Thursday, 21 May 2009

Cambridge Rider Findspot

Readers may recall that the DCMS press release referring to the Cambridge (read: Stow cum Quy) Rider said that the find was from a temple site. I have just received information from Sarah Poppy of Cambridgeshire Archaeology, who tells me that "we do not have records on the HER of a temple site in the vicinity of the find, so I am not sure where this association has come from. There have been other Roman finds from the same locality, also recorded by the PAS". There are also undated cropmark enclosures/field systems in the region of the findspot. What is interesting is that Sarah says that despite what the ARCHI database asserts, "no substantive evidence of a villa or temple has been recorded to our knowledge". Interestingly, the site of the figurine findspot was not known to us before its reporting to the PAS.

Sarah Poppy says that the PAS has recorded other items "from this site". The search engine on the PAS site however stubbornly and steadfastly refuses to recognise that there might be any data in the database for Stow cum Quy or "Stow" or "Quy" in Cambridgeshire (I did not try "cum") - so where are they? Ridiculous.

So what is going on here? Does the DCMS have information that the PAS and the Cambridgeshire HER have not received? Or is this some huge misunderstanding which has somehow invented a temple from thin air? The information from the HER was freely given. Why actually can we not have a simple answer to a simple question about the circumstances of this PAS-"recorded" object now on its way out of the country, where was this object found, and what was found with it under what circumstances? This seems a quite small request in return for 22000 quid somebody's getting for flogging it off abroad.
The PAS is keeping quiet isn't it?

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