Wednesday, 22 June 2016

PAS partner-spin: Metal Detecting targets known productive areas, generally "redraws" little

Once again, looks like a grassland site with the archaeology just
below a shallow topsoil - the sort of site the Code of Responsible
Detecting says to keep right off - but who pays any attention to that
any more? (Photo Exeter University digging along with the tekkies) .
Slow news day down in the SW of England (Steven Morris, 'Discovery of Roman coins in Devon redraws map of empire' Guardian 22 June 2016), at Ipplepen:
The discovery of a few muddy coins in a Devon paddock by a pair of amateur metal detector enthusiasts has led to the redrawing of the boundary of the Roman empire in south-west Britain. Previously it had been thought that Ancient Rome’s influence did not stretch beyond Exeter [...]  Danielle Wootton, the Devon finds liaison officer, said [...]  it was clear that Wills and Hewings had happened upon something important.”
I suggest the FLO reads the Devon HER (online here) where a settlement and the road and previous coin finds are noted in records of the 1960s. Was it "research " of these existing records which led to the artefact hunters deciding to target the area to pull out another 150 coins for their own collection? Perhaps FLOs could state the case with accuracy and not engage in partner-coddling spin in future. Telling the public the truth about portable antiquity issues is - surely - what they are paid for.

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