Friday 4 January 2019

Archaeological Values of the PAS Database VIII: Archaeological Finds Flogged off Abroad by British(?) Artefact Hunter [UPDATED]

Thomas Kamphuis has a blog 'Travelling North' about his collection of 'Viking Age' artefacts. One of the texts concerns a 'Goad element of a parade prick spur ? found in England from the Viking Age of possible Slavic origin'.
In the beginning.. There was - and still is an utmost intriguing object from copper-alloy, about 60 mm long, 40 mm high and 20 mm wide.. rare, as it is from three-dimensional nature. Depicting a helmeted man with a horn on a horse-like animal, riding it. Having been found in 2005 or 2006 in England in the East Midlands, Leicestershire in Charnwood - the PAS record [LEIC-EEF651 by Wendy Scott] isn't conclusive on this, it immediately was a remarkable, important find, which nevertheless was 'returned to the finder' - to my luck, because of why it got on the market. The record addressed being it the goad of a prick spur, stylistically to the Viking Age and perhaps the 11th century.
I'd like to know how it was verified that the object was found where the finder - and later seller - said it was. So, what's this about artefact hunters doing it for the love of history and not for the money they can make by selling their finds? 

But this is interesting:
Wendy Scott     31 gru 2018Więcej In responce to 'travelling norths' article I'd just like to point out that I tried to acquire this 'important artefact' for our museum service. But as it was illegally detected I was unable to do so and he has now, in effect, purchased 'stolen goods'.
In what way was it "illegally detected"? So the FLO handled stolen goods also to make that record. Why is that fact not mentioned in the database records, since the PAS record serves to 'legitimate' objects like this when they come onto the market? More to the point, how many other database records are the result of PAS archaeologists handling illegally obtained material and that not being mentioned in the database records?

UPDATE 10th Jan 2019

Since I wrote this, I have asked - perfectly politely - the FLO for some detail why she says the object was 'detected illegally'. Wendy Scott has ignored the question twice. I wonder whether she would ignore it if it had been asked by a 'metal detectorist'.

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