Thursday, 5 May 2011

UK Metal Detectorist Claims Local Romans were 'Birthers'

We hear so much about the connoisseurship of collectors of dugup bric-a-brac and how their study of the items they collect enlarges our knowledge of the past. Wonderful, until you start looking at the facts behind this glib assertion. Most metal detectorists for example can't write coherent sentences in English, which rather suggests they might have limited abilities to use books. But who needs that awkward book-learning anyway?

So here we have an example from Suffolk. It is a rather crude (tripod?) stand mount and was dug up on a commercial artefact hunting event apparently near Framlingham, Suffolk, but the finder refuses to tell the PAS exactly where ("I sent pictures of it to Judith Plouviez without telling her exactly where it came from but letting her know that it came from her "patch". that seemed to make her piss boil somewhat"). Responsible artefact hunting that is not.

The finder's description indicates that he has concluded that "the Romans" when in Britain were "birthers", that in the first and second century AD in the province of Britannia, you had to provide a long birth certificate to the authorities before being able to make sharp pointy things. I wonder what the document would say, "born in the Roman Empire"?

But apparently our home-grown historian has determined:
"History shows that in the 1st-2nd century the native British metal workers were banned by the Romans from making weapons including knives and so turned to the manufacture of other items".
'ence the tripod stand in native style no doubt. Ah, this is which "history"? Sallust? Livy? Pliny? History read on the back of a cornflake box?

1 comment:

Damien Huffer said...

Shouldn't that be spelled "book larnin'"? Oh, I'm sorry...that's just the American variant.

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