Detecting in Scotland, Treasure Trove Law - new video

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Oxgirl
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New video from the NCMD here on the law around finds in Scotland.

Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
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Easylife
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Useful to know, undefined treasure!
D2 - 13"x11" coil - audio only.
Steve RC
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Excellent production once again.

I note that Professor Michael Lewis who is head of the PAS and Treasure at the British Museum, has tweeted his delight at what has been produced and states " it sounds like a sensible law to me.." and that "All archaeological finds have to be reported so the most important ones can be acquired by museums ".

Does he live in the real world ? Scotland's level of finds are not at all comparable to those in England and Wales so how would such a change be administered and paid for ?

The PAS was set up to record finds made by members of the public that were not covered by the Treasure Act and doing so was voluntary. Is the PAS having second thoughts about a system which has been going well for so long considering its limited budget to do this.
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Oxgirl
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Yes I saw that. Maybe he’s hoping to have a bigger budget? :shock: Or hoping to get his mitts on every find? I note he’s talked a few times recently about all finds being shown to FLOs for them to decide what should be recorded. Maybe the Scotland model is what he hopes will happen :Thinking:
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
Steve RC
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The current management advice on what FLO's can and cannot record is long list of do not and do so plus leaving some aspects to the FLO's local knowledge. The latter is perhaps geared to local managers requirements and Regional Research priorities, factors which will skew the records for a particular area.

On the other hand we have the nonsense trotted out by the PAS management and the FLO's that detectorists should firstly let the FLO's see all finds so they can chose what they want to take in to record and secondly that detectorists dont record their finds. The basic premise of the PAS is to record finds made by members of the public.

Fine on paper ,but in reality few finders can get an FLO to take in more than a token number of finds at any one time and add to that the general lack of capacity with the system the PAS overall can only ever record a specific number of finds each year which is about 70-80 K. The PAS lives by its stats when it come to measurement of its success and so the details are published in the annual reports for all to see. A bit of work with a calculator quickly shows that each FLO on average records about 30 odd finds per week....!

There are so many things wrong with the PAS system as it stands and rather than be truthful to divert attention it would seem easier to blame their customers with the oft repeated mantra that - most detectorists dont record their finds". I will leave you all to draw your own conclusions on that claim.
Blackadder43
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Steve RC wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:27 am
On the other hand we have the nonsense trotted out by the PAS management and the FLO's that detectorists should firstly let the FLO's see all finds so they can chose what they want to take in to record and secondly that detectorists dont record their finds. The basic premise of the PAS is to record finds made by members of the public.
There is a way to achieve this and solve an issue of potential non recording of finds to actually increase recording of finds
In todays digital era, it is much easier and less hassle and travelling distance to as a first port of call to email some photos of the finds, and allow an FLO, or suitably qualified person to say:
"yes we need to physically see this item to record it"
or
"Its a great item and needs recording, but its so common that you can self record this one using our easy to use online form"

So much time and money is spent on appointments and looking at "standard" finds for want of a better word, like your buckles, some Roman brooches etc etc....these items are so common that it isnt really necessary to view them in person
The PAS could have an online form to fill out, a strict guide for the photos and then it gets sent in on an approval basis and if approved just appears on the database

I reckon if you surveyed the detectorists you would have a good number who already self record by travelling and seeing their FLO, agree that self recording on common items would cut down time wasted by a lot
And with the new breed of younger detectorists joining the hobby, then recording their finds by a digital method is what they would expect to do, as thats what they have grown up with.

No idea if any of that makes sense to anyone, but its clear as mud in my mind :lol:

tldr:
FLO's and detectorists waste too much time with physical meetings on mundane items.
Needs a system of self recording on common finds
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DaveP
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Blackadder43 wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:11 am
FLO's and detectorists waste too much time with physical meetings on mundane items.
Needs a system of self recording on common finds
In the last two years I've seen my FLO twice. Once to drop off a treasure item and once to pick it up. I know Covid has made things difficult but I haven't needed to see him. I send a picture of an item and rough description after I've had the benefit of your collective wisdom. He says, yes we need to record. I send better quality pictures, dimension, weights etc. and he does the rest - job done - and I'm not a youngster :D

But - you need very active FLO's and capacity in the system.
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Just to add
I know self recording is already a thing, and a handful of people do this
But
Its not well advertised as you see often people saying they made a 60 mile round trip to the FLO, had an hours meeting and the FLO chose 2 items out of their 40 items to record
The other 38 items are just as important when painting a picture of an areas history, but are just too time consuming for FLO's to achieve with their limited budgets and time on their hands

It needs easy templates for the more common items, this would increase the size of the database without wasting everyones time and money
It needs to be better advertised too, like a leaflet given to each person who purchases a new machine explaining an easy online recording process
The ncmd could include a print out when issuing the insurance card

Encouraging people to record by making the process easier and giving the options to record their buttons, brooches and buckles themselves
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Blackadder43 wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:31 am Just to add
I know self recording is already a thing, and a handful of people do this
But
Its not well advertised as you see often people saying they made a 60 mile round trip to the FLO, had an hours meeting and the FLO chose 2 items out of their 40 items to record
The other 38 items are just as important when painting a picture of an areas history, but are just too time consuming for FLO's to achieve with their limited budgets and time on their hands

It needs easy templates for the more common items, this would increase the size of the database without wasting everyones time and money
It needs to be better advertised too, like a leaflet given to each person who purchases a new machine explaining an easy online recording process
The ncmd could include a print out when issuing the insurance card

Encouraging people to record by making the process easier and giving the options to record their buttons, brooches and buckles themselves
I totally agree, but improving the system is not their primary aim, but rather to control/restrict detecting even further....The worst looters in post Victorian history were archaeologists, but today they want to largely forget that. They don't consider history of this land "ours" but "theirs" to control and restrict....
Steve RC
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Interesting comments.

FLO's are expected to build up relationships with detectorists in their patch because this allows for intelligence gathering on who is doing what, where people are searching, any issues over heritage crime and so on. This information is probably passed back to local and national managers at the various FLO quarterly meeting that the PAS hold and staff appraisals. It is a part of their job hence there have been detectorists promoted as local helpers to the FLO and so have even become pets.

Self recording has long been in place and it can be time consuming with lots of hoops to jump through to become competent so it is not everyones cup of tea. I have the manual and have attended the odd training session, but with home life and work i dont have the luxury of time. I do now in some ways, but not the finds to record having not detected properly since March 20. Remember the PAS have little interest in recording finds from past decades.

During the current Review of the PAS it has been proposed to look at recording generic finds on line as is done in the Netherlands and elsewhere , but the issues are complex with differing grades of data then ending up on the PAS database which i feel is not to the liking of some parties.

Covid has for many intents and purposes stopped many intitiatives progressing and for some parties the view is that the era of the mass appeal anyone can join hobby is past.
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Steve RC wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:53 am Interesting comments.

Self recording has long been in place and it can be time consuming with lots of hoops to jump through to become competent so it is not everyones cup of tea.
Yep and there in lays the biggest problem
Its complicated and fraught with pitfalls that instantly make it not a viable option
Steve RC wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:53 am Interesting comments.

During the current Review of the PAS it has been proposed to look at recording generic finds on line as is done in the Netherlands and elsewhere , but the issues are complex with differing grades of data then ending up on the PAS database which i feel is not to the liking of some parties.
The issues are only complex because they make them complex

It could be built from the bottom up
Start with a mundane item such as buttons
Some may say are boring, but when found in their area can open up huge information about familys and their movements etc
Anyways
Have a template online that cannot be submitted until the required information is filled in
It would be a standardised template
Once thats up and running you tweak your next template to address any issues that arise

If its easy to do then it will encourage more to do it
Look how much time folk spend on facebook groups and forums such as this one
People are already online after their detecting sessions and it isnt a far stretch to get them recording if the system is understandable

The other beauty is if anything of interest is placed on the database it would soon get picked up due to the amount of eyes and knowledgable people who are using or browsing these databases
Plus the FLO's can then spend vaulable time saved form meeting face to face to assess the more important finds being submitted that needs a higher level of recording

If the folk ontop the tower want more recording, then until they give detectectorists the correct tools to achieve this then things will just stay the same

Common sense tells you that FLO's just cannot cope or have the time nor resources to build a database that they want to have.
We dont need arguments, we just need solutions
Steve RC
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The PAS database is old and clunky and it has been on the cards for some time to totally rebuild it, but the problem has been the cost and will remains so with the coming financial constraints for all.

If it does go ahead the system can be set up to deal with generic finds and allow finders photos to be uploaded and so on. However there will still be a requirement for staff to deal with it so not an easy one.

It is worth having a look at the PAN website that is in use in the Netherlands for ideas. Because it has recently been set up the software is modern and the ideas more up to date. The PAS database has been an add on and bolt on affair for decades with many problems with servers and then the BM made the guy who built it and maintained it redundant. !
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