Thursday, 18 April 2019

UK Artefact Seller: Turd-shaped and Pointy Stones Sold as Artefacts

Perhaps in order to protect their customers, eBay ought to insist on ancient artefacts (I use the term loosely) from the UK are - since there are such bodies - reported to the PAS or Treasure Unit of Scotland and are accompanied by a PAS database number and/or printed reports signed by an FLO, because this (sent me by a reader) is ridiculous.
The British artefact hunters selling 'artefacts' they have found have either a real nerve or are just completely ignorant of what they are writing about. 'Citizen archaeologists' indeed!

Obviously self-written 'identifications' by the artefact hunters of the UK are worth about as much as a wet paper bag. A seller known as 'alchemistwhitbyjet' (1320 location: Guisborough, United Kingdom)offers - alongside what he identifies as pieces of Whitby jet - a 'Collection Of Stone Age Tools/artefacts From North East UK, arrow and spear points scrapers mini axe and what looks to be maybe a Drawblade' (the latter is the turd-shaped one at the top) . At the moment the price is etc £9.99 and there is already one bid (!) These are just stones. All of them, the guy has no idea at all what he's looking at - so what value his identification of 'Whitby jet'? So a stone that is a bit pointy is seen by him as a 'tool', or a projectile point (small pointy stone  = arrowhead, big pointy stone = spearhead, simples), the not very pointy ones must be 'scrapers', one that's sort of rectangularish , obviously, must be an 'ancient axe' and if it has the shape of a dog turd, well it's obvious it must be a 'drawknife' [my bet is this self-proclaimed 'alchemist' has never used a drawknife or spokeshave in his/her life]. I am also going to guess that they've never seen a flint-knapper at work, or held a knapped stone tool in their hand - because if they had, they would not be mistaking these objects as tools made by human agency. So, by the same token, does he call all black and slightly shiny stones 'jet'?

The same seller also proffers: a Collection Of Stone Age Tools From Cleveland Hills Nr Guisborough... well, guess what? These ones have been shaped by water erosion (!) 'The hidden knowledge of the ancients' no doubt.

And when is the PAS going to step in and offer a bit of that public education they promised? What a ridiculous situation. 

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