Friday, 26 September 2014

What Kind of Report has the PAS written for AC Archaeology ?

The Seaton Coin Hoard record created between 8th and 9th September has now been unhidden (PAS-D7EA4C). It was excavated by AC Archaeology, but the report on the finds seems to have been done for them by the British Museum.
The presence of a possible container was suggested by a number of ferrous fragments around the main coin deposit and by fragmentary remains of possible organic fabric preserved below the coins at the base of the pit. The irregular and lozenge shaped form of the coin deposit suggests a flexible container, perhaps a fabric or soft leather bag. [...] The exact total is uncertain due to two fused blocks estimated from their weight (2491 g and 880 g) to contain more than 1,000 coins. Added up to the 21,271 coins sorted by date and mint, the total number of coins is between 22,000 and 23,000. The millionth object recorded on the PAS Database is a coin belonging to the hoard. This is coin no. 1,061 in the sequence, as it happens a nummus struck in AD 332 at the mint of Lyon (Gaul). It shows the personification of Constantinopolis on the obverse and a Victory on prow on the reverse. This very common type was struck by Constantine the Great across the Empire to celebrate the inauguration of the new city of Constantinople which was to become the capital of the Eastern Empire.
and the obverse and reverse of the official PAS photo of the "millionth find" don't match.

"Three large, heavy pieces" of bloomery iron were associated with the coins, but are not properly documented in the PAS record. After all, there were lots and lots of luvverly coins, eh? Who gives a tinkers about recording iron manufacturing waste from a site when there's TREASURE to be found, eh?  Likewise there is no record here of the "number of ferrous fragments around the main coin deposit" thought to be associated with the container, and the "fragmentary remains of possible organic fabric preserved below the coins at the base of the pit". Just the collectable items, the coins. What kind of archaeological report is that?  Why are only some of the associated objects reported by the finders selectively included in this record? One hopes AC Archaeology insists that the job is done properly. There is a lot of superfluous narrativisation in the PAS 'report' which also needs editing for missing words.

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