Monday 29 December 2014

Dorset Hoard "Done 100% Properly"

Holt, innit (Wikipedia)
The site of the two-day 'bigga-digga' Dorset hoard hoik was kept hidden in the two videos, note how the camera was always kept to the ground so you cannot even see which way the various parts of the trench were facing. There was a mention though that an earlier group of coins had been reported from the site, a 'year and a half earlier', when was that? We can probably assume that the hoiking of the base of the hoard took place in the week preceding the video being posted that would be the very end of November 2014. This would mean the initial discovery had been made May/June 2013. The only likely group of objects (number and date range) in the PAS database is DOR-D49090 (295 silver [sic] radiates to AD 286) from Holt in East Dorset north of Wimbourne Minster. The record was created on Tuesday 16th April 2013. The 295 coins match the range of those found later- with the exception that later coins of Allectus were found, but for whether they actually belonged to the original hoard see my comments on what the video shows. This appears to be a summary account of the geophysical examination of the site, note the difference between what Dr Chadwick reports and what we learn from the video. To what can we ascribe these discrepancies?

Nigel Swift drew my attention to another hoard found involving the same finder and the same FLO  ('and her partner') at the 2013 MDF forum dig (also apparently hoiked out in less than two days) Nov 9th to 10th 2013. Interestingly in this case, there's reference to this hoard being guarded overnight by him, UK Security Associates and archaeologists, assisted by various dogs. Who paid for the security firm? This however does not seem to be the same find. This commercial rally was held:
near Poole in Dorset and the South West. Its very close to the junction of the A35 and A350, about one mile west of there [...] lots of land to be searched and all of it is steeped in history from the iron Age through Roman, Saxon, Viking and medieval periods. Not too far away from some recorded roman hoards! All of the land is pasture and is strictly organic, so no nasty fertilizers to erode away any finds that appear from the past. [...] seven large pasture fields that surround an ancient church in a historic village. Lots of recorded history from all ages. [...] You are free to roam the fields all day until darkness descends. Sunday 10th November [...] a large expanse of new undetected organic pasture that is right down to the coastline, an area that has seen roman/saxon and viking invasions. Anything could turn up. [...] Pasture detecting has its followers who appreciate the quality of the finds that have not been chopped into fragments by the plough. [...] General rules – Rubbish bags to be carried, holes to be filled in, all good finds to be reported, 50/50 sharing with farmer if items of high value appear. FLO will be in attendance. [...]  I am expecting some overseas members, including a good bunch from Ireland!
Then on Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:47 pm we read:
The next run of posts will probably feature some rumblings of a roman hoard and I am happy to announce that is indeed true, found today, FLO and partner on the scene and everything has been done 100% properly. I am sure Gary (coinhunteruk) will post a few pics, I was honoured to be there with Gary and Mark when the possible 300/400 coins were retrieved, site is now secured properly and will be excavated tomorrow. Lots more reports to follow, we were all SO excited.
We all wonder what it means "doing it all properly" on 10th Nov 2013 when Gary CoinhunterUK was (presumably) there or at least kept in touch, yet a year later (end of Nov 2014) managed not to learn a thing and completely trashed the next one and was filmed doing it.

And what actually is the problem of giving a site a name? Why cannot coinhunterUK bring himself to say on the video "I'm driving my car actually, and am on my way to the findspot of the Holt Hoard which I found in April 2013"? What actually is the problem, why make a mystery of what these people are doing to the common archaeological heritage?  What are they hiding?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Who paid for the security firm?"

If this involved normal people the finder would, obviously, since they're getting a reward.

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