Sunday, 11 January 2015

"That field might have some unwanted visitors and potentially ruin the site for further investigation by experts"

A You Tube comment under the film by "feroxchaser" of the Lenborough Hoard Hoik:
Thanks for the great video, I was very nearly going to go to this rally as a guest but never made it. Your video could do with a bit of editing as it shows exactly where the find was made against the back drop of a house which is very easy to find on Google earth. That field might have some unwanted visitors and potentially ruin the site for further investigation by experts. When you have read this please delete it. Cheers.
and what is Paul Carney's interest in this? What entitles one group of the public (a small group of artefact hunters) to claim the privilege of knowing information about the archaeological heritage which they then keep from all the other stakeholders? Yet these same people will trawl archaeological publications and records for information how to target sites already known and information about which is in the public domain to find their "productive sites" (including the fields where this commercial rally was held). What gives them this entitlement? The responsibility of preventing theft of more heritage and knowledge in that field is by English law, that of the landowner, and nobody else.

Screengrab from coinshooters video of same event, looking the other way
The view over the cameraman's shoulder would have shown that this find was made 201m from the farm buildings and in plain view from their front windows. The field is a preserved village and field system and the visitors with metal detectors and pockets are the unwelcome ones from the point of view of protecting the archaeological record there. It is not just nighthawks who are going to "ruin" that site for future investigations, but the inexpert hoard hoik from deep within the stratification of this pasture site. Layers seem to be visible in the side of the hoik hole and their interpretation is now all the more impoverished now their relationship to the feature containing the Treasure has been obliterated by blind digging down from above.

Top: What we might have seen in section if, instead of
somebody jabbing around with a paint stripper
and scooping out handfuls of coins into a carrier bag,
a proper investigation had been mounted
With that key information now reduced to a pile of "wottalotta" loose coins in a Sainsbury's carrier bag ("worth a million" to the finder who'd hoiked them out) and a lot of the other diagnostic artefacts from across the whole site now in an unknown number of poorly-documented scattered personal collections beyond reach, the incentive to mount an expensive investigation (I am not going to dignify the hoard hoik by using the word "further" here) "by experts". Almost certainly the main conclusion of any such investigation would be that we have lost an imp[ortant piece of information about the site by the way the hoard was treated. I think we know that without an excavation.

In reply to Mr Carney, the site and everything on it quite obviously should now be scheduled, as the findspot of a nationally important Treasure, to make any further digging and alteration of the site illegal without a permit. 

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