Friday, 2 February 2018

Seeded Ground (Updated)


Paul Adams with his treasure hunting kit
 CREDIT: ANDY SAMPSON/BNPS
This is a cautionary tale in more ways than one (Patrick Sawer, Detectorists stumble on treasure trove of Roman gold, or so they think Telegraph 30th January 2018)
When metal detectorist Paul Adams stumbled (sic) on a hoard of gold coins he believed his luck was finally in. In all the weeks he had spent carefully scanning fields with his metal detector he had never before found such a treasure. With a little jig of delight and a cry of “Roman gold! Roman gold!” Mr Adams called over his detecting partner Andy Sampson to feast his eyes on the trove, worth what they estimated might be as much as £250,000.  Pretty soon they started planning how to spend the proceeds of their discovery. But in what turned out to be a case of life imitating art imitating life, the 54 gold coins were nothing more than props left behind by a film crew making the BBC comedy series Detectorists [...] During filming of a scene from the first episode of the last series, the replica coins were shown first being buried in a clay Roman pot before being brought to the surface by a tractor ploughing a field 2,000 years later.
The interesting point is that these two metal detectorists were not as expert in identifying finds as the milieu is often made out to be, and they did not recognize the assemblage of objects for what it was and did not realize the suspicious context of deposition. This is the problem, had these items been genuine coins seeding the area (for example of a paid rally) or a modern loss metal detectorists like these would not have been able to question the evidence in the ground and more false information would get into the public domain

By the way, the site they were searching was a known site, where a Roman coin had been found and Roman sherds were in the ploughsoil.
The pair, by their own admission “too excited to think straight”, went home and planned to inform the landowner and relevant authorities the next day.
Oh yes? So they'd not bothered to inform anyone while they were hoiking 50 coins out one by one, and then walked off with a haul of what they thought were very valuable gold coins without the landowner's explicit permission? There is certainly something wrong there.

Update 3.02.2018

For more on the latter scandalous behaviour, see Heritage Action: 'Let’s put Sainsbury’s in charge of metal detecting!' 03/02/2018 (but sadly not the PAS 'pretend-to-promote-best-practice' website):
Instead of taking them straight to the farmer they took them HOME and say they planned to tell him about them next day! £250,000 that wasn’t theirs, and they took it home without a word! What do Sainsbury’s call people who take goods home and say they’ll bring them back next day? And what if there had been just one of them and he’d fallen off his perch that evening? Lucky Mrs Oik, eh? Bear in mind, on a smaller scale, up and down the country every week thousands of detectorists admit to taking things home without showing the landowner. And The Establishment says not a word. What a shame Sainsbury’s isn’t in charge. Both farmers and the country would be far better off. As things stand they are being betrayed by silence.
PAS, why are you silent? Scared or something?

1 comment:

heritageaction said...

"There is certainly something wrong there."

Not for the first time you show yourself to be overly kind about the behaviour of detectorists Paul.

Let's not be coy, any reasonable person would take the finds to the farmer that same day as they would know they were his or the State's, not theirs.

20 years of sucking up has inured the authorities to this behaviour - hence their echoing silence about this and thousands of identical happenings.

 
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