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Anyone ever heard of mudlarking? I know crafthaus member Dauvit Alexander has done it but what about the rest of you? Well, it seems to be an incredibly interesting activity judging from LONDON MUDLARK, a facebook group I recently joined. Hovering somewhere between treasure hunt and wilderness excursion with a heavy dose of mud (hence the name,) the activity seems to be fun and educational in equal measures.
London Mudlark lists their guidelines prominently and I appreciate their emphasis on responsibility. Here's an excerpt:
"MUDLARKING RULES AND RESTRICTIONS
Please read this if you are thinking of going mudlarking.
I think it is important to promote responsible mudlarking and safety. Mudlarking is a great way to while away an afternoon, but it is not without its dangers, restrictions and moral responsibilities. If you are intending to take a trip down to the river please read this, look after our heritage and take care!
Apart from some common sense (tell someone where you're going, wear sensible clothing, watch out for deep mud, keep an eye on your escape routes, wash your hands afterwards and carry your mobile phone with you), the PLA (Port of London Authority) have a few rules and regulations you must follow.
It goes with saying that any objects you find which could be of archaeological interest must be reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officer at the Museum of London. I personally don’t believe in trading history for financial gain and happily a good number of other mudlarks do it for the lost hours, their love of history and the thrill of the find, I hope you’ll be one of those mudlarks too!
Image: Steve Brooker of http://www.thamesandfield.com/
Also, take a look at the Thames and Field Club which offers some great insights into the activity as well.
Enjoy reading and let me know about your own mudlarking expeditions.