Thieves target archaeology sites

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Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by tomredmayne »

Some of Wiltshire's most important archaeological sites are being targeted by thieves with metal detectors, according to police and English Heritage.

They said ancient relics buried around Iron Age hill forts, are believed to have been taken by the so-called "nighthawks".


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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by JBM »

There was coverage on our Local telly last night.

One of our very responsible detectorists had a few minutes on the programme to ably defend our hobby. :g58: Jerry.
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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by Deetektor »

The hole they showed at the beginning, looked to neat to have been dug by a Nighthawk :g43:
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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by jcmaloney »

I would have thought Mr Harrison would require solid evidence being ex plod, however he probably has to bow to his new paymasters.
What EVIDENCE is there that the holes were dug by thieves with detectors and not somene with a grudge?
**Just my personal thoughts.

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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by monkeybean »

They are big holes , whoever it was couldn't pinpoint very well , looks like a beginner to me .

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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by nickkeeler »

As Chairman of SHRADS I was approached by the local BBC News yesterday asking for an interview about the problem with Nighthawks and agreed to provide some footage as well as comment, spent ages taking video and about 10 minutes of interview but it was cut down to the bare minimum, starting at 12 minutes 30 seconds in and can be viewed at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... 9_01_2013/ blink and you may miss it as they only have 1 and a half minutes to get the story across.


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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by sic odiggin »

They always say ancient relics have been stolen etc. It was probably a heafty lump of lead! How the hell do they know what was taken? Surely if there were relics there then the archies would have got there first!
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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by petethedig »

Sorry Graham don't get that logic? How does anyone know what came out of there except the thief/thieves?
The point is the find is no longer there so it wasn't a piece of junk or they'd have left it either in the hole or on the side. It would certainly be novel to find a hawk that has a conscience in taking any rubbish home with them!

The majority of archaeological sites have had very little, or no investigations, so don't assume archaeologist will have been all over these places, except for mapping their surfaces, possibly some geophysics. Archaeological techniques are changing so quickly these days, so who knows how excavations will take place in the future, which is why they preserve them for future generation...plus the damn expensive costs in digging such sites, both excavation and post excavation. :g58:

Whats wrong here is that another event of thieving has taken place that taints all of us in one way or another. :g48:

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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by Old Git John »

jcmaloney wrote:I would have thought Mr Harrison would require solid evidence being ex plod, however he probably has to bow to his new paymasters.
What EVIDENCE is there that the holes were dug by thieves with detectors and not somene with a grudge?
**Just my personal thoughts.

Hi JC, nothing wrong with your thoughts on the subject, but, even the slightest suggestion of criminal activity needs to be investigated. Trouble is plod do not have the manpower anymore. Which is where we detectorists may be able to help.

Clubs should register with the local constabulary their willingness to take part in efforts to catch hawkers, whether night or day. At worst it can only promote our name for being responsible folk, who really do care about conservation.
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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by jcmaloney »

OGJ........ the NCMD were pleased to listen to what DCI Mark Harrison had to say and agreed to sign up to ARCH. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/prof ... rime/arch/
Mr Harrison was at pains to say that responsible detectorists WOULD NEVER be tarred with the same brush as thieves, his views may have changed when his paymasters did.

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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by sic odiggin »

The logic i'm on about is that whenever something like this happens, it's a case of 'artifacs of national importance' etc and everything is blown out of proportion. I do not think anyone should take anything from any ancient sites. Thieving is thieving. The press and the powers that be hit the headlines for this type of things and everyone with a detector is tarred with the same brush. I don't like the way these idiots go about nighthawking either but the press and others get great public attention by making stories without any idea what was taken. It could have been a numpty with a machine who found a ten bob piece for all we know!
petethedig wrote:Sorry Graham don't get that logic? How does anyone know what came out of there except the thief/thieves?
The point is the find is no longer there so it wasn't a piece of junk or they'd have left it either in the hole or on the side. It would certainly be novel to find a hawk that has a conscience in taking any rubbish home with them!

The majority of archaeological sites have had very little, or no investigations, so don't assume archaeologist will have been all over these places, except for mapping their surfaces, possibly some geophysics. Archaeological techniques are changing so quickly these days, so who knows how excavations will take place in the future, which is why they preserve them for future generation...plus the damn expensive costs in digging such sites, both excavation and post excavation. :g58:

Whats wrong here is that another event of thieving has taken place that taints all of us in one way or another. :g48:
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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by petethedig »

Fair enough :g50:

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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by Old Git John »

Hey Sic' as JC said in response to my post, "not all detectorists are tarred with the same brush", and I have to agree with him, we are not.

You only have to read about the praise for metal detectorists which came from the BM, and has come from other sources.

I think it extremely unlikely that matey had found a "ten bob coin", not the sort of thing which is being stolen on a regular basis from archeologicaly important sites, scheduled sites etc. We cannot condone in any way such activity can we. :g45:
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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by alwishy »

OMG looks like they used a mini digger with a plug that big.

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Re: Thieves target archaeology sites

Post by sic odiggin »

John. I was posting while JC had put his post up. I am glad that we are not being tarred with the same brush by the powers that be, as the scum who do this sort of thing. Many other people who know nothing about us detectorists who abide by the law and want to work with the archaeologists etc. to protect our history will unfortunately see the reports in the media and view us differently. If you read my post, I do not support or defend anyone who digs up ancient sites with the intention of removing artefacts.
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