Thursday, 4 September 2014

Another Waived Treasure Reward

William's and Griffin's opposite the Castle was built with only minimal archaeological supervision, right on top of the complex outside the Temple of Claudius. Some minor work next to the store revealed Boudiccan remains and an excavation on what's left of the site is now underway. The newspapers are full of news about a hoard of jewellery found on the site, apparently hidden from Boudicca's raiders (sort of like a first century AD British ISIL) who apparently got the owner, but not the hoard (  'Colchester: Roman find of ‘national importance’ discovered under Williams and Griffin store ' Ipswich Star,  Wednesday, September 3, 2014).
The treasure was discovered as part of excavations by the Colchester Archaeological Trust beneath Williams  and Griffin in the High Street during £30million expansion works [...]  The find will be transferred to a secure laboratory, where a conservator will clean and stabilise the items and deal with the fine traces of delicate organic remains that survive, such as leather and wood.”
Not like the hoards hoiked by metal detectorists. Like them though, since they fall into the legal definition of 'Treasure', the find has been reported to the coroner who will rule on its legal status.
Hugo Fenwick, trading director at the Fenwick Group which owns Williams and Griffin, said: “We were pleased to fund this excavation at our store as part of its redevelopment programme.  [...]  Fenwick Limited said it wishes to waive its right to any reward it might be entitled to under the Treasure Act and wants to offer the treasure to a local or national museum at no public expense.
Which raises an interesting question. The PAS are very keen to tell us all how many people (finders and landowners) have waived their Treasure reward, they rarely break this overall statistic in any way. How many of the people waiving the reward are property owners on which archaeological excavations are being carried out where there is already a prior agreement about the disposal of finds and records? Archaeologists taking part in such work are in no way legally entitled to any kind of Treasure reward of course, so will not figure in those PAS statistics (one trusts).

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