An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Please post any finds here that you wish help with identification.
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liamnolan
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An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by liamnolan » Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:48 pm

Hi all, over the past year we have seen some truly remarkable finds appear on this forum. Many if not most, of the topics will seek an ID of the item and we are fortunate indeed to have forum members who have the experience, knowledge and patience to provide accurate information. Thank you all for that support.
However, I often wonder if there is not a lot more that could be done.
Michael Lewis of the Portable Antiquities Scheme - "When a find is recorded, it is truly discovered"
https://web.archive.org/web/20160815004 ... chaeology/

Most detectorists are probably not members of a club, they enjoy the hobby by themselves or with friends and drop in here now and then to enjoy the chat and perhaps get an ID now and then and gradually learn more about the skills of detecting.
If you belong to a club, then you are automatically part of a bunch of detectorists who work with local archaeologists through appearances at club meetings. The Finds Liaison Officer and colleagues will examine the finds on the table and offer to receive selected items for recording. This very important step is to ensure that the extracted item becomes a part of history. At the next meeting you get the item returned, along with an official precise description.
Its my big worry that many non-club detectorists do not record their finds, mostly because they get an ID on here and then its put away in a collection and we are then historically deprived.
Coins are not the vital bit, they are important but the crucial finds are the artefacts from Celtic through to Medieval or even later. Many of them can turn out to be unique, so we all need to have them on record. You can always drop into your local Museum and ask to chat with the FLO.
Might take some time, but leave your contact info. They are busy people but we are so lucky to have them at our service. I know from personal experience that detectorists in other countries do not have that luxury.
I have copied out some P.A.S info below on the before/during and after of detecting. Reading through it myself, its got me thinking about how I operate. I was a "loner" for over 20 years, now belong to one club and co-founding another. Detected finds are a finite resource. Once it comes up, it cannot be found again. So each time we are lucky enough to find something memorable, lets take the extra few steps and make sure that we are doing our bit for heritage.
Liam :;@

Code of practice for responsible metal detecting
Being responsible means:

Before you go metal-detecting
Not trespassing; before you start detecting obtain permission to search from the landowner/occupier, regardless of the status, or perceived status, of the land. Remember that all land has an owner. To avoid subsequent disputes it is always advisable to get permission and agreement in writing first regarding the ownership of any finds subsequently discovered (see http://www.cla.org.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; / http://www.nfuonline.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;).
Adhering to the laws concerning protected sites (e.g. those defined as Scheduled Monuments or Sites of Special Scientific Interest: you can obtain details of these from the landowner/occupier, Finds Liaison Officer, Historic Environment Record or at http://www.magic.gov.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). Take extra care when detecting near protected sites: for example, it is not always clear where the boundaries lie on the ground.
You are strongly recommended to join a metal detecting club or association that encourages co-operation and responsive exchanges with other responsible heritage groups.Details of metal detecting organisations can be found at http://www.ncmd.co.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; / http://www.fid.newbury.net" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.
Familiarising yourself with and following current conservation advice on the handling, care and storage of archaeological objects (see http://www.finds.org.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;).
While you are metal-detecting
Wherever possible working on ground that has already been disturbed (such as ploughed land or that which has formerly been ploughed), and only within the depth of ploughing. If detecting takes place on undisturbed pasture, be careful to ensure that no damage is done to the archaeological value of the land, including earthworks.
Minimising any ground disturbance through the use of suitable tools and by reinstating any excavated material as neatly as possible. Endeavour not to damage stratified archaeological deposits.
Recording findspots as accurately as possible for all finds (i.e. to at least a one hundred metre square, using an Ordnance Survey map or hand-held Global Positioning Systems (GPS) device) whilst in the field. Bag finds individually and record the National Grid Reference (NGR) on the bag. Findspot information should not be passed on to other parties without the agreement of the landowner/occupier (see also clause 9).
Respecting the Country Code (leave gates and property as you find them and do not damage crops, frighten animals, or disturb ground nesting birds, and dispose properly of litter: see http://www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;).
After you have been metal-detecting
Reporting any finds to the relevant landowner/occupier; and (with the agreement of the landowner/occupier) to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, so the information can pass into the local Historic Environment Record. Both the Country Land and Business Association and the National Farmers Union support the reporting of finds. Details of your local Finds Liaison Officer can be found at http://www.finds.org.uk/contacts" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, e-mail info@finds.org.uk or phone 020 7323 8611.
Abiding by the provisions of the Treasure Act and Treasure Act Code of Practice, wreck law (http://www.mcga.gov.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) and export licensing (http://www.artscouncil.org.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). If you need advice your local Finds Liaison Officer will be able to help you.
Seeking expert help if you discover something large below the ploughsoil, or a concentration of finds or unusual material, or wreck remains, and ensuring that the landowner/occupier's permission is obtained to do so. Your local Finds Liaison Officer may be able to help or will be able to advise of an appropriate person. Reporting the find does not change your rights of discovery, but will result in far more archaeological evidence being discovered.
Calling the Police, and notifying the landowner/occupier, if you find any traces of human remains.
Calling the Police or HM Coastguard, and notifying the landowner/occupier, if you find anything that may be a live explosive: do not use a metal-detector or mobile phone nearby as this might trigger an explosion. Do not attempt to move or interfere with any such explosives.
Finding out more about archaeology
You can find out more about the archaeology of your own area from the Historic Environment Records maintained by local authority archaeology services (in England) and the Welsh archaeological trusts.

For further information contact the Council for British Archaeology (tel 01904 71417/ http://www.britarch.ac.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) who can also supply details of local archaeology societies.


Deus, WSi's - In the end we will regret the chances we didn't take, the relationships we were afraid to have and the decisions we waited too long to make .. Secretary Irish Metal Detecting Society IMDS

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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by Redcap » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:27 pm

Great information, I think we all have something to learn on this issue.

Thank you. ::g ::g ::g

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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by Koala » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:41 pm

Good point


Interval coins don't mean much on there own but can if plotted on a map will show ancient paths and trackways that have been long lost

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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by follycollie » Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:27 pm

Thanks for getting all this info together, Liam. Really useful checklist to refer to as a reminder! :-) ::g

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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by onthebeach » Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:35 pm

=)) ::g
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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by FUBAR » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:12 pm

Thanks for that Liam. ::g

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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by lord lovell » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:16 pm

good info for anyone new to the hobby im sure this was posted up before ::g

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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by stanslad » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:56 pm

Great info there Liam,
that lone detectorist that puts it away in boxes was like me many years ago, me & Dad would find stuff & before I had a laptop, if couldn,t find a photo of it in the detecting magazines would not have a clue what most of it was, it just went into boxes to sort out another day,
only when working on lights at Banbury museum a few years ago I got talking to a lovely girl who was the new FLO for the area, I asked if she would like to see some of the bits we've dug up over the years, after taking lots in every month for the last few years she's nearly seen the lot, but what a great service & excellent info on the finds we get back,
There's been treasure cases, donations to museums & great interesting info on pieces that don't look much until you get a report back & helps build a picture of the area hundreds of years ago,
A great service that we're lucky to have in this country & should help to keep.
Clint ::g

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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by liamnolan » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:51 pm

The FLO and colleagues are rarely complimented. Most of the mentions on here are when one of them has the audacity to go on holiday, or be a bit slow to research every item handed in.
At the end of the day we are all in the same game, one way or another and its rarely helpful to criticise without knowing the background.
So, by all means store away your finds but also remember to hand them in at some stage with locations. Not every great find is metal of course, Flint tools and pottery have a huge following and they can be classified accurately and add a bit to the overall picture of how the land evolved.
This afternoon/evening I was out on a new bit of land. In the recent past I have found a Anglo Saxon coptic bowl nearby, plus a Viking brooch, lots of romans and hammies and tons of evidence of long vanished ancestors who worked the land and developed their cultures. My finds were recorded and now are a part of the land I detect. Just one single find in someones box of bits could be a vital and inique piece of heritage, so as Stan has done, bring those finds in by appointment and let the FLO have a rummage through. Then you ate least can dump stuff without feeling a bit uneasy! Liam :;@
Deus, WSi's - In the end we will regret the chances we didn't take, the relationships we were afraid to have and the decisions we waited too long to make .. Secretary Irish Metal Detecting Society IMDS

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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by ramblingrose » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:16 am

Thanks for that very informative post. Although my collection is not huge I record because it is important for historical reasons. Also it is nice to have things verified and if treasure trove, the find should be offered to museums for all to enjoy.

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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by Oxgirl36 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:02 am

I’d forgotten how great this post was so i’m bumping it for new members and those who haven’t seen it before.

Remember we are privileged to have very loose detecting laws. To ensure we keep those privileges we need to play our part in doing everything we can not to damage the archeology of the land and to record our finds.

This really is worth a read ::g
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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by Steve_T » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:15 am

Great post Liam

It's important to me that all my finds are recorded and make sure that as much info is provided, my FLO is very interested in the finds I bring to him, over 300 items recorded so far in the PAS.
I am now at the stage of self recording and submitting images, this gives more time for the FLO
We should all aspire to do more, to add history for greater understanding of the past.

Regards Steve
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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by Twit » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:56 pm

I am often of two minds on this , simply because I am in a much stricter country where this relationship with authorities is barely available. I know the mindset behind it being that way so I don't hesitate to hit out at it wherever I see it going that direction , as to be able to openly share info and finds without concern should be part of the fun of it all, and it is very necessary for the purpose of recording. So for example, if I see an attempt to take over the procedure, I will shout it out, and the same where the procedure appears flawed - if you don't complain, nothing gets done , reputation gets lost and it all gets changed from outside. I don't have a very full perspective of what goes on in the UK, so am not in a position to give any overall judgement - just be sure to thank and credit those who do good work also.

Some of you will have been detecting before PAS and so know the score first-hand and I am sure some now aren't in a position to declare their finds, and some don't want to for own reasons. For the rest though, don't take the FLO for granted. Even if you somehow consider they are there to serve you, they don't HAVE to ( it is their choice to occupy that position) , and it is not the same when you have a "choice" to keep finds to yourself as when you basically have to ( and if/when you eventually hand them in it is goodbye to them). The people who put the FLO in place are also able to change the rules of engagement, it is in everyone's interest to keep the facets that are most appreciated, and that means making the effort to interact properly with the service.

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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by Twit » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:06 pm

Top link is broken ;) .

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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by liamnolan » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:06 pm

Yes, strange disappearance .. I hope some detective can find it! Liam :;@
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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by sweepstick47 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:51 pm

An excellent thread with equally excellent replies - Well done all ::g Regards ss47
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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by sweepstick47 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:54 pm

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:02 am
I’d forgotten how great this post was so i’m bumping it for new members and those who haven’t seen it before.

Remember we are privileged to have very loose detecting laws. To ensure we keep those privileges we need to play our part in doing everything we can not to damage the archeology of the land and to record our finds.

This really is worth a read ::g
I totally agree 'Oxgirl36. Nicely done ::g Regards ss47
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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by Twit » Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:10 pm


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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by liamnolan » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:02 pm

Thanks Chief Inspector T/Morse - old link now replaced, much obliged and keep up those wonderful posts of yours, I read every one, adds a lot to this forum, Liam
Deus, WSi's - In the end we will regret the chances we didn't take, the relationships we were afraid to have and the decisions we waited too long to make .. Secretary Irish Metal Detecting Society IMDS

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Re: An ID is just one little bit of the picture

Post by Twit » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:11 pm

liamnolan wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:02 pm
Thanks Chief Inspector T/Morse - old link now replaced, much obliged and keep up those wonderful posts of yours, I read every one, adds a lot to this forum, Liam
Much thanks Liam.

I know I am coming from quite a distinct angle but I can't help that much :D .

What is funny with that link is that reference to the original seemed tucked away, as in sometimes you get outdated links showing but only as cached version. When I searched using part of the original text there was no reference to it in the first pages, but what always came up top was a distinctly anti detector blog that tries to trash the essay by Lewis, quoting it widely. Also made me realise the PAS is under attack from parts of the academic world.

Anyway, I'll call it my imagination for now, I am legal and not in the UK so no thought police around these parts ;)

Mutual appreciation society. ...and sincerely, it is a very good forum you have going, very balanced and on topic, a reliable feel to it. I think even those who no longer or rarely post will be keeping it as reference somehow, something that is reassuring to know is there.

::g

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