Friday 27 January 2017

Dishonest Metal Detectorist's Other finds?

Cockle, a weed
A reader has passed on to me the two following references to finds made with a metal detector by a David Cockle, who has the same name as the man from West Norfolk who pleaded guilty to stealing and then selling coins from a Treasure find:. The first is from a numismatic publication:
British Numismatic Journal, Martin Allen, John Naylor and Philippa Walton, 'Coin Register 2012', BNJ 82 (2012), 246–77. Page 17
101. William I (1066–87), Profile/Cross and Trefoils type, BMC vii, North 847, Thetford, Esbern Obv. +PILLELM REX Rev. +ESBRNN ON 5TFR Weight: 1.05 g. Die axis 270º. Hunstanton, Norfolk. M/d find, 11 July 2011. Found by David Cockle. A new type for a moneyer previously recorded in William I types ii–v. (EMC 2011.0159) M.A
Is this the same guy? If so, since Mr Cockle was less than honest about where he got the coins from in the Ipswich court case, then how can one be sure about the stated provenance of this record? How can one be sure about ANY find shown by a metal detectorist, if not accompanied by a document from the landowner that he has seen the item Mr X is taking from his land and assigns ownership to him? How many archaeologists or dealers ask to see such a document (even though this was one of the recommendations of the Oxford Archaeology Nighthawking Report)?

And then there is this one: Bird pin declared treasure trove
A SILVER-gilt bird pin thought to be around 500-years-old has been declared treasure at a Lynn inquest. The small dress fitting, most likely a cap pin, was found by metal dectector enthusiast David Cockle in Stoke Ferry on October 1 last year, the inquest heard. [...] The inquest, held at Lynn County Court on Wednesday, heard the item was similar to one found in Bosworth, in Leicestershire, in around 2005.
And just what proof does anyone have that this one was found where the metal detectorist says it did? What value do unverified data have in a database?
hat tip to Sam Hardy

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