Monday 29 June 2009

Coins from Water Newton Commercial "metal detecting" Rally on ebay

EBay seller mickymoor of Durham is selling nine coins which he describes as a "small hoard of 9 Roman bronze coins" -

This auction is for Small Hoard of 9 Roman Bronze Coins found at the Water Newton Metal-Detecting Rally 2 years ago and just returned/disclaimed from the British Museum, buy with confidence, just look at my Feedback
The seller is careful to note in answer to a question from a "John", that "water newton is in cambridgeshire, they were found 2 fields away from the roman town and declared".

That would be somewhere in the centre of this Google Earth frame then which covers the area which was denuded of metal finds in the 2007 commercial artefact hunting rally. The scheduled site of the Roman town of Durobrivae is marked with the placemark. The (reported) site of the famous Water Newton Hoard is just off the centre of the upper edge of the frame:

They were declared to the British Museum under the Treasure Act, but the mere holding of a commercial artefact hunting here was in itself controversial, as was the involvement of British archaeologists in the process. Anyhow, it is interesting to note that this particular participants' attendance was not to "learn about the history" of the region as the pro-collecting propaganda of the time would have it (it is 259 km from Durham to Water Newton), but apparently to find stuff to flog off. The seller's other items are here.

They include:

3 Pieces of Viking Hack Silver/ 1 Piece Tin/ 1 Piece Bronze.
this is from my old collection and was bought many years ago at london coin sales. sorry no province.[sic] This Has Been Rcorded With The Local FLO And Disclaimed.

Which I guess is not surprising for a group of items bought in "London coin sales" and about which there is no information whatsoever concerning its origin. There are seeral other pieces on offer "from my old collection".

There are seventeen hours to go, and some of the items on sale have attracted a number of bids. Let us take note of the derisory prices some people are offering to get their hands on little bits of "dugup" history. The archaeological record is being dug up piecemeal and sold off for a song.



Paul Barford said...

I take a personal interest in the Water Newton rally as apparently I was reported to the police for questioning one of my colleagues' involvement in this commercial rally.

Laughable, two emails quoting the Code of Practice of the IFA and asking how Mr Connolly (based in Midlothian if you please) would equate what he was planning to do with it...

He never answered of course. The pro-collecting lobby seldom does attempt to address serious questions. Going to the police though is a novel tactic to avoid engaging the preservationists in discussion I will admit. I've not met that one before. "Funnily enough", the Lothian police seem not to have treated this very seriously as I never heard from them...

Connolly was apparently reported to the IFA by colleagues concerned about damage to the Cambridgeshire site as a result of his involvement in the rally.

Paul Barford said...

Let's just cache that in case he deletes it.

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