Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The 'Bardney Area' Siliqua Hoard

Detecting at the end of the
 rainbow (photo Crldnll's
father in law) 
On a metal detecting forum near you, detectorist 'crldnll' from Lincolnshire wrote last year about finding a siliqua hoard: 'Hoard! Update 12/10/18 - A few more!' (thread started Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:08 am) 
Morning all, An absolutely cracking week for me and the father in law - we've been lucky to find some beautiful items over the last 5 years but we've blown them out of the water with the most recent... absolute once in a lifetime!  [...]  Out of the mud popped a beautifully crisp Silver Roman Siliqua - every part of it was as clear as the day it was minted. We spent a few minutes thinking wow and then both simultaneously looked at each other and said 'there could be more'... [...] and we both hopped back over to the find spot and began searching in all directions. Then it began... he found 4 in quick succession, followed by another 4 by me... it was constant, all in a very small area, every few steps, every signal we came across was the same crisp sound (80's on the deus) most of which were only 2-3 inches deep, and each find brought the same 'Can this be happening' stare across to each other. It got to the stage where we knew what we were going to find prior to digging ... the strangest but most fantastic feeling - we couldn't believe what was happening - it really didn't feel real.
Yet, somehow they did not decide to call in help.
All in all, we found 24 between us on the first day - we'd started quite late (3pm), so had to drag ourselves off before the sun went down - so hard to do this, as we knew there could be so many more. Got home, and surprisingly the wife and mother in law were interested for once... had a lovely look at them all and then made the plan to go back first thing in the morning. Got in touch with the local flo - and being the brilliant chap he is... he replied at 10pm on the Sunday evening agreeing to meet us there the next day. Monday morning, we headed back to the site, this time armed with some red and white tape, garden canes and a full pack of McVities ginger nuts... We headed straight to the find spot and marked all 4 corners of the outermost coins - we ended up with an area around 25m x 30m and then set out to go back through this area to collect any more. Almost immediately, it started again, silver after silver, every dig we made gave the sale result - yet more Silver Roman Siliqua - and strangely, absolutely nothing else... gone were the cartridges and tiny slithers of lead. Afternoon came and the Flo arrived - by this time we had 35 in total - he was over the moon, loved the coins, identified most of them and discussed the find spot at length - gave us the advice we needed and advised it is very likely there could be a pot bursting at the rim just a few inches down. He told us to keep going and update him as and when things come up. The day ended, we were absolutely shattered and gasping for a cuppa! 
He seems to have misinterpreted in a somewhat whimsical manner something the FLO (is this Adam Daubney?) had said on site to produce some ahistorical folksy narrativisation of their own:
[...] these coins are either deposited by the Romans prior to the collapse of the Empire or by the Saxons - and the way of telling which was down to whether the coins were heavily clipped. If not clipped, it is most likely by the Romans, if clipped, then most likely by the Saxons who would've clipped to sceat size and used as currency.
Except the sceattas of England, Frisia and Jutland are dated to the 680s onwards (to replace the thrymsas 630s+) - leaving a more-or-less 270 year gap between the one and the other... This is how much detectorists like this are 'learning about 'istry' from digging up lots of artefacts they do not really understand the background of. The finder and his live-in Dad add:
Advice please.... We are planning to hire/purchase a 'hoard hunting machine' or surveying equipment in hope of giving some insight as to whether or not something else lies below. Another option is we scrape back the surface (from flos advice) so fingers crossed the landowner is up for it. Either way, I cannot wait... It has been absolutely fantastic to have gone through this... it really is the stuff of dreams! 
Further down the thread we see this:
Re: Hoard!Post by cammann » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:13 pm Amazing finds and responsible recovery. You're a credit to the hobby.
No mention is made of any documentation made of the distribution of the signals. Let's see their documentation, how credit-worthy that is. One scatter or more? [It is not in the thread, but apparently they used a GPS to plot the coins]

Some of the coins (imageshack)

The thread peters out Mon Oct 16, 2017 but then is taken up again almost exactly a year later (no mention of the Treasure process in the interim):  Re: Hoard! Update 13/10 - New pics of all! Post by crldnll » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:19 pm
 Managed to convince my father in law to pop out on the hoard field today before the rain came and boy was he glad! Also probably be the last time as the crops on it's way up. [...] Bang smack in the middle of the hoard site, my father in laws first signal [...] and a crazy 10-12 inches down, out popped a Roman Siliqua - an absolute stunner too! [...]  he found another 2 [...]  I was amazed at the depth we were getting as none of the other setups picked anything up - we'd have walked straight over them. Admittedly we have obviously been doing this area more thoroughly over the last 2 years given previous finds - but just goes to show what the machine can do and if you're ears are listening out for the right sounds. There has to be a pot somewhere - having a meeting with the landowner when he gets back of holiday to discuss options - Excited! So I think we're now at 70 of these...
By now, there's no mention of the FLO being involved. Anyhow, he's got his 'mates', the 'guys', who have lots of advice how to get the lot out without any interferemnce. Allectus from Essex suggests (Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:10 pm):
Has the farmer got a machine with a ditching bucket to take the top 6" or so off? If not and the farmers ok with it, the hire per day on the small machines is not that terrible [emoticon] Stay lucky [emoticon]
The reply? (crldnll Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:51 pm)
Thats the plan - Luckily got a few builder friends - one has all sorts of machines and has already given the thumbs up to use... meeting landowner this coming week so fingers crossed!  
But then a 'Fred" (father-in-law?) adds:
Re: Hoard! Update 12/10/18 - A few more!Post by fred » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:24 pm: [...] Yeah. Our hoard is relatively small so we are doing it by hand - very, very slowly! [emotican] So far nothing deeper down except a single silver ingot so it might just be a small ploughed out one though.
And so the hoard findspot trashing enthusiasm goes on until two posts currently at the end of the thread:
Re: Hoard! Update 12/10/18 - A few more!Post by f8met (Cambs and Suffolk) Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:57 pm:  You could always speak to your FLO and see if they have any suggestions as if there is a deep hoard they may want to help dig it. Dave Deus, 9" and 11" black coil 2018 49 Hammered 
Re: Hoard! Update 12/10/18 - A few more!Post by jcmaloney Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:44 am:
 Just a note before anyone "goes in with a ditching bucket" it would be prudent to contact your FLO and get advice.
If you go in "gung ho" with a digger and bucket you can easily remove any context even if the initial finds are scattered.
Such "bad practice " is currently making far too many headlines for the hobby.
 Proceed with thought and caution.
Making headlines for the hobby sounds more like an endorsement for heritage bloggers like myself and Heritage Action, as the PAS tend to keep very quiet about the whole thing when things go wrong... It gets in the way of the patronising head patting and comradely back-slapping.  I would point critics of our acvtivities to statements like that on the detecting forum, tekkies are very aware of the critical eyes cast upon them and sensitive about somebody in their number giving the game away, thus we find tekkies themselves spreading awareness. Jobsworth tekkie-headpatting archies will forgive me for pointing out that the PAS was set up twenty expensive years ago precisely to be making 'best practice' headlines from day one. Only now are the tekkies being made aware of this issue? And is it only because of the bad press heritage bloggers give what they do wrong? Perhaps we need more, not less, heritage blogging.

This seems to be the hoard Record ID: LIN-CDD02A.  Discovery dates: Sunday 1st October 2017 - Saturday 21st October 2017 Treasure case number: 2017T909. No pot. More to the point, no ingot. No context of deposition reported. What does this all mean?


Unknown said...

I think you need to go back and read the thread properly,

Paul Barford said...

Mr or Ms 'Anonymous unknown nobody', I think you need to read my post properly. I have taken the finder's own primary account, going back a year, and reported what was up on that thread, before the list owner started taking selected posts down today as a response to me reporting what was said there. I think that act needs to be 'read' properly in terms of what passes for 'responsible artefact hunting' in the UK.

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