Thursday, 13 November 2014

Looting Matters and the Implications of the Beau Street Hoard

David Gill has a brief post on the Beau Street Hoard and the BM booklet that's been produced about it. The hoard contains 17577 coins and the PAS record (GLO-40A9B6). The question remains why this hoard recovered in a developer-funded excavation is in the PAS database set up to record non-Treasure finds made by members of the public and has been catalogued by the PAS.

Gill says that the British Museum colour booklet by Eleanor Ghey (2014) "is a good reminder of the amount of information that can be gleaned from a properly excavated, conserved and studied Roman coin hoard", which makes it a contrast with the vast majority of the other objects recorded by the PAS, recovered by Treasure hunters. Maybe if the PAS is now recording any finds at all, irrespective of where they come from, including finds from excavations, in order to make best use of scant resources, all the PAS funding should now be diverted to recording only that material that comes from properly excavated contexts, properly conserved and studied. The logical conclusion of incorporating the Beau Street hoard in the PAS database is to take it one step further and wisely invest scant  public funds and cut out the loose decontextualised, hoiked and damaged metal detected crap and make a database only of real information of portable antiquities retrieved with proper contextual information.  Why not?

Silence from Bloomsbury, just the sound of pigeons cooing.

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