Monday, 5 June 2017

UK Artefact Hunting: "Not in it Fer the munny' ("The everyday people who found their fortune in a field")

David Booth at 2009 Treasure report launch

On the watch of the PAS the Sunday Mirror is promoting metal detecting as a get rich quick hobby (Charlotte Ward, 'The everyday people who found their fortune in a field - from 18 carat gold crosses to Viking artifacts worth millions' Sunday Mirror, 3rd June 2017).
When Derek McLennan’s metal detector began bleeping in the middle of a field, little did he know it would set him up for life. His find – including silver bracelets, brooches, a gold ring, a Christian cross and a bird-shaped pin – was quickly revealed to be the richest collection of rare Viking artefacts ever found in the UK. Now, three years after uncovering the 10th century hoard in Dumfries and Galloway, 47-year-old Derek is set to receive a cool £1.98 million. [...] As he gets ready to enjoy his windfall, we investigate the other treasure-seeking detectorists who landed themselves a fortune with one small bleep… 
And there is not a single comment underneath by:
- a British archaeologist pointing out what the Treasure Act is for,
- from a single PAS staff member pointing out to the Mirror-reading public what the Treasure Act is for,
- a single 'responsible metal detectorist' objecting to the tone and repeating the mantra 'we ain't in it fer the munny'.
The archaeology luvverly treasure:

Roman coins and jewellery in Hoxne, Suffolk - worth £1.75 million  Eric Lawes

Harrogate  Viking treasure in Harrogate - worth £1,000,000 Father and son David and Andrew Whelan

Chalice in County Tipperary - worth £50,000 Michael Webb and his son uncovered this gold chalice in 1980 while searching the site of a Christian abbey in County Tipperary - hid it for 3 weeks.

Torcs in a field near Stirling - worth £462,000 David Booth  on his very first metal detecting outing 

Pure gold cross in a field in Nottinghamshire - worth £25,000 - anonymous amateur detectorist

Iron Age jewellery in Staffordshire Moorlands -Joe Kania and Mark Hambleton - the artefacts are set for valuation.
('Their sale to a museum could soon leave Joe, 60, and Mark, 59 – and the owner of the land – rolling in it' that means all of us pay out to get the common heritage from these two artefact hunters with a treasure hunting tool).

52,000 3rd century coins in Frome - worth £320,000 "Dave Crisp was rolling in it"

Bronze Age cup in Kent - worth £520,000 Cliff Bradshaw

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