Thursday, 27 December 2012

Chester Farm, near Irchester: Mystery remains

A few days ago, in the thirteenth baktun, I raised the question about what the two guys (labelled by the press "metal detecting enthusiasts") arrested in Northamptonshire and sentenced to  Prison Sentences and ASBOs were actually up to. I have in mind this post, and this one too. The question remains unposed anywhere else, let alone actually being answered.


Loyd said...

Hi Paul, yes a very unusual case but I think we can find some clues in Between Villa and Town (Lawrence and Smith, 2009 Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd).The acknowledgements on page xxii mentions a Roy Cox (the name by which Peter Cox is better known locally) who acted as a full time volunteers digger who also 'provided help in the recovery of metal artefacts across the site' which I assume must mean metal detecting. This means that this individual is somewhat unusual (archaeologically skilled?) compared to the usual type of night hawking detectorist. Cox and West were arrested in the summer of 2011 which corresponds with a limited EH evaluation excavations on the Chester Farm site. So perhaps Cox and West added to the EH trenches or used the cover of the EH funded excavations to add their own? Cox certainly continued amateur excavations at the Higham Ferrers site after the Oxford study was complete.

Paul Barford said...

That is interesting, the employment of metal detectorists on archaeological sites is often used by the PAS and their supporters as an example of "bringing them into the fold", whereas if your interpretation is correct this would be a case of "good tekkie gone bad" after being shown precisely where to look...

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