Thoughts For Thursday: Metal Detecting, Archaeology, and Museums

I look for stories all week long to put into the weekly feature, Shouldn’t Miss News.  I keep it to five stories a week, which means that some stories aren’t shared or get shared through Facebook.  Other times, I find a story after its week is already up.  This story is one of those cases.

Finders Keepers? Not Always in Treasure Hunting delves into the differences between laws regarding archaeology in the United States and the United Kingdom.  From this article, I learned that “nearly 90 percent of archaeological artifacts in the U.K. are found by amateur treasure hunters with metal detectors.” WOW! Such a high amount.  Laws in the U.K. make it possible for those artifacts that qualify as treasures (silver and gold finds over 300 years old) to end up in museums with the finder benefiting monetarily (same goes for the land owner where the treasure was found).  In the U.S. not so much.  The laws just aren’t the same.

Metal Detecting is certainly popular.  I have one.  It was a Christmas present when I was ten and I’ve used it on the beach and in my yard, but it’s been eight years since I’ve used it.  Lately, shows have been cropping up on TV that involve metal detecting as a means to find historical artifacts, and it certainly makes me wonder.  Do these artifacts end up in museums?  Sometimes it’s a museum that calls in a team.  I can’t be sure about every artifact on those shows though, and certainly few things found by your every day metal detectorist in America ends up where members of the public can see them.

What are your thoughts on the article, U.K. law, U.S. law, and the practice of metal detecting as a form of archaeology?  As always, I look forward to hearing from you!

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This subject will make an appearance again on Shouldn’t Miss News on Sunday with a new article from this week about a famous U.S. site and metal detecting, so stay tuned for that.

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3 Responses to Thoughts For Thursday: Metal Detecting, Archaeology, and Museums

  1. Dianne says:

    I think I saw the same show you are talking about. For one thing I would give anything to be able to find all the items they find in such a short amount of time. So how much of it is actual or planted items for the show. I feel the property that is found should go to the property owner. However, this must be decided between the property owner and the detectors. Some items should definitely be in a museum

  2. Pingback: Shouldn’t Miss News of the Week | Preservation and Place

  3. Pingback: Thoughts for Thursday: Metal Detecting, Archaeology, and Museums | Preservation and Place

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