My current project on the siting of Bronze Age sacrificial sites aims to rediscover some of the the period’s landscape rules. In other words, I’m building an heuristic model which might allow archaeologists to search actively for such sites instead of waiting for farmers and drainage workers to find them by chance. I was encouraged to read the following in David Yates’ and Richard Bradley’s paper “The siting of metalwork hoards in the Bronze Age of south-east England” (Antiquaries Journal 90, 2010).
“For some time it has been obvious that metal detectorists have been extraordinarily fortunate in locating previously unrecorded hoards. The same people have found them on a number of different occasions. Discussions with the finders have made it clear that this did not happen by chance. Long before prehistorians had realized that the siting of hoards might follow topographic ‘rules’, metal detectorists had reached the same conclusion. Their ability to make new finds is the clearest indication of the usefulness of taking a fresh approach to this material.” (p. 30)
It’s a good paper. Drop me a line.