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Archaeological sites being pillaged due to recession

More treasure-hunters are pillaging archaeological sites under cover of darkness, according to English Heritage.

But Pete Wilson, a senior archaeologist at English Heritage, said: “Nighthawking is a problem across the country and we fear the recession may produce a spike.”

“We are getting increasing attacks on private land where the nighthawks have no permission to be. We are seeing sites die the death of a thousand cuts as finds are removed.”

Mike Heyworth, director of the Council for British Archaeology, said at the weekend: “These people, who have no morals, frankly, are stealing our past.”

2 thoughts on “Archaeological sites being pillaged due to recession

  1. That is terrible news, I understand the tepid nature of our economy, but to steal from a site that could answer questions that have plagued us for centuries is just plain wrong.

  2. Hi,

    This is only part of the story. The medal has two sides, this is the back side that Telegraph presents.

    Nighthawking is also the favorite theme with politicians and alike, because the voter assumes that everyone with a metal detector is a ”Nighthawker”.

    Of course, equipment is getting better every year.. cheaper..

    And indeed ! crisis allows more people to roam around and the money that can be made selling small finds to collectors is considerable.

    But this medal has another side. MD-hobbyists that do report finds, are the eyes and ears of professional archeologists. Also, excavations are always lacking volunteers.. this crisis will allow more people to get involved in voluntary archeology, saving heritage.

    Many of these volunteers on excavations were, and are still honest daylight detectorists, no nighthawkers ! For their hobby, they ask permission wherever they go, take every single Roman buckle, brooch or coin they find to the archeologist to examine, etcetera..

    And always keep in mind that 98% of these finds are completely worthless for collectors. Brooch fragments, pipe cleaners, strap mounts..

    Nevertheless, these precious finds are photographed, systematically ordered, dated, Staffordshire highlights included,

    ..and it is attributed on internet forums,

    There is millions of finds on the internet..

    This is all making good use of the medium, as a way of publishing heritage: making it more public, getting more people involved and get fascinated by history.

    Kind regards,


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