It isn’t a well-known fact – yet. But if Paul [Coleman] had found the hoard today it would have cost a little more to rescue! Why? From 5th October a 5p charge was introduced for plastic bags from English supermarkets! Methinks it’s time for Ros [Tyrrell FLO] to go ‘green’ and invest in re-usable bags! Can’t wait to see what [Paul Barford] will make of that vital piece of information.Over here in more civilised Europe, we've been paying for and recycling supermarket bags for years. What I make of this lowbrow remark is that "best practice" and "responsible detecting" are slogans the artefact hunters and exploitive takers of Britain all mouth when it secures access to the archaeological heritage from which to fill their pockets. They are however totally abstract concepts to detectorists like Mr Winter's readership. If Paul Coleman and his mates had not been artefact hunting on an known pasture suite with preserved earthworks, not only would that site be a good deal better preserved than it is now after they've been digging holes all over it, but there would be no need for any costs to be incurred for mitigating their intrusion into its stratigraphy by any kind of emergency archaeological investigation and documentation. The fact though that an otherwise unthreatened site was deliberately disturbed means that resources should have been available to deal with any situation that should arise. If no resources were available (from the landowner, club, museum, whatever) then a known site should not have been targeted in this exploitive way by the group, unprepared for this eventuality. That is what is known as responsible detecting and best practice.
The finder's first report (2nd Jan 2015) was that when he first saw the hoard he saw "row upon row of coins stacked neatly". Despite this, the hoard was apparently not dissected with groups of coins bagged individually or in groups to represent their position in the deposit which would be the standard method of dealing with such a discovery. Instead the whole lot was scooped out loose and dumped en masse into large polybags which were then loaded into a Sainsbury's bag.
|Tipped out loose.|
This is no way to treat archaeological evidence, as was pointed out by RESCUE and others at the time. The archaeologist responsible for the decision to remove them from the ground despite a total lack of resources to deal with such a task properly has refused to comment. The only internal comments revealed by an FOI request from the "outreach" organization for which she still works was "you done well" ('PACHI PAS FOI: the PAS Forum, Lenborough and Fantasy Trolling by Nameless Varsovians' PACHI Thursday, 26 February 2015).
So metal detectorists have decided to answer the critique of the organization's dealing with the issue their own immature way, by dragging it down once again to the personal level and trying to make the whole thing a puerile joke.