Saturday, 1 November 2014

Hoiking Matters

On the back of a retrospective look at correspondence on the stolen Icklingham bronzes currently in a US collection, David Gill ('Does Britain "condone systematic looting"?') asks:
the present proprietor of the Icklingham bronzes has yet to return these objects to Suffolk. She has returned material to Greece and to Italy, so why not the UK? Second, does the "private excavation of antiquities" continue in the UK? (I am not sure about the word "excavation" here.) This is exactly the point that I made in the Papers of the Institute of Archaeology in 2010 ... eleven years after Brodie's letter. And have there been any changes in the last four years? Is it time that we heard more about the protection of unrecorded archaeological sites in the UK and less about the recording of portable stuff that has been hoiked out of the ground?
Nice to see the requisite terminology being adopted. There is a contrast between evidence excavated or retrieved and what artefact collectors do with their spades, pinpointers and digging tools.

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