Saturday, 12 December 2015

Oxfordshire, the Bottomless money Pit

Ms Byard said the main reason for the rise
is an increase in honest metal detectorists declaring
their finds to her, out-competing the “night hawkers”

Anni Byard pictured with a few examples of
the treasure dug up around the county (Oxford Mail)
An FLO has been taking to an environment reporter (Pete Hughes 'Treasure trove: Treasured finds that just keep on coming from detectorists' Oxford Mail ):
The woman in charge of Oxfordshire’s treasure has said there is no reason why the county’s reputation for being brimming with finds should change anytime soon. As Oxfordshire’s finds liaison officer, Anni Byard’s job is to keep a record of all the treasure dug up in the county and try to buy it for the county’s public museums.  [...] “Oxfordshire has been a treasure trove over the years and there is no sign that this trend is going to dry up anytime soon.” 
Nice to know, isn't it that there are people out there who are confident that the archaeological resource is infinite and this kind of depletion is sustainable. That is after all, the model on which the PAS was created. Nice job, to "be in charge of Oxfordshire's Treasure" and having the resources to "buy it for the county's museums". Is that what she told the reporter her job entails? British archaeological outreach at its best?

I do not know about you, but I am a bit puzzled by an FLO being involved with Treasure, this is extra-legal ad spreading PAS resources to areas outside its remit. The PAS was set up because of the resistance of detectorists (the NCMD especially) to mandatory finds reporting (as in the Valetta Convention), so mandatory reporting was restricted to Treasure (and a system set up to deal with it) and then as sop to Valetta, the PAS was created to deal with NON-Treasure finds. If the tekkies had not kicked up a fuss, all finds would be being reported (all finds, not the paltry selection we see today) through a Scheme which - because of the nature of the legislation behind it - would have to have an adequate financial and manpower resource behind it, and ring-fenced. A permanent PAS as an integral part of the heritage management system rather than the ad hoc tack-on we have had all this time.

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