Monday, 16 November 2015

British Landowners Contracting Treasure Hunting for Profit

"Sitting here with folded hands, waiting
for you to pay me Lootypounds"
A Wiltshire landowner is waiting for the lootypounds to come rolling in. Your money for your heritage. He signed a search and take agreement with a Treasure Hunter which contained the agreement to flog off the haul of historical artefacts and split the proceeds. This is what they are doing, the artefact hunter ("not in it fer the munny, 'cept when I am") and he took some of the haul along to Spink's in Bloomsbury London and it's going on the open market on December 2nd. Through that, a piece of metal that lay undamaged and uncoveted in the ground for over a thousand years is turned into money for those that took it for themselves.

This is where - according to the acquiescent 'Heritage Trust' (sic) - the artefact hunter sought a potentially lucrative search-and-take agreement, clearly aiming to target an area of potential archaeological importance:
East Grafton was part of the parish of Bedwyn until medieval times. There are a number of pagan Saxon cemeteries nearby and there was an early Saxon Royal manor at the Iron Age hill fort at Chisbury, just to the north of Great Bedwyn. Later in the Saxon period, the focus moved to Great Bedwyn where there was a Royal Manor and an important Minster church. Bedwyn was held by King Alfred and it also had a Saxon mint in the time of King Edward the Confessor soon after 1,000 AD. Bedwyn was very important and it was only with the building of its Norman castle that the focus moved to Marlborough. 
So an ideal place to go searching for those high-status sites with their luvverly and val'ble gold artefacts and other saleable and collectable stuff ripe for hoiking outt th' ground and into somebody's pockits.

Perhaps one thing that heritage activists could do faced with this sort of philistinism is to take a leaf out of the metal detectorists' and coin dealers' book and start a doxxing campaign in the public interest to obtain and then release the names and addresses of the landowners that contract such agreements with Treasure Hunters. This would allow concerned parties to write politely but firmly to make them aware of people's views on them contracting out the hoiking of England's buried heritage preserved on the lands which they have under their stewardship for future generations in order to turn them into a cash crop. Let the metal detectorists get a taste of their own medicine. 

Unfortunately, the findspot of this coin is unknown, the finders and landowner, together with their anti-transparency 'partners' the Portable Antiquities Scheme opposed to public debate, have made sure you do not find out where they live. Probably, they know what would happen if normal decent folk found out about what they've been up to with their 'Treasure Hunting for Cash' money-making scheme. They might be forced to 'donate' the coin, like people did in the old days. Progress? 

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.