Failing to record finds on PAS.

User avatar
Easylife
Posts: 9654
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:47 am
Location: Valhalla
Has thanked: 9928 times
Been thanked: 8702 times

A great number of qualifying or even treasure finds go unrecorded on PAS every year unfortunately.
I guess some possible reasons could be that the finder was naively quite unaware of what they had actually found, unaware of PAS or even the treasure act? Maybe others knew but just couldn't be bothered? Others could be in it just to sell all finds straight away? Perhaps they did not have permission where they made the finds? Or perhaps they just don't trust PAS on who has access to the find locations? Or maybe other reasons? :?

But then there are those of us who do record finds for the better future understanding and benefit of all, as well as being aware of our legal obligations under the treasure act. :thumbsup:
D2 - 13"x11" coil - audio only.
User avatar
TerraBritannia
Posts: 542
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:01 pm
Location: North Yorkshire
Has thanked: 917 times
Been thanked: 462 times
Contact:

I've only had a handful of finds recorded so far, but I haven't been detecting for as long as some.

One thing that does concern me is that when I look at my own recorded finds, the location data (although not as accurate as the data that I gave the flo), is still more accurate than I'd like to be. Is that because I (the finder) am viewing it, or would anyone see the same data?

I have a friend who several years ago, recorded some very nice finds with his flo, the data was later published on the PAS site. He told me that within quite a short time, his land was nighthawked and as a result of this he lost that permission.

Are the recorded Spatial coordinates too accurate for others to abuse?
TerraBritannia [previously known as TerraEnglandia] but Andy is my real name.
https://www.youtube.com/TerraBritannia
Minelab Equinox 800
User avatar
figgis
Posts: 7018
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:21 pm
Location: Norfolk (just)
Has thanked: 4075 times
Been thanked: 4752 times

Great topic, Ian :thumbsup:

Treasure items aside, there is no requirement to report your qualifying finds (in essence, anything over three hundred years old). People may not report theirs for any of the reasons you cite, though in this day and age of "instant knowledge" available on the web I struggle to accept that ignorance of FLOs and the PAS as a contributing factor, and ignorance of the Treasure Act is frankly unforgivable.

You only have to look at auction sites with their abundance of MD finds for sale, none of which state "recorded with PAS" to wonder how many finds go unrecorded. I know not mentioning it doesn't necessarily mean they aren't recorded but I do have my doubts.

When you look at how the recording system has changed archaeological opinion as to what was happening where, it can only be regarded as a sad waste of potential knowledge :cry:
User avatar
Allectus
Posts: 4871
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:05 pm
Location: Essex
Has thanked: 229 times
Been thanked: 5242 times

And then there are those of us who think the PAS is PAntS. :lol: :lol: :thumbsup:
User avatar
Littleboot
Posts: 870
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:49 pm
Location: Normandy.
Has thanked: 1225 times
Been thanked: 1324 times

Andy makes a great point regarding find spots which has been discussed elsewhere a few years ago if I recall.
Here in France the detecting community often bemoans the lack of a PAS and the Treasure Act has assumed a mythical status to the extent that getting something similar over here has become the Holy Grail. They do have somewhat rosy coloured specs about it.

My view of the PAS is that it is a good idea...but like anything it becomes unwieldy and quality declines the more it expands. I personally think it needs a good old root and branch prune and weed. It is the BBC of detecting I suppose. OK for a first glance but dangerous to depend upon as gospel. :lol: Items on the database which place an object within a date range of 'Roman to Post-Medieval' spring forcibly to mind.

I suppose I would tentatively welcome something similar here in France....a lot of info in France is never gathered. But as with all information gathering one has to consider if the ends are entirely what you idealistically like to think they are. As far as France is concerned I know there would be all kinds of hidden agendas. :problem:
Live long and prosper.
User avatar
Easylife
Posts: 9654
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:47 am
Location: Valhalla
Has thanked: 9928 times
Been thanked: 8702 times

TerraEnglandia wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:07 pm One thing that does concern me is that when I look at my own recorded finds, the location data (although not as accurate as the data that I gave the flo), is still more accurate than I'd like to be.

Are the recorded Spatial coordinates too accurate for others to abuse?

All publicly viewable PAS records show a 4-digit grid ref, unless you chose for it to be hidden and 'To be known as' for example just 'North Lincoln'.
A 4-digit grid reference is 1 square kilometre, so 1000m x 1000m. I guess that it would just depend upon the actual location as to whether that was too much of a give away or not? Though I personally see no general public need to even know that at all. :thumbsup:
The other spatial coordinates are just converted from the 4-digit grid ref and will just indicate the SW corner of that 1km grid square.
D2 - 13"x11" coil - audio only.
User avatar
Easylife
Posts: 9654
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:47 am
Location: Valhalla
Has thanked: 9928 times
Been thanked: 8702 times

TerraEnglandia wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:07 pm I have a friend who several years ago, recorded some very nice finds with his flo, the data was later published on the PAS site. He told me that within quite a short time, his land was night hawked and as a result of this he lost that permission.
I believe that there was once an issue with what.three.words being published with find records long ago but was quickly fixed. :thumbsup:
D2 - 13"x11" coil - audio only.
User avatar
TerraBritannia
Posts: 542
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:01 pm
Location: North Yorkshire
Has thanked: 917 times
Been thanked: 462 times
Contact:

Easylife wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:55 pm
All publicly viewable PAS records show a 4-digit grid ref, unless you chose for it to be hidden and 'To be known as' for example just 'North Lincoln'.
A 4-digit grid reference is 1 square kilometre, so 1000m x 1000m. I guess that it would just depend upon the actual location as to whether that was too much of a give away or not? Though I personally see no general public need to even know that at all. :thumbsup:
The other spatial coordinates are just converted from the 4-digit grid ref and will just indicate the SW corner of that 1km grid square.
Where would I find the option for a location to be publicly hidden? It not something that was mentioned by my Flo.
TerraBritannia [previously known as TerraEnglandia] but Andy is my real name.
https://www.youtube.com/TerraBritannia
Minelab Equinox 800
User avatar
Easylife
Posts: 9654
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:47 am
Location: Valhalla
Has thanked: 9928 times
Been thanked: 8702 times

TerraEnglandia wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:33 pm Where would I find the option for a location to be publicly hidden? It not something that was mentioned by my Flo.
You just tell them when they are filling in the finds sheet and they note it. Simples! :thumbsup:
But they have lesser menials working under them who often don't add it, so then you have to email your FLO to correct it. :(
D2 - 13"x11" coil - audio only.
Pete E
Posts: 2795
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:05 pm
Location: North Wales
Has thanked: 3654 times
Been thanked: 2406 times

Littleboot wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:50 pm Items on the database which place an object within a date range of 'Roman to Post-Medieval' spring forcibly to mind.
I have been told thats due to a number of reasons one of which is they simply don't know with the required degree of certainty, and that in the bigger scheme of things, the object perhaps doesn't justify any further research..

The sad thing is that while the majority of Detectorists are "unqualified" many are extremely knowledgeable through long years of practical experience and their own research, but the system often doesn't give enough weight to their opinions on a find.
Pete E
Posts: 2795
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:05 pm
Location: North Wales
Has thanked: 3654 times
Been thanked: 2406 times

figgis wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:15 pm When you look at how the recording system has changed archaeological opinion as to what was happening where, it can only be regarded as a sad waste of potential knowledge :cry:
I am not sure what the whole answer is; on one side PAS needs improving to become more effecient/quicker, but on the other, we as Detectorists really should be recording as much as possible....How we get those reluctant people to do that I am not sure as so much relies on trust, regardless of best practice or the law...
Chrisb
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:50 am
Has thanked: 48 times
Been thanked: 11 times

I’m still trying to get a few finds recorded but communication with the FLO is proving difficult. I contacted them via email and got a reply a week later asking if I was free the following week to bring them in, I replied that I was and suggested a time after I had finished work and asked if that would be ok, I never received a reply. I then asked if a photograph with relevant sizing used would be easier and received no reply to that either! Covid-19 then struck so the finds are still waiting to be recorded. I can see why some people may just not bother or give up trying. I know they are probably busy people but surely it’s not too difficult to reply.
Pete E
Posts: 2795
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:05 pm
Location: North Wales
Has thanked: 3654 times
Been thanked: 2406 times

Chrisb wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:17 am I’m still trying to get a few finds recorded but communication with the FLO is proving difficult. I contacted them via email and got a reply a week later asking if I was free the following week to bring them in, I replied that I was and suggested a time after I had finished work and asked if that would be ok, I never received a reply. I then asked if a photograph with relevant sizing used would be easier and received no reply to that either! Covid-19 then struck so the finds are still waiting to be recorded. I can see why some people may just not bother or give up trying. I know they are probably busy people but surely it’s not too difficult to reply.
I think one of the major issues with PAS is just how inconsistent the scheme is from area to area across the country.

I am lucky as our FLO is fairly good although the process is still pretty slow even for what must be for them very common finds...

Does anybody know if the post of FLO is a dedicated job role, or do they usually have other duties?
User avatar
Saffron
Posts: 1820
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:31 pm
Has thanked: 2498 times
Been thanked: 2366 times

The one issue is a conflict between its stated aims, the first of which is -
"promotes the maximum public interest and benefit from the recovery, recording and research of portable antiquities;"

I am very interested in local history, its what got me into metal detecting and I have also written a little book about the men from the village killed in WWI.

To get the maximum benefit (the first stated aim of the scheme) from local finds I need to know where they were found, as a cluster could indicate a unrecorded building / settlement, or if they were in a linear pattern they could well indicate an old track / footpath. IF finds are only recorded to the corner of the nearest 1K square then the building / settlement has moved, and the linear route has not only moved but become a single spot rather than a route. So as from the view of researching local history I need the exact location. The find becomes even more meaningless if only a parish or county is given.

However, from the view of a landowner or detectorist the last thing they would want is to have the exact loction of a cluster of given as they might as well put up a big neon sign saying "Nighthawks this way".


The other main issue I hear from detectorists is the time it takes to get anything recorded, should we really be talking several months before the finder and landowner gets a fairly routine find back?. I fully understand a longer delay for "treasure" or rare finds, but not for the more routine finds. Sadly I have also heard of a few cases where finds have "gone missing" once handed in for the reporting process (not with my FLO).

Another issue is the way some items are inaccurately recorded (eg the "Roman to post-medieval" mentioned above), where due to many years of experiece the detectorist can give more accurate information than a newly qualified and inexperienced FLO, this certainly puts some of the "old hands" off.

In my own case the main reason for infrequently recording finds is that I rarely make any :thumbdown: However, I have handed items to the FLO at club meetings that I thought he would record and he has commented on them and handed them back with out recording.

IMHO the whole system needs a major overhaul, and probably more money invested in it to get it to a "fit for purpose" state.

Evan
User avatar
Easylife
Posts: 9654
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:47 am
Location: Valhalla
Has thanked: 9928 times
Been thanked: 8702 times

Sometimes I've heard the phrase 'lack of funding', but why should everything be money orientated? We give our services for free and people even pay to help out on archaeological digs, but the ones higher up do nothing for free it seems even if they have a genuine interest? :Thinking:
D2 - 13"x11" coil - audio only.
Post Reply