Tuesday, 8 March 2016

More on Finds Salting: There is No Hiding From...

Somebody calling themself "Detecting Anonymous" has put a You Tube video up purporting to show some objects filmed during 'finding' in one part of the country had been sold on eBay by two different sellers in different parts of the UK (but apparently both bought by the same buyer). First we see a 1949 silver watch fob and chain which was sold complete on 4th January 2016 and is shown being found in two pieces. The fob apparently has similar blemishes on the silver in the video as in the eBay shot - and is shown coming out of the ground muddied but untarnished. Reportedly, this appeared in a video called: "January Treasure Round Up Of Finds" posted February 3rd 2016 (note: THIS VIDEO HAS NOW BEEN REMOVED BY THE UPLOADER) and the video shows also a coin which is similar to one sold on eBay. Take a look, see what you think (rather slow watching, this film was made for metal detectorists who don't seem to grasp things too quickly). Is this a spoof or mistake as some detectorists (comments below the video) are claiming?
Posted on You Tube by "detecting anonymous"
Mind you, the videos to which they link also run excruciatingly slowly. Really boring.

Note that the buyer of the object has 1300 'points', whether as a buyer or seller is not clear. How many of those items are now of uncertain origins? The archaeological ramifications of this kind of doubts are pretty severe.

Detecting anonymous claim there is no hiding from them... whether or not this is true, I think this raises an important question. Given that there is obviously a potential for salted finds to be presented to get PAS-legitimation, what is the PAS doing to weed out misdescribed finds from their "database"? Just how thorough is their vetting process? Do they receive documentation from the landowner that the finds have been shown to them and they have authorised their removal? 

Indeed, what is the logic here? Why would a person pay money for an object, bury it and pretend to "find" it again, if that would mean he has to split the value of the item he adds to his collection with the landowner of the 'permission' he says he found it on? It seems unbelievable that anyone sane and normal would do such a thing. Yet that is exactly what Detecting Anonymous are accusing other metal detectorists of doing. Where is the sense in that?

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