The archaeologist and the treasure hunter


“Curious. Very curious.” The piece of metal is going from hand to hand. Just a piece of metal, to someone else it might seem as nothing special. But to an archaeologist, it might be the key to unravelling a mystery. This tiny piece of metal has scratches on it. Are they made by tools? Maybe nature is playing a trick on the archaeologist? Or were the scratches made by modern tools, the tools treasure hunters.

Treasure hunters often call themselves amateur archaeologists, but this is an insult to the actual amateurs that just want to help. Treasure hunters are not helping, they walk around with metal detectors looking for coins, and often weapons or other things they can sell. They do not care about what they destroy during this process. They do not care about the sherds that archaeologists so desperately want to recover, as they toss them away carelessly. They are, quite literally, a pain in the ass! But it gets worse when the treasure hunters are not even careful about their own stuff anymore. Digging for Samnite remains is the job that is done here. To find a 20 eurocent coin right next to sherds hidden under a layer of moss and earth, it seems just insulting! As if they are saying: ‘Ha! We were here first!’ It is rude, it is mean, it is evil! This shiny, very new coin seems to be laughing at me. So hopeful to see a shimmer of gold, to think you finally found a coin! But no… It is a nasty, mean euro! From 2013!

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