Wednesday, 20 October 2010

More Coins Fresh from the English Archaeological Record on Sale in Wisconsin

I mentioned this guy (samhan_53024) and his selling of previously undocumented archaeological material here before (here and here), and it seems his eBay sales of coins "fresh from the ground" from England were not a one-off event. He had a whole lot up last week, the auction ended last night, and today he has a new lot. How long will this be going on? Is this one large shipment being split up, or a series of them? Whatever the case it would seem that none of these coins has been through the PAS system, and one wonders about the export licences. Has the Reverend Bulgerin been acquiring these dugup artefacts from somebody who has been avoiding the procedures laid down by British law concerning export of such material?

He says merely "I have been fortunate enough to make connections with someone in England who is a member of a metal detecting club. He is shipping me coins that are fresh from the ground in south-eastern England". One lot is: "made up of four bronze antoniniani; one of which is a nice Gallienus (253-260 AD) and two fourth century AE-3s. Several of the coins look to be decent, while others are more worn. They run in size from 16-22 mm. in diameter and should not be too hard to clean". There's another lot here, unfortunately the seller does not reveal where in "southeast England" they come from, or whether or not they are from the same site, or even one or more undeclared hoards. The coins look from the corrosion to have come from compact silty or clayey soil, one or two of the photos seem to show a pattern which could be textile (hence my point about a hoard find, could have been in a bag).

One lot is of note: 40 Holed and Broken Roman Bronzes - Includes Allectus (is he now coming to the end of the shipment and these are the little bits at the bottom of the container?). The holes include ancient and - oddly - modern drilled ones. The breaks most likely occurred in transport from Southeastern England to Grafton Wisconsin, or perhaps they are this famed "plough damage" that metal detectorists in the UK claim they are "rescuing artefacts" from by ripping out of the soil, failing to document properly where they are from and cramming them into boxes sent off for sale overseas? Is Rev. Bulgerin part of this "heroic rescue" operation too then? Or are both artefact hunter and artefact seller p[art of a huge process of unmitigated erosion of the archaeological record of the UK? That is the same UK you will remember where collectors of the very same ancient coins (like Rick Witschonke) will tell you that the laws "protect the archaeological heritage from looting" and encourage responsible artefact hunting. Not here they do not.

We remember that Rev Bulgerin announced that he was raising money to go to England to take part in the excavations at Vindolanda. Looking at his feedback it is interesting to note the following comment "ALOHA, YOU ENJOY YOUR TRIP NOW, BRING BAC GOODIES. UNDERCOVERANGELS KAUAI Jun-25-10". This was followed by a sale of "Three Nice Quality Roman Bronze Fibulae from the UK (#120583352951) Aug-09-10". Interestingly it was only on 20th September that he announced on the uncleaned coin list that his "friend" in England had sent "some more coins". Looking back at the feedback Rev Bulgerin has received for his sales there is a clear cut-off line where his offerings for the last couple of months are composed wholly of the type of stuff that has been coming in huge bulk out of illegal excavations in the Balkans and a more recent period where these are mixed in with lots of uncleaned coins from this English source. This begins with a sale that ended on the evening of Sep 26, 2010 - so was put up just before the notification that the coins had arrived. So how did the three fibulae for a UK site end up on eBay?

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.