|Hoard Hoiker in 'Sacking Britain' tee-shirt |
in action (photo by "Tomo")
"Tomo" did not find it himself but says that he "had the pleasure of digging out this complete Roman urn for one of our lucky members" and the archaeologists and members of the British public whose heritage it is. Instead of following the Treasure Act Code of Practice - which is quite explicit (though the comic book edition for the literacy-challenged has yet to come out) and allowing the find to be excavated by archaeologists to determine the context of deposition, once again, the artefact hunters took it into their own hands to "have a go". After all they've all "seen Time Team" and "know how its done". They dug a raggedy narrow hole and:
It took over an hour to gently dig around it and then slowly pick the soil away from the urn until we got to the bottom and gently lifted it out. It was a hell of a weight to lift so presume it was full. The pot was roughly 3 foot down to the bottom of the pot and had Roman bronze's spilling out of the top. The lucky member found it on disked with the etrac and said the signal sounded like it was a coke can.Let's get this right, it took just one hour to (a) excavate the feature containing the pot [untouched archaeological deposits below plough level], (b) record it, (c) clean the pot for photography in situ, (d) take the photo and (e) lift it? One hour only? No doubt if phoned, the FLO would, like their Kentish counterpart as reported by the Medway grave trashers inexplicably tell the hoikers "you done right", and give them a pat on the head and deal with telling the coroner for them. Member "norfolk and chance" (Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:38 pm) congratulates the hoiking with apostrophe abuse and an apparent reference to masturbation:
Fantastic thing and almost intact... I bet the archi's will be short stroking over that oneI think it is about time some archaeologists instead of drooling over more goodies to publish (where's the money coming from?) told these thoughtless self-absorbed ruffians that the destruction of context here is absolutely nothing to be congratulated. There was an isolated outcry over the A20 Medway grave trashing a few months ago, and here we see just how much the detecting community brought away from that discussion (where the most they could do was turn abusive). All they were willing to listen to was the anti-outreach message "you done right to hoik it out" from the PAS.
Here there was no FLO was present on site and thus it is questionable whether we will ever get a full picture of the detailed distribution of other Roman finds across that search area, allowing us to put the deposit in context. No doubt the PAS will adding the total number of coins in the pot to their database total to boost their 'wotta-lotta-finds-we-got' figures and make their outreach "look like" a success, without making even the slightest public comment about what is missing here and where once again their so-called "outreach" has been a serial failure.
Total and utter scandal, and what is doubly scandalous is this is wholly typical of hundreds and hundreds of hoard discoveries made and hurriedly and excitedly hoiked out by their finders digging down into undisturbed archaeological deposits, and the PAS presents this solely in terms of the success they are having getting people to report "over a million finds". Well the loose coins hoiked here will add a few more to their stash.
From an archaeological point of view, the wider public interest, is this the right thing to happen or is it the wrong thing to happen? British archaeologists sitting there looking on in embarrassed silence not sure what to say and whether they are allowed to speak out, shame on you, shame on the lot of you.
Silent CBA, IfA, Rescue, Society of Museum Archaeologists, Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers, All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group, English Heritage, British Museum/PAS shame on you, shame on the lot of you for failing to get over to the public what archaeology is about.
The find should be known until we get more details as the ‘Dunelme hoard’