Wednesday 11 May 2016

Hidden History/ Lost History: Gill Looks at Ghey

David Gill has picked up a copy of a recent British Museum publication (Wednesday, May 11, 2016 'Hoards: Hidden History' 2015) which I saw briefly a while ago. Professor Gill has had a closer look and notes that the author admits that "Archaeologists have come to realize [sic] that the key to understanding a hoard is usually held not in the group of objects itself but in its context, that is, the information held in the soil immediately around it and the evidence for human activity in the wider landscape' (p. 14)". He does not mention however that this simple statement is in any way developed into a meatier discussion of the archaeologically damaging effects of the lack of any measures to ensure that this context is properly treated. No surprise there though, what can we say except "Bloomsbury"? Gill notes that strategically there is "no mention of the Lenborough Hoard and its removal from its context" by a museum employee from above with a paint scraper and a Sainsbury's carrier bag.

Yes, the people who in the past buried the deposits which pass through the Treasure Process inadvertently produced "hidden history"; those who go out looking for it with Treasure-hunting tools however, through lack of preparation more often than not are leading to its destruction and loss. To what degree do the reading public of Britain learn this from this piece of Bloomsbury "outreach"? Why are the public who pay through the nose for this heritage erosion not kept better informed about what is happening and instead are fobbed off with increasing amounts of dumbdown by British "heritage professionals"?

Vignette: "Bags av idden istry ter be dug up".

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