Trendingcips.com – Nighthawkers are Robbing England of its Past. Illegal treasure hunters are increasingly raiding ancient sites in England and authorities have petitioned for the public’s help in stopping these deplorable “nighthawkers robbing the past.”
Conservation charity English Heritage have announced that incidents of illegal “nighthawking” doubled in 2019 compared to 2017 numbers, and furthermore, last December was the worst month for reported incidents in additional than four years; with criminals targeting some of Britain’s most historic sites including medieval castles, Roman forts, battlefields, and abbeys.
Spirited Away and Lost Forever
These increasing crime numbers are being caused by a surge within the number of ‘nighthawkers’ or ‘nighthawks’- folks that illegally, stealthily metal detect under the duvet of darkness.
English Heritage has now involved public support. consistent with a report within the Daily Mail, English Heritage Chief executive Kate Mavor urges anyone who witnesses any quite suspicious activity to call the police in an attempt to catch the criminals “robbing us of our past.”
Must read: Bunce Island and SLave Trade History
Among the higher known sites targeted by illegal detecting are the 11th century Battle of Hastings battlefield, Battle Abbey, Goodrich Castle, and Old Sarum; and while the charity is functioning with police, the chief petitioner for the public’s help because “once items are spirited away they will never get replaced,” and she or he added that each one evidence of these who went before us is “lost forever”.
Old Sarum in Wiltshire, the location of Salisbury’s original cathedral, and therefore the sites of the Battle of Hastings in East Sussex and Goodrich Castle in Herefordshire were among the ancient locations hardest hit by “nighthawks” and Mark Harrison, head of the crime strategy at Historic England, said Illegal metal detecting is “not a victimless crime” when artifacts are faraway from sites carelessly with no regard for their original context.’
Goodrich Castle in Herefordshire has been hit hard by illegal metal detecting. ( David Hughes /Adobe Stock)
Metal Detectors Don’t Nighthawk, Criminals Nighthawk
English Heritage manages quite 400 sites and most are unstaffed and liberal to enter, but visible of those new crime statistics the charity is now reviewing its security arrangements.
English Heritage say in 2019 there have been “12 recorded incidents of illegal metal detecting at its sites,” with four sites alone targeted last December and up to 75 illegal holes dug at each site.
While this example is clearly infinitely less socially problematic than the US gun problem, persist with me here – an equivalent argument employed by pro-gun lobbyists are often applied in England: “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” An Oxplore article asks “what about the killer behind the trigger? Could the matter be more to try to to with people than guns?”
Well, neither do metal detectors switch themselves on and go night hawking themselves, so it’s vital that these English Heritage reports don’t damage the reputation of what has become an exceptionally popular outdoor hobby since metal detection units hit a price point within the late 1970s making them available to the masses.
Metal detecting had been a well-liked hobby since the late 1970s. ( CC0)
On the Up Side
Not only is metal detecting a very social pastime and an excellent way of maintaining and increasing one’s fitness, but it’s also a crucial archaeological discipline that’s worth its weight in gold, then some! In April last year, I wrote an Ancient Origins news story about four amateur metal detectorists partaking during a four-day-long rally in Buckinghamshire, England, who unearthed a hoard of over “550 rare gold and silver coins” dating to over 600 years old. Including “12 extremely rare” Black Death era coins.
A Daily Mail report said the coins were estimated to be worth around “£150,000 British pounds ($195,000 US dollars).”
12 exceptionally rare coins were a part of the Hambleden Hoard find. (paul cee/ YouTube)
Then in August last year, another Ancient Origins news piece written by my colleague Ed Whelan discussed the good fortune of English metal detecting couple, Adam Staples and his partner Lisa Grace, from Derby, who together unearthed a hoard of silver coins from the famous Battle of Hastings worth within the region of between 3 and 5 million British pounds, or roughly 4 to six million US dollars.
But on the opposite side of the Coin…
While 99.9% of English detector enthusiasts are law-abiding citizens, there’s indeed a dark faction within their ranks and therefore the “nighthawkers” are among their numbers.
An October 2019 news story published within the Daily Telegraph told the story of a criminal case in Worcester Crown Court during which four men, including “George Powell, 38, and Layton Davies, 51” were accused of stealing a treasure worth up to $3.6 million dollars (£3 million British pounds).
Discovered during a field near Leominster, Herefordshire, the hoard included a solid gold ring and bracelet, a 9th-century silver ingot, a 5th-century ball pendant, and 300 coins with many dating to the time of Alfred the good.
The jurors were told that each one four men were conscious of the law which states “buried treasure must be declared,” but their greed had led them to show against the law and therefore the gang had sold the things in small batches to a variety of consumers on the black market.