Hopefully, you are being ironic when you say the above.
wudnt ssy i uncovered pipes but i saw them being taken out of the ground in chsrlesland
Yeah I mostly agree BUT the real problem is that there is a failure to communicate what archaeologists do, how and why etc. As a previous poster has intimated, there IS a gulf between professional archaeologists and amateur enthusiasts and I think that needs to be addressed.
I consider the majority of metal detectorists as amateur enthusiasts that are unaware of the issues involved. I hoped this thread might address that - I'm a bit depressed that I'm probably one of the posters considered by Maudl to be "self-appointed police" simply because my opinions and arguments are different to their's and because I have some knowledge of the legislation regarding MDs and the the effects upon the heritage resource.
It is clear from many of the posters that they are well-intentioned and not interested in financial gain (a sensible approach as it's hardly going to be more lucrative than playing the lottery). Their interest is in discovery of something old that was previously unknown. I think that interest could be tapped and that metal detectorists could become ex-metal detectorists by joining a local archaeological society and learning about the heritage "industry" and the missing part that I think should be played by the volunteer sector.
God knows that there are lots of projects that could be undertaken by people who have time to offer from looking after the sites that are in their local community to various types of surveys and even committing themselves to a local excavation projects. These don't need to be sites that are upstanding or sites that are known to be protected - initial surveys of most local areas are likely to identify sites that are at risk through ploughing, erosion by cattle etc that are not protected by planning legislation.
What is clear is that there needs to be better communication between locals and their heritage and I know that in some areas individual archaeologists have done their bit to address this. A major requirement is to have county archaeologists in local government - and these that do exist are not guaranteed that they have jobs for long either as far as I'm aware. A heritage officer and at least one assistant heritage officer in each county should be mandatory and a local engagement programme a priority.
I think you are absolutely right.
If I have been guilty of making assumptions about the motives of metal detectorists and making statements to that effect, it is because the risks needed to be emphasised - I make no apology for doing so.
Sure, some folks who metal detect might indulge their hobby in a sensitive way, and might even do the right thing with their well recorded, if ill gotten finds.
However, I posted a straw poll some time ago in After Hours, to assess how people might react to finding valuables.
It's not a valid poll from a valid sample population by any means, but it does hint at something.
Almost 70% said they would keep/sell the finds.
It would be useless to get into an argument about the motivation of metal detectorists - it would amount to nothing but speculation and personal opinion, we've seen this already.
Are the posters here in favour of metal detecting a representative sample?
I think not, I think most of the posters here have demonstrated a genuine concern for our heritage and are probably motivated by interest rather than greed - but again this is speculation, or making an assumption as Mountainsandh puts it.
If the interest is there, why not channel it into helpful, non invasive investigations?
This is a brilliant time of year, probably the best, for spotting and recording earthworks and features.
Why not make a contribution by trying to find unrecorded sites, and making the locals and the landowners aware of them?
Walk recently ploughed fields, with the landowner's permission, of course, and identify clusters of pottery sherds or building materials.
Note the co-ordinates of any such clusters and anything else of significance.
Photograph and write something about the results of your exploration
There are plenty of contributions to be made without being invasive.
That would be real treasure, that would be the best contribution any enthusiast could make.
What about it?
"ALL DETECTORS INCLUDE Membership & photo ID card for the Amateur metal detectors association of ireland, Don't have your equipment confiscated , make sure you have your id card with you at all times AND understand the laws governing the use of detectors in Ireland!"
What do you think?
If you have an hour or so to spare, there is a very interesting albeit inconclusive, 'Time Team' show available to view on 4oD here.
The show deals in a fairly toothless way, with some of the issues and effects around metal detecting.
I felt somewhat proud of our legislation afterwards.
"There will always be MDers"
That's a fact, and the way the law is here, it makes everyone lose!
Having something like this in the republic would be win win for everyone
Well, no. It wouldn't.
These arguments have been made time and again in this forum and you have continually been unwilling to engage with any of the points raised.
Let's face it, you have no intention of altering your activity whether illegal or not and whether it it is destructive to the heritage of this country or not.
In short, your motives are entirely selfish with no regard to your own heritage.
That is a voluntary organisation.
It would be very helpful to see where Irish metal detectorists have been at work.
They go on to state this:
Every ounce of this issue hinges on one question.
Are metal detectorists motivated by the desire to make a contribution to the store of knowledge, or are they motivated by the desire to find things which they can keep or sell?
How do we answer this?
We look at the evidence.
The evidence in Ireland has shown that metal detecting has been carried out by organised gangs and corrupt individuals motivated entirely by financial gain.
That is why this legislation was introduced and that is why the legislation will not be repealed.
Our friend on eBay, from NI, has some more 'interesting' finds on sale here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/IRISH-METAL-DETECTING-FIND-CELTIC-BRONZE-PENDANT-VERY-RARE-/170802450626?pt=UK_Antiquities&hash=item27c49e90c2#ht_500wt_1202
c'mon! slowburner ...the evidence points to to organised gangs???c'mon now ...your totally getting out of hand with those type of headline comments...organised gangs? from whom are you getting these comments?please dont quote that father and son duo as organised gangs...the vast majority of finds are from mders...or bits and pieces picked up after road crews have bulldozed thru a site....can you name a trained professional arch...who has gone out and dis anything?probly very few or none..they have been pointed out stuff by amateurs or developers.
so organised "gangs"are roaming around the country a gang being two or more and selling it for five euros on ebay..gangs?five euro? c'mon.. these organised "gangs" are to be feared and watched out for the might make ten or even fifteen euro on ebay...oh the ruination?meanwhile the roads authority bulldoze graveyards and throw a few scraps to the archs and wow they are great preservers of irish heritage ...dont make me laugh...and roll..the cash cow is gone...it wont be back..its ok to say what you really think