|Following the Code by Detecting on Pasture?|
Artefact Hunting: How to get started
- Buy or borrow a metal detector. The Garrett Ace 150 (£149.95) is popular with beginners. Experienced enthusiasts swear by the XP Deus (from £715). Both from regton.com.
- Take a small spade for digging, and a bag and piece of cloth for potential finds.
- Pick a field. There is no magic location. The same field can turn up nothing one day and a hoard the next.
- Get written permission from the landowner. You can download a form from the National Council of Metal Detecting website (www.ncmd.co.uk).
- Follow the Code of Practice for Responsible Metal D-detecting (finds.org.uk/getinvolved/guides/codeofpractice). It is important that all finds, not only treasure, are recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
- Be methodical. Swing the detector slowly, keeping the level with the ground.
- Stay alert. I have found a Neolithic axe head, fossils and pottery in the grass just by looking.
- Be patient. The joy of metal detecting is in the surprise. For your local metal- detecting club, see ukdetectornet.co.uk.
You see, that is "all" you need to know to go about dismantling an archaeological assemblage in order to fill your pocket with collectable artefacts. there is (of course) NOTHING more to know about deposit taphononomy, deposition conditions, soil changes, surveying and plotting techniques. ANYBODY can be a 'citizen archaeologist' by simply buying a machine and going out there wiv there spade.
Mr Crisp, you have a lot to answer for. British Museum too.