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Metal-detecting at Corbridge

Corbridge © David Gill
The scheduled Roman site of Corbridge in Northumberland has been the target of illegal metal-detecting. Historic England has noted that English Heritage, the organisation that is responsible for part of the excavated site, has had to mount a security operation to protect the site. 

It is known that parts of Hadrian's Wall (just to the north of Corbridge), itself designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been targeted by such illegal activity.

Roman archaeological sites are found across this frontier zone. What actions are being taken to protect the finite archaeological record across the region? What information is being lost through illegal metal-detecting? What are the intellectual implications for Roman frontier studies? Where are the responses from the archaeological community?

This would be described as looting if this was taking place at a classical site in the Mediterranean. Does the language of describing such illegal activity in England need to change?

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