A blog commenting on various aspects of the private collecting and trade in archaeological artefacts today and their effect on the archaeological record.
Saturday, 27 December 2014
Bovine muscular Outreach to Night Detectorists
“That’s not in any of the field guides.”
Archaeologist from Historic Scotland
Where there is a will, there is a way. When metal detectorist Derek McLennan, 47 found a hoard of more than 100 objects including a sealed bronze pot, gold, silver ingots, decorative brooches and Viking arm rings, and archaeologists decided not to hoik it out in a matter of hours like some, they were faced with the usual dilemma. Once digging at the site had already started, people could come in the night with metal detectors and night-vision equipment and steal the lot for their own collections. In this case, as "an insider at Historic Scotland said" “Usually we’d contact the police to give them notice of where the site is and others do the same [...] The best way to deal with it is to keep the site a secret for as long as possible". Or a security firm could be hired to do the job. In this case (and metal detectorists and FLOs who suggest guarding a site is never an option should note) help was at hand in the form of a massive half a tonne bull which staff at Historic Scotland persuaded a local farmer to place in the same field where the haul of Viking treasure was discovered (Bob Malcolm, 'Bull plays security guard for archaeological hoard', The Scotsman, 26 December
2014). "Historic Scotland, the Scottish Government and the Treasure Trove Unit were all contacted and all declined to comment".
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)