A blog commenting on various aspects of the private collecting and trade in archaeological artefacts today and their effect on the archaeological record.
Sunday, 22 June 2014
Today on eBay
Today (Sunday evening) on eBay.uk, as I have just counted, there are 429 lots being sold by UK dealers of Roman coins, of these 71 lots are bulk listings of uncleaned coins, each over ten coins - which would bring the number of coins on sale today as over a thousand. Some listed as "Roman" are not, they are fakes or misdescribed coins (many of them from India - export of such items is currently prohibited by Indian law). Some are clearly bulk lots from the Balkans being passed off as local finds (export of these too is prohibited without export licences by all countries in the region - have the sellers got any?). There are a couple of suspicious looking gold coins which may be from my region of the world laundered as being British finds (at least one of them, if its not a modern fake looks to be a Barbarian imitation)... Not all of the coins on offer today will sell this week or month, but it's a fair bet that by the end of the year most of them (the real ones) will have gone to personal collections scattered across the world. I mention this because the (2011) study of Philippa Walton which I am reading today she proudly announces is based on an assemblage of 57,993 coins gathered over a decade, so probably about as many UK-metal-detected coins as pass through the hands of online UK dealers in less than a year - very few of which are recorded anywhere at all.
British archaeologist living and working in Warsaw, Poland. Since the early 1990s (or even longer) a primary interest has been research on artefact hunting and collecting and the market in portable antiquities in the international context and their effect on the archaeological record.
"coiney" - a term I use for private collector of dug up ancient coins, particularly a member of the Moneta-L forum or the ACCG
"heap-of-artefacts-on-a-table-collecting" the term rather speaks for itself, an accumulation of loose artefacts with no attempt to link each item with documented origins. Most often used to refer to metal detectorists (ice-cream tubs-full) and ancient coin collectors (Roman coins sold in aggregated bulk lots)
"tekkie" - metal detectorist/metal detecting (a form of artefact hunting)