Newcastle Conference rated highly by participants
The Portable Antiquities Conference at Newcastle was productive, well attended and conducted in a spirit of cooperation.
March 18, 2010
The two-day conference, “Portable Antiquities: Archaeology, Collecting, Metal Detecting”, organized by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS) was well attended and conducted in a spirit of friendly cooperation. Although withdrawal of the National Council for Metal Detecting (NCMD) prior to the event left questions in some minds, the conference included a considerable number of speakers and audience with metal detecting interests. The event was held at the University of Newcastle (UK) and the Great North Museum on March 13-14, 2010. Wayne G. Sayles, ACCG executive director, presented a PowerPoint summary of a 61-page paper, “Coin Collectors and Cultural Property Nationalism” prepared in response to the event: Newcastle Paper (PDF)
In their announcement for the event, the CBA said: “Papers will address recent research, new initiatives and ultimately discuss what the future holds for portable antiquity management and protection in the UK and further afield. Speakers include individuals from archaeological, collecting, metal detecting and law backgrounds.” See: http://www.britarch.ac.uk/cba/events/portants2010
The ACCG endorses much of the British system for handling finds of portable antiquities, especially the Treasure Act and the Portable Antiquities Scheme for England and Wales (Scotland and the Isle of Man having their own laws on the subject). The Guild maintains that a spirit of friendly cooperation between professional and amateur archaeologists, museums, numismatists, metal detectorists, independent scholars and the public in general is the best way forward and it views the increasingly draconian cultural property laws of some countries as being both unworkable and backward-thinking.