Thursday 22 August 2019

Stripping Roman Sites and the Three-pin Plug

Have a bit of a think about this exchange (I have edited out some scatological content and superficial comments, check the original here (Metal detecting, 22 hrs ago, so far 35 comments):·
Phil N Cath Jacobs‎ Back out on my roman field Sunday loads of roman coins still. Could anyone confirm if that’s a roman ring ? Thanks in advance

Neil Green wtf, isn't that a hoard?

Rob Abbott Not necessarily.. I have a 50 acre field that has produced over 500 Roman bronzes from 2nd to 4th century spread all over it.. A friend of mine had a 20 acre field that had produced well over 2000 bronzes from 2nd C to 4th C... some occupation sites can be very productive.

Sean Scargill  absolutely 👍

John Crouch As Rob Abbott says, I also have a 17 acre field that over the years has produced thousands of Roman coins from Sestertius to Minims and everything in between including Brooches right through the whole Roman period, not classed as a Hoard but it is a habitation site.

Andy Holbrook Yep just your normal roman site

Gary Smith I NEED a field like that 😔

David Shelley And I daren't mention how many I've had off our main site since 1996 lol And I wouldn't be exaggerating!! Anyway, looks like you're onto a temple site there with lots of minims which were offerings

Joe Spring It's got to be surley

Billy Vice Wow that's a lot from 1 dig amazing,

Andrew Jones In one day!! 😱 unbelievable

John Crouch  I have had 96 coins in one day many years ago, I have yet to beat that haul lol.

David Shelley  nah nah, Garry's best off our main site was 137 in a morning!!

Phil N Cath Jacobs These were found over a vast area...a lot of walking!’

Jake Monaghan I would definitely speak to your local flo they would love to record what you find even if it isn't classed as a hoard.

Daniel Haines Nice land mate I have a few fields like this have you found any votive offerings yet lie mini axe head, mini cauldron ect

Phil N Cath Jacobs No I’ve only found a damaged brooch plus the ring above

Andy Holbrook Yep 100% roman And dont worry about it being a hoard or anything, lools just like an average roman site, remember they where (sic) here for 450 years so dropped pleanty (sic) of coins

David Shelley 100% NOT a hoard but typical temple site with the minims as offerings [...]

Tony Bolton Not a hoard - detected locally on a site before they built on it coins were everywhere a general scattering across the entire acreage used to find 29 or 30 every hour. Great fun.

Barry Matthewson Nice finds, any big roman site throws up plenty of roman coins  
Now, let's just take a look at the PAS database it has records, it says, of 265,219 Roman coins. But in amongst them are Treasure Act finds extra-legally included on a database that was made to record non-Treasure finds, the search engine shows us that >187,074 of those coins are from the hoards. So in fact there are on the database only 78,145 coins voluntary reported by people who - we see above - can come home with pockets full of them every time they go out on an 'average' (Holbrook) Roman site. Mr Monaghan seems to think that there is an opinion in the detecting community around him that the FLOs are only interested in hoards, well when over two thirds of the records on the PAS database actually do come from hoards, you can see why they may think that.

We should note that of the 35 comments, there are mentions by or of twelve people (two thirds) for whom relatively large hauls of hoiked coins is not at all surprising and they've had/they have similar. If we extrapolate that to the whole artefact hunting community, which may be as many as 27000 people, that's a lot of coins being hoiked that are not getting recorded (78,145 coins is  three coins each reported to the FLO).

I'd say that any tekkie that claims that the Heritage Action Artefact Erosion Counter is 'wrong' is simply a liar. It postulates that the average number of collectable artefacts found a year is just over thirty items. Up above we see some detectorists claiming that finds rate for one hour detecting on certain sites. 

This Facebook page is just a mouse click away not only from me and you, gentle reader, but every archaeologist in the UK that supports artefact collecting and the façadist PAS voluntary recording system. Every single one of them. And you can ask yourself why they are not using those mouse clicks to find out what really is happening to the archaeological record under those coils. It's an analogy to all those half-brains that voted for Brexit for reasons like "the EU don't use square-pin plugs", they are not thinking through the issues, just blindly following... well, what?

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