Sunday 28 April 2013

How to Show Appreciation: Tekkie Style

"Well, thank you Mr. Barford for the ID. I appreciate that. Actually it was not found here in Texas, but in the UK, on the same field as the Staffordshire hoard, and at night".
The coin the tekkie was puzzling over was a beat-up a quarter ecu of Henri III of France (1574 – 1589) also one-time ruler of Poland and suitor of Queen Elizabeth I (not all at the same time). You can actually see on the photo he posted on his blog "+HEN_ _[C]VS III DG FRA []". So rather than being "passionately interested in history" and eager to research what he'd found, he just stuck it in a drawer for a couple of years before eventually asking others to do the legwork for him. When eventually somebody offers the information that would help this "enthusiast" make sense of what he'd found and taken home, he simply cannot resist the temptation to rub the archaeologist up the wrong way with a joke in poor taste about nighthawking of the Staffordshire Hoard findspot. No doubt his barely-comprehending-artefact-grubbing-and-hoarding fellows will be guffawing their empty-headed amusement at his lack of manners.

The detectorist later claims "I was not lazy in trying to indentify my coin. I had indeed researched it, but could not come up with matching photos" which says a lot about the way these folk go about "researching" the finds they come home with. Coins are easy because they have their identification actually written on them. This one had a creux fleurdelis and "+HEN_ _[C]VS III DG FRA []" staring you straight in the face once you've got your eye in in the gentle art of reading hammered coin inscriptions. These folk say they are engaged in "finding out about history" using the finds they remove from the ground. What "historian" would have difficulty following those clues through to the information needed? To what extent is there any actual truth in the claims made about artefact hunting and artefact hunters by the supporters of maintaining the current damaging status quo?

Vignette: Henri III

1 comment:

Paul Barford said...

I see the tekkie pulling half-recognized and half-forgotten fnds from his drawers is now writing on his blog that he sent a comment to this blog in reply to my remarks on his not-very-funny "nighthawking joke" and I "refused to accept it".

I'll put it on the record that no such comment reached me.

If the gentleman would like to send it again. I'll accept it and then explain since he obviously does not yet understand why his empty-headed detectorist joke about looting an important and controversial Dark Age site in west-central England is simply not funny.

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