Wednesday 28 August 2019

When is Unploughed Land Ploughed? [UPDATED]

It now turns out that the  2,571  (sic) coins from the '[Chew Valley] hoard are virtually worthless, archaeologically too, because instead of being recovered in a proper context, they were all rattling around in the ploughsoil of an unploughed field. That's what the BM says:
Current Archaeology  1 godz. temu
w odpowiedzi do @PortantIssues @britishmuseum and @findsorguk
At the press briefing today it was said that the coins were in ploughsoil.
That's what they said about Cumwhitton... Anyway, that field was reported as not being under plough, so were the detectorists searching ploughland or unploughed land? The BM should clarify, did the newspapers get it wrong?  Searching finds other papers also have the same word in their stories (here  ['found in an unploughed paddock'], hereherehere and here). That word is now claimed to have come from thin air? The BBC video shows dense-growing grass, cropped short (grazing or cutting?) with dandelions and other wild plants growing in it - in short what you'd expect the grass in a paddock to look like.

Here's an FLO's assurances:
Benjamin Westwood Hi Jude, there's a bit of miss-information floating about regarding this hoard, as it seems it was found on ploughed land and not permanent pasture. It was reported immediately, and delivered to the BM very soon after. 
and funnily enough the video that was on the BBC webpage this morning mainly showing them digging in the grass has been replaced by another... I wonder why that could be?  Miss Information at work here too?


The Durham FLO claims to know what has been happening in North Somerset, further assurances that the BBC video was taken on ploughland:
Benjamin Westwood Google earth images clearly show it's land under plough
IF you know where the findspot is. Does he? How come? I asked him to give me the NGR so I can verify that (after many years experience dealing with the I have lost the ability to trust the PAS in things like that). So a journalist who interviewed the pair and then independently wrote "unploughed" was making it up? Why would you think they did that? It seems an odd thing for a reporter reporting news to do. "Fake news" is an easy call to make when it challenges what we find comfortable, but what is fake here?


As is wholly predictable, the PASFLO after having attempted to discredit what I said about 'metal detecting partners' has decided silence is the better part of valour. Once again, we find the PAS unwilling to back up their reassuring statements with actual fact. And once gain, we see it undermining its own 'authority'  thereby.  Why should the public trust a Scheme-in-denial that refuses to engage with awkward questions in an honest manner? The video shows the five tekkies digging down through compact grass, the first reports clearly refer to the findspot as an "unploughed" field, and a "paddock".

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