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Archaeology Versus Metal Detecting (Hardback)

The Cause and The Cure

P&S History > Archaeology P&S History > Reference World History

By Peter G. Spackman
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 32 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781036101787
Published: 30th August 2024


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This book offers a no-holds-barred insight into the often passionate, sometimes controversial, subject of tension and mistrust between the worlds of archaeology and metal detecting with the intent of shedding new light upon and bringing into the open some of the working practices, procedures and thoughts which have fuelled an ill-wind that flurries through levels of archaeological academia.

Beginning in the mists of history, the author explores the birth of archaeological investigation from a Kings search, the grave robbers, through the antiquarian collectors, museum artefact collections through to a profession which appears these days to rely upon the construction industry and its commercialism for survival. Integrating various sources of information to highlight analytical information as well cultural, social, and economic intervention to form an unbiased argument.

The later appearance of metal detecting as a hobby which fired discontent, distrust, and deliberate efforts to either govern or ban the hobby. This distrust is echoed by the author’s extensive research which uncovered a deep-set denial of the use, by archaeologists, of an innovative invention which has become an essential tool for artefact recovery, the metal detector. This hobby, also listed as a sport, boasts a practitioner membership of over thirty-five thousand in the UK alone, the history of which is covered in depth from the development of electro-magnetism, leading to an ever-increasing number of inventions, including machines for the detection of explosive devices which morphed into the metal detector as we know it today.

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About Peter G. Spackman

Peter G. Spackman, originally from the town of Hexham, Northumberland, developed a love of all things old from being surrounded by a wealth of historic heritage. He has a bachelor’s honours degree in History and Archaeology from the University of Leicester and is a Practitioner Chartered Institute for Archaeology. Spackman has forty years of knowledge of archaeology and artefacts covering all periods. This, coupled with extensive experience with over forty years of metal detecting, both for pleasure and as a professional, has always promoted the use of this innovative machine. Spackman’s latest two publications of An A-Z of 1001 Field-Names and Their Interpretation (2016) followed by a fictional book based on historical multi-period-based adventures with The Adventures of Jonathan, Tales of Life, Love and Morality (2019).

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