Monday, 19 November 2012

Finking About 'Oards

According to the blurb for the upcoming coiney lecture by Roger Balnd:
The archaeological recovery of the hoard of 52,503 3rd century coins discovered by metal detector user Dave Crisp at Frome in Somerset in 2010 has prompted archaeologists to rethink the question of why some 600 hoards of coins were buried in Britain in the second half of the 3rd century AD.
< ironic_on>  Now of course British archaeology is well known for never, ever, having done any thinking about late third century coin deposits. Not in several hundred years of discovery of such deposits has anybody ever sat down and tried to think out "what does this mean"? The noomies say these are all "buried at the edges of battlefields and their owners were slain" but nobody takes them seriously, but the archaeologists just threw up their hands in despair at ever understanding "what happened in the past" and did not even try. Nothing whatsoever was known about Carausian hoards, nothing was ever written on them, a forgotten episode, a forgotten emperor, a topic steadfastly ignored. But, thank heavens along came Dave Crisp with his beep-box on a stick, waved it around a bit, found this 'ere 'oard. And NOW and only now can British archaeologists begin to think about late third century hoards. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Give that man a third of a million quid! < ironic_orf>

But Mr Crisp only told us where all this "knowledge" could be found; the knowledge that the TVC defined as being worth  £320,250 of public money. What we know about this hoard, and how we can use it to "know about" the other hoards is not due to Crisp beeping it, but Alan Graham's careful excavation and documentation of the hoard. So by rights, Mr Graham should also be getting from a grateful nation £320,250 for creating and documenting that knowledge (far more than just beeping and hoiking surely). Without Mr Graham, Roger Bland would have just a dot on a distribution map from Mr Crisp's beeping and waving to talk about. That he has more to say about this hoard is due to the way it was examined and recovered.

Do you reckon any reflective Romanist will risk being called a "troll" by the British Museum and make that point in the discussion?

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