Sunday, 6 January 2013

"More Staffordshire Hoard Treasure May Still be Buried Out There"

Get your metal detectors out folks and get a pat on the head from the arkies, "More Staffordshire Hoard treasure may still be buried" out there, as a January 5, 2013  Express and Star article says.
Artefacts found at the Staffordshire Hoard site could lead to further discoveries of Anglo Saxon treasure in the area, according to experts. A total of 91 new items were discovered at the site near Lichfield last November – 81 of which have been deemed treasure and part of the same world famous hoard by Coroner Andrew Haigh. During a treasure inquest, county archaeologist Stephen Dean and national adviser on medieval metal for the British Museum, Dr Kevin Leahy, gave evidence. Dr Leahy, who is also finder and part-owner of the hoard, said that some of the items that were not deemed to be part of the original hoard were still from the Anglo Saxon period, two of them being made from copper. He said: “The findings are beginning to suggest there was a sequence of events. “The copper alloy items are quality items, although they’re only made from base materials. “They can’t be associated with the same hoard, however, as they are different in nature and made from copper, not gold or silver. 
What? The Treasure Act used to include "Any object, whatever it is made of, that is found in the same place as, or had previously been together with, another object that is Treasure". Is that no longer the case Mr Leahy. In what way were these objects NOT found in the same place as the hoard? In what way has MR LEAHY become a "part owner" of the national Treasure? 
“These are very important findings, as they suggest there was more than one event on this site. Anglo Saxons clearly visited the site more than once to bury items.” 
So if the finding (only now, after the original investigations were said to have exhausted the site) are showing there was a "sequence of events", what is the actual evidence that Mr Herbert discovered just one hoard, or that all the items for which he got a treasure reward came from the hoard he discovered, and not a second or third one?

 Surely these are questions that should have been resolved by proper multi-directional archaeological fieldwork before, not several years after the Treasure Inquest? We all know why they were not of course, British archaeology is just not organized to respond to finds like this produced by current policy on artefact hunting and collecting. What then should be changed, British archaeology and the way it is funded and works, or archaeologically-damaging policies?
Archaeologist Mr Dean said the possibility of further Anglo Saxon activity was now to be investigated in greater detail. 
A bit late now one would have thought. British archaeology has clearly dropped the ball on this one big-time.

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