and why it would be virtually impossible to fully banish. There’s too big of a potential pot of gold at the end of a shovel. Even if that shovel may be in ground it isn’t supposed to be in.

      Nighthawking, rightfully so, is considered a crime. But all those who kid themselves and believe they can fully eradicate the activity aren’t facing reality. For the same reason the mafia cannot be fully eradicated here in the U.S. For the same reason bank robberies cannot be fully eradicated. For the same reason ANY crime cannot be fully eradicated.

      James, I find your “textual bacteria” statement way off base. Would you care to explain then, WHY nighthawking is being committed, if not for the reason I elaborated to in my post? Forget right or wrong, as I can assure you, I am on the RIGHT side of things. But not owning up to, and accepting WHY something is done, is utter denial of the facts. Yes, any type of hunting on non-permissible land is a punishable act in my book. Yet, it will never be stopped, because it simply isn’t possible.

      • Joe, understood and I may be wrong but I don’t think James was taking exception to what you said, rather my comments about the wording in the Times article.

  5. Interesting. I don’t like the wording either. I kind of see this sort of thing as “Textual Bacteria” that may easily infect the Low IQ People of self-importance, who may in turn, infect bureaucrats looking for a cause that needs a new law or at the very least, an unjust restriction.that will make them look all homespun and righteous for their next political campaign. Trust no one, Dick!

    • Damn, at least someone is on my side. Thanks James…

      • Joe

        I’m pretty certain he was indeed referencing my post, Dick, though, I cannot imagine why, as I am solely on the side of the law, no other.

        I was simply trying to illustrate why nighthawking is being done, and, more importantly, why it would be impossible to erase. It can be contained, staunched, and even controlled to a certain degree, however, never fully eradicated, as is the case with any criminal activity. For many, the rewards simply outweigh the potential risk.

        When they asked Willie Sutton why he robbed banks, he replied; “Because that’s where the money is.” Unlawful? You betcha. But you cannot argue with the fact of the statement.

      • Joe I will let James respond if he cares to but I read his comment again and still think he was referring to the wording in the newspaper article. And again I do understand your theories on all this. I am now contemplating hitting the bank on the corner, LOL.

  6. Coin25

    Interesting post thanks, Dick for sharing. During WWII my dad’s unit was sent to a salt mine to secure any stolen items and sure enough they found and protected the spoils. Oh, my dad and other grunts stayed on the front line repairing roads for advancing troops – it was the officers who investigated the mine. But that was then and this is now – things are different these days. I can see that something like this is just the begining of more trouble for the hobby over here, because folks will try to relate that they are doing a good thing like what was done protecting those sites that date back to antiquity. Not realizing over hear a mercury dime or even a barber quarter and the like are not antiquity at all.

    • Tony if you haven’t seen the movie “Monument Men” give it a look see. I would think it’s available at Redbox or on Netflix. Very good movie.

      The way I am feeling right now I think I might be an antiquity.

  7. Coin25

    Wait until you hit one hundred and four then you can say you might be an antiquity….for now take two aspirins and get moving, there is a few hours before dinner and your favorite beverage

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