Thursday 27 December 2012

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: "Find Treasure in Britain and You Are Ripped Off"

Ian Smith is not the only UK Treasure hunter who thinks the UK Gubn'mint are "thieving buggers". Another of his ilk has a video on display of "Treasure from around Europe" which are mainly scans of photos from a Bulgarian album of "Thracian Treasures" which merely serve as a vehicle for him to show off (at 1.40) his own find, the Poulton Hoard of Bronze Age scrap gold. We see him in another of his videos ("Work with archies, and they stab you in the back" which I have discussed here before) complaining he was hard-done-by, and what he thinks of Britain's archaeologists ("this is the treatment you can expect if you are fortunate enough to uncover a hoard of gold in the UK, libelous accusation and secret email's behind your back, alleging wrong doing"). 

The insertion by "Poulton Hoard" (one of the finder's several pseudonyms) of pictures of the Poulton Hoard  was intended to have the desired effect of attracting the attention and admiration of  the mentally vacant and easily-impressed crowd. It got the desired reaction a month ago from one "Ringo853":
wow! what the heck is that collection of objects? How old and how much did they pay you?
 That was the key question of course. "Not-in-it-fer-the-munny" is the answer PAS-partners are supposed to give, but Poulton Hoard Guy ( does not like the PAS. Apparently, he hates them in fact. His answer is more revealing than the usual glib PAS-patter: 
It's now called the Poulton Hoard, although the rings looked far better when they were on my hand. It dates to 1200-1400 B.C and can now be seen in the Corinium Museum, Cirencester. I had it valued at £50,000, but got paid £17,000 under Britain's rip off Treasure Act.
This hoard consists mostly of a pile of scrap bits, cut bar stock, hardly very displayable for a private collector. It would be interesting to learn who gave such a valuation. My thought is one could pick them up much cheaper had they been put on ebay as individual bits. Would Mr Taylor and the landowner have raised 17000 quid from the sale on eBay? Bidding from private collectors for relatively featureless cut up gold bar stock it seems to me would not be particularly brisk.

The finder seems less sure of that, he has a few more words about his "reward" and the Treasure Valuation Committee:
[...] their (sic) panel of in- house experts. Who have cocked up on many valuations. They will totally ignore what your independent experts have to say, on the matter. The only fair way is to put the item in auction, then you know you have the best price on the day.
Anyway, he seems to have those who side with him:
kebacor Hi there i feel bad for you.Thats one of the problems these day you do the right thing and then get slandered for it dont give up on getting whats yours Best of luck
MrBluejelly It's nice to see someone standing up against them, as most archaeologists think they are above the law. I would never trust them as far as I could throw them.

But then there is one voice opposing the reward-hungry finder (spelling and punctuation as in original!): 

TAKE A GOOD LOOK at this, for these are precisely the sort of people the PAS wants to grab more and more millions of public quid to make into the "partners"  of the British Museum, archaeological heritage professionals and to whom they want us all to entrust the exploitation of the archaeological record. Take a good look and decide what you think about that as a "policy".

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