Monday, May 13, 2013

We have been back digging today after a weekend of rest and relaxation. Henry Webber and his team have been carrying out geophysics on site, using magnetometry and resistivity. They are looking for any archaeological potential in an area which has been previously unexcavated. In the Jenner Garden, they have been finding lots of black burnished ware pottery within the demolition layer. They have also found a large amount of slag. Digging also continues within the paddock, with the various features continuing to be uncovered. We have some exciting stuff happening tomorrow, with a visit from Norman Hammond, who is a Professor at Boston University and also writes for the Times. The social media team are also conducting the first tours for the public around the paddock trench. 

Unauthorised metal detecting

We have had issues in the past with unauthorised metal detectorists entering the Berkeley site at night time after we have left. These detectorists are called ‘nighthawks’ and they trespass on to land and any finds they discover are sold on to unscrupulous dealers rather than declared to the relevant authorities such as the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Nighthawks can gain information through joining legitimate metal detector clubs or through the Treasure Act of 1996, which stipulates that all finds must be published, which can alert nighthawks to potential sites. Being caught nighthawking can lead to anything from a fine to a prison sentence. Here at Berkeley we have also been targeted by nighthawks and have had to increase security on site. We are also very lucky to have the local police and the residents of Berkeley on the lookout for any suspicious activity on site. We work with professional Archaeo-Detectorists at Berkeley, who are constantly walking the trenches and checking the soil heaps for metal finds. 

Kev, one of our Archaeo-Detectorists

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