Over on another post there is a string of comments to some remarks I made about an Anglo-Saxon coin found in Hampshire. The finder Steve Rourke, aka "Kyarra" is very concerned that I write that a find was taken to the UK Detector Finds Database, a privately-run showcase of the highlights of detectorists' collections, for "identification" rather than recording.
The Portable Antiquities Scheme was set up for the identification and recording of portable antiquites found in the fields of England and Wales and the question arises why this finder took the "rare" coin to the UKDFD and not the PAS. Well, in fact if you search the private "database", it can be seen that this finder, Steve Rourke, is displaying 24 of his recent finds there. If you look through the "recorded elsewhere" field apart from the coin he took to the Fitzwilliam yesterday, and a gold ring and a silver ring which have been reported to the Coroner as British law requires, the UKDFD record shows that he has not gone beyond the bare minimum required by law and none of the other finds made by Mr Rourke and shown there have been recorded anywhere else.
Now most of what he shows consists of old-timey/byegone type stuff (data on which is not gathered as a rule by the PAS), but there are a number of medieval coins, a buckle and some mounts that certainly should be in the PAS record for Dorset, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire. It is interesting too to note how this finder has in his collection material from a wide range of geographical locations, showing how finds from sites are being scattered in a multitude of ephemeral personal collections with no record of their subsequent fate being kept.
Records like this raise a huge number of questions about current British policies on artefact hunting and collecting and the "management" of the archaeological resource.