Friday, 12 August 2016

"Save" the Wold Newton Hoard from Getting into the Hands of Coin Collectors

There is a funny little video here, featuring a naff display, an anonymous ('not really-reading-this') commentator who just assumes we all know it was found by an artefact hunter, then there's the manicured FLO who cannot answer queries about an identification she made and the professional numismatist with the jiggly hands. Anyway put a bitcoin in their virtual collection box if you feel inspired to help keep the archaeological heritage out of collectors' hands.

I would like to draw attention to three things here:
1) "as he dug a hole nearly one metre deep... " so really a little bit below the ploughsoil I would hazard a guess - as he should have done too. At that depth he needs to shift to proper archaeological excavation mode, but no - just a narrow hoik hole from above.  At least no carrier bags were involved, just a pile of straw. But then the Code says that archaeologists should be involved and they were not. Neither is there any information about any follow-up field research.
2) Rebecca Griffiths says the FLO reports finds to the Coroner as an "interested" person. This is of course the legal obligation of the finder.
3) Trite narrativisation of the objects - why it is "important".

Now can anyone explain why the break in the pot has a different shape in the museum display from the state in the ground? Where is the missing bit of pot?

The money to be raised (44000 quid) divided by the number of coins (1857) suggests that the TVC valued these "Roman grots" [which most farmers allow detector users to pocket without a second thought] at something like 23 quid each on average.  This shows why search and take agreements should be phrased more carefully and include proviso for the landowner to be fully informed about the true market value of everything removed, both individually and in total.

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