Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Lenborough Hoard: Looting Matters

Although most other British archaeologists are maintaining an embarrassed silence (or jubilating like sensation-hungry halfwits what a lot of loose artefacts have been hoiked up to the surface for them to see), David Gill appears to see the recent Lenborough Hoard scandal in much the same terms as myself. On January 12, 2015, we find him writing about "Learning from the Lenborough Hoard
It is becoming clear that significant information has been lost by the rushed removal of the coin hoard from its archaeological deposit.
He offers some advice for PAS staff going to commercial events held on archaeological sites featured in the Historic Environment Record (assuming they ARE to take part in such an event at all - which I would say is ethically questionable). There were no comments from the PAS on this post.

Then there was yesterday's "Unearthing the Lenborough Hoard" (February 10, 2015):
The CA report tells is, 'Attending metal-detecting events in order to ensure finds are properly recorded and their precise locations logged is all in a day's work for a Finds Liaison Officer'. So does that mean that the precise relationship of the coins one to another was retained? After all, the BM has published the model way to excavate and remove a coin hoard. [...] The report informs us that the coins 'do not seem to have been arranged in any particular order'. I presume that this is an observation made from the carefully controlled removal of the coins.

There was a comment from the PAS on that one, that their own link had led Professor Gill to some "backup server" which does not have the full database on it. But nothing more archaeological.

This was followed up today with a post on 'The Lenborough Hoard and the future of PAS'  Looting matters Wednesday, February 11, 2015. Here Professor Gill drops the ironic tone and explicitly and quite pointedly refers to the removal of the coins using scare quotes for the word 'excavation' and prefixing it with the word 'alleged'. That this is a pretty fair assessment of what the video shows and over in the States the whole affair is interpreted by some as Caveman UK not actually having any professional archaeologists at all to do such a job properly.

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