Monday 29 March 2010

UK Detectorist Forum Publishes Information Useful to Researchers

. One of the moderators from the UKDN detecting Forum (one "Puffin") decided it would be a good idea for the benefit of any metal detectorist within reach of the M6 who fancies a bit of nocturnal artefact hunting to post a Google Earth image of the "Staffordshire hoard" findspot near Brownhills nine km to the east of Cannock. "Puffin" says the site is "known to locals". Well, its known to more than that. It was pretty easy to put together the information legitimately available online (the farmer's name and therefore address, the photos of where the police set up a roadblock to stop people visiting the site and the background of the film that was put out on the internet of the digging - though the video makers tried to camoflage it). The location of the site was known in Warsaw a few days after the news broke. The image of "Google Earth" that accompanied that text was not - for obvious reasons - the actual site. So, are the police still guarding the crossroads? The site is an obvious place to search for artefacts, a low spur overlying the place where the old straight road from Lichfield a major nearby Early Medieval centre crosses a boggy stream valley. Probably an early estate centre lies just below the hoard find site. Anyway, why should it be just the metal detectorists who have access to this information? Here is the link for those with a desire to find out more about the place where this important piece of evidence about the landscape history of this part of the midlands was found, to do their own exploration of history - preferably without a metal detector and spade please. As the findspot of nationally important archaeological evidence I hold that Treasure findspots should automatically be scheduled with a suitable buffer zone around them to curb treasure-seeking around these findspots. . Vignette: Puffin without his metal detector (RSPB)


thomas hall said...

Paul, my dear fellow, still hiding behind the 'working in Poland' facade? Anyhow, I know my postings are most unwelcome and an affront to your archaeological sensibilities, but modern-day archeological thinking, in contrast to the oppressive head-in-the-sand viewpoint proffered by you and your steadily diminishing band of brothers, is slowly coming to realize that we, us, can, if not able to use all the terms, measurements and university learned techniques, can, nonetheless, advance historical knowledge immeasurably, I look forwards to your edited, twisted and

biased version of my sincere posting

thomas hall said...

Mt dear fellow, from all I witness here you are destined to, as all deniers are from early Christians to later Trump advocates, reap the rewards of your ignorance. to put it bluntly, you will, as archeological minds advance, be left, like a gasping fish wondering what strange forces have pulled you from the river of ignorance and left you floundering on the banks of enlightenment.

thomas hall said...

I will hound you my ignorant friend until you shrug off the cold coil of ignorance and embrace the warm coat of reality.

thomas hall said...

As far as finds, 'Real-Public Interest' finds are concerned, let me offer you this challenge, I, and members of my metal-detecting fraternity will, at our own expense, organize a display of our finds, and you and your archaeological comrades can, side by side with ours display yours. The ten thousand pounds prize for the most viewer interest, determined by an independent observer will be presented at the conclusion of the event. If you can be so brave as to put your money where your Gobellesian mouth is, then please, let me contact my friends in the local media and set a date.

Paul Barford said...

OK, so first things first. Myself and my "archaeological comrades" (sic) are 'based in Poland' yes. Where metal detecting without a state-issued and project-specific permit is illegal.

I would need to sort out with the State Archaeological Museum how many cases you would need. They could go in the annexe to a future temporary exhibition of archaeological findings.

Please supply a full list of the objects you intend to bring, together with a certified expertise of the insurance value of the individual items so this can be taken care of before the items enter the country.

Please also demonstrate that if the material is leaving the UK for the EU that you will obtain the required temporary export licences.

To avoid handling illegally-obtained items, we will also require a signed affidavit from the landowner where items were found that title to each artefact has been properly assigned (we don't want a repeat of the Crimean Gold situation).

Also we will need the full text of the labels and display panels to translate them into Polish at least eight months in advance and help the exhibition designers work out what goes where.

Since the visiting public will be Polish viewers as well as tourists, the panel of independent observers must contain an equal number of Polish specialists as the ones imported by yourselves.

Yeah, let's do it. I am confident that real archaeology properly-presented trumps a case of loose artefacts, no matter how shiny. Are you up to the task?

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