More and more treasure hunters in Britain employing metal detectors to locate hidden treasures. Archaeologists denounce this practice since it damages the historical trace of the remains. These individuals are motivated by the value of their findings which can translate into thousands of pounds.
Among the objects to find are coins, weapons and ancient tools. Some treasure hunters are so successful in their finds that they have been accused by archaeologists of looting of British heritage, so that this practice is sanctioned and prohibited.
Roger mintey He was fond of searching for objects with the metal detector, but 30 years ago he found more than 6,700 gold and silver coins dating back to the Middle Ages. Mintey contacted the authorities, so while some coins were distributed to museums, the rest were returned to him, with which he obtained more than 217,000 euros.
It is currently estimated that there are more than 10,000 people using metal detectors in England and Wales. They have actually made an impact because in 2011 almost a million devices were found by these treasure hunters. Of these, almost a thousand were classified as treasure, understood as precious metals.
But nevertheless, Christos Tsirogiannis, an archaeologist and investigator of illicit antiquities at the University of Cambridge warns that amateur archaeologists are deteriorating sites of great archaeological value. "Each object has a historical value, especially when it is found in certain circumstances”, Explains the expert. So that, "If any part is removed carelessly or improperly by inexperienced hands, these remains cannot be reconstructed”Tsirogiannis adds.
Also, some treasure hunts they show no scruples and they act at night looting what they find. Exemplary is the case of the site of the English Roman temple in Surrey in the 80s, where more than 20,000 historical objects were stolen and sold all over the world. Experts say that it is easy to sell these remains to traffickers because they do not verify whether they have been obtained legally or not. Therefore, the penalties for these abuses should be increased.
According to Tsirogiannis, the solution is to completely ban the practices of individuals who use metal detectors. Including those who are looking for objects as a hobby, because they are inadvertently damaging archaeological samples.
However, there are voices in favor of this practice as it provides very useful data for archaeological investigations.
¿And what do you think?
Image: Di Marino at Deutsche Welle.
I am currently studying Journalism and Audiovisual Communication at the Rey Juan Carlos University, which has made me inclined towards the international section, including the study of languages. For this reason, I do not rule out dedicating myself to teaching. I also like to practice physical exercise and spend a pleasant time chatting with my acquaintances and with new people. Lastly, I enjoy traveling to know the authentic culture of each region of the world, although I admit that before I need to find out as much as possible about the place I'm going to visit, to fully enjoy the experience.