Tuesday 4 June 2013

Wendover Hoard

This is John Winter's write-up of the Wendover Hoard posted yesterday as the second episode of the Hoard Hunters programme about it went out. The rather scrappy and badly-edited PAS record of the first finds is here. The coins found in the subsequent search are mentioned here. The coin of John found between the two and reportedly recorded on UKDFD seems not to be in the PAS database, neither does the UKDFD search engine seem able to find it. Bit of a dead loss then.
"Peter, who was swinging his trusty ancient C-Scope as usual, was triumphant! One would have thought that it was against all the odds, but he found another hammered coin, albeit with a cracked flan, but making the hoard total up to a round figure of 20. Rod Blunt of the United Kingdom Detector Finds Database (UKDFD) recorded it as a John short cross penny which is in keeping with the bulk of the hoard coins. The date is 1205-07".

It seems to me that this is typical of the problem we are facing, with more and more finds coming out of the ground at different times and at the hands of different people in differing circumstances, the issue of the merging of the disparate pieces of information recorded in different media at different times is a key one that still has no satisfactory resolution. We are just getting scattered information, there are lots of pictures and words about pennies of this or that Henry, Edward or John for those that want to look at pictures of stamped discs of metal with pictures and writing on them, but actually putting the records of ones found on the same site together is becoming increasingly problematic.

UPDATE  6th June 2013.
Over on a metal detecting forum near you there is something-that-passes-for-discussion-in-such-circles of this post. Gordon Heritage (aka "Iron Hearted Gog") clarifies: "Just explored his links so may have jumped to the wrong conclusion... think the "found between the two" reference is someone else's finds, not made by Gary and I. As far as I'm aware, none of these coins were recorded on UKDFD". This is typical of the milieu, each of them thinks that any criticism is directed to them personally, they do not see that in the link I gave there is clear mention of a "Peter", not a "Gordon" (or "Gary"). If he'd actually read what I said, and then checked the link properly, he'd see it concerns a twentieth coin, and I report that it says the coin was recorded in the UKDFD, I also report I could not use the crappy UKDFD search engine to find it, otherwise I'd have given a link to it. So basically, from the information accessible, what seems to have happened is the first nineteen coins were reported, the twentieth coin just disappeared somewhere without being first recorded.  That, Mr Heritage, is the point I was making - together with, below it, the point about the ability to collate all the disparate bits of information, which rather seems to be clinched by this inability to sort out just what twentieth coin we are talking about.

Vignette: It seems everybody's looking for hoards these days. 

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