Periodically this here blog addresses the issue of potsherds. We've addressed several reasons why today's avocational archaeologist should leave them where they are.
We in the GCAS realize that in past decades it was considered acceptable to gather potsherds by the hatful and bucketful. Many people made a hobby out of collecting as many potsherds as they could carry. Unfortunately the novelty soon wore off so these collections tended to languish, forgotten, in a box somewhere. In our group's experience the collector's heirs eventually come across the sherds when clearing out their deceased family member's belongings. At that point, some sherd collections are no doubt thrown away in a landfill. Or dumped under a convenient tree. Or, sometimes, the heirs find the GCAS and donate them to us.
Other cultures approach ceramic sherds differently. Consider the Japanese traditional art of Kintsugi, where broken pottery is repaired with a filler of lacquer infused with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. [Photo via The Book of Life.]
If you ever hear news that the GCAS is holding a fundraising drive to purchase precious metals in powdered form, you will know we're up to something...