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Publication Review
HISTORY OF THE NORTH DARENT VALLEY, KENT AS REVEALED BY METAL DETECTING FINDS
Geoffrey Burr
£5.00   A4, 55 pages, 44 illustrations, 22 plates, published 1999

The Local History Society has surpassed itself with this publication. The quality of research is matched by the quality of the illustrations; 22 full page photographic plates covering at least 600 found objects. The publication is also making history in more than one way, because it is the first major work on metal detecting in Kent. The science of metal detecting has come a long way in recent years and Geoff Burr practices his skill with meticulous care. For many it will be a revelation of the contribution being made to our knowledge of history, both national and local. Metal detectorists are now being used in archaeological survey work all over the country. In this publication his finds are arranged chronologically and they range from 130 million years ago (fossils found on the surface) to the present day. Each historical period has a brief introduction to set the general scene and this is followed by a detailed and painstakingly researched description of the finds, each of which is accompanied by a photograph. He conveys the pleasures of his hobby, the closeness to nature, the escape from the pressures of modern life and the enjoyment of the academic research that follows each find. To protect the landowners who give him permission to search he cannot disclose map references, but he gives the parish and the rough location, such as river valley or high ground.

Hilary Harding
Review reprinted from The Trident magazine but substantially shortened and amended.