Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Durham Hoard Hoikers Criticised by a Lone Detectorist

Over on the lowbrow detectorists blogs up north, there are now copycat posts being made congratulating the ‘Dunelme Hoard’ Hoikers and extolling, in an object-centred way, the virtues of rough hoard hoiking. Within minutes of me pointing out the report of what had happened, the thread about the ‘Dunelme hoard’ was deleted from the metal detecting forum where it had appeared, but the bloggers just cannot resist trying to stir it up. First was Bainsey, now his parrot-mate Jenner:
How they can call it the destruction of our heritage is beyond me, this find has added to our heritage. If these detectorists never found this hoard it would still be buried in the ground oblivious (sic) to all.
But then something absolutely unusual happened. A detectorist who does know the difference between right and wrong appeared out of nowhere. Just so people cannot say I only post bad things about artefact hoikers and collectors, here's what "Jordan" said (23 September 2014 07:01):
I didnt get the chance to see the find on the metal detecting forum, so I cant really comment too much. Whilst I do agree its a great find and well done to the finders for that. I cant imagine too many archaeologists being over the moon with the "excavation". The pot containing the coins may well have been removed complete, but any other information regarding why, how and when its was buried is sadly lost. I think deep down inside you know this was not excavated with any degree of profesionalism, which is why you were not too surprised when the article was taken off the forum, this probably suggest that the people running the forum knew this as well. I'm no fan of certain archaeological bloggers, but if we do keep giving him the amunition then what can we expect? As for the farmer deep ploughing and destroying the evidence. The fact is he didnt and the evidnce was there to be recorded etc. As it stands It may as well have been deep ploughed now. There really would be little point in archaeologists trying to gain information from what was left as the area excavated around the pot was way way too small, judging by the photo there is back fill in an around the spade already so any context is now lost. I am aware as someone who has never found a hoard its easy for me to sit here and say "oh they should have done this, or not done that." The guide lines are there for a reason mate, and as much as it kills me to say it they were not followed on this occasion. Dont mean to moan Janner, but this really was a great find that the finder managed to turn into a disaster
Thank you Jordan, and thank you PAS for getting ONE artefact hunter to understand what you should and should not do with a spade.  And what do we think of the censorship of the forums that treats its members as children, and does not give them the possibility to look and make up their own minds and discuss the issue of the responsible detecting they all want (they say) to embrace? 

UPDATE  23.09.14
OK, this makes TWO metal detectorists out of around sixteen thousand:
(Detectorbloke23 September 2014 12:27) I agree with Jordan. It's not about the fact it was found, its just that any clues as to how it got into the ground etc has been lost due to the rush in getting it out the ground. Personally the history of an object is far more than the physical object itself. Was the pot just buried in the ground or was it buried as part of an offering along with I dunno some animal bones or something non metal in a new way that no one has ever seen before. By just whipping the pot out we will never know and it becomes just another pot of coins. Interesting yes, but it could have been so much more
Oddly enough the loudmouth Janner seems to have nothing to say for himself in reply.  As for "just another pot of coins", I've raised this question earlier (PACHI Wednesday, 27 July 2011, 'When Should we STOP? Another Tekkie Finds More Old Coins in a Pot - Whoopee').

One is reminded of the adage, 'Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt'. Detectorist Janner decided anyway to add his deep and considered answer:
 But at the end of the day these people have not broke (sic) any laws, all they did was break a code of ethics, which is all down to personal choice. They chose on that day to dig it right out, they were experienced enough to know the importance of this find by the way they carefully extracted it. I bet too that they were checking the soil around the pot. Just look at that photo, all nice and neatly done.
PAS, where are you when needed? Busy counting their database it seems, 'stuff the outreach'.

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