This is certainly a strange business: on the one hand, the thrill of discovery, the glory of gold, the flattery of the media and the purring of officialdom; on the other, the agonised frustrations of academics whose job it is to make sense of everything brought to light on this island. An editor is supposed to remain neutral, but in this case there is no contest. Antiquity champions research — so while we are happy to welcome the arrival of a mass of shiny things, we are bound to lament the loss of an opportunity to understand what they mean. Then there is the paradox of the English system: the treasure hunters are applauded and rewarded, but the archaeologists are seemingly obliged to lurk in the shadows, anxious not to spoil the party. Does it have to be like this?