Wednesday, 4 November 2015

"Learning About the Past" Through Artefact Collecting

We are told that this is a significant observation ("the best so far") by a metal detectorist:  
"What I have learned living and detecting in the area of the Dobunni is that certain types of these coins tend to be found more in particular areas; I have seen that Bodvoc and Corio seem to be found more central and quite widespread, Anted central and further south, Eisu central and further north, Catti to the west. In fact, I have seen hundreds of Dobunni coins found and not one inscribed coin of Catti was found east of the river Severn, although I believe that they have been found in this area. These coin find spots are only through my personal experience, so are just observations, and I am not sure whether they conflict with any detailed analysis and present knowledge on the subject.
The learning process is not very deep if the student has not begun with what is known already. Determining the state of current research is the necessary first step in taking any branch of knowledge further. Not all coins labelled "Dobunnic" have inscriptions to help the "kings and battles" wannabe- historian,

Bridging the gap between the collectors' artefact-centric and antiquitist "archaeography" and an archaeological understanding of the past self-evidently requires far more evidence than an atavistic dot-distribution map based on anecdotal information about one selected artefact type. Studying the shape and sizes of the patches on a giraffe's neck is not ecology.

Studying blobs

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