Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Not Really Doing Much to Combat the "Radical Archaeologists" is He?

Candice Jarman promised his followers that he'd be "Fighting the lies and distortions of the 'radical archaeologists'..." because he is "incensed at the misinformation and lies spread by the anti-metal detecting/anti-collecting archaeological lobby - hence this blog which will expose their lies and set the record straight on a legitimate and lawful activity".

Well, so far on his blog in January there have been seven posts, including such highlights as: Who am I?, Is Mr Barford a toxic author?, It's YOU who is being unprofessional Mr Barford!, Damien gets caught out!, So now we know.... and suchlike gems...

What we do not find on the "Paul Barford - heritage - the [T]ruth blog" is any kind of response to the texts I have in the same period published about metal detecting in the UK. Candice most obviously has nothing to say in justification of the hobby in the light of the comments contained in posts like:

"Farm Business" Magazine on Treasure Hunting Rage

Blaydon Boyz and an Archaeological "Partner" Filmed in Action

Negligence Writ Large

Have Detector Users Moved as far in their Thinking as Archaeologists?

What the....?

Listen, Can you Hear Anything?

The Heritage Action Artefact Hunting Erosion Count...

British Archaeology Dropping the Ball

One wonders whether Candice is serious about addressing the arguments, or merely intent on discrediting those that raise them, but in the process casting doubt on the ability of the artefact hunters and collectors to engage in any kind of discussion with the public about the way they treat the heritage.

Vignette: Perhaps he is still thinking how to make metal detecting look better.

Closing in on Candice: The "Charles Gadda" Case

The person claiming to be "Candice ("Elisabeth") Jarman", a 24 year old, gay blonde solicitor's secretary from Bournemouth who collects Bronze Age artefacts and "just happens" to have metal detectorist friends is of course not who he claims to be. In reply to my comment on his real identity Four Blokes in One Shed? the miscreant suggests:
I guess he will eventually pick some bloke at random - perhaps a metal detectorist who he has crossed swords with at some time, a dealer, a collector, or perhaps an academic who he has fallen out with, and announce he is "Candice Jarman". Well, whoever you are "Mr Candice Jarman" (according to Barford) I can only apologise in advance for seeing you sucked into something that I am sure you will have little interest in.
Number one suspect is none of these things, though seems to be owner of a metal detector or two. Nobody is being picked "at random". The internet does not offer the anonymity some people think, and it would seem that Candice has not been as consistently clever as would be needed to cover his tracks.

Take the case of "Charles Gadda" an individual whose activities Candice's amateurish stumblings attempt to emulate. He created over 80 aliases to defend and promote a point of view, interestingly an archaeological case too. The whole sorry business is covered on Bob Cargill's site. Like "Candice", "Charles Gadda"
spared no effort in attempting to defame, discredit, and attack scholars that disagree with [this view] Using wild accusations and ad hominem attacks, the puppet master has attempted to cast aspersions upon all scholars disagreeing [....], always careful never to formally accuse, but always to frame each insinuation in the form of a hypothetical or question.
There is a website which details the process using widely available and perfectly legal domain tools and careful deduction that led to the identification of a person (interestingly, also somebody involved in the legal profession as "Candice" and "Buffet"/"Steve Welton" before him claim to be) who was arrested and then faced trial on the allegations of impersonation and defamation.
On September 30, 2010, Raphael Golb was found guilty of multiple counts of identity theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, and aggravated harassment.
Dr. Golb was sentenced on November 18, 2010 to six months in Rikers Island State Penitentiary.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Four Blokes in One Shed?

In reply to my post 'Closing in on "Candice" ...' and obviously with the intent of creating a smokescreen, the person posing as Candice Jarman now claims to be four people, and owes the whole idea to Dorothy King (PhDiva):
Dr King suggested that from the language a group of radical collectors were behind my blog (how I like being called radical!). Exactly right! I like to think of my blog as my blog, but as I am often reminded, it is our blog. You see Mr Barford, although I front the blog, it is a group effort - there are four of us and behind us is an increasing number of correspondents which include metal detectorists, dealers, lawyers, collectors, and yes, Mr Barford, even one or two professional archaeologists - all people fed up with the strident, uncompromising and intolerant agenda of the radical archaeologists!!!!!
This I am pretty sure will turn out to be a lie too. Stylistically, there is a single person behind this, though some of the people sending the "comments" and at least some of the "followers" to the Candice Jarman hate-blog seem to be sock-puppets.

But yes, it is clear that there are "metal detectorists", dealer[s] (we know who), lawyer[s] (we know who), collectors, and "one or two" professional archaeologists (easy to guess who) joining in with the happy slapping. In the typically cowardly manner of the whole pro-collecting milieu, they prefer to see an anonymous guy pretending to be a girl who is now pretending to be four guys doing the dirty work than actually dealing with the arguments themselves. Pathetic.

Toxic Authors

Funny isn't it, when I am accused by an antiquity collector of "lies and distortions" in my writing about portable antiquity issues, I'm a bad guy who deserves no respect; when I will not allow publishers to introduce lies and distortions into my writing because of bullying by poison pottery specialists, I'm a "toxic author" who deserves no respect. "Candice" has some advice for publishers, but what does he know about the business? I suspect the closest pretend blondie solicitor's secretaries from Bournemouth would get to the production of books is the "real-life romance" novel they would read in their lunch hour.

Vignette: metal detectorist's lunchtime reading

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Closing in on "Candice"

By now the malicious sniping coward hiding behind the false "Candice Jarman" identity will be aware that somebody today has been helping the Barfords look for him. Let's see how "truthful" he will be shown to have been when his real identity becomes known.

Odd isn't it? Candice now claims:
it really does n't matter if I am a man, a woman or a baboon - what matters is the soundness of the views and arguments I articulate
and yet while he thought his real identity was safely hidden was making a big thing (in fact a whole blog) about "who" blogger Paul Barford is, and just "what qualifications" he has to discuss portable antiquity issues - down to demanding a detailed CV be posted.

Yes, it does matter when somebody sets out to accuse their intellectual opponent of being a "liar" and yet in doing so themselves telling a whole pack of lies to establish a position from which to do so.

{Not "phishing", Candice got an email, we got confirmation of something else}.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Selling off MORE Antiquities, "a Way Forward"? Reply to Dave Welsh's "Cunning Plan"

[category: antiquity dealer lobby nonsense]
On my main blog I have put my thoughts on the "cunning plan" thought up by US coin dealer and ACCG activist Dave Welsh which he claims would "provide a regulated licit market for artifacts, in which every item traded has at least a provenience (indicating licit origin)" which would "effectively control looting whilst preserving the rights of private collectors".

This post will present just some of the questions I think need to be considered and answered before we can even consider the merits or otherwise of this proposal of "cooperation".


1) The dealers’ scheme involves the overturning of not only the existing antiquities protection legislation of every country in the world, but also public conceptions of that. New "approved" forms have to be adopted. By what means will this be achieved?

2) Who would take the initiative in setting Welsh's auctions scheme up, who will foot the bill for setting it up and then pressing for legislation changes and administrative ones in each country which will in future participate?

3) How do these dealers propose putting the sanction „withdrawing of international cooperation in enforcing their antiquities and export laws” into action, and to what ends?

An international bureau or agency administers the system”./ “a committee of experts which would operate as a sort of "public cartel,"

4) Who will sit on this, how will they be chosen?

5) To whom are they accountable?

6) How will they operate? Where will their headquarters be, presumably somewhere central to the main „antiquity source countries”. It seems to me Uzbekistan is pretty central – so Tashkent probably - a central station on the Silk Routes linking East and West of the Classical world, and thus a suitably symbolic place for the headquarters of the governing body of the „Internationalist” antiquities market.

7) “The committee would determine target levels for releases in various artifact categories “ So basically dictate the way the antiquities market develops. How would this be protected from political interference? Would Zahi Hawass be on the council or not?

8) “Proceeds [of the postulated auctions] would be divided so that half are returned to the owners of released (sic) artifacts, and half are used to fund operating the system and also to sustain archaeology, museums, conservation of endangered sites and related causes through grants and similar allocations”. How would these funds be apportioned ? Would it be dependent on the value of antiquities “released” (as if they are “imprisoned”), how could this be protected against protectionism and political manipulation?

9) Would any funds go to countries not participating in the scheme, for example because the state feels its archaeological heritage is threatened enough without giving away antiquities to international licenced dealers.?


10) „There would be no charge to those being grandfathered”. That means the verification of licit origin of each and every piece held by each and every collector and dealer in each and every country participating. Each and every artefact thus treated will have a “a machine-readable physical attribute attached in some secure manner to an artifact” securely attached to them by the reviewing committees in each country. And Mr Welsh thinks that “somebody” will do this for free for him and his dealer mates BEFORE the auctions start up. That obviously needs further thought.

11) Who would be on these reviewing committees and what will they do with artefacts that cannot be verified as of licit origin? Will the collector then lose these (and then what will happen to them)? Or will the committee return them with the annotation “not verified as licit”?

12) What will be the incentive for collectors and dealers loaning all the artefacts they hold together with supporting documentation to these national legitimisation bodies? Or rather (since the stated aim is to disrupt the international trade in unprovenanced items) what disadvantages will ensue from not doing so? What will it mean to the collector to have unprovenanced artefacts on their hands at the end of the year of operation of the “object grandfathering service” Welsh postulates?

14) One year is most certainly not enough to get this job done.


At regular intervals (perhaps quarterly) auctions are held to release artifacts entering the regulated licit market. Only licensed dealers would be allowed to participate”.

15) Why allow only licenced dealers to corner the market? Why cannot licenced collectors buy direct from this source? Surely that would be fairer.

16) Where, physically would the se auctions take place so all qualified purchasers have equal access? How would they be physically organized?

17) Obviously to avoid corruption, the Council itself cannot run it, a separate company must be involved, how would this be organized?

18) Since it is postulated this be a closed system, how will the auctions be protected against price-fixing keeping revenues down and allowing dealers to make greater profits from resale to their closed system of clients?


19) Obviously collectors who have a licence can by stuff disseminated through dealers supplied by these auctions – if they want to. Why should they want to? What is in it for them? Surely if buying stuff with a provenance was so important, there would be much more attention paid to provenance on the market today. That there is not surely suggests that provenance and legitimacy alone are not important selling points. What is proposed will change that situation?

20) What happens if a collector is also a finder, like for example a metal detectorist, or an arrowhead/pot-hunter on private land in the US? Can they be a licence holder and still retain material not bought through WAC auctions ? How can this be differentiated?

21) More to the point, if this scheme is to „uphold collectors rights” – who is going to check who has got what in private antiquity collections on private property?

22) What sanctions are envisaged for licenced collectors disregarding the intention of the system and buying unprovenanced artefacts?

23) The ongoing "grandfathering" (sic) scheme of material which collectors produce in the future ('trunk in the attic' wriggle-room) – how will it be administered so it does not serve as a means of getting freshly-looted material onto the licit market? What happens if they cannot prove they had a grandfather who had an antiquity in a trunk? What will happen to artefacts the origins of which cannot be verified? (we are told there are lots on the market today).

24) „After being licensed, a collector would accept being restricted to collecting provenienced artifacts. A collector found to have violated regulations or ethical obligations could be penalized by suspension or loss of license”. OK, but what does that mean? That their collection is now illicit because no longer licenced and owned by somebody found in breach of regulations? What then happens to all the “provenienced artifacts" in that collection? Do they drop out of the licit market?

25) Prices will be determined at global auctions, how will the collectors in Third World countries compete with those from countries with higher earnings? What measures will be taken to ensure equal access to these reserves?

26) Can a licenced collector sell the artefacts he bought (so, his property) from a licenced dealer to another dealer or collector whether licenced or not? If objects can get dispersed outside the licenced collector circuit by such means, what then is the point of the collector licencing system?

27) If however a licenced collector is not free to do with his property as he wishes, how are "collectors' rights" upheld, and what benefits are there for collectors in entering such a restrictive scheme?

28) When a licenced collector dies, what measures will be taken to ensure that their artefacts only reaches other licenced collectors? Presumably the WAC will have to find a way of controlling how the heirs of licenced collectors dispose of their property.


29) The examination “to demonstrate knowledge of the subject, knowledge of regulations and understanding of ethical obligations", who will be running these? What body would be issuer of the licences and on what authority?

30) Who would define this global Code of ethics now enforceably applicable everywhere to everybody at all times because it is on this retaining of licences is conditional?

31) How can one enforce the condition that a dealer would be “restricted to trading only in provenienced artifacts”? Periodic reviews of their stock? Who would carry that out in each country and on what authority? To whom are the reviewers accountable?

32) “A dealer found to have violated regulations or ethical obligations could be penalized by suspension or loss of license”. Would this mean that they can no longer trade legally in their own country or internationally? What actual consequences will losing this licence have for a dealer? (In other words, why bother to get one if the only benefit is to be able to bid on some stuff in some distant auctions?). If they are prevented from dealing because they have lost their licence, what happens to their stock?

33) To make this system work, a licenced dealer could only sell this material to licenced collectors. A licenced collector presumably can only buy from a licenced dealer. In what way is this not an attempt to create a closed and captive market?

34) Before accepting a bid on an online auction is a licenced dealer obliged to check that each bidder is a licenced collector of good standing? Are these not data protected under the Data Protection Act of some countries? How will this be circumvented?

35) What about unlicenced collectors outside the system who carry on buying stuff through V-coins and other outlets from unlicenced dealers ? How does this proposed system prevent them continuing to be the path by which unprovenanced and freshly surfaced artefacts continue to circulate? Either there has to be some benefit attached (and in every country) to being a licenced collector, or some legal sanctions attached to being an owner of archaeological material who is not licenced.


36) “The committee would determine target levels for releases in various artifact categories and then assign quotas to participating nations”. Quotas of objects to be supplied? What happens if the “participating nations” do not meet these quotas? This is sheer colonialism, what nation is voluntarily going to agree to that kind of treatment, and why should they?

37) why on earth would any source country agree to be part of such a scheme? This seems the fundamental point Welsh has not discussed. Where are they going to get all these “surplus” artefacts from to fulfill the “quotas” set them by an outside body? Welsh does not say, but we may suspect from other things he has written that he means that they should empty their museum reserve collections to do this.

38) What if the participating nation is one that does not have much material that there is a huge global market demand for (US Woodland period arrow points come to mind), but has a huge appetite for the stuff from other countries? How would that imbalance be addressed?

39) Conversely, what happens if the material required to make a good collection is scarce in the source country (US Clovis points for example) will they still be required to fulfill a quota adequate to a high outside demand (would outside collectors have priority over local collectors?)

40) Welsh suggests that “Nations not electing to participate (or not meeting their responsibilities as participants) could face withdrawal of international cooperation in enforcing their antiquities and export laws”. I suppose that only has any clout if the nations already think they are getting enough “international cooperation in enforcing their antiquities and export laws” from the countries which have a market for their antiquities and whose museums are full of them. The USA's CCPIA for example only enforces these laws in a highly selective fashion, will it be repealed in order to make this scheme workable?

41) By what means would this “withdrawal’ be enforced? How would “withdrawing” this in any way as part of the proposed scheme contribute to "preserving the archaeological record" and “effectively control[ing] looting”?

42) Furthermore Welsh considers that: “Nations participating in the licit regulated market would be required to manage their antiquities laws so as to conform to an approved model determined during the startup phase”. Approved by whom and by what authority? A sovereign state passes its own laws in the way it deems best – whether or not they are convenient or favourable to US collectors need not be one of the factors taken into account. What if the citizens did not agree with the system proposed by Welsh’s WAC, should local politicians go ahead against their wishes?

43) “It would be necessary that these laws provide a fair system of compensation to landowners and finders, sufficient to make cooperation with authorities more rewarding than illicit trafficking”. So “source nations” pay finders (and seekers too?) full market value for the finds they bring in which can then be released to Welsh’s auctioning system – from which the source nation meeting its quota gets only HALF back. So they would be financially subsidising this system from which only licenced dealers benefit.

44) “Participating nations would also be required to allocate a reasonable supply of redundant artifacts for release to the market”. What actually is a “redundant” artefact and where will they come from? At the moment the legislation and public opinion of a whole series of “source countries” sees very little scope for there being “redundant artefacts”; how does Welsh propose changing that worldwide before instituting this scheme? To what extent are the artefacts which most states would consider “redundant” to current museum and research needs collectable anyway? What happens if states “release” (sic) “redundant artefacts” which are not saleable? Who stores them and where?

I expect a few more questions will occur to readers who have looked in any detail at Welsh's proposals, but that seems enough for him to address at the outset before the discussion can progress.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Who is Candice, What is She, That Swains Commend her?

[metal detecting nonsense]
Somebody writes:
My name [...] is Candice Elisabeth Jarman. I am 24 and I am not a metal detectorist.
So, the name is just like that lady in Tennessee? I don't want to be unkind, but if the photo Candice has used is of a 24 year old, she'd better give up the fags and start using a different moisturiser. As for whether Mr Jarman is a metal detectorist, let the content of his words speak for themselves. For somebody who is pressurising others who write about heritage issues to submit a full CV with "qualifications" and "credentials" to public scrutiny, Candice Jarman's online details seem rather scanty. In fact if you Google the name, the only things you'll find on the internet about "her" comes from two of Paul Barford's blogs.

I think before this individual continues to attack real people's real lives, in order to establish "her" credentials and qualifications, Candice Jarman should at least publish something which allows their identity as a real person to be established. Since he demands it of others, the name of blogger Candice Jarman's employer would do. After all, we all fully understand that this solicitor is in no way implicated in what Candice Jarman writes in his own free time outside work (see also here).

Metal detecting Candyspite reaches new lows

[category: metal detectorist nonsense]

Metal detecting Candyspite reached a new low on Sunday, (Candice Jarman Damien gets caught out!). Apparently Candice reckons it is some kind of character fault to be socially committed, and to show it he has dragged up a ten-year old article from www.freemasonrywatch.org which tells us that:
Three UA students were arrested on charges of trespassing Friday night for protesting animal abuse at a showing of the Shrine Circus - a circus which has been accused of failing to meet the minimal federal standards for the care of animals. Tucson Police Department arrested Jeff Jensen, a biological anthropology junior; Rebecca Feather, a psychology junior; and Damien Huffer, an anthropology freshman, after they entered the Rodeo Fairgrounds, 4801 S. Sixth Ave., and passed out literature about animal abuse [...], the circus rented the land for the weekend, making it private property.
Candice expects his metal detecting audience to frown on such activity. We do not know how many of them are Freemasons, animal lovers or whether any of them campaign for animal rights, what we do know however is that it appears from a recent PET report that the Shrine Circus deserves more than just a few people handing out literature when they come to town. I wonder what Candice Jarman believes in strongly enough to risk arrest protesting about it? Would Candice support the Shrine Circus if they came to his town, or would Mr Jarman join the protesters, or would Mr Jarman join the many who would just turn aside and walk away mumbling that "we don't want any trouble around here"? ("Head down, blinkers on, avoid making eye contact with those outsiders with "ideas"...") Is Candice perhaps a Freemason?

It appears now that Mr Jarman intends engaging on slime attacks on people who appear to be supporting one bloke's conservationist blog, even people they have never met on the other side of the globe. What actually was Jarman's aim in posting that text to his hate blog? Who is next? Colin Renfrew maybe?

Perhaps more on Mr Huffer at a later date
he darkly warns, note that its more "on Mr Huffer" he promises, not any coverage and discussion of what he actually says and stands for.

Mr Jarman is now busily drumming up "support" for his blog and this kind of argument among UK metal detectorists and US "coiney" collectors and dealers. I am quite sure that there are a lot of people in both milieux who are quite happy to see the discussion on artefact collecting brought down to the level of black propaganda and personal attacks in 2011.

Vignette: Animal Rights protestors November 2000, where are these young activists now? Are they ashamed now of what they did ten years ago? Should they be?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Concept for this Blog

I initially set up this blog as an ad hoc means of dealing with some nuisance posts by a single British detectorist in order not to clog up my main blog answering his nonsense. As my main blog attracted more and more attention from spiteful snipers, I found the need to use it for the same purpose increasingly often.

To be honest though I just saw it as a less public place to get off my chest what I thought about certain people's style of dealing with the fact that somebody was trying to discuss some uncomfortable issues, rather than anything else. There are now 112 posts on it, mostly of little worth as elements in the discussion, but oddly enough they are being visited from time to time.

When I started the main blog, it was a bit of self-indulgence (as most blogs in general are). Over the past year it has become clearer that it is actually being read by a lot of people and there are indications that it is now being treated as an unofficial resource of sorts. It is also clear that the presence of posts there discussing the minutiae of some arguments obscure the wider picture. I am going to try to use the Portable Antiquities and Heritage Issues blog in 2011 to present the broader picture to a wider audience and I have decided therefore to (try to) adopt a stricter policy on what I put on it.

I will therefore now be using this blog in a more systematic way not so much as before as a sort of "ghetto blog" for dealing with nonsense and nuisance posts, but also to argue points that may clog up the main blog, though I plan to cross link between them more. Nevertheless this blog will still have material only of appeal (if at all) to those with rather specific reading interests...

US Coiney Arguing like a UK Metal Detectorist

[category: antiquity dealer lobby nonsense]

It looks awfully like somebody got invited to the Washington employment law lawyers' end-of-year party and had a little too much shandy and when they got back into the office added something to their blog:
"Addendum: In some end of the year foolishness, Prof. Gill has suggested he had nothing at all to do with organizing the above submissions of academic papers. [...] I wonder if he is being far too modest and have asked him to clarify in the comments section of his blog. He has yet to post my comment or to respond. Perhaps he can do so as a New Year's resolution.
Frankly in his place I'd have told Tompa to get stuffed, but David is too polite. This is the epitome of the problems with any discussion, be it with UK metal detectorists or the US coineys and dealers lobby:

1) They make some ludicrous claim,
2) Somebody engages them in discussion and points out in a reasonable manner that what they've said is ludicrous and why,
3) An independent witness corroborates that the initial claim is without foundation,
4) The person implicated points out there has been a misunderstanding,
5) the coiney persists in his error ,
6) Again the allegation is checked against the facts known to a witness,
7) The Coiney adds an addendum "In some end of the year foolishness, Prof. Gill has suggested he had nothing at all to do with organizing the above submissions of academic papers". In other words repeating the initial allegation.

One might think from the persistence that he pursues this case that Peter Tompa was the editor's secretary and saw the correspondence between David Gill and PIA's editor Brian Hole. But he is not, and since both David Gill, myself, so two people actually involved who should know what was going on as well as Brian Hole the editor who allegedly submitted to David Gill's persuasion are trying perfectly reasonably to explain to Tompa that this is not the way PIA works there must be some other reason for his utter refusal to admit that he was WRONG. Wrong in his assumption, wrong to make it, and wrong to maintain it in the face of all the evidence.

This situation is repeated time and time again with these folk, they get some idea in their head (about "where ancient coins come from, not-ancient-sites, soldiers on the eve of battle, bury -die - aaaargh found accidentally by coin fairies and put on the market by coin elves" and similar rubbish). Even when the idea is shown by reasoned counterargument to be false, they stick to their guns. Tompa is convinced that Gill "engineered" the discussion in PIA and nothing is going to change his mind. What foolishness.

But there is a reason for this isn't there? Tompa has to present this as a "conspiracy" against the collector in order to "protect" the idealised picture of the PAS which serves his lobbying as a political pawn to pressurise the US Government to do what the coin collectors want. I wonder if that is the sort of protection the PAS need at the moment?

Vignette: One of the Elders of Archaeon, architects of the alleged conspiracy against collectors.

What the PAS and Candice Jarman Will not Tell You

[category: metal detectorist lobby nonsense]

Candice Jarman reckons that...
Mr Barford's response shows just how little this self-proclaimed 'expert' (but in reality total ignoramus) knows about metal detecting.
There is of course much I would still like to learn, preferably straight from the words of metal detectorists themselves, even though I have already spent a fair amount of time trying to understand the various aspects of this hobby.

Artefact hunting with metal detectors is an erosive form of exploitation of the archaeological record which is the common heritage of everybody, not just individuals who want to take bits of it away for private entertainment and profit. It therefore follows that everybody should be fully informed about this type of artefact hunting, who does it, how and why, and more to the point what its actual effects on the archaeological record are (both positive and negative). To what degree are we informed about that? The metal detecting forums are for the most part closed access, members-only so one has to register first with them before being able to see what goes on behind their closed doors. What have they got to hide? (Please register with one and see). There are books and promotional videos as well.

I'd like to look at one of the latter here, Steve Timewell's Complete Guide to Metal Detecting which is currently available on YouTube. I'll present the video itself on my main blog, but here I want to use it to show where Candice Jarman is trying to mislead his readers when he asserts the following.
It would be nice to know 'productive sites' Mr Barford, but the truth is most metal detector finds are found on private farmland, far from known archaeological sites, and most represent isolated losses. Does a 50p piece lost in the street have a context? Of course it does n't and yet this is really what most metal detector finds are - isolated losses that happened long ago.
This is what the PAS reportedly was telling US coin collectors when Roger Bland went to Washington. How true is this? Well, the PAS record is no good for working that out, the details of what was found precisely where and with what are not displayed there. What we can do to address this problem is listen to artefact hunters describing how they find places to "detect".

Complete Guide to Metal Detecting (part 1) 1:31: "the landscape is constantly changing, where a primitive village once stood you might find a modern tower block or housing estate, or better still for [artefact hunter]s the land could be ploughed fields or grazing fields"

Complete Guide to Metal Detecting (part 2) [Norfolk Wolf shows how to use a machine to find collectables]

Complete Guide to Metal Detecting (part 3)

4:20: "Once you have permission to search a field, its a good idea to walk the field first and look for tell-tale signs of habitation and use. You will soon learn how to read a field and the features surrounding it" [4:36: Norfolk Wolf explains how, "we've definitely got habitation here" - "to give you some idea of the areas where you want to be doing it [looking for collectables]" 5:40 "this is the kind of thing you are looking for"]

Complete Guide to Metal Detecting (part 4)

1:24: "Researching sites", tools to help the artefact hunter find potentially productive sites. Sadly at 1:40 minutes Adam Daubney, Lincs. FLO and pop star allowed himself to be involved in this video. Great guy, but what exactly is he telling artefact hunters how to do?

Then several other detector using artefact hunters independently:
2:03 - "settlements that have vanished, tell-tale signs as shadows and shaded areas [ie cropmarks] within the crops" 2:20 "look at aerial photographs [...] marks in the ground" [cropmarks again] 3:15: "anything interesting [found in?] the area before" 3:26 aerial photos, "you can see circles where there's definitely been something there" "lost village" (3:30). Norfolk Wolf again at Castle Rising 4:20. "What you are looking for is evidence of past occupation [...] you can get the aerial photographs and you are looking for cropmarks" (6:50 too). 7:01 Targetting house platforms. "When I get on the field I'm looking for ... well I'l be hearing nails, oi'm looking fer pottery, I'm looking for oystershells, this is a sure sign of habitation. Once you've found this po'ery and the naily areas, then you can go to town, otherwise it really is pot-luck [..] it is very important that you do this field walking first, [...] it saves time in the long run". Then a boring bit on beach detecting - "some people make a living out of it".

Complete Guide to Metal Detecting (part 5) , Complete Guide to Metal Detecting (part 6), Complete Guide to Metal Detecting (part 7) - commercial artefact hunting rallies ("on prime sites" - 7:06), Complete Guide to Metal Detecting (part 8).

So far from wandering blindly around the open countryside hoping to stumble across the odd coin dropped by a careless ancient wanderer lost in the uninhabited forests, it seems that the detectorists interviewed in the video had their own methods to pinpoint sites where there had been human activity in the past, such as lost villages, habitations, archaeological cropmark sites. Candice is (and I think deliberately) misleading his readers suggesting it is otherwise. One is not going to go fishing in a river devoid of fish because heavily polluted on the off-chance that one rambo mutant fish survives somewhere in it. You go fishing on stretches of the river where there is a fair chance that there are fish. In the same way the detectorists in the video are examining maps and books showing where there are likely sites for searching with a fair prospect of finding artefacts.

I think it is worth noting what Norfolk Wolf lets slip:
"When I get on the field I'm looking for ... well I'l be hearing nails, oi'm looking fer pottery, I'm looking for oystershells, this is a sure sign of habitation. Once you've found this po'ery and the naily areas, then you can go to town,
Let us consider whether Norfolk Wolf (John Lynne) has a huge collection of ancient nails to rival that which the excavation of that site would produce? Does he have boxes and boxes of pottery and oiystershells systematically collected and catalogued from these sites, or did he just cherry pick the archaeological finds, keeping just the most collectable non-ferrous artefacts? There is a very clear difference between what can be recorded about a site from what a collector takes from it when looking for geegaws to add to a collection, and what an archaeologist gathers as part of the investigative process. This is a fundamental reason why the data recorded as a result of artefact hunting can in no way be treated as archaeological data and severely restricts their use for archaeological (and many other) purposes.