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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Treasure act reform.

Earlier on today a comment was posted by Paul Barford on this blog stating that I had not authorised a comment he had sent to me about his views of and thoughts and of a treasure act reform.  This was not the case as I always publish every comment unless it has bad language.  It seems the comment has been lost in the blogosphere somewhere.

So I am inviting Paul to type it up again and post it in this new topic if he has the time as I for one am very interested in what he has to say on the subject.

Maybe for once a decent discussion could come of it ?!


  1. This blog reply section has simply side stepped any discussion of rational ideas to improve any relations between detectorists and one Paul Barford.

    Is it possible to negotiate prospects of alternative? If not, Tell us readers so we will decide the option of deleting the bookmarks of both Paul's and Andy's blogs and get on with our lives without this constant posturing.

    Andy, get back on Detectorists subjects. Paul, stick to international looting matters.

    This constant and continual blather is getting nowhere.

    Andy, It's time we go back to your original starting point. (Thursday, 6 February 2014)

    …''This blog is going too be following my progress through my hobby of metal detecting. It is also going to be a place open to debate about the thoughs and perceptions of the hobby.

    im hoping between us all we can work towards a goal of taking a more ethical approach to metal detecting.  We are lucky to be in a country where we are legally aloud to do this hobby that we enjoy so much and we dont want to lose that right.''


  2. Hi J thanks for taking time too reply. I see your concerns however this blog is being used to discuss anything detector related and im happy with that. Sorry

  3. Paul seems to have ignored the request I sent him asking if he could repost his comment regarding the treasure act. He has however posted it on his blog so I have pasted it here for the readers who are interested

    One of the several "Anonymous"  commentators on the Andy Baines blog seem intent on getting my views on this that and the other. He or she asks: "So would you rather see a change in the current English/Welsh treasure act legislation, something along the lines of the Scottish act maybe?". I posted a reply, but for some reason it did not appear on the blog, so I'll answer it here. 
    I am not sure why you offer just one alternative, there are 180-something national legislations concerning dug-up antiquities (both local and imported) out there globally to compare with those of the UK, there are other variant forms to choose from and assess from various points of view.  Yes, of course Britain needs a total reform of the Treasure Act. It stands to reason that to define archaeological importance by the material something is made of is plain bonkers and highly atavistic. The Vindolanda tablets, Crosby Garrett helmet, Folkton Drums and Happisburgh handaxe are all excluded from protection by such laws as they are not gold or silver. I discussed this problem briefly in my PIA response to David Gill's piece. I said there that the logical way forward from what we have would be to give the Portable Antiquities Scheme legal status as part of the heritage management system and transfer to it (as an archaeological body) the responsibility and legal power to define what is and is not - for want of a better term - a "national Treasure" (let's modify that stupid name) as the starting point for a process to determine what should happen to it. I imagine the context of the question (on a UK metal detecting blog) was how I would see legislation affecting artefact hunting develop. I would suggest we could build on the pre-existing notions of collaboration and best practice, and the way artefact hunting done responsibly can be harnessed for the sustainable management of a threatened resource. There would have to be mechanisms in place to ensure that maximum public benefit is obtained from the responsible pursuit of an avocation and that the information obtained is suitably archived and made available for use. Again, this would involve a legally-strengthened PAS-like organization serving as the pivot around which such responsible artefact hunting engages with heritage professionals. More legal clout is needed for dealing with illegal artefact hunting. (Changes in the UK legislation involving material on the antiquities market (including dugup in other countries) need implementing too, but I understand this was not the questioner's concern.)

  4. "Paul seems to have ignored....".
    First of all, in the original thread directly under the question (addressed to me) you [nobody else] published a comment "Seeing as how Barford (sic) cannot or will not tell you the truth ..... .... Please treat any of his comments with the greatest of caution, if it's facts you seek". Hardly very inviting is it?

    When I did write a comment, and thought quite hard about what to write, and sent it to somebody else's blog, it was not published. You know, I do have work to do and this is just a waste of time.

    Secondly, I have a blog, where are my thoughts about portable antiquities etc. (including the Treasure Act) I really do not see why I need to scatter them (and the discussion of them) all over the internet. If I spend time writing something, I do not really want to put any effort into writing something that would only be read by the sort of people that would come to a place full of anonymous troll-type and ad personam remarks about other people. Far better to put the effort into a post which goes on my own blog. That is MY choice, not yours.

    Thirdly, I rather get the impression that your constant calling-out of just two people is a weak attempt to (a) have something to write about because in reality you have no ideas or anything to write about "from yourself" and (b) attract controversy and thus boost readership. As Anonymous "J" says why not stick to what it says at the beginning you are going to write about, instead of all this needless "Paul-Paul- Nigel and Paul"?

    It seems to me that your last few posts have been about getting people to write your blog for you. As I said earlier, you are confusing a blog with a forum. They are two different things.

  5. Mr. Barford said: "Secondly, I have a blog. where are my thoughts about portable antiquities etc. (including the Treasure Act) I really do not see why I need to scatter them (and the discussion of them) all over the internet."

    All I can say is ROFLMAO!

  6. "All I can say is ROFLMAO!"
    Meaning, what?

    Is this that "decent discussion" Mr Baines set up this blog to engage in? Is this one of those constructive comments, or just another excuse for happy slapping?

    Mr Stout, what are your thoughts on altering the legal status of the Portable Antiquities Scheme? Does that crack you up too?

  7. Hi Paul

    Thank you for taking the time to answer the question I asked, I asked the question because I was interested in your views on the subject also because you were on the blog at the time and thought to catch you while you where here.

    I asked you two questions not as you state "this, that and the other" and if you feel you don't want to discuss them all over the internet apart from your own blog then fair enough, just remind me to never ask you any questions/comments or your views again, doesn't take much to be civil Paul.

    As to your answer, one minute you state that the pas is on its last legs and then you are saying..... "give the Portable Antiquities Scheme legal status as part of the heritage management system and transfer to it (as an archaeological body) the responsibility and legal power to define what is and is not - for want of a better term - a "national treasure" is the pas here to stay or not?

    Also why give the pas legal status when you have legislation already with the treasure act which just needs reforms?



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