Friday 14 March 2014

Discrepancies in Story of Hoard Find

A collection of 33 Iron Age gold staters was found in metal detecting in the Tamworth area by three metal detectorists from Tamworth in March 2013 – and officially recognised as treasure at Cannock Coroner's Court on March 11.
Gary Starkey, James Rowe and Mick Blaydes spent around two weeks excavating the hoard, which has been described as "one of the largest Iron Age coin hoards to be found in the West of the country". Gary, who has been a metal detectorist for about ten years said: "James found the first one and we thought it was just isolated but then we went back over there a couple of days later and found another one. "After that they just kept coming out. It was a very surreal experience." 
Fourteen days they have, by law, to report the find, but spent two weeks digging it out" instead of calling in somebody else to do it ("We kept going up there and going over until we thought we had got them all"). The exact location of where the hoard was discovered "will remain a secret" (probably because there is a possibility that a fresh ploughing to bring up more cash-giving coins from as-yet undisturbed parts of the deposit), the men have revealed that it was "unearthed somewhere between Tamworth and Harlaston". No doubt their FLO said they "did well" too. 
Speaking at the treasure trove inquest, Teresa Gilmore, the Finds Liaison Officer for Staffordshire and the West Midlands as part of Birmingham Museums Trust, said the find was "regionally quite significant".  "It's one of the largest Iron Age coin hoards to be found in the West of the country and triples the number of gold staters known in Staffordshire," said Miss Gilmore.
Once again, we learn of a discrepancy in the stories of the find. In the one newspaper, the first find was a single coin, and the second came up "a few days later" (at which point the gang could suspect they had a hoard - starting the 14-day clock ticking). In another newspaper interview, the date of the revelation that a Treasure was involved came earlier:
While Gary, of The Beck, Elford, and James had been keen metal detectorists for years, Mick was relatively new to the hobby when they made the find just over one year ago. Gary said: "I'll be honest, when James found the first one I almost fell over but then Mick found another and was shouting across to me 'I've found a gold coin, I've found a golf coin'. "He came running over to me, he was so excited!"
Ooops, eh?Were the precise details of the discovery in fact determined by South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh at Cannock Coroner's Court?

The three Tamworth metal detectorists, who are part of the Tamworth and Lichfield Search Society (photo: Tamworth Herald TATS20140312JOB 02-4804_C.).

Elise Chamberlain, 'EXCLUSIVE: ANOTHER gold treasure hoard is found near Tamworth', Tamworth Herald March 13, 2014.

Elise Chamberlain, 'EXCLUSIVE: Men with metal detectors discover new gold Staffordshire coin hoard near Tamworth', Tamworth Herald March 13, 2014.


Anonymous said...

According to "The Glasgow First" (of 4 definitions of nighthawking) not reporting after 14 days is "nighthawking".

IMO continuing to mine during those 14 days ought to be "The Glasgow Fifth".

(As should continuing to dig immediately because of an alleged concern it would be stolen by one's colleagues if one didn't (as in Kent).

Should it be put to them? Academics always welcome precision and consistency.

Paul Barford said...

Not those ones, I get the impression. They don't seem very interested in the low end of the market. Anyway, Suzie's off to Finland, where laws on artefact hunting are very different.

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