Treasure waiting to be found?
Following the recent find of ancient coins worth millions of pounds being found and mentioned in the media, a reader has written to the Neath Heritage website:
"I am just wondering if there is any permission available to metal detect on either Cimla Castle, or the Roman Earthworks in Tonna, I am a member of Swansea metal detecting club, NCMD I also have public liability insurance. The reason for asking is that there seems to be very little information available on either site. If it is possible any and all finds would be documented, photographed etc."
Perhaps someone knows the answer?
A reader responds:
"As an amateur archaeologist and local historian, I was unhappy with the above headline about possible 'treasure' at Cimla Castle and the Roman fort at Tonna. Talk about treasure and metal detecting is liable to lead to activity by 'nighthawks' who go digging illegally at such sites destroying our archaeological heritage. If the enquirer is a member of a reputable metal detecting club then he/she should know that you cannot detect on a scheduled site as is the case with the Roman fort at Tonna. The existence of Cimla Castle is I believe somewhat speculative but you have to have permission from the landowner at whatever place you detect. A similar recent enquiry was posted on the Neath Memories old and new Facebook group and I was appalled that people suggested going metal detecting at the likes of Neath Abbey, Neath Castle, etc., all of which are protected as scheduled sites of course. The prospect of finding a rich hoard of coins as has happened lately is probably as remote as winning the Lotto. Archaeologically important sites should be valued for the insights they provide into times past which can only be revealed by careful excavation and not indiscriminate grubbing out of holes in a search for 'treasure'.