Monday, 30 July 2018

Michael Lewis on Metal Detecting

Michael Lewis has been talking about metal-detecting as part of the V&A Culture in Crisis Programme. He has stressed the benefit about searching ploughsoil. But what about the findspot of the Lenborough Hoard?

Lewis moves to discuss why the metal-detecting community has not signed up to the revised Code of Practice.

He touches on the issue of possible "criminal" elements who are out to loot archaeological site, and give the "hobby" a tarnished reputation.

The interviewer, Laura Jones, asked about the loss of context as a result of metal-detecting. Lewis talks about finds from below the ploughsoil, and suggests that there needs to be immediate archaeological help. He mentions the Watlington Hoard and the wait needed before the excavation could take place.

Lewis discusses the Staffordshire Hoard (but see here) as one of his favourite finds.

It would have been interesting to hear Lewis talk about the so-called Crosby Garrett helmet and the accuracy of its reported find-spot.

Lewis and Jones fail to engage with concerns about the damage being sustained to the archaeological record in England and Wales. Jones even suggests that people at home will be "wanting to be part of this", and that the Scheme actively protects the archaeological heritage of England and Wales, an issue directly addressed by the forum piece in the Papers of the Institute of Archaeology.

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